SeedGeeks

I found out about a new organic seed company a couple of weeks ago, and it surprised me for two reasons. First, I was surprised to learn that new seed companies were still being created. Based on the amount of seed catalogs that I already receive, it seems to me that there are plenty of choices already in this market.


The second and more important reason I was surprised: it's located right here in St. Louis! SeedGeeks is its name, and I got in touch with owners Marc and Angela Adler recently to ask them a few questions.

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Let me start by explaining that when I say that SeedGeeks is a new company, I mean new. New as in the website went live earlier this month, just a few days before my call! (They ask that if you visit and have any issues, please send them an email or give them a call to let them know about the problem!)

Since I'm not overly experienced being an interviewer, I thought I should prepare a list of questions to ask Marc and Angela, questions about the things that my readers would want to know.

I thought I should do this... but didn't, and instead just asked about all of the things that I wanted to know. I also thought I should take notes on their answers so I could provide quotations and other high-quality details -- things you see in other written interviews. Due to a file-saving snafu though, those notes are now gone, leaving me with no choice but to paraphrase Angela and Marc's answers. (Such professionalism!)

I started off with the most pressing question: why start a seed company?

Like many of us, Marc and Angela were both plant crazy, with strong tendencies towards growing food.  So strong in fact that they have converted all of their backyard space into planting beds, growing as much food as possible. Their little "urban farm" requires lots of seeds of course, and they both really enjoy discovering new varieties to try each year -- one of my favorite things about growing edibles -- which eventually led to them thinking "why not do this full-time?" (or at least as close to full-time as possible).

My second question: How much space does your garden have?

If somebody asked me this question, I'd do exactly what Marc did: start calculating out loud. The answer it turns out is "we don't know". Basically, take the following numbers and arrange them in almost any combination: 2, 4, 6, 12. For instance, there are six 4'x12' (1.2m x 3.6m) beds, four 4' x 6' (1.2m x 1.8m) beds, some 2 x 12, then lots of planting areas tucked here and there. Quite a bit of space for an urban garden, but not "farm" scale by any measure.

So you obviously don't produce your own seeds to sell -- where do they come from?

There is a network of organic seed suppliers that SeedGeeks works with, and they're working on partnerships with Missouri (and Illinois I expect) organic farmers to eventually supply as well -- remember, this company is brand-new!


How did you decide what seeds to carry, and what varieties? 

Angela laughed, as apparently they experience the same (often over-ambitious) excitement that I do when looking through seed catalogs -- so many choices, all looking so wonderful. Choosing the seeds to carry was a bit easier as there were no size constraints, but still difficult. She explained that
they focused on species and varieties that do well over large parts of the country, including the Midwest and St. Louis of course, with the eventual goal of finding the varieties that do best locally -- which is what I'd expect from a local seed company.

Are your seeds available anywhere in town?

At this time, no -- you can't go to a local garden center and find SeedGeeks packets. But orders are fulfilled really quickly Marc told me -- they usually get into the mail the same day -- and if you live in the St. Louis area this could mean next-day delivery!

What are you most excited about growing in your own garden this year?

After a little thought, the answer came: "melons!" They've not had great success with melons yet, and are trying a new bed in a sunnier spot to see if that will help. (Interestingly, melons are at the top of my excitement list this year too!)


Although I already have all of the spring and summer seeds I need, I'll be seeing what SeedGeeks has to offer for my fall garden, and I'll be excited to see what they'll have to offer next winter too!

One thing Marc and Angela wanted me to stress: All of their seeds are open-pollinated, untreated, and 100% non-GMO.  More details here.

Thank you Marc and Angela!

(And I hope I got everything right!)

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