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About Our Seeds
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
About our seeds This seed offering is an opportunity to try some unusual varieties generally not found elsewhere. In some cases we are the only catalog offering some of these seeds, and in some cases one of the only places preserving these seeds. On the other hand some of our varieties are not particularly rare. We are not a full service seed company, in fact we are not a company at all.

Some obvious vegetable types are entirely absent from the catalog. We have varieties we are endeavouring to preserve and to encourage you to preserve. We do not grow seeds as a commercial operation but rather as an outgrowth of our seed conservation efforts. Many varieties are in very short supply. Rather than not offer them at all we would rather give you a chance at growing and tasting some of these varieties. But please don't be angry if we run out or when you open you seed packet its not overflowing. We try to give a "fair" number of seeds based on our yield, rarity and demand. For example seeds for tomatoes or squash should bear plenty of fruit while beans will either give you a small taste or allow you to develop your own stock. In future years we will attempt to broaden the offerings to give you more vegetable types.


Organic. To be or not to be?

Used to be anyone could be organic. Ofcourse some people lied about whether their products were but no one really though it was a big problem until alot of money got involved and the big boys stepped in. Well now we got standards so everyone knows exactly what organic means, who is and who ain't. Sort of.

That's not all bad but neither is it all good. But that's the way it is. So now you can't use the word unless you are certified. Imagine taking a word in common usage for two generations and suddenly saying you can't use it.Well that said all our seed this year is grown organically. Oh we are not suppossed to say that word. Well it wasn't grown with any chemicals at all--but almost none of the seed was grown on certified land. If we do carry non-organic, that is seed grown with some kind of chemicals, however mild, we will let you know.

You will find an emphasis on varieties with some affiliation from the Northeast and north , but we include a wide geographical range as these distinctions can be arbitrary and subject to definitions of botanists, geographers, travelers, explorers, historians etc. Most of the varieties will do well both north and south of here, others may not. Like most gardeners you are probably gamblers, innovators and experimentors. Try something. See what happens. And if it doesnt do well next year try it again. And if it doesnt do well forget about and try it in five years because you didn't remember it didn't work well the last time. And then you go over to your neighbor's garden and wonder how the hell does he make that plant grow?


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Our Position on Genetically Modified (GM)Seeds

The Safe Seed Pledge:

"Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative,

We pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.

The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities."

For more information on The Safe Seed Pledge and Genetically Modified Seeds See the website of the Council For Responsible Genetics

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Pricing: All seed packets are $3.00 unless otherwise marked. Some are more expensive and are marked accordingly. Yet some quite rare ones aren't more expensive. Consider it a gift.

Seeds are more expensive for lots of reasons. Many of ours are quite rare. Rarity costs more. We won't apologize for the price on these. And let's face it next year you can have 20 times more than you started with. In fact we really want you to produce more seed. And more seed. So each rare variety you grow and proliferate will not be rare or endangered any longer. All our seed is hand processed, and produced in very small amounts. We list varieties for which we only have very limited seed packets. We maintain varieties that barely sell--or never sell. All this costs money.

But really what we would like you to keep in mind foremost is that you are helping us in our work. Every purchase helps keep us going--and that means alot to us.

Ordering: An order form follows the seed listing. Please read it carefully. Our minimum order is $10.00 Anything less just isn't worth it. If there is really only one packet of tomato seeds you want buy a few more as a gift. Or give us the balance as a donation.

Our suggested cut off for seed ordering is May 10. Orders recieved after that time will be processed as time allows during the summer. WE WILL NOT GUARANTEE A TIMELY DELIVERY OF SEEDS FOR THE PLANTING SEASON AFTER THAT DATE. We will process your seed orders during the summer but do not expect a quick response. And please don't beg and whine. If we can get them to you quickly after this date we surely will, but please dont be surprised if it takes a couple of months either.

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Descriptions
Our seed is sold for genetic purposes only. We make no claim for performance specific or otherwise, trueness to name, purity, disease resistance so on and so forth. That said we do make every effort to send you seed which we believe will perform well, is the variety described and is pure. If you have additional information about something that we grow then please tell us, or if you notice things about a plant's performance, the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of our description or other comments we welcome them even if we don't like what you say.

We do not try to list every bit of information about each plant in our descriptions but rather to give you some information about what the variety looks like and any other outstanding infomation we want to share with you. Maturity dates and other features may also vary with the summer, climate soils etc. so sometimes that information can be next to useless. Notice that in every variety description there is a rating about the variety's availabilility out in the world. We use common, uncommon, rare, very rare and endangered to describe each variety. Naturally these terms are relative and there is some overlap. A variety we describe as rare might be offered by another seed company that is sitting on 300 pounds of seed and seed saved in a half dozen backyards--while common for them, six growers of a variety world wide is certainly rare--some might advocate that the proper term is endangered.

Most of the varieties also have ratings for how many seed companies in the United States offer the same seed. This statistical information is taken from the Garden Seed Inventory, published by the Seed Saver's Exchange. While not a survey of every single seed company in the world, and now a few years old, it does give you an idea of how rare something is. In may cases a variety we have is offered by only none or one or two other companies. Maybe now the number of companies is up to three or four. Well that's still pretty rare.

By understanding the scarcity of this seed we hope you see the necessity of ensuring its protection and why we do what we do. We encourage you to make a variety less rare -- to take it away from the brink of extinction -- by the simple act of saving seeds yourself. What an easy way to bring life into the world and maintain our link with the natural word.
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Catalog arrangement

The catalog is arranged in alphabetical order according to the common English headings--ie cucumber, squash. We could easily have done it according to Latin names, or various taxonomic schemes but thought we would just keep it simple.

Our tomato listings are by far the largest section--here you will find many rare and historical varieities.

Our section of Native American varieties is posted after the list of other varieties. The first section will have some Native varieties listed , but the Native American section will only have Native American varieties that we know or genuinely beleive, based on our research to be truly Native American.


Selling Native American Seed

We want you to know that we have agonized over whether or not we should even be selling Native American seed. Like most contributions Native people made to our modern culture those contributions have largely gone unrecognized and in many cases were literally stolen, including the very land these seeds were once grown upon.

Many Native people consider these seeds sacred, or simply important and integral parts of their culture. Most of these seeds are especially rare and most endangered. After talking to many people particularly tribal elders and leaders we were encouraged to sell these seeds as a means of supporting our conservation efforts. They felt what we were doing was so important for keeping these seeds alive that it was okay for us to sell them to help support our work. For those Native people who are offended we apologize.


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EASTERN NATIVE SEED CONSERVANCY
P.O. Box 451
Great Barrington, Massachusetts 01230
413.229.8316
natseeds@aol.com