Heritage plant seeds sold by companies large and small

Heritage plants (also called heirloom plants) are ones that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Heritage plants (also called heirloom plants) are ones that have been passed down from generation to generation.

These plants can be maintained through cuttings, root division or seed.

Plants that have been maintained from seed are openly pollinated, meaning that nature makes the selections as opposed to scientists. As a result, each plant will have slightly different characteristics. Over time, the plants will alter slightly, adapting to the local environment. But nothing has been done to purposely develop certain aspects of the plant.

Scientists began hybridizing programs to develop plants that grew better in the northern climates. Initially they looked for characteristics such as disease resistance and a shorter growing season. When the market for fresh goods expanded, they then worked toward long shelf life and tougher skins, making shipping easier.

At that point, taste was not high on the list and consumers complained and the programs changed focus.

Plant hybridizing programs are not to be confused with ones where the DNA is altered.

When seeds from heritage plants are collected, dried, saved and planted the next season, one can expect plants with similar characteristics to grow. This is not necessarily true with plants that have been hybridized. Plants from hybridized seeds may or may not look like the parent plants.

Companies that sell heritage plant seeds either grow their own or purchase them from companies that grow the seed organically and use open pollination. Larger companies cater to the masses while smaller ones often have seeds for unique plants that aren’t for sale elsewhere.

The following is a selection of smaller companies that sell heritage or heirloom seeds. Read the catalogues carefully — if it doesn’t state it is a heirloom variety, chances are it is not.

l West Coast Seeds have a selection of heritage vegetables and flowers. They have an online catalogue at http://www.westcoastseeds.com or contact them at 1-888-804-8820.

l Two Wing Farms carry heritage tomato seeds. They have some listed online but have many different varieties that can be found by contacting them directly. It should be noted that this company will be closed until the end of March. Go to http://www.twowingsfarm.com or phone them at 250-478-3794.

l Heritage Harvest Seeds carry a large selection of heritage vegetables, flowers and herb seeds. Go to http://www.heritageharvestseed.com/ or phone them for a catalogue at 204-745-6489.

l Tatiana’s Tomato Base contains 4,754 varsities of tomatoes that she has gathered from around the world. Seed origin and cultural requirements are included. Go to http://tatianastomatobase.com.

l Seeds of Victoria has a number of unique heritage vegetables, herbs and flowers. Go to https://seedsofvictoria.com or phone 250-881-1555.

l Salt Spring Seeds gives a description and origin seeds it sells: flowers, vegetables, grains and herbs. The heritage seeds are not separated from the newer varieties that are openly pollinated. Go to http://www.saltspringseeds.com or phone 250-537-5269.

l The Cottage Gardener carries a large selection heritage and organic seeds. Go to http://cottagegardener.com/ or phone 905-786-2388.

l Prairie Garden seeds grow and collect their own seed. Availability of seed can be affected by last year’s growing season. They have flowers and a large selection of vegetables and grains. Go to http://www.prseeds.ca/ or phone 306-682-1475.

l Solana Seeds sells a variety of heritage vegetables and flower seeds. There is a choice of an English or French online catalogue with unique seed varieties. Seed packets are printed in French. Go to www.solanaseeds.com.

l Brother Nature seed information makes it easy to see which are heritage and which are not. Go to http://www.brothernature.ca or phone 250-661-2255.

l Eternal Seed has a selection of heritage seeds available. Go to http://www.eternalseed.ca or phone 604-487-130

Take time to browse through the websites, reading about all the different heritage seeds that are available. For those who would prefer a printed catalogue, phone numbers are provided. Just be warned that not all companies will have one in print as the cost can be prohibitive.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist who lives near Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at www.igardencanada.com or your_garden@hotmail.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

Chopped Canada-winning chef Pete Sok is trying to focus on the future as he reopens Boulevard Restaurant and Lounge in the Holiday Inn on Gasoline Alley during the pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer’s celebrity chef looks past the pandemic with new restaurant opportunity

Pete Sok is reopening Boulevard Restaurant — and betting on the future

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Gummed-up bills in House of Commons: harbinger of a federal election?

OTTAWA — All federal party leaders maintain they don’t want an election… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

Most Read