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Real seeds

Our 2021 vegetable seed CATALOGUE

COVID19: We are here and posting out orders!
We need to keep our workers safe, and to maintain effective distancing in the office.
This means we can only send out around 600 orders a week.

Sat 2 JANUARY 2020: Apologies, but we have received about 800 orders in just a couple of hours
Given this we’ve had to shut the shopping-cart off now mid Saturday morning.
We will be open again next weekend 9th January once those orders are shipped.

This web-shop will always be open Saturday morning.
Once a weeks worth of orders have been placed we will close until next Saturday morning so we can catch up.
Right now we are often having to shut again before the weekend is out. Thanks for your understanding.

NB: Due to Brexit we are no longer able to ship to Northern Ireland.

Yacon and Oca are both now available, limited quantities this year due to too much weather!

Rated ‘Best Buy’
by Ethical Consumer Magazine

Welcome! Our heirloom and heritage vegetable seeds are specially chosen for home gardeners.
Over the past 21 years we’ve collected the very best varieties for you to grow.

You’ll find no F1 hybrids or genetically modified seed here – just varieties that do really well and taste great when grown on a garden scale – a catalogue of real seeds for real gardeners wanting to grow proper vegetables.

Because all are open-pollinated (non-hybrid), if you wish you can even save your own vegetable seed
for future years, using the instructions we supply. There’s no need to buy new seed every year.

New to gardening? See the calendars on each page – dark green squares show the main sowing times for each crop. Lighter green are extensions/options.

For more detailed sowing plans throughout the year, we have a month-by-month guide.
See the latest news from the field on our Facebook or Instagram pages.

How We Are Different

We don’t just sell seed; we’re gardeners and also grow these veg for our own use at home,
so we really know how they grow & how they taste.

We only offer what we think is really good,
rather than listing lots of different varieties just for the sake of it.
Every vegetable here has been chosen – from hundreds of trials – for a particular reason, which we try to explain in the description.

We do our own website – so it has been written by gardeners, for gardeners.
It should be easy to see what each vegetable does, how it grows, and when to sow it.

We really do hope you enjoy these vegetables as much as we have enjoyed tracking them down and trying them out.
Each and every one has been chosen for its merit in the kitchen as well as the garden.

Our aim is to offer you the very best seed of the best vegetable varieties we can find!

– best wishes for a great season from Ben, Kate, Catherine, Tam & Ian

To reduce plastic waste, we supply much of our seed in paper envelopes.
To do this have we purchased one of the last existing Ballard Brown-bag seed packing machines.
Weighing 1000lb in cast iron and brass, and built a hundred and twenty years ago, this amazing device has been in constant use ever since.

It picks up and opens the packet, throws a measured scoop of seed in,
glues the flap, folds it over and passes it to the output tray.
Originally steam powered, ours is now run by an electric motor.

We designed beautiful new seed packets to go with it, inspired by the Art Nouveau posters of Mucha,
& have had the correct 1880s-pattern envelopes manufactured for us by a company in Wales.

Company No 5924934

VAT No 841181938

DEFRA registered Seed Merchant No 7289

Our Unique Structure: Because we have no shareholders. the main aim of the company is not to make huge profits, but instead to supply great seeds to home gardeners at reasonable prices, and to educate people about home seed-saving. As part of our ethical policy, all staff are paid the same hourly wage, including the directors.

Our Unique Guarantee: We have spent years trying to find the best varieties for you to grow. We think these are the best seeds you can sow, and we really hope that you enjoy growing your vegetables from them. We will immediately refund or replace if you are in any way less than delighted with them, even including the flavour of the resulting crop!

Gardeners Should Save their Own Seed: Because none of these seeds are hybrids,you can save your own seed for future use: there’s no need to buy new each year. Saving your own is easy. You will get great seed, and great vegetables adapted to your local conditions. Do have a go – read the seedsaving instructions we provide with every order, and also on this site.

We have sent out over 104,000 sets of free home seed-saving instructions!

Our Seed Club: Due to really daft seed laws, many of our fantastic vegetable seeds can only be supplied to members of our Seed Club, because they are not on the EU-approved list of permitted vegetable varieties! But membership costs just one penny per annum .
When we process your order, you will be charged a penny for a year’s Seed Club Membership. For more details see our terms and conditions.

A fine crop of Sutherland Kale in flower.

A catalogue of the very best vegetable seed for home gardeners, with interesting heirloom and heritage varieties. Guaranteed better flavour or your money back.

Seed Sovereignty

A Virtual Tour of Real Seeds

Posted 27th August 2020

We recently ran a webinar in collaboration with The Landworkers Alliance, the Community Supported Agriculture Network, and the Organic Growers Alliance. We were joined by Kate and Ben from Real Seeds, who gave us a virtual tour of their site and walked us through their fine-tuned processing and shipping system. It was great to get a behind the scenes look at how they manage to get all those little packs of joy to growers all over the UK!

You can find more fantastic webinars in the series focusing on extending the growing season, marketing your produce, political training and everything in between here. The next seed-focused edition will be Wednesday, the 16th of September. Join us then!

Seed Sovereignty

© Copyright Gaia Foundation 2018 Reg. Charity No. 0327412. The Gaia Foundation, 6 Heathgate Place, Agincourt Road London, NW3 2NU

A Virtual Tour of Real Seeds on Seed Sovereignty | We recently ran a webinar in collaboration with The Landworkers Alliance, the Community Supported Agriculture Network, and the Organic Growers Alliance. We were joined by Kate and Ben from Real Seeds, who gave us a virtual tour of their site and…