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Stories from the Seed Bank: Wick’s Lima Bean

Donated to SSE in 2004, Wick’s lima has a long history of being grown and shared as far back as the 1930s in West Virginia.

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New for 2020

We built a movement, not a seed company.

Since 1975, we have grown, saved, and shared heirloom seeds and led a movement to protect biodiversity and preserve heirloom varieties. At the heart of our organization is a seed bank that houses a collection of 20,000+ rare, open-pollinated varieties. With gardeners like you, we can get these seeds where they belong—in gardens and on tables everywhere, for generations to come.

When seeds are in our bank, they are protected. When seeds are growing in your garden, they thrive.

Thank you for growing with us.

As a customer, member, or donor, you support our mission and our nonprofit work to.


We steward a collection of 20,000+ rare and heirloom varieties in a seed bank at our Iowa headquarters.


Through our catalog and online store, we get varieties out of our seed bank and growing. Sales support our nonprofit work.


We educate and support community groups and gardeners looking to grow, save, and share seeds.

Our work relies on you.

Together, we can ensure these varieties are around for generations to come. Join our community today.

Heirloom seeds from Seed Savers Exchange. Buy rare, organic seeds and support our nonprofit mission to preserve garden diversity. Free catalog.

The scoop on ‘Seeds of Change’

Company Profile

Seeds of Change

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 15700
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87592 (United States)

Phone: 1-888-762-7333
Fax: (505) 438-4571

Catalog Order Page: Hyperlink
Paper Catalog Cost: Free

Company Comment, posted on January 1, 1996:
Seeds of Change is the oldest and largest, 100% certified organic seed company in existence (1989). Every seed made available is certified organic. You can find a copy of our organic certificate (Oregon Tilth) on our web site.

Our mission states we act to preserve biodiversity and promote sustainable, organic agriculture.


Rating Author Content
Negative westhaven97
United States
(1 review)
August 22, 2020
I purchased about $60 worth of Seeds of Change seeds from my local Tractor Supply in March 2020. By May, I could tell the seeds were not germinating well. Most seeds did not germinate and the ones that did produced weak and spindly plants. I contacted SOC and on 5/15 they requested copies of my receipts from Tractor Supply. On 5/19 I sent copies of all receipts, plus lot number from each pack as requested by SOC. That was months and many unanswered emails ago. Their customer service is awful. I can’t get an actual response and have not received a refund. I will NOT ever purchase this brand again. I have contacted Tractor Supply to let them know how this company has treated me.
Negative ViviP
Placerville, CA
(1 review)
July 11, 2017
Avoid this company at all costs! I am posting this for one reason only: to save other growers from failure and frustration. For three years in a row, our order from Seeds of Change contained the wrong seeds inside the packets. This is more than a coincidence, it’s a clear indication of poor business practices, perhaps even fraud. Instance one: we ordered Martian tomato for our main red slicing tomato crop, 2015. We have a small commercial market garden and we are organic growers. We really liked Martian from previously years. By July, we could see the crop was going to be little yellow pear shaped tomatoes, and indeed, that’s what they were–bland and watery. Contacted Seeds of Change, they said the only thing they can do is to send me another seed packet. They reassured me that they were aware of the problem, so no worries with the next batch. Instance two: Spring of 2016, we planted the new Martian tomato seeds they had sent us. I was disturbed by the fact that the lot number was the same as the bad packet, but now it is printed with the statement, “Packed for 2016.” Otherwise, same lot number. So I called them up and asked them about the lot number. Again, they reassured me and said the problem was fixed, go ahead and plant the seeds. Which we did, and to our utter dismay, the same thing happened: little pear shaped yellow tomatoes. Both years, this significantly affected our income from our market garden, because by the time the wrong tomato was obvious, it was too late to plant another variety. Third instance: This year, we ordered Calabash tomato from Seeds of Change (although you’d think we would have simply given up on this company, but we were willing to keep trying, since we believe in the original company, their mission and company culture). Incredibly, now it is July, and all the plants that were supposed to be calabash are again, those pathetic little yellow pear shaped tomatoes. I have heard that a lot of companies are outsourcing growing seed to China, perhaps the yellow pear tomato is the go-to seed that they throw into every packet that otherwise had a failed crop. Who knows? I assure you we will never, ever order from them again. We used to be regular customers. I haven’t even mentioned the other issues: seed packets with hardly any seeds in them; and poor to almost zero germination for some varieties. At this point, it’s a waste of time and money to deal with this company.
Negative Brianfin
Unionville, VA
(1 review)
June 8, 2017
We have been buying seeds of change seeds for 5 years and the past 3 years we have seen a drop in succesful germination rates. IE: beans, cucs, corn, squash and peppers. We have some luck with melons and better luck with tomatoes. Most are mail ordered and seems store bought do overall better.
Negative Aakbay
Cranbury, NJ
(2 reviews)
April 6, 2017
I’ve had a very bad experience with Seeds of Change. I have only bought one item and I’m never buying again. I bought a packet of the Padrуn Pepper Seeds vнa their website. Even though it was 2017 I received seeds that were marked sell by 12/2016. I contacted customer service and asked for fresh Seeds which I was told would be sent out. No fresh seeds arrived. Out of desperation I planted the old seed and 0 germinated (my pepper from other companies has 80-95% germination rate). I contacted customer support and asked for a refund. No refund has arrived.

