Tending To My Patch: Where Do Seeds Come From?

There are many customers who eagerly await the arrival of their seed catalogues in there mailbox, and those of us who will search the Internet for all that is new. After many hours of pondering and decision making we will take our dreams and plans for another gardening season and head to our Local garden centers to purchase the new seed varieties that were listed in many of the seed catalogues that we browsed through.
Most Canadians assume that the seeds we purchase are developed and produced here. In most cases, the seeds for the homegrown vegetables and flowers actually come from abroad. Growers and breeders work for large seed wholesalers, where the seeds are grown in controlled climates and their yields are predictable from year to year. Most seeds were harvested last year from United States, Central and South America, Europe and Japan. Seeds that are being imported to Canada are governed by the Canadian Seed Trade Association.
The wholesalers, in turn, sell their seeds to Canadian suppliers, who then package them for distribution to garden centers and mail-order customers. However, some seeds do come prepackaged from foreign suppliers.
Seeds that do originate in Canada include heritage varieties and some herb species. Some herbs for example, are collected and harvested in the greenhouse. Some rare herb varieties are collected in rural Asia and Africa. Almost all seeds sold here are Canada #1 or meet federal quality requirements.
Why are some seeds more expensive than others? This is determined by the cost of producing the variety; if certain seeds are in short supply due to climatic conditions and other factors, currency fluctuation, and varieties whose tiny seeds are very labor intensive to grow and package. Also, if it’s an outstanding variety, people are willing to pay more.
If a certain variety is pushed through magazines and celebrity gardeners the price usually goes down because companies will make their money on volume sales. When buying seed packages, check to find information such as the germination rate and the year it’s packaged, and planting directions. You will note that each seed company carries many varieties, so therefore you might need to buy from several seed suppliers to get what you want. When you choose to plants seeds you’ve got living, growing proof that spring is not just around the corner, but well established in your basement or on your window ledge.