We supply a broad selection of premium quality vegetable seed, herb seed, flower seed, bulbs & tubers, and cover crop varieties that have survived the test of time based on their dependability, usefulness and distinctive characteristics. The seeds we source come from our network of skilled regional growers and independently-owned North American seed producers.
Open Pollinated Seeds
Sow True Seed sells only “true seed” (non-hybrid and non-GMO) varieties of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds that will grow true to type when saved properly and replanted. We believe that the roots of independence and self-sufficiency derive from the ability to save seed. Open-pollinated varieties are more genetically diverse and are able to adapt faster to their growing region and specific climate variances. Each open-pollinated variety remains protected in the public domain as the common property of everyone.
Many of the varieties that Sow True Seed offers are heirlooms, meaning they are not only open-pollinated, but have been passed down through generations due to their outstanding qualities. This may include unique flavor, disease resistance, or storability. These varieties have been in circulation since before World War II, prior to the commercial introduction of F-1 hybrids and the changes which resulted in the domination of “Big Agriculture.”
Many of the varieties offered by Sow True Seed are certified USDA organic. While we feel, as stated in our intentions, that organic is a direction in which we all need to be heading, we understand the challenges smaller farmers may face in becoming USDA certified. We are proud to support the farmers who utilize organic standards or practice biodynamic growing methods even though not technically certified. Sow True Seed is inspected and Certified Organic by the USDA accredited agency, Quality Certification Services (www.qcsinfo.org). Our seed is not treated with fungicides or pesticides of any kind.
Why not hybrid seed?
A hybrid seed is created when the pollen from two different plants are crossed. The seed of the first generation of this crossing is called F1 and produces the traits desired by the breeder, but subsequent generations of seed, if saved, will notgrow “true-to-type” when replanted the following season. In some instances, the hybridization of plant varieties has helped to create new varieties that are disease resistant, different in color, and more tolerable to extreme temperature fluctuations. Most of the fruit and vegetable varieties you see in the grocery store are hybrids. Sow True Seed is not so much “anti-hybrid,” but instead is simply “pro open-pollinated.” Farmers and gardeners who plant hybrid seed are dependent on the producer. We want our gardeners and small market famers to be able to save their seeds and therefore ensure their own genetic and region-specific diversity.
Sow True Seed’s Statement of GMO-free Intention
Sow True Seed is committed to making seed and food free from Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). We are signatories on the Safe Seed Pledge (see below) put out by the Council for Responsible Genetics and we do not knowingly produce, process or sell GMO seed. Unfortunately, GMOs are now so widely grown that we cannot eradicate all risk of unintentional crosses. That risk, however small, exists for any grower whose neighbors use genetically engineered seed on cross-pollinating crops, despite best efforts at isolation.
Our Safe Seed Pledge
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.
Germination Testing and Standards
Sow True Seed stands by our rigorous testing procedures in order to provide customers with germination rates that exceed USDA requirements. The testing occurs three times per year on each lot of every variety we offer. The testing is conducted offsite by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture Plant Industry Division. If for some reason you are experiencing germination issues with your Sow True Seed, please contact us immediately with the Lot Number information located on the front of your seed packet. For more information on USDA Germination Standards, and to learn how rates vary by variety, we encourage you to visit the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations online at www.ecfr.gov.
While each seed packet is printed with a “sell by” date, many experienced gardeners know this is merely a suggestion. When stored in the right conditions (cool, dark, and dry) many seed varieties can remain viable for years. Look for the “Seed Viability” dates in the charts throughout the catalog.
100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Sow True Seed wants you to have an amazing and successful garden. If you are dissatisfied with your seed purchase, we will replace the item or refund/credit the full purchase price within the “Sell By” date listed on the packet. Sow True Seed strives to provide the highest quality seed, and for that reason we cannot assume responsibility for any environmental conditions beyond our control.
Supporting Asheville, NC Local Economy
Have you ever been to a magical place that is alive with dozens of tailgate markets, a booming arts scene, bountiful and beautiful natural resources, and the friendliest quirkiest people on the planet? Then you must have visited Asheville, North Carolina! Sow True Seed is proud to call this amazing little town home and is happy to accept the Go Local Card (offering 10% off all seed packet purchases IN STORE ONLY).