FOR A VERY SMALL INVESTMENT, I WAS ABLE TO GET SEEDS FOR MORE THAN THREE QUARTERS of the vegetables I plan to grow this year. I invested $7 and got seeds for 19 varieties (actually many more if you count the ones I’m not going to grow).
What’s more, the $7 bought more than just run of the mill seeds. They’re mostly for heirloom vegetables and, in some cases, rare varieties that would have cost a pretty penny, that is if I was lucky enough to find them.
Here’s how I did it
First, I got three unusual heirloom tomatoes from the USDA Agricultural Research Service for free. It cost me absolutely nothing — not even postage – for these beauties. See the details of how I got free seeds at Rare Vegetable Seeds from U.S. Government. The interesting thing is I didn’t have to stop at three varieties. If I had room, I could have asked for more.
Second, I signed up for Dave’s Garden so I could begin seed trading and the gardening site sent me 29 packages of seeds. It cost me a $5 membership fee and almost $2 in postage for what they sent me. See Getting Started: Seed Trading and My “Kick Start” Seed Trading Package for the details on how it works. I’m going to try and grow 15 of the 29 they sent me and save the seeds from my garden so that I can donate them back to DG.
Third, I saved seeds from last year’s garden for four of the varieties that I liked. Last year was the second year I saved Brandywine tomato seeds. The Brandywine I saved seeds from was as big as a small pumpkin and wonderfully delicious so I’m hoping that this year’s plants will be even better.
Varieties saved from my garden:
Caspian Pink Tomato
Italian Roma Tomato
Varieties from the USDA Agricultural Research Service:
IXL Bolgiano’s Extremely Early Tomato
Pomodoro Palla di Fuoco Tomato
Kwand His Hung Shih Tomato
Varieties from Dave’s Garden:
Moss Curled Parsley
Red Sails Lettuce
Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce
Savoy Perfection Cabbage
Hollow Crown Parsnip
Mixed Colored Marigold
This is a lot more than I normally grow, especially if you take into account the 10 or so varieties I buy from seed catalogs. I’m going to have to find the space, which won’t be easy.
Now if I could only figure a way to get seed potatoes at little or no cost. Unfortunately, I never have the self restraint needed to stop from eating all the potatoes that I grow.
Of course, getting seeds this way is a bit like going to Las Vegas … you place your bet and see if you win. I hope my odds are better than playing the slot machines … and I hit the jackpot.
If all this is too chancy or too much work for too little gain, you can order your heirloom vegetable seeds by using the link below. I make a small amount of money if you order them from Amazon using this link.
I’m sure readers would like to know how you get your seeds on the cheap. Let me know your novel seed sourcing strategies by commenting below.
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*If you buy using this link, I make a few cents, which helps me continue to write SHF.