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This thread is all about West Coast Seeds
Untreated Seeds for Organic Growing, Non-GMO



West Coast Seeds started in 1983 in Vancouver, British Columbia, under the stewardship of Mary Ballon. A nursing instructor at the University of British Columbia, Mary’s love of gardening and fervent belief in growing food locally has helped motivate a generation of organic gardeners on the West Coast and right across the continent. One feature about West Coast Seeds is that we only offer untreated seeds. We specialize in HEIRLOOM and CERTIFIED ORGANIC seeds for organic growing. We offer 800 varieties of untreated, non GMO, non GEO, open pollinated and hybrid seeds for your selection as well as a wide range of gardening supplies. West Coast Seeds is certified by the Pacific Agriculture Certification Society (Registration number 16-205).

West Coast Seeds is a Certified Handler of Organic Seed.



The Diamonds are fourth generation British Columbia based family whose businesses are overseen by Charles and Craig Diamond. Since Craig’s grandfather Jack Diamond, came to Canada in 1927 as a young man and purchased his first business in 1940, the Diamonds have been engaged as leaders in business. They continue to follow the principles of community and philanthropy set by Jack. The values of West Coast Seeds resonate deeply with the Diamond family and they are committed to uphold this tradition.



Ships to Canada and Internationally 

https://www.westcoastseeds.com/
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pioneer
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Posts: 11313
Location: Left Coast Canada
1996
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I give this seed company 8 out of 10 acorns

West Coast seeds is my local large seed company and they have a brilliant selection of your regular garden vegetables, flowers, and other supplies.  They promise non-gmo seed, which is important to me and have a decent selection of organic vegetable seeds.

One of the things that keep me coming back to this company is the resources they have.  They have planting time guides for each of the main microclimates in our area as well as a lot of useful information in their catalogue.

The different varieties are chosen because they will grow well in a West Coast garden and I think they are an excellent starting place for new (and new to the area) gardeners.

The biggest challenge I have with these seeds is that they are selected to grow well in a regular West Coast Garden.  This assumes fertile soil and regular irrigation.  And they do very well in those conditions.  However, at my garden/farm, we are trying to reduce and eventually eliminate the need to water our staple crops.  I've noticed that the varieties I buy from West Coast Seeds don't do as well in these extreme conditions.  However, after about three generations of saving the seed from the survivors, the plants do show a lot more vigour under stress. 

I've also noticed, especially in my Fava beans, but in other OP beans and peas as well, that between 5 and 15% don't come true to type that first year, and in the years after, there is more variation.  Some people won't like this at all, but for me, I like the extra genetic variation which means I have a larger gean pool to draw on when I save my seeds for future years. 

They have a selection of OP and F1 seeds, garlic bulbs, and potatoes.  In the last few years, I've noticed they are including some pulses (beans and peas for drying) and other staple crops.
 
Posts: 56
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
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My seeds from them didn't even germinate last year. This year I'm trying https://www.heritageharvestseed.com/

I'm in Ontario, fortunately; but unfortunately they ship only within Canada.
Staff note (raven ranson):

Here's the permies review thread for Heritage Harvest Seed - https://permies.com/wiki/76238

 
Posts: 179
Location: BC Interior, Zone 6-7
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r ranson wrote:

I've also noticed, especially in my Fava beans, but in other OP beans and peas as well, that between 5 and 15% don't come true to type that first year, and in the years after, there is more variation. 




I've had a much larger percentage than that of beans not come true to type from their seed packets.  Only beans, though.
 
Posts: 14
Location: Argyle, Manitoba, Canada Zone 3
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I give the seed company 8 out of 10 acorns.
I have ordered from them over the last 3 years and they are prompt filling orders.
This year (this week actually) is the first time I've had anything put on backorder.
I only get their annual seed as they are so much warmer than I am, most perennials don't make the winter.
I LOVE their information and growing tables and guides.  So much really good information.  And they have a planting calculator that you can customize for your own growing zone.  Very handy tool!
 
pioneer
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Jane, Jan and Phil:

r ranson wrote:If you can start your post wtih the phrase "I give this seed source # out of 10 acorns" (replacing # with the single diget number of your choice) then your review will show up in our snazzy new seed and plant source review grid



Or go back in and edit them to add that text.  If you want...  It's up to you......
 
Posts: 17
Location: Pender Island, British Columbia, Canada
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I have used West Coast Seeds for a long time (from when they were Territorial) but have been very disappointed in past two years with low germination and MUCH reduced quantity of seeds per pack along with significant price rises.  My preferred seed suppliers now would be either Full Circle in Sooke or Salt Spring Seeds for the Wet Coast of Canada or exchange with fellow local (in my case  Pender Island) gardens and my own saved seeds.  The Victoria seed Savers event is next Saturday, Feb 17, so that might be a good option for you too R. Ranson.  Also had quite a few selections backordered from West Coast Seeds last year and some peas were not sent out until Late April which was too late for the season--disappointing, but I’ll try them this year.
 
Posts: 231
Location: Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
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I give this seed company 8 out of 10 acorns.

(It also has solitary bees.)

I am way up north and on the other side of the Rockies, but West Coast seeds is a place I go to for seeds.  This year, I also ordered blue orchard (mason) bees from them.  It is going to be a while before I can put the bees out (It's snowing at the moment).  I've one item dropped from an order (horseradish seed).  The value (seeds per unit money) is not as good as JLHudson, the service has always been at least good.

