Showing all 31 results
Basil, Italian Mountain Sweet (Organic)$3.50–$20.00
A strain of Italian sweet basil that is more cool weather resistant than other basil. From the mountains of Northern Italy via the seed company Seeds Trust, formally located in Montana. They report that it grows better than other basil in Montana and we find it to be a great producer outdoors in Oregon as well. The sweet rich flavor is similar to other Genovese types of basil and it is perfect for pesto and Caprese salad. Slow to bolt but not too slow to make seed. Prolific flowers that the bees go crazy over.
Basil, Thai Lemon (Organic)$3.50–$20.00
This refreshing, citrus basil is a different species than its cousins Sweet Basil and Holy Basil, and is essential in certain South and Southeast Asian dishes. Thai Lemon Basil is also delicious with seafood, or as a more complex flavorful alternative to sweet basil in other dishes. It is best when added towards the end of cooking. Leaves are smaller and more pinnate, but otherwise it grows similarly to other basil types. We received our seed from villagers at Ban Noong Ta Klong in the Issan region of Thailand, while on a Seed Ambassadors Project trip in 2009. Aka, Hoary Basil, Hairy Basil, and Lemon Basil.
Basil, Tulsi / Sacred (Organic)$3.25
Tulsi is the best herb to grow for tea. It smells like heaven in a teacup and also in the garden when you walk by; when it’s flowering all of the little pollinators think so, too. Has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen and for helping to alleviate stress. More cool-weather tolerant than sweet basil and many other varieties of sacred (or holy) basil. This strain comes to us from Wild Garden Seeds, who have been growing it since 1983. Aka, Tulasi.
Out of Stock
Borage is a traditional European herb that has been in use for centuries medicinally and for flavoring soups and drinks. Little blue flowers are perfect when added to salad, bringing a sweet floral note. Leaves have an earthy cucumber taste, considered moist and cooling. We make an alcohol extract out of the leaves and flowering tops that is nice to occasionally sip for adrenal support. Some historical descriptions of borage remark on its ability to comfort the heart, dispel melancholy and give courage. Borage is self seeding in the garden so choose a permanent spot for it. Worth having around just for its beauty. It is also attractive to bees and other pollinators.
Calendula, Erfurter (Organic)$3.00–$6.00
Calendula officinalis. 65-70 days.
Fully double bright orange flowers on 18-24” plants. Erfurter is a preferred calendula variety for commercial production in the US, with large flowers and a somewhat higher resin content than Resina. Blooms profusely, but not as prolific as Resina. Petals can also be used to make a dye, or fed to chickens to keep egg yolks extra vibrant. (No joke! In Italy there is calendula produced for this specific purpose!) We like to pick the petals off the flowering heads once they just start to dry and turn inward. Then they are easily picked and easily dried. Variety originates in Germany, where its full name is Erfurter Orangefarbigen. Aka, Orange Zinger.
Calendula, Resina (Organic)$3.00–$21.00
Calendula officinalis. 60-65 days.
A very fine strain of calendula for medicinal use and as a self-sowing, short-lived perennial flower. Highly productive plants produce medium-sized flowers with two rows of resin-rich petals. Plants may have either soft orange or bright yellow flowers with small centers. Fairly hardy in our climate, they often overwinter to produce very early blooms in the spring and sometimes an occasional bloom in the dead of winter if given a good sheltered location. We love to sprinkle our salads with their aromatic, edible petals. The rich soothing properties soften the skin simply from picking the flowers. Often called Pot Marigold in England.
Nepeta cataria. Perennial to Zone 3.
Catnip is a member of the mint family and is especially suited for gardeners whose household includes members of the cat family. Our cats love catnip and can often be found laying in the shade of the catnip patch on summer afternoons, but cats aren’t the only reason to grow catnip. Drought tolerant and deer resistant, it may also repel aphids, ants, flea beetles, and squash bugs, even as it attracts many types of beneficial insects. A strong infusion of catnip leaves has been said to repel fleas from carpets and pets. Leaves may be used as a culinary herb and may also be used medicinally for humans for relaxation and as a sleep aid. Catnip has a history of being used in treating digestive disorders, reducing fevers, and a whole slew of other ailments. Plants reach 5′ in their second year. Germination can be slow and unpredictable.
