Why another vegetable seed seller?
There are lots of good seed merchants selling a huge range of varieties. But most of these are ‘standard’ varieties, old (and sometimes tired) heirlooms, or modern hybrids designed for commercial growers, repackaged for the domestic market. Some sellers just re-label varieties to make them sound more interesting or to make the buyer think they are getting something new or different. This includes some large ‘Seed Club’ businesses in Australia.
We love heirlooms, but like to think that there is more to be discovered amongst the delightful diversity that nature has to offer. There are purple podded soup peas, but why not a purple snow pea? Why should parsnips only be available to growers with super-deep soils? What about a short fat parsnip for the rest of us? Why do baby carrots only come in orange, when there is a whole rainbow of colours available?
In addition to our favourite heirlooms that either aren’t available elsewhere or have very limited availability, we want to offer genuinely new varieties, developed for home growers. We also intentionally ‘mix up’ varieties through intentional crosses, so gardeners can select new varieties that suit their purposes from the resulting hybrid swarms.
There are some great seed preservers and people doing interesting things with edibles – unfortunately, many of them are working in countries where Australia’s necessarily strict import restrictions either ban importation, or impose conditions that are too expensive or onerous for small scale seed importation. We seek inspiration from breeders like Joseph Lofthouse, Carol Deppe, Frank Morton, The Dwarf Tomato Project & Rebbsie Fairholm, and shamelessly borrow their ideas.
There are also lots of very interesting varieties of vegetables that have very limited distribution, or are only grown by a few gardeners with limited sharing circles. We hope to make some of these varieties more widely available.