Help Save A Heritage Seed House

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on September 6, 2011

I always advocate getting quality seed from a quality company.  D. Landreth Seeds is one of the old type seed companies dealing in quality seed that is not genetically modified.  However, they are now endangered due to a lawsuit beyond their control.  This place is so old George Washington bought his seeds from them.  You can help them get even older by buying one of their catalogs.

Every gardener loves seed catalogs.  For $5, you can have a full colored catalog that was printed in the United States to druel over.  D. Landreth Seeds carries 100% non-GMO seeds that are also grown in the United States.  They have seeds for this fall available, as well as garlic.  In addition, they have a holiday gift collection for yourself or the gardener on your holiday list.

Why it Matters.  Seed companies are going under faster and faster.  All of our agricultural production is being consolidated into the hands of a few large companies.  They grow what sells best and much of the genetic diversity in the older seeds is being allowed to die out.  We are monocropping our way into a repeat of the Irish Potato Famine.  When only one or two varieties of each vegetable are grown, any disease or pest that attacks those varieties can wipe out vast amounts of our food supply.  We could end up starving because of this.

Heritage companies such as D. Landreth Seeds carry a much wider variety of seeds.  Many are heirlooms found no where else.  If a blight or other disease struck one variety of vegetable, they would probably have another variety that wasn’t affected by it.  Further, heirloom seeds are open pollinated.  That means that you can save seeds.  By selectively picking the seed from the plants that did the best in your garden, you can develop your own subvariety of that vegetable.  That isn’t possible with hybrid seeds, since they do not breed true.

More information.  For more information, you can go to D. Landreth Seeds Facebook page. has an excellent article on the situation and a list of garden bloggers and others who are helping.  Buy a catalog, buy some seeds, spread the word.  Don’t let this heritage die.

 Gardenbookfrontcoverthumbnail For more help gardening, buy my book, Preparing A Vegetable Garden From The Ground Up
Available in print or ebook from or other retailers, this book walks you from choosing the site of your garden all the way through what to do after the harvest. Buy a copy for yourself or a friend today!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris September 6, 2011 at 8:58 am

Hi Susan,
Thanks for bringing attention to this important issue once again. Saving heritage/heirloom seeds is not just a pleasant pass-time, as you so wisely point out, but a necessity for survival.
My entire family is involved in a seed-saving program. We buy different varieties of heritage seed from an elderly gardening couple, and each year we save many of the seeds from the harvested produce for next year’s planting.
Not only is it wonderful to have such a variety of produce (several types of tomatoes I never knew existed, for example!) but it’s also tremendously important for the survival of this planet and our species. I encourage everyone who plants to save seed of any kind from their harvested produce each year! Simply remove the seeds from the veg and lay them out to dry for a week or two–them save them to plant again next year!
Seeds are a renewable resource only up to a point–and only if we are willing to take on this important task on an individual level.
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Laurie from Down Or Just September 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Can’t believe that company was founded in 1784!! It’s been around such a long time. I’ll definitely get a catalog, I want to show my support!!


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