Chamomile, Bodegold (Organic)$3.50
Bodegold is an improved German variety of chamomile with higher essential oil content, higher yields, larger flowers, and more uniform habit. The truly special trait of this variety is its delicious sweet aroma that is significantly sweeter than other chamomile varieties. White petaled flowers have fragrant yellow centers. Chamomile is commonly used as a calming herbal tea and is said to stimulate the immune system. Flowers are ready to pick and dry anytime, even after the petals have fallen off. Very attractive to pollinators. This is one of our favorite tea herbs. It should be in every garden. The compact plants grow 1-2′ and seeds are best direct sown, scattered on the soil surface. Strangely, chamomile seems to grow better in poor quality soil.
Chamomile, Zloty Lan (Organic)$3.50
A unique Polish tetraploid variety. Tetraploid plants naturally have more chromosomes in the cell and this usually results in larger, more vigorous plants. Zloty Lan Chamomile is certainly bigger and higher yielding with a strong tall growth habit. We find it has a wonderful aroma that is somewhat less sweet than Bodegold. Tea made from the dried flowers steeped in hot water for less then a few minutes makes a soothing and calming tea perfect for bedtime, and for relaxing the mind and body. When steeped longer than a few minutes however it seems to be stimulating and enlivening. Chamomile is an easy tea herb to grow at home and is one of the key herbs used in Biodynamic compost preparations. Bred in Poland for commercial production and high essential oil content. The high essential oil levels are reported to be between 0.8-1.5% of which 4-12% is bisabolol and 15-20% chamazulene. The compounds in chamomile have been extensively studied for their health effects, many of which are anti-inflammatory and anti-cancerous.
Cilantro, Rak Tamachat (Organic)5 out of 5$3.50–$20.00
Named for the Rak Tamachat Permaculture and Natural Building Education Center in Thailand, where we saved the seeds for this variety out of their kitchen garden when we visited in March of 2014. Since all we saw were the plants that had already gone to seed, we were surprised and delighted by what we discovered when we planted it out for trial purposes. Leaves are giant when compared to every other cilantro we have grown – they can be at least 2” across! Flavor is a little more mellow than other cilantro, so you can eat it by the handful without getting overwhelmed. It is almost cilantro as a vegetable. We instantly fell in love with this variety, and hope you do too.
Cilantro, Standby (Organic)$3.50–$20.00
A must-have in the herb garden! Its bright flavor freshens up any meal and is essential in many cuisines worldwide – especially Latin American, Middle Eastern, Southeast and South Asian. Very hardy and slow bolting. Excellent for sowing in the late fall for winter leaf harvest or early yield of seeds the following year. Seeds have an excellent strong, lime-like flavor. Bred by Tim Peters of Peters Seed and Research, in Riddle, Oregon.
Clary Sage (Organic)$3.25–$20.00
Salvia sclarea. Biennial.
An ancient herb used in Europe for centuries. Great aromatic plant to have nearby. We love to walk by a blooming Clary Sage and just smell it. It always seems to clear and brighten our day. In aroma therapy Clary Sage is said to help with anxiety and stress due to its warming sedative qualities. Flowers are very attractive to bumble bees. Soak the seeds in water to make a mucilaginous eye bath, that is known to clear the eyes and clean out any irritants. Flowering tops have been used to flavor vermouth and other liqueurs. Leaves are edible. Descriptions of its medicinal use trace back to Greece in 4th century BCE.
Cannot ship to Washington State.
Coriander, Kanchanaburi (Organic)$3.50–$20.00
This coriander/cilantro has large seed with a fresh aromatic flavor. Selected for seed production, the plants are shorter and earlier to flower than cilantro leaf type varieties. Although it is not the primary use, this coriander has tasty aromatic leaves and roots that are useful in Thai cooking. Kanchanaburi coriander is a Thai variety from the town of the same name. It is a beautiful place in western central Thailand where the River Kwai runs through. We sourced our stock seed originally from Will Bonsall’s Scatterseed Collection, which is a priceless seed preservation project based in Maine. Aka, Kachanaburu Coriander.
