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This thread is about Experimental Farm Network



From the website:

The EFN online seed store supports the work of the Experimental Farm Network Cooperative, a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The purpose of EFN is to drive innovation in truly sustainable agriculture by facilitating collaboration on plant breeding and other research. Our focus is on using traditional methods (no genetic engineering!) to develop new crops and new varieties of old crops suited for organic and agroecological production, especially carbon-sequestering perennial staple crops.

We believe agriculture can and should be used to help build a better world, not help destroy it. As the planet warms and the climate changes, it is critical for all of us to do whatever we can to prepare for what lies ahead. We need to preserve and expand crop biodiversity. We need to grow more perennials to trap carbon in the soil. And most of all we need to put the brakes on neoliberal capitalist exploitation of the planet and its inhabitants.

EFN's seed operation functions as a cooperative. While co-founders Nate Kleinman (in New Jersey) and Dusty Hinz (in Minnesota) grow most of our seeds, each year we are adding more growers to our roster. Many of them are inspiring plant breeders who receive precious little support for their incredibly important work. We aim to always keep expanding our cooperative, so please contact us if you're interested in joining our ranks, especially if you have unique seeds available nowhere else.

To sign up as a volunteer with EFN — as a project organizer or a grower willing to help with someone else's project — or to make a donation, please visit our main website at www.ExperimentalFarmNetwork.org.

Thank you for your support!

NOTE ON SHIPPING: WE ARE A SMALL OPERATION WITH OFTEN VERY LIMITED SEED QUANTITIES. FOR THIS REASON, WE DO NOT OFFER REFUNDS OR REPLACEMENT SEEDS FOR PACKAGES THAT GET LOST IN TRANSIT. WE APOLOGIZE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.


https://store.experimentalfarmnetwork.org

(To add a review, please begin your reply with "I give this seed source X out of 10 acorns."  Then it can be tallied correctly in the Seed and Plant Source Review Grid)
COMMENTS:
 
Posts: 20
Location: Northeastern US, USDA Zone 5b
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I give this seed source 9 out of 10 acorns.

I want to start by saying this seed source is not for everyone but if you're into them, you'll likely be really into them!

Who it's good for: adventurous gardeners, current and aspiring seed savers and plant breeders, folks who are looking for landrace seeds from Joseph Lofthouse, folks in colder climes in who want to push the limits of their growing zone and experiment with crops from slightly warmer zones

Who it's not so good for: those who want crop uniformity, not-so-adventurous novice gardeners, and growers who get really frustrated by gardening failures

I love the Experimental Farm Network as a source for unusual varieties, including perennial edibles, landraces, and grexes. Some of their seeds are sold as "botanical samples" which means they are not germination tested and some other varieties have lower germination rates than most seeds sold commercially. This is the main reason for my comments above about who this seed source is best suited for. However, they are very transparent about this, including the germination info in each item's description, and it is a reflection of the types of items they are carrying (seeds for fruits and woody perennials more typically sold as planting stock, seed from wild varieties, etc.) and not any reflection on the quality of seed they carry. Item descriptions also include location and USDA growing zone, as well as plenty of other useful info on growing and use. They are a small company so expect them to have limited availability of most items and sell out of many and plan accordingly/order early.

I have only grown a couple varieties sourced from them so far (maypop, perennial kale grex) but am quite pleased with them and planning to try more varieties from them this growing season, including a food & fiber flax grex, yellow mustard, and possibly some of Joseph Lofthouse's landraces. I failed my first year trying to grow the maypop (had very low germination and it didn't like the spot I planted it) but my second and third year had much better germination (I maintained proper germination conditions - warmth & moisture - for much longer and had most of the seeds germinate over a couple month period), got flowers and immature fruit on some of the plants in year one, and successfully overwintered and got mature fruits on the same plants in year two. The kale grex was successful but didn't have as much variation in plant color and leaf types as I would like, so I think I need to plant more of them to see that fully expressed.
 
pollinator
Posts: 577
Location: SW Missouri • zone 6 • ~1400' elevation
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I give this seed source 9 out of 10 acorns. My experience has been like Becca Miller said above, excepting that I haven't planted anything yet. They had some cool stuff I didn't find elsewhere, reasonable prices, and they got it to me in a reasonable time. I ordered five items, and at least three of them more diverse than just a "variety". (Two are populations of Joseph Lofthouse's pan-amorous tomatoes.)
 
steward
Posts: 19176
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I give this seed company 10 out of 10 acorns! I've only made one order, but I was very pleased to find they offer a wide selection of Joseph Lofhouse seeds. His seeds are amazing. His Cache Valley Currant Tomato was the only tomato that actually ripened in time in my damp climate--all my other tomatoes got blight before they ripened. Those little currant tomatoes were DELICIOUS, too! They were real winners with my kids.

Even though my climate is very different than Joseph's, his seeds have such diversity and vigor that they really do well, even in such a different climate!
 
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