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The Locavore’s Seed Stash: Sourcing Regional and Rare Varieties

The Locavore’s Seed Stash: Sourcing Regional and Rare Varieties

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So, you decided to try the locavore lifestyle? And you want to grow the seeds you’ll consume yourself? You’ve got guts, I’ll give you that.

As healthy as that lifestyle is, it’s not as simple as it sounds. Do you know where you can get seeds? No? That’s understandable.

Sourcing regional and rare varieties can be challenging. That’s why I aim to cover the best places to buy seeds from right here.

1 – Local Grocery Stores

People usually underestimate how versatile local grocery stores can be since they’re all about everyday products, like food, drinks, and snacks.

They can surprise you with their collection of seeds, though. So, don’t count out your local grocery store before taking a quick look.

Here’s the thing: You can still get seeds from these stores, even if you don’t find seed packets. All you have to do is buy the fruit you want to grow, take the seeds out, dry them, and replant them.

Of course, that won’t work for all fruit, so don’t get your hopes up too much—but it’s better than nothing. The biggest downside to this method is that most vegetables and fruits in grocery stores are hybrid.

That means the plants you grow from these seeds won’t be similar to the original plant. If that’s a deal breaker, you might want to look somewhere else.

You’ll also find that these stores don’t have a diverse seed collection. So, if you’re looking for too specific a species, a grocery store isn’t the place to go.

2 – Local Feed Stores

You probably already know feed stores as the place to go if you’re looking for livestock feeds, but did you know they also sell seeds? Let me tell you, they offer an impressive collection.

Whether it’s flowers, vegetables, or fruits, they’ve got you covered. The best part? They’re more affordable than you think.

You can buy a scoop at these stores for the same price as a small packet at a famous market. Feed stores usually focus on region-friendly products too.

So you won’t have to worry about the seeds not being suitable for your region’s climate. The final advantage these stores have is the staff.

They’re experts at what they do. If you’re looking for planting advice, don’t hesitate to ask! They can give you valuable information on numerous seed species and how to sow them.

3 – Nurseries

People usually don’t think of nurseries when they’re looking for seeds, but they have a decent collection. Of course, you shouldn’t expect to see exotic varieties. Still, they can meet your needs if you’re searching for common species.

Like feed stores, nursery workers are quite knowledgeable and will shower you with helpful insights if you ask.

4 – Seed Swaps

A seed swap isn’t the most conventional way to get seeds, but it works nonetheless. As the name suggests, it’s an event where seed owners meet and exchange varieties.

Although seed swap events usually take place in physical locations, some groups host online swaps. These organizers also set rules to ensure the satisfaction of all the participants.

For example, some events require participants to bring only heirloom seeds. Others forbid participants from bringing hybrid seeds.

It differs from one event to the other, of course. The best part about these swaps, however, is that you don’t pay for the seeds.

Sure, you pay with your seeds, but it’s a financially affordable option in the long run. The only downside is that you’re limited by what the other seed owners have.

If none of them offer a species you’re interested in, that whole endeavor won’t be worth it.

5 – Local Big Box Stores

Big box stores have it all: Food, drinks, books, gadgets, and merchandise. You name it, they got it. So, it’s only natural they’d include seeds somewhere in these large establishments.

It’s probably one of the most convenient locations to find the seeds you’re looking for.

You shouldn’t expect the seed collection to be as massive as the stores themselves, though. Don’t get me wrong. They offer various types of organic, hybrid, and heirloom seeds.

However, it won’t be as diverse as the grandeur of the stores might prompt you to think.

6 – Online Stores

You probably saw this one coming. Online stores have been a haven for locavores for a while now. What sets them apart from physical stores is the wide selection they offer.

Whatever species you’re looking for, you can easily find an online store that sells it. That’s why they’re locavores’ best bet if they want to buy rare varieties.

Besides, online stores usually offer detailed information on the products they sell. They cover the ideal growing environment, what the seeds will look like when they thrive, and what diseases can harm them.

You can also read online reviews of these seeds. They’ll give you a realistic idea about the quality of the product, which is always helpful.

Final Thoughts

Now you know where locavores are sourcing regional and rare seed varieties. If you’re looking for rare species, any of these locations will do the trick.

However, if you want to buy rare seeds, stick to online stores. They’re more versatile and usually have a wide selection that’s more likely to meet your demands.

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