Dill, Ambrosia (Organic)$3.80–$25.00
Anethum graveolens. 35 days.
Amazingly fragrant variety of dill. Heavenly in the garden and a key ingredient to many pickle recipes. You can’t have too many jars of dilly beans in the pantry. Also delicious in borscht (beet soup), and cooked with fish or potatoes. Very attractive to pollinators once flowering begins. We sourced this originally from Peace Seeds in Corvallis, Oregon. There is a Ukrainian or Russian variety of the same name and possibly it is the same but we’re unsure. Aka, Ambrojia.
Dill, Mt Adams (Organic)$3.80–$12.50
Anethum graveolens. 35 days.
Dill is a must have in any garden. A great early to flower variety perfect for seed and flower production. It is also a good producer of dill leaf but not as prolific as mammoth types. Dill is a commercial crop in Washington state, where many acres are produced for distilling into essential oil, as a seed crop, and for fresh markets. We picked up this variety from a seed swap in Bingen, Washington, where a local homesteader had been saving seed from this variety for 20 years.
Elecampane, Julie’s (Organic)$3.25
Inula helenium. Perennial.
One of the most highly regarded herbs of the Western herbal tradition and a very important part of the Pacific Northwest apothecary. The root is used for many ailments, especially respiratory issues including bronchial infections and chronic cough. We love having it in the garden because it is easy to grow and is a tough perennial which can turn into a very large plant after a few years. The root is harvested in the fall of the second year. Mentioned by Pliny and named after Helen of Troy, it is said to have sprouted up from where her tears fell. Also revered as a sacred herb by the ancient Celts, who called it elfwort. An Irish study has found extracts of elecampane to be effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and to generally be highly antimicrobial.
We have named this strain after our late friend Julie Mallalieu, who sadly passed away in 2012. She was a wonderful organizer of the Eugene Propagation Fair and seed swaps in the area and she gave this seed to us a few years ago. We miss her.
Evening Primrose, EP-10 (Organic)$3.00
Oenothera biennis. Biennial.
Produces 2″ yellow, sweetly fragrant flowers on 3-5′ tall central stalk from June to September in second year. Leaves and roots are edible, with a peppery taste. Flowers are edible and sweet, may be added to salads or used as a garnish, and are attractive to pollinators. Roots, bark, and seedpods are medicinal. This strain is purported to have a higher than average content of medicinal Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which can be extracted from its seeds. We have noticed that it holds ripe seed pods tighter than other varieties making seed collection easier. Native to central and eastern North America. Hardy to Zone 4. Grows well in poor soil. Self-seeds/naturalizes easily and may become a permanent part of the garden if you let it go to seed.
Horehound, White (Organic)$3.25–$6.00
Marrubium vulgare. Perennial.
An attractive shrub with small, grey-green leaves that are covered in small white hairs, creating a fuzzy appearance. Tea can be made from the leaves and it is a favorite remedy for coughs (though it’s quite bitter so add honey). Horehound has long been noted for its medicinal qualities in treating numerous ailments. The essential oil is said to contain potent antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It has also traditionally been used as a flavoring for ales, sodas, and lozenges. Naturalizes easily and may spread, though germination can be slow and erratic. Best when direct sown in early spring or early fall.
Lemon Balm, Quedlinburger Niederliegende (Organic)$3.25–$12.00
Melissa officinalis. Perennial.
Living in the Northwest we have always wished we could grow citrus. You could try to grow lemons in a greenhouse or you could simply throw this seed all around your garden. A strong lemon balm tea is a great substitute for lemon juice in most recipes. Quedlinburger Niederliegende is higher in essential oil content than the common lemon balm, and yields lots of leaves. Lemon balm tea, when sweetened with honey, is used medicinally to help with stress, indigestion, and headaches. We have also used it when brewing mead (honey wine) with great success. This easy-to-grow perennial belongs in every garden.
