We grow the majority of our seeds in our nursery in Somerset and buy some in from trusted organic suppliers when needed. We would love to grow all our seeds ourselves, but with an increasingly unpredictable climate affecting seed yields we recognise the benefit of building small networks of back-up suppliers. There are also advantages of working with other growers to isolate different species that are at risk of cross-pollinating when grown in proximity. Currently (for Spring 2022) 66% of the seeds in our shop have been grown in our nursery. We aim to increase this to 85% by Spring 2023.
Yes, all of our seeds are organic in the sense that they are grown using organic practices. However, we cannot yet label all of our seeds as organic as some are still ‘in conversion’; in other words, they have not yet completed the 2-3 year mandatory period required by a certification body before a plot of land or certain crops can be certified organic (see next question for more details on this). All of our seeds will be certified organic by Autumn 2023.
As mentioned above, some of the seeds grown in our nursery are still ‘in conversion’ and cannot be labelled as organic. The land itself was certified organic by the Soil Association on 1st February 2022, which means that the produce from any seed sown after this date can be labelled as organic (so we will, for example, be selling our own certified organic chamomile seed in the summer of 2022). However, any perennial plants that were already in the ground before this date must wait an additional year to be certified organic, which means that we have to wait until the seed harvest of late 2023 for the seeds of many our herbs to be labelled organic. Yes, all a bit complicated. All you really need to know is that we never use any chemicals on any of our herbs!
The simple answer to this question is that the ‘sow by’ date depends largely on how you store the seeds. Most seeds – with the exception of a few short-lived seeds such as angelica and sweet cicely – can be stored for several years if they are kept in an air-tight container in a cool, dry, dark place. But if they are kept on a shelf in a damp garden shed in their original paper packet, they will soon lose their viability. To get the best results it is hard to beat a good quality rubber-sealed tupperware container hidden at the back of a fridge.
No, I’m afraid we don’t. We don’t yet have systems in place for fulfilling the legal requirements for shipping abroad so are only serving UK customers for now.
Generally speaking, we aim to pack orders within 24 hours of receiving them and send them out by Royal Mail first class the following day. However, we don’t process orders at the weekends so if you place an order on a friday afternoon it will not be packed until Monday and put in the post on Tuesday morning.
We charge a flat rate of £1.95 for postage of all seed orders under £25. Any orders with a value of more than £25 have an option for free shipping.