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Selecting your African Diaspora seeds and seedlings

Updated: 2 days ago

One of the first steps in creating your African Diaspora edible garden is to select the crops you like and that have meaning to you. Selecting your plants can certainly be a trial and error process, so don't fret too much if your first harvest (especially organic focused pest control) doesn't meet your expectations. Creating a productive garden can be like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. In another blog, we discuss five pillars to happy garden and to a happy gardener - seeds, earth, water, air and light. The happy gardener puts the pieces together to make the garden unique and special.

I buy most of my plants as seedlings because I have the fortune of knowing a nursery operation that focuses on heirloom varieties. But if you don't have such a quality nursery nearby, the specialists listed below will give you the unique seeds that can't be found at the big box retailers that have sprouted throughout our landscapes and are pre-tested to give you a reliable crop of seedlings.

Truelove Seeds

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Truelove Seeds is a farm-based seed company that offers culturally important and open pollinated vegetable, herb and flower seeds.  Truelove sources its seed collection from its own farm and more than 50 small-scale urban and rural farmers.  In Truelove's inventory includes an African Diaspora Collection of plants that originated in Africa or, over time, became staples in the Americas and the Caribbean.   Truelove is raising funds to buy farmland in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area to create a permanent farm to preserve ancestral seeds and provide community education.

Sistah Seeds


Sistah Seeds grows heirloom vegetable, herb and grain seeds from across the African Diaspora, with a focus on African-American, Afro-Caribbean, and West African cultural crops.

Sow True Seeds

Asheville, North Carolina

Sow True Seed is an employee-owned cooperative focused on making gardening accessible. Sow True Seed provides open-pollinated seeds in support of sustainable food production and regenerative agriculture.

Seed Savers Exchange

Decorah, Iowa

Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit organization, manages a collection of America’s culturally diverse and endangered garden and food crop legacy for present and future generations.  Seed Savers Exchange has been saving and sharing seeds since 1975 and began with two heirloom varieties - Grandpa Ott's Morning Glory and the German Pink Tomato.

Melanated Organics


Melanated Organics promotes all natural health and wellness products, and provides heirloom seeds for home gardening, gourmet salts to enhance the flavor and mood of food, and a meditative selection of teas and tea blends to soothing the mind  and body.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

Mineral, Virginia

Southern Exposure offers: heirloom varieties to conserve and distribute rare and endangered varieties; open-pollinated varieties to encourage seed saving and exchange among gardeners; disease- and insect-tolerant varieties to reduce pesticide use; and varieties for local and small-scale growers to encourage regional food production. 

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/Rare Seeds

Mansfield, Missouri

Baker Creek's mission is to provide the seeds of a sustainable food supply for everyone and keep heirloom varieties alive for future generations. We believe that farmers, gardeners, and communities have the right to save their own seed, and in so doing preserve seed diversity and food security in an age of corporate agriculture and patented, hybridized, or genetically modified seeds. All the seeds we sell can be saved, shared and traded, and we encourage people to save their own seeds.

Kula Nursery

Oakland, California

Kula means “family” or “ancestors” in Sanskrit.  Kula Nursery's missioin is to connect to our ancestors by growing, tending to, and eating heritage foods. 

Indigenous Seed Initiative

Indigenous Seed Initiative manages an  outreach program affiliate to Brothers Keepers - our fiscal sponsor, is to use grass roots initiatives to provide the education, video tutorials and seed supply to gardeners and small scale farmers on the imperatives of growing the diversity of genetically viable seeds and seed saving.

Fedco Seeds

Clinton, Maine

Fedco is a Maine-based worker/consumer-owned cooperative specializing in gardening, farming and orcharding supplies from our warehouses in Clinton, ME. We update our offerings three times a year when we release our famous and award-winning print catalogs. You can download our latest catalogs or request a printed copy.

Roughwood Seed Collection

Devon, Pennsylvania

The Roughwood Center for Heritage Seedways is a Pennsylvania based 501c3 non-profit educational organization devoted to heritage foods prepared from heritage seeds. The Roughwood Seed Collection, the oldest private seed collection in Pennsylvania, is now part of The Roughwood Center and through it’s 5000 food plants from around the globe we explore creative ways to express our culinary heritage through educational presentations, workshops, food tastings, books, dinners, and more!

Peaceful Valley Farm & Garden Supply

Grass Valley, California

Founded in 1976, Peaceful Valley offers a variety of quality seeds, seedlings, gardening supplies, fruit trees

Hudson Valley Seed Co.

Accord, New York

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