Seed sources

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

Hablitzia seedling!
Hablitzia seedling!

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. 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. A notable source of perennial vegetable seeds including good king henry (Chenopodium bonus henricus), and turkish rocket (bunias orientalis).    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.    This place is in Germany, and offers some very nice European perennial vegetables such as sea beet (Beta maritima) rampion (Campanula rapunculus) and others.    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. They ship worldwide. No seeds here, but lots of hard to find plants. This is where I got my rossyanka Persimmons and Asian Pears. 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. ‘Kosmic’ Kale here, as well as seeds, some shrubs and trees including grafted ‘Shenandoah’ and ‘Susquehannah’ Paw Paws. 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. 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. Claytonia Sibirica plants 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. 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. perennial vegetable trees and plants here such as Crambe cordifolia, Halesia carolina,  Persicaria bistorta. They also have “Axminster Gold” comfrey. 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.


  1. I’ve always wanted to grow some hablitzia tamnoides — don’t suppose you could spare a seed? Or perhaps sell a couple? I could even send you them back when it’s grown.


    1. Sounds like a good deal to me. Unfortunately the seed won’t be from my plant. I have for the last two years been able to get seed from two different sources, failing to get a plant from either. They got some bacterial disease I think, the plants simple shriveling up to mush. I am getting more seed from Wojchiech, this year, both a wild form and a cultivated form, and will be happy to send you a few if you like.
      They are becoming far more available though. FEDCO now is offering them at a pretty reasonable price, and even Wojchiech, who two years ago charged three dollars for ten seeds, is now charging the same for fifty. If you will send a posted letter to my address, I’ll happily send you at least twenty, some of the wild included.
      Sending some back would be greatly appreciated. If you don’t, no problem. What I am really interested in is a rooted cutting, or piece of a plant since seed hasn’t panned out for me so far. No need to consider that unless you’re feeling unusually generous though, and more importantly if, for you, it’s legal.
      I’ll send you my address via email.


    1. Oh! I must have been too absorbed in the idea of how I could get to Ottawa to get some of your Hablitzia plants to notice you had seeds too. Thanks for adding it. I may try some from you as I’m on my fourth year of trying to get a plant. Sprouting I’ve been successful with, but the young plants keep dying from some bacterial wilt I believe. Is that a problem for you?

      Of course I’m still trying to figure out a trip to your greenhouse too.


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