You might ask why we love strange names, and we’re not sure why but we do. To translate/contextualize this tongue twister of a name is a delight. Quedlinburg is a town located in Germany north of the Harz mountains in Saxony-Anhalt. “Niederliegende” translates from German as procumbent, which is a botanical adjective meaning, “growing along the ground without setting forth roots.” This is interesting as we’ve observed this variety to be more upright and stretched out than others.
Out of Stock
Althaea officinalis. Perennial.
Common edible and medicinal herb native to Europe. Marshmallow has many medicinal uses which include treating stomach acid, aching muscles, insect bites, and dry coughs. Leaves can be eaten raw but taste better cooked, especially good for thickening soups as it is related to okra. Marshmallows of campfire and s’mores fame were once made by drying the root, grinding it into a powder, and then making the powder into a paste and roasting. Water left over from cooking any part of the plant makes a good egg-white substitute. Tea can be made from the flower or root. Grows to 4 feet. Naturalizes easily, but seeds benefit from some cold to germinate. One way to get good germination is to sow directly in garden soil in early spring.
Mint, Korean Licorice (Organic)$3.25
Agastache rugosa. Perennial.
Very delightful aromatic leaves for tea with a sweet minty licorice flavor. One of Andrew’s favorite herbs for tea, second only to wild yerba buena. The beautiful blue spikes of flowers can grow to 8” long and provide excellent forage for beneficial insects. Blooms over a long period and especially well late in the season. Leaves are best harvested before flowering & are a delicious addition to salad mixes. For tea we like them best fresh, but dried leaves are also good. It can be harvested like basil by coppicing the young stems for continuous regrowth and cutting. As a healing plant it can be helpful for cold symptoms and as an aromatic it can stimulate digestion, circulation, and general energy. As beneficial insect forage, Frank Morton recommends pairing Korean Licorice Mint with fennel for attracting and feeding beneficial insects, honey bees and birds bountifully in the autumn.
Seed produced by Wild Garden Seeds in Philomath, Oregon.
Artemisia vulgaris. Perennial.
An important part of the medicinal herb garden, as it has been used in remedies across many cultures for hundreds of years. Various preparations of mugwort have been applied to the skin to treat poison oak, rheumatism, or quicken the blood. Teas or tinctures have been known to induce lucid dreaming and are used to treat irregular menstrual periods, epilepsy, and stomach aches. In the United Kingdom, mugwort was even used as the poor man’s tea substitute (it’s fairly bitter though, we don’t recommend this use) and has been used to flavor beer – there really are too many uses for mugwort to list them all here. Beautiful slivery grey purple leaves grow to 4′ and would be suitable for a hedge. Perennial plants will spread, self-seed, and grow well even in poor soil.
Parsley, Cilician (Organic)$3.25–$40.00
A very special and very rare type of parsley from a medieval kingdom in what is present-day Syria and Turkey, brought to North America via Cyprus. It has a more ferny leaf type, with a more intense flavor that makes it a great addition to any dish that calls for parsley. Tolerates shade well, possibly preferring it. Some people think Cilician parsley may be a different species than the Italian at-leaf or curly-leaf types that we are used to, or possibly even a predecessor. The region of Cilicia has a long history of struggle and has been fought over by Greeks, Armenians, Syrians, Romans, and Turks. It is a cradle of agricultural biodiversity and a place name few have heard of. We thank food writer William Woys Weaver for shedding light on this variety and piquing our interest, and to John Miller of the Old Schoolhouse Plantery in Brattleboro, Vermont, for starting us out with this great variety.
Parsley, Einfache Schnitt 3 (Organic)$3.25–$40.00
Translates from German as “easy cut.” Very flavorful and hardy. Dark green, flat leaves are upright for easy cutting and rot resistance. Looks great and healthy year-round even in the dead of winter. Several local organic growers have sung the praises of this variety and we too relