Lancaster County magazine, May 2012 Issue, with a feature on me!
Click below to read it!
Welcome fellow home gardeners! I am a single woman who created this website, Amishland Heirloom Seeds about 8 years ago in order to share with you my heirloom, heritage, exotic and foreign organically raised seeds. All of my seeds come from my very own plants. I NEVER sell or will sell anyone else's seed, only my very own hand grown, hand selected seed. I have been growing my own organically raised seeds in this new farmette for a little over one year.In previous years I was growing out my seeds organically at my previous home and several other nearby locations as I did not have enough land for all in one place. But at my new Amishland Farm I am able to do all my organic growing all in one place now. My rancher friend, Cliff, out west does help me to grow the melons and beans I need in larger quantities so that I have enough seed to sell.I am an experienced gardener and a graduate of the Pennsylvania Master Gardener program. Not only am I the sole owner of Amishland Heirloom Seeds but I am the only employee of my unique seed company with no other human or mechanical help. When I say I do it by hand, I am not kidding. I have a spade, shovel and my (usually aching) back! I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish in just a few short years here in "Pennsylvania Dutch" country, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
I specialize in rare varieties grown in my local area since the 1700's by the farmers who settled in the rich central Pennsylvania farmland where I live. These seeds, mostly vegetables and a few flowers, (to grow "chust for nice" as they say locally) have been cultivated for generations by my Pennsylvania neighbors. I live surrounded by Old Order Amish, Old Order Mennonite, and Pennsylvania German farm families on their multigenerational farms. (Old Order means they farm with horses or mules and use horse drawn buggies and wagons- no cars, no tractors, etc.) You cannot find many of these historic, rare heirlooms anywhere but here at Amishland Heirloom Seeds.
Besides my local heirlooms, I also offer rare colored, unusual, landrace, exotic, and foreign seeds from around the world. I have a growing collection of rare Belarusian/Russian/UKrainian tomatoes now. Many of my seed offerings are exclusive to the United States. I have traveled extensively to 38 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South and North America. I lived for over two and half years in the Himalayan Mountains in Kashmir, India (many believe this is the original "Shangri-La," and it is also the home of the historic Moghgul era Shalimar Gardens.) I have also lived and worked in Panama, Israel, Seychelles Islands, and Sri Lanka. I will try to share some of my personal stories of how the rest of the world grows their food and what they really eat. I have since traded seeds with a host of dedicated fellow gardeners and seed savers from 5 continents. I grow out these unique seeds for you from my own plants so that I can offer you the most unusual, exotic and rare vegetables and flower seeds.
To my knowledge, I am only one of 3 seed companies in the United States that truly grows ALL of their own seed stock, which means I may, by necessity, have limited quantities of some of my offerings.
Because I grow all my own plants using safe, proven organic methods, I never use poisons, pesticides or any non-organic material on my plants. I use only products that are nationally certified for organic growers. I am not able to be certified organic since the cost is prohibitive in my state for a small hobby business such as mine. I save all of my seeds strictly following Susan Ashworth's methods outlined in her fabulous "Bible" of seed saving: "Seed to Seed." I also follow her detailed instructions for isolating plants for maximum seed purity (so the plants will not be crossed in any way). I have made every effort to keep the varieties pure and consistent with their original descriptions and flavor, by the process known as "roguing-out," where only the best examples of that plant are collected for seed saving.
I have signed the "SAFE SEED PLEDGE," which states the I will never knowingly sell genetically modified, or "Terminator Technology" seeds. That means NO GMO SEEDS EVER! Because I grow absolutely all of my own plants for all the seeds I sell, however, this will not be a worry for all of my gardening friends. These are ONLY my own seeds, and absolutely none come from any commercial source.
I only grow open-pollinated varieties of plants that have stood the test of time. I take all my own photographs of only my plants. I take hours trying for the perfect photo that shows you the beauty and true colors of my peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, flowers and so forth. I never use any enhancements or computer generated "gizmos" to make the photos look better or different. What you see is what I actually grew out. You will see my hand and my "dutchy" china bowl in nearly every photo. I have copyrighted all of my photos and all of my own copy and descriptions. I trust you will ask permission from me if you need to make a copy for your own growing records. Kindly read my "Terms and Conditions" page regarding copyright infringement.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to recent changes in United States postal regulations, I am sorry, but I now no longer ship seeds outside of the USA.
Recently I have sourced several more very Rare Veggies and flowers which I now have grown out in sufficient quantities to finally offer these seeds for sale. I especially love really unusual, rare, hard to find historical vegetables. Therefore, I am now offering a much larger selection of seeds from all over the world, that I hope will knock your socks off with their wild, unexpected colors and appearance.
Since I worked for years at an 18th century Pennsylvania German Living History Museum, I particularly treasure the history and stories that go with each plant. I carefully research and document as much information and history as I am able to find for each variety of seed I sell. Much of that information is from my personal experience in that country or from my many local gardener friends. Therefore you will learn so much more here than from other seed sellers about the varieties of vegetables and flowers I sell. I want to share with you, the home gardener, as much information as I am able. You will not just purchase my open pollinated seeds, you will also get a real education and personal history about that plant. I feel it is very important to keep the stories and the family histories behind the plants alive, as well as ensuring their rich heritage by planting, growing and actually eating them.
I offer you my own personal tried and true Seed Starting and Growing Tips. You may be surprised by some of my tips, but I promise you will have a great deal more success starting and growing your seedlings. You can read my specialized, detailed, growing instructions that come from my years of gardening, much book research, (you should see my library of antique and out of print farming and gardening books!), and most of all, what I have learned from those gardener friends older and wiser than myself.
I want you to be able to grow and savor the wonderful taste of old fashioned, heirloom vegetables, which were grown for eating quality and taste, not just for looks and shipping ability like today's hybrid commercial vegetables. I want you to have the garden of your dreams. Now you will be able to savor the delicious flavors, that our ancestors took for granted, that are so lacking in most of today's modern, hybrid and genetically altered vegetables. You may see colors and shapes that you never imagined or knew existed, all in my old time or exotic heirloom varieties. Please see my New Varieties for 2013 page for a quick overview of my new offerings and where to find them on my website.
The Flower Seeds I offer are the older, often much more fragrant, and bug-resistant types such as your great-grandmother might have grown. I will be selling as many kinds as I have sufficient quantities of seed to share. I am especially excited about my "Hepler Farm" sweet pea, which has never been available for sale before. I am more of a vegetable gardener, so I offer really easy to grow flowers that you can plant, forget and just enjoy later on
I welcome your requests for unusual, old fashioned, or even foreign varieties that you have been searching for. You may remember something a grandparent or ancestor grew and may be seeking it out. I often have rare seeds in insufficient quantities to post on this website that I may be able to sell to those that have been searching for that "holy grail" of a lost variety. I also welcome seeds trades of very unusual seeds. Please remember, I have a very large number of seeds not listed here in my personal collection. I also have a limited ability to isolate large growers such as pumpkins, squash, and cabbage. Please feel free to email me with your "wish lists" and what seeds you might want to trade. I am sorry but due to the high cost of printing, this is an internet only seed business. I cannot offer a printed catalogue. My entire stock of seeds for sale is listed on these pages of the website.
I truly believe every gardener should have the chance to experience the past, and to literally travel all over the world by growing Amishland Heirloom Seeds' rare, heirloom flowers and vegetable seeds.