Does anyone know of any site that sells permaculture-useful seeds in the U.S.?
I'm looking for things that have been mentioned in the books (often Australian) that could grow here and be useful.
Tagasaste is one. I've found many sites where agricultural research has been done in this country and they are mostly positive, but very few people sell the seeds.
Yes, I know that I could look them up one type at a time, but I'm wondering if there is a site that specializes in seeds like this, where I could just pay one fee for postage/handling. I did run across an old site operated by a Joe Hollis in NC, but when I finally tracked him down, he told me that he doesn't do it anymore.
For starters, I'm looking for these:
Tagasaste (Chamaecytisus palmensis) Albizia (Albizia julibrissin) Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata) Other acacias that might be suitable to PNW Siberian Pea Shrub (Caragana siberica, C. arborescens) Mulberries, various (Morus, alba, M. nigra, etc) Elderberries (Sambucus) Lab-lab (Dolichos species) Banana passionfruit (Passiflora mollissima) Untreated Jerusalem artichoke tubers (Helianthus tuberosus)
I have a healthy vigorous and gorgeous sambucus nigra in the garden. I didn't collect any seeds this year but I think it may still be possible right now. Otherwise I understand sambucus can also be propagated with a cutting or by dividing out a sucker. I'm not an expert on it, but you are welcome to either if you know what to do. I usually prune it back in late winter and it will grow back to 8 feet.
I remember hearing a story about how there is a whole bunch of folks somewhere in australia that have a big batch of hate for bill mollison. He planted "thornless honey locusts" in a desert patch. Everything worked out really great - the patch went from useless to useful and mollison was a superhero. Until the the honey locusts threw off seeds that grew into new honey locusts with thorns and then took over the whole county. Now apparently there is a massive budge for cutting down honey locust trees.
Here's a shameless promotion for a friend's place: Feral Farm, in the upper skagit. Matt has seeds of all sorts of perennial edibles that grow well in his climate. And he only keeps the ones that survive with zero irrigation and fertilizer. He also has 7 or 8 varieties of jerusalem artichoke, all who survive his 'zero input' conditions.
But, he's pretty busy right now. You can give him a holler, though i think once winter rolls in he'll have more time to ship something to you. And, knowing him, he'll just ask for a donation.
Condense this for his email: feral farm 2 3 @ yahoo . com
Matt's place is fantastic in about 20 different ways.
Kelda, do you have pics?
Matt will do something like plant 20 varieties of raspberry and then not water, not fertilize and see which variety survives. He is doing this with dozens of edible plants. And he also has a focus on annuals that will reseed themselves.
He has a big gob of beautiful eco structures and heaps of examples of light footprint living. Amazing.
I was going to join Seed Savers until I heard what was going on in its boardroom. The guy who created Seed Savers and built it up to what it is, was ousted in a takeover by some members of the board who have some 'peculiar' associations.
It all sounds a little too peculiar for me. I'll pass. But thank you, all the same.
Although they are a wholesaler, Lawyer Nursery has a seed department with some wacky, cool stuff. Lots of nut pines, plum yews, and other things I rarely see at nurseries. They have a seed list at their website: http://lawyernursery.com/.
If you can't put together a large enough order to be considered a wholesaler, see if a landscaper or nursery person you know can order them for you. The minimum size seed order they offer is usually still a lot more seeds than a home user can use. You could put together an order with friends perhaps.
Principal - Terra Phoenix Design
Like others have said, Lawyer nursery is a good one for unusual edible seed. I think I'll be getting chinese hickory, manchurian walnut, and chinese hazel seed this year if they have it. Been buying seed from them for a couple seasons. It says this on their seed terms and conditions page
MINIMUM ORDER: Minimum order for seed is $5.00 per item. $25.00 total order