Mother Earth Living

In the Garden

Get down and dirty in the garden

Add to My MSN

Urban Farmer: Cute Sustainable Seed Packets

3/31/2011 4:05:18 PM

Tags: Lauren Holt, Seeds, Seed Companies, Sustainability, Organic Seeds, Heirloom Seeds, Urban Farmer, Recycling

L.HoltDo you buy your garden seeds, or are you lucky enough to know lots of people who are willing to share? For those of us who choose to buy, there are lots of options, and it can be difficult to choose a source. My own hesitance to start my little container garden largely stems from my need to research obsessively (to ensure I don’t kill everything), and to pull the project off with a minimum of cost. I've barely started thinking about where to get seeds.

The constructing and planting still needs a bit of research (though I would welcome any advice you have to offer!), but I may have found a potential seed source. We’ve received two packets of herb seeds from Urban Farmer, a sustainably-minded seeds company based out of Indianapolis. We received Italian plain leaf parsley (100 seeds) and Italian large leaf basil (500 seeds), and I’m hoping to coax just a few of them out of my coworkers for my own garden. Of special interest: each packet is made out of pages from old magazines, giving the paper at least one more step in the world before it ends up in a landfill. The practice was started by Urban Farmer’s founder, Noah Herron, in his quest to combine two of his passions: gardening and magazines. In addition to the recycling aspect, we found the stories and pictures that make up the packets entertaining, and the simple cartoon labels are a cute way to give growing tips.

4-5-2011-urban farmer seeds
Urban Farmer Seeds to request your seed catalog. 

Intrigued, I did a little more research. The Urban Farmer’s website is full of useful information, covering everything from planting advice to guides for preserving and cooking with your harvest. They offer a wide variety of vegetable, flower and herb seeds, and many of their seeds are heirloom, organic or both. Check out the Urban Farmer philosophy and safe seed pledge

I'm hoping to plant a tiny container kitchen garden with herb and vegetable seeds.
Photo by CocteauBoy/Courtesy

Organic seeds, although they do cost a bit more than the supermarket packages, won’t have the chemical fungicides that are sometimes injected into non-organic seeds. If you’re choosing to grow your own food for more reasons than just stretching your budget, you can also be assured that organic seeds aren’t produced by big agricultural companies like Monsanto, which control much of the U.S. seed market. I’m personally a little torn on the issue (my budget is still recovering from some surprise costs due to snow and ice this winter), but I’m slowly trying to figure out ways I can buy organic produce and humanely-raised animal products. My plans for a kitchen garden are certainly a place to pay a little more attention—I want to start well, so that I’m already in the habit when I get more space to grow more food.

How do you choose your seeds each year? Where do you get them? (And do you have any advice for a novice interested in container gardening?)

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.

(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here