If you wish to donate to a seed company, write these people a check. But you won’t get any product; just excuses that they are “updating their computer system” and that “the seeds are on their way”. On March 8th, 2013, hopflower added the following:

Of all times to respond, someone finally told me that they have just shipped (again). They should be here Monday; having been put in the mail yesterday. I don’t appreciate being told that they had shipped when they hadn’t. I learned, too, that the company contact is in Minnesota, not California; because I asked.

By Mail
Seeds of Change
P.O. Box 4908 Rancho Dominguez, CA 90220
By Phone
Call our customer service center at 888.762.7333
24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

I got their catalog this year and placed a small order. My order arrived promptly, but it only had three of the four items in the box. The last item wasn’t listed on the inventory slip as coming separately (it wasn’t mentioned at all), and I received no communication from the company about my order at all so I emailed them via their website, which says that they respond within 48 hours. Three business days later I hadn’t gotten a response so I came here to check them out. Uh-oh.

Because of what a previous reviewer said regarding them charging more than your shopping cart says, I immediately double checked on that. I had no confirmation email from them, so I went directly to my bank records. Sure enough – there were two charges from Seeds of Change, back to back. They looked like my charge split into two until I added them up and discovered that it was $0.70 more than it should have been. At this point I took a day to cool down.

During that time, Seeds of change did reply to my email, informing me that part of my order was shipping directly from the manufacturer. The stuff arrived as promised not long after.

I sent them another email, informing them they had overcharged me and demanding that they refund me ASAP. To their credit, they did send out a refund check right away.

They still get a negative rating because 1) they’re a PIA to work with. No communication unless I initiated it, and I had to double check them at every turn. Although they refunded me the money they took that I didn’t owe, I had to spend time checking my accounts, writing the company, and now I have an extra errand to run to deposit that check. All for $0.70. It’s not worth it, but I’ll be ***ned if I let them have that 70 cents.

2) I don’t trust them at all. I’m not the only one to get overcharged, and it happened in such a way that I never would have noticed if someone else on here hadn’t alerted me to their problems with Seeds of Change getting overenthusiastic about money. 70 cents doesn’t sound like much, but if you do it to 1000 customers, it adds up to 700 dollars.

I had wanted one each of the bush size marigold seeds they carry (and no one else did) but talked myself out of it for a few years–seemed a bit pricey and shipping wasn’t the least expensive I’d seen. Decided to go ahead and “splurge” on my marigolds and was pleased to receive them today.

Out of all 21 seed packs (originals and replacements) I received this year, 13 of them contained significantly less than the amount of seed advertised:
-Three packs of calendula ranged from 60-70% of the advertised amount.
-Three packs of beans ranged from 35-60% of the advertised amount.
-All seven packs of onion seeds contained less than 30% of what was advertised!

I have noted, as others have, that shipping seems a bit steep. I also think they could be more proactive communicating the status of backordered items – I had to initiate the conversation about an soil block maker in backorder limbo last year, but then the situation was neatly remedied.

I placed an order on March 7th for a variety of products including asparagus crowns and strawberries and never received them. I was told multiple times via email that they were at the warehouse/drop shipper/on-their-way and the never showed up. I was finally told on June 12th that they were gone and I would not be receiving any.

Why was I not corresponded with regarding this matter at a much earlier date when I could still purchase elsewhere?

I just got off the phone with a supervisor, who was completely unhelpful in explaining to me why this happened. He proceeded to say “what do you want me to do,” for which I stated nothing at all, just wanted to voice my displeasure with the way this was handled.

I was then told that other asparagus crowns were available. I asked, since it’s late in the year and because of this fiasco, if he could send a small amount at no charge so that we could try to establish them for next year.

He said he couldn’t do that and only offered free shipping if I were to purchase. Very sad.

While I will still be supporting Seeds of Change, I will never attempt to purchase live plants from SoC again; I will make known to others of my ordeal and to heed my recommendation to stay away.

I hope SoC does better in the future and develops a better mode of communication with their customers.

Oh, and I found it sad that SoC is owned by M&M Mars:

I have spoken with SOC’s customer service company (it’s an out-sourced vendor) 4 times. 3 times I was promised that the plants would arrive at the end of the week. Today, in addition to being spoken to rudely, I was told that I was not allowed to cancel my order. It’s clear, from reading the preceding reviews, that SOC is not the same great company it once was. How nice for all of us that there are now several other retailers to choose from when purchasing organic seed.

I wish that SOC cared about our business, but I don’t think they do.

Seeds of Change has 136 reviews (48 negative, 71 positive and 17 neutral) at the Garden Watchdog.