One of the most frustrating, time-consuming, exciting, addictive things about building a food forest isn’t the planting, weeding, harvesting or other work done in the Food Forest. It’s just putting my hot hands on some of the worlds most hard to get seeds.
It’s frustrating and time consuming to search for them because some of these seeds are just nigh of non-existent, such as Hablitzia tamnoides. It’s exciting because of
the cool plants I do get a hold of, (I just got some Hablitzia seeds in a trade). It’s addictive because the more I search, the more I find, which also falls under the category of time consuming.
So here is a list of plant and seed sources I have found useful and what I got from them.
http://asterlanedibles.ca/index.html This place is worthy of pilgrimage. Unfortunately I haven’t made mine yet. An unbelievable array of perennial vegetable plants and seeds.
http://www.heirloomseedswap.com/list/Scirpidiella Wojciech has a great collection of seeds at very good prices. I found him while looking for turnip-rooted chervil (Chaerophyllum bulbosum) seeds, and really enjoyed working with him. He has several kinds of Hablitzia. Contact him by email to request the full list of seeds he offers.
http://www.restorationseeds.com/ A notable source of perennial vegetable seeds including good king henry (Chenopodium bonus henricus), and turkish rocket (bunias orientalis).
http://www.oikostreecrops.com/ If you are in the northern US and are interested in permaculture, you probably already know about this place. If not, then welcome to the Mecca! Oikos is all about taking wild, or otherwise neglected, perennial and annual food crops, and selecting for disease resistance, and superior food qualities. They are also willing to sell plants bare-root, which cuts down on price considerably so you can get more of their cool plants! That said, the plants aren’t always the best quality in terms of how they get to you when shipped. My recommendation is to just spend the money for fewer larger plants, because my experience getting tons of small plants for cheap hasn’t been good.
http://magicgardenseeds.com/ This place is in Germany, and offers some very nice European perennial vegetables such as sea beet (Beta maritima) rampion (Campanula rapunculus) and others.
http://www.fedcoseeds.com/ Fedco is a normal vegetable seed supplier, but it has some very nice unusual vegetables too, such as orach (Atriplex hortensis), buckshorn plantain (Plantago coronopus), claytonia (Claytonia perfoliata), and New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides). We grow several kinds of tomatoes, anise hyssop,and other crops on our farm as one of Fedco’s contracted seed growers.
http://beingplants.com/ This is an international supplier. They offer lots of rare plants, many that are in some way edible.
http://www.treeseedsforsale.com/ Another international seed source. They sell tree plants, but they specialize in tree seeds — lots of them, at an amazing price. Check out their american snowbell (Styrax americanum) seeds.
http://ediblelandscaping.com/ They ship worldwide. No seeds here, but lots of hard to find plants. This is where I got my rossyanka Persimmons and Asian Pears.
http://www.burntridgenursery.com/ Again, no seeds, but a nice selection of plants. As of writing they have an excellent price for two year old Siberian peashrubs (Caragana arborescens). This place has “nikita’s gift” persimmon, a further hybridized prodigy of rossyanka.
http://www.territorialseed.com/ ‘Kosmic’ Kale here, as well as seeds, some shrubs and trees including grafted ‘Shenandoah’ and ‘Susquehannah’ Paw Paws.
https://www.horizonherbs.com/pilot.asp My comfrey source. They have both Bocking 14 and Symphytum officionale roots, and seed of S. Officionale. They also have an ever growing collection of perennial vegetables and herbs including a nice assortment of chicories (Chicorium spp.), good king henry (Chenopodium bunus-henricus), sea kale (Crambe maritima), to name a few. They have beetberry. Tilia cordata plants here too.
http://www.raintreenursery.com/ This is where I got my green gage which I wrote about here. This is the only source I have been able to find for Toona/Cedrella sinensis or fragrant spring tree. They don’t even have them available at all times, so, like me, if you want one you’ll have to hover incessantly watching for them to offer it. I’ll let you know when you can get cuttings off of mine.
Lots of nice sized, rare plants here. They are even beginning to suggest permaculture designers for west coast customers. Very cool.
https://www.onegreenworld.com/ Like Raintree, a nursery on the west coast with some more rare plants- cornelian cherry, stone pines, etc. When one of my clients wanted sea buckthorn in his food forest, this is where I recommended he get them because they have the largest selection I know.
http://www.hardyplants.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=SP Hardy plants is simply an overwhelming conglomeration of seeds. Don’t be deceived by all the useless ornamentals though. They have many hard to find plants if you will just pick through the lists of Latin names. Siberian purslane (Montia/ Claytonia sibirica), Crambe, and Asarum species here, and more.
http://www.nolinnursery.com/index.htm A very large collection of nut trees, American persimmon, paw paws. They also offer very large stock when available. “Szukis” persimmon here.
http://companionplants.com/ A fantastic nursery and seed company in Athens, Ohio. They have some harder to find N-fixers such as Cytisus scoparius, Genista tinctoria, Desmanthus illinoensis, Cassia hebecarpa. I get my Chinese artichoke (Stachys affinis) from them, and just lately got a Poncirus from them. Lots of other things though, so check them out.
http://www.diggingdog.com/pages2/catalog.php perennial vegetable trees and plants here such as Crambe cordifolia, Halesia carolina, Persicaria bistorta. They also have “Axminster Gold” comfrey.
https://www.forestfarm.com/index.php Another source for Crambe cordifolia.
If anyone would like to add a seed source, comment or contact me with the address and brief description of what they offer.