Just as God is the only person who's belt (in  the martial arts) is black, I don't anticipate ever giving out 10 out of 10.  It is something people should strive for, but not demand.

I don't know what the acorns are about.  I've had good service from them (I was a little worried about getting bees in the mail at -20).

Other places I've ordered from are: JLHudson (California), Incredible Seed Co (Nova Scotia), Sheffields (problems last time, probably cross site scripting/javascript related) and A'bunadh (Cherhill, AB, Canada).  I could have mangled the last name.  But Cherhill is quite close to where my Mom's farm at Onoway, AB was.  They recently took over a bunch of heritage seeds from a company in Manitoba that was retiring.  They seem to be trying very hard.  We've traded a few stories about moose eating our plants.  She had Stowells Evergreen corn, and I now have 3 different sources of this heritage corn.  I hope to get 100 plants or more this year, which should be a large enough population to be genetically viable.    I wish them the best, and I hope to visit them some time, as they are close to a route I often travel.  I think the name is pronounced something like A boon dar.  Visit their website (I think it is a wordpress thing).

Another edit.

A'Bunadh Seeds (A-boo-Nar) has two associated websites: http://gardenofeden2010.wordpress.com and https://abunadhseeds.com/. ; This my first year buying seeds from them, but they say that they typically get 75+% germination, and in 14 years of operating only had a couple of returns.

 
Mike Jay
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Gordon Haverland wrote:I don't know what the acorns are about. 



The "acorns" are a rating scale we use to say how good something is.  Kind of like 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.  So the more acorns you give a book or seed vendor, the more you like them.  It's just a 1-10 scale.

So if you want your feelings to be added to The Official Seed/Plant Source Review Grid, you need to put the sentence about acorns at the beginning of your thread (like Wendy did above).  You can "edit" your post to add that text if you'd like.  You definitely don't have to but since it's a newer thing we're trying to promote it a bit.
 
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: Sask, Canada - Zone 3b
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I give this seed source 8 out of 10 acorns.

I'll be brief here, as r.ranson already summarized the pros/cons that I experienced.

I've been buying from WCS since 2014. The biggest appeals for me are their fantastic site, which was just updated last year, and their bulk supply of organic seed. The smaller seed companies are offering 1000 seeds at most, some even less, while here you can get enough seed to do a 1/2 acre of beets if you wanted to.

The few Cons are:
-As r.ranson mentioned, the plants seem to be babied in irrigated/rich soil environments - not exactly ideal for many permaculture projects.
-The following Con is for those who order from outside B.C: you can also tell that the seed comes from a high humidity/moderate temperature environment. Trying to grow some of their basic veg varieties in Sask where the humidity is half that of Vancouver in the Summer and the days are hotter, is challenging at best. Keep in mind that "full sun" on the package means full-sun in a B.C climate. Very little frost-resistance aswell. This isn't really a problem for seed-savers, but it's worth mentioning.
-They can be poor at getting back to emails and seem to prefer phone calls. I like managing emails, especially with customer support issues, as then everything is in writing and clearly documented.

With that said, I've never had any issues with their seed in a controlled environment as the germination rate is similar to what is stated on the package. There was a time my creditcard wasn't being accepted during their site revamp and they called me the next day to complete the order over the phone.

I'm starting to branch out slowly to different small-scale local suppliers, but will certainly still use WCS in the future.

---

Different topic:

Gordon Haverland wrote:A'bunadh (Cherhill, AB, Canada).  I could have mangled the last name.  But Cherhill is quite close to where my Mom's farm at Onoway, AB was.  They recently took over a bunch of heritage seeds from a company in Manitoba that was retiring.  They seem to be trying very hard.  We've traded a few stories about moose eating our plants.  She had Stowells Evergreen corn, and I now have 3 different sources of this heritage corn.  I hope to get 100 plants or more this year, which should be a large enough population to be genetically viable.    I wish them the best, and I hope to visit them some time, as they are close to a route I often travel.  I think the name is pronounced something like A boon dar.  Visit their website (I think it is a wordpress thing).



This is the site for anyone interested: https://abunadhseeds.com/

A’bunadh means ‘the origin’ in Gaelic and seemed appropriate to name an enterprise endeavoring to remember where life comes from and celebrate it.  At A’bunadh (said a-boon-ar) seeds we aim to provide seeds fresh from the fruits of the vine or plant or flower, in a variety of plants to feed, nourish and provide enjoyment to you and your family.  According to the Canadian regulators, no one is allowed to use words like organic, natural or similar to describe seeds unless you have their certification.  I understand the organic industry quite well, having been raised on this farm when my parents underwent and maintained organic certification in the ’80’s.  There are parts of this process I agree with and parts that I disagree with.  Consumers, more than ever should be aware that certification in an arena which cannot provide adequate supervision or regulation does not protect the consumer as it should.  Hence, I do not certify.



Gordon, I didn't know about the heritage seeds acquisition, but in my brief discussions with Denise, the owner, they are certainly working very hard there.

Bought some seed from them earlier this week and it should arrive today/tomorrow. In the spring hopefully I'll get some spuds from there to, as there is really no quality selection around here.

 
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