Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Seed shortages?

I stumbled across a video from Ice Age Farmer a couple days ago entitled "Seed Companies Warn of Shortages, Delays – So Find Them Locally!"

I don't normally follow Ice Age Farmer he tends to be a little too doom'n'gloom for my taste but there's no question he documents his statements up the whazoo.

What he said in this video was there are already seed shortages from major seed companies (he says the centralized model of seed production is breaking down), and to counteract that, backyard gardeners will need to look for local sources (friends, neighbors, seed exchanges, small seed companies, etc.) to get whatever seeds they'll need for this spring.

Sure enough, some of the major seed companies had disclaimers on their websites:

I don't pay much attention to seed companies (since we simply save seeds from year to year), but I found a few relevant articles, several of which state there is not a seed shortage so much as staffing shortages or other coronavirus-related interruptions:

Be Prepared for a Possible Seed Shortage: Mike Lizotte, co-owner and managing director of American Meadows and board president of the Home Garden Seed Association, said: “Get the seeds now and plan later. You’d be foolish to think you can wait until April to go to a big box store and still get all of the seeds you want; there might not be a seed shortage now, but that may not be the case two to three months from now.”

Staff shortages have Maine seed companies struggling to fill orders: "To prevent backlogged orders from getting unmanageable, seed companies have put a system in place whereby they will temporarily suspend customers’ ability to order seeds until the company has caught up at least somewhat with existing orders."

Starting the Year Off with a BANG!:  "The big worry is not so much seed supply we've got plenty of that. It all goes back to COVID and our people."

I touched on the issue of seed shortages in November, and last May I had a piece in the Organic Prepper entitled "Where to Get Seeds When Online Sources are SOLD OUT." It might be worth re-reading that.

Yes, I know it's January. But apparently it's time to Think Spring.


  1. Patrice, just a word of caution and advice. And not just for you, but anybody who saves seeds. They are now putting patents on all genetics, even ones found in the wild. It may be illegal to save seeds in the near future.

    1) Don't advertise what you do.

    2) break up your stash into three or more, with all types of seeds saved in every part, and HIDE at least two stashes, very well. They very well could start sending people door to door confiscating saved seeds.

    The left is working from a script that is planet wide, and there is a reason why all seed companies have been on the acquisition list for the last few years, to the point where now the majority of seeds are now controlled by a small handful of companies. They don't want you to have access to them.

  2. baker creek has already suspended ordering.
    i waited untill april last year, and had to dig deep to find what i wanted/needed. so i made sure i was buying heirlooms, and more than i needed. i over planted anbd this year, i have a full pint jar of seeds saved from last year for everything i gvrew last year. the few items i can't save(beets, cabbage, okra) are already on order, or have been delivered.
    i am putting in a spice/herb bed this year. those are all in hand, except one back ordered, lavender, which i can live without if it comes to that.

  3. I have been going on Etsy and getting seeds from vendors there. I just purchased Lincoln Peas and Ground Cherries today (imagine having to cultivate Ground Cherries!) and last year purchased heirloom radish and zucchini seeds. There are a couple of veteran-owned vendors I always try to buy from. --Maria from Indiana

  4. My brother lives in Wales. There are the same shortages there. Realseeds, Dobies, Tamar. Seed companies large and small, both heritage and hybrid producers, are all warning if shortages and long delivery times. Realseeds, who produce all open pollinated varieties and encourage seedsaving, filled their weekly order capacity in a couple of hours on Saturday morning. Go figure!

  5. Patrice, is there a good book that you recommend about seed saving?