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michigan seed company

Looking for larger quantities of beans than what we offer? We highly recommend contacting the good folks at Sheridan Acres. Fellow bean enthusiast Kevin represents the 4th generation to grow heirloom beans on his family’s farm in Michigan’s Thumb region.

We realize our focused inventory won’t satisfy all your seed desires. Please consider supporting these companies in our Great Lakes bio-region to meet those other needs. (Yes, I am aware of quite a few additional worthy seed houses that are not on this list. Their omission is purely the result of an intentional focus on producers in our Great Lakes bio-region.)

John Sherck, Indiana seedsman, mentor and friend, of Sherck Seeds truly is the Gold Standard when it comes to upland rice cultivated in cold temperate climates. Although he retired from seed sales May 2021, his website is a wealth of information worthy of your perusal.

Charlie of Wisconsin’s Anarchy Acres is a good source for regionally appropriate wheat in quantities larger than we can supply.

Hang on – didn’t I just list my competitors. No, I list wonderful regional small-scale seed houses whose passionate labors of love result in the finest selection of top quality, regionally appropriate seeds, well deserving of their space in our gardens.

The Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative consists of researchers and educators from Oregon State University, Cornell University, Washington State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Organic Seed Alliance, and USDA who are collaborating with more than 30 organic farmers to breed new varieties and determine the varieties best suited to organic production systems. Their variety trials focus on open-pollinated tomato, cabbage, sweet corn, winter squash, and pepper varieties. Their Organic Variety Trial Reports include reports of these five crops among others.

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Breeders have adopted this practice and will intentionally cross-pollinate two varieties of a plant. This process is carefully controlled so that plants achieve the best combination of characteristics. Sometimes, achieving the right set of characteristics can take years.

In order to create a hybrid variety, the parents must be crossed each time to create the same combination of characteristics. So, hybrid seeds do not “reproduce true,” which means that plants grown from seeds (i.e., the second generation) may or may not share the desired characteristics selected from the first generation.

Seed Sources and Databases

Hybridization is a natural process. Often times an insect or bee pollinates a plant with two parents. The result is a plant that has different characteristics than either of its parent plants.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Johnny’s has been farming organically for over 40 years and has been a MOFGA Certified Organic Seed Handler since 1979. They offer varieties of certified organic vegetable, herb, flower, fruit and farm seed created using natural crossing methods for hybrid seeds that are healthy and safe.

Seed-Saving Handbook
This resource outlines steps necessary to save and maintain organic seed collections from your garden.

Unlike hybrid seeds, GMO seeds are not created using traditional breeding methods. Instead, GMO seed varieties are created using high-tech solutions in the lab, and include the complicated processes of genetic engineering, often extracting material from one type of plant and inserting it into another type of plan. The inserted genetic material can provide a desirable trait such as resistance to a disease or increased vigor. GMO crops most used in the U.S. are soybean and corn. They have been engineered for increased vigor but also resistance to glyphosate, a broad-spectrum herbicide. Due to excessive use of glyphosate there are economically important weeds that are now resistant to this herbicide.

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Snake River Seed Co-Op – A collective of family farmers in the Intermountain West who work together to produce a wide diversity of locally-adapted seeds.

Fedco Seeds – A Maine-based cooperative specializing in hardy varieties.

Botanical Interests Operating out of Colorado, Botanical Interests is a family-owned seed company offering over 600 non-GMO herb, flower, and vegetable varieties for the home gardener. Each seed packet is beautiful and offers more than enough information for you to have a successful harvest.

MIGardener

Pinetree Garden Seeds – Pinetree Garden Seeds has been in operation for 40+ years and has a simple mission: provide affordable, quality seeds that grow.

According to Johnny’s website, “while growing vegetables for market at a small farm in New Hampshire, 22-year-old Rob Johnston recognizes an opportunity for a new kind of seed company — one that will identify the best-tasting and easiest-to-grow varieties and sell them to American gardeners. He calls his start-up company ‘Johnny Apple Seeds.’” Today, the employees own 100% of the company stock. Johnny’s offers an impressive variety of non-GMO, organic, hybrid, open-pollinated and heirloom seeds, and more. They are one of the original signors of the Safe Seed Pledge and we encourage you to read more about their seeds here .

“Affordable seeds with a great selection and good germination rate!” – @courtneystreet17

Floret Flower – Floret Flower is a family-run flower farm located in Washington and specializing in growing unique, uncommon, and heirloom flowers. We highly recommend that you check out the courses and workshops on their website!