Driven by a strong passion to improve the world through the practice of seed saving, Astrid and Mathew Hoffman began The Living Seed Company in 2011. 25-30% of their seeds are grown locally at Point Reyes Station in Marin county and additional seeds are sourced exclusively from farms in North America. They focus on organic, non-GMO heirloom varieties.
Located in in Felton, CA, Renee’s Garden is just a hop, skip and a jump outside of San Francisco. The company has a large selection of organic and heirloom varieties and their packets are easy to find in many SF retail stores. Many of their seeds are grown overseas, but they’re all re-grown in the Felton trial garden to ensure compatibility with the Bay’s unique Mediterranean climate. Lovely watercolor illustrations and extensive growing instructions set their seed packets apart. The company doesn’t offer a printed catalog.
Buy seeds in SF at Flora Grubb, online or by phone.
Kitazawa Seed Company is not just the oldest seed company in the US to specialize in Asian seeds, but one of the oldest US seed companies, period. In 1917, Japanese immigrant Gijiu Kitazawa opened the Kitazawa Seed Co. to meet a growing demand from other Japanese-Americans looking for traditional Japanese produce. Currently based out of Oakland, CA, they carry over 500 traditional Asian vegetables and grain seeds in envelopes printed in the same manner as at their founding.
Buy seeds online, by phone, by fax, or by snail mail.
Established in 2008, the Sustainable Seed Company’s focus is on environmental practices that are good for the seed and good for the earth. They specialize in organic and heirloom varieties. Unlike most seed companies, they grow their seeds locally at farms in Covelo and Chico, CA. Both farms generate their own power with onsite solar panels and a wind turbine. Paper catalogs aren’t available for environmental reasons.
Buy seeds online or by snail mail.
Bountiful Gardens is the seed selling project of the nonprofit, Ecology Action. Ecology Action is the work of biointensive pioneer John Jeavons and author of the popular book How to Grow More Vegetables. Ecology Action and Bountiful Gardens seeks to teach an international audience biointensive growing techniques designed to maximize food production in small-scale ecologically sustainable agricultural spaces.
Buy seeds online or by phone.
Descriptions of 9 California vegetable seed companies, images of their seed packets, and information on how to buy their seeds.