Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

if you are into seed porn, a catalogue of offerings is eye candy.

There are so many suppliers out there it is hard to sift through them all and match them to your preferences. But as the years and seasons fold by I find I'm partial to some rather than to others.

  • THE SEED COLLECTION: While the SC offers a good range of species, the real advantage is the price of the packets and the ease of ordering. $1 here and $1.50 there with just enough seeds for your back yard farming adventure. Poked into an envelope for cheap Australia Post transit.For that impulse buy when you have to plant a seed this is my go to.
  • THE ITALIAN GARDENER : If you are of the Mediterranean persuasion gastronomically, you gotta check out what the IG has on offer. Many seeds are imported but less so under new restrictions.  If you want to be a culinary snob the varieties on offer  make for exciting ordering. Best place for the chicories and radicchios. Nonetheless, fewer plant varieties on offer (eg: beans and zucchinis) than a year ago.Tragic.
  • GREEN HARVEST : Very reliable source for seed stock with a tried and true range on offer. Postage is a bit expensive regardless of your order but that's a swings and slides choice. Always my first go-to site for seeds.
  • THE LOST SEED : If you are into rare and heirloom varieties this is the site for hungry eyes. 'Tis amazing what you may find.I think it's an exciting place to visit.

I'm not so obsessive that I don't appreciate ease of ordering and payment and a good outline of each seed type in the catalogue.Thereafter, of course, I likem more if the seed actually grows-- rather than not! For my own storage needs, i appreciate easy handling packaging.

That I can surf so many catalogues and dream is a wonderful thing.

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And check these out: may be a tad out of date now but some more to drool over.

I wasn't planning to make a full list of what I've used -- only my preferred suppliers.What I do buy I try to look after well.

...and I assume the suppliers do too. But discovering The Lost Seed and The Seed Collection  was a boon for my choices.

I spent time at Heronswood in the eighties -- original home of  Diggers -- as my parents lived nearby and we were all Diggers users. Lovely place on the slope of Arthurs Seat, Mornington Peninsular -- but I've moved on, as has the seed supply chain nationally.

Just saying it's probably better to order online rather than to pick up a seed packet at a shop -- given storage issues. And seeds can be temperamental -- both as they arrive and how you germinate them.

How long do or should they take to germinate? As long as it takes I reckon -- but after a couple of months, I get the message. But I've had some packets of seeds from different suppliers that won't germinate.

If I'm paying  not much -- I don't care -- that's a plus: price.

I've germinated seeds I've had for 4 years while others -- and corn is a good example -- have a short use by date.

Just saying: with  The Seed Collection -- I can order a broader range of seeds at a cheaper price.Suits my polycultural bent. With  The Lost Seed I know I can experiment with various heirloom varieties in my own good time.

The only thing I hate is that 'OUT OF STOCK' banner....

I have spent a hefty amount on greenharvest seeds and I must be doing it all wrong or not impressed at all with germination rate. Also rather unimpressed with the number of seeds In the viola packets, not to mention that one month on, even on moist cotton wool on a warm window sill and nothing to show but a tiny tiny tail...  Though they just send me notification for perennial leek plants....oh the agony now... On the positive side, they have some very useful tools and other non seed items as well as living plants making it easy to order all in one place. Some orders like seed potatoes and strawberry plants must be placed quickly as they do run out. 

thats interesting Valerie I too have given up on Green harvest could not recommend them for any of the at least 100 packets of seeds i have piurchased from them ---- less than 5% success rate and several packets nada  5 packets of cossack pineapple seeds not a single plant to show for it ! not a single germination !!!! ! very expensive experiment Now the seed collection is cheap and at east a 75%success rate and some unusual varieties !!!! 

Just the same, Green Harvest writes:

If you are not happy, neither are we
We will give a refund or exchange for any purchase that you are not happy with.

I demand of a seed supplier is that their seed be fresh and well stored -- with, I'd hope, stock also being tested for germination rate...often enough to be of value.

For the horticulture industry overall this is a big issue. and companies exist just to test seed germination rates. I've had my commercial seedling supplier complain to me about seed purchases with zilch germination rates. So it happens often enough.

I've had bad experiences but I do know that if you buy 20 seeds for a dollar you know where you stand soon enough -- and be out of pocket just a dollar.

HERE is (LINK) percentages for standard US germination of veg seeds .

Certainly not my everyday experience -- but then I'm no great seedsman.

Here's seed testing for home use: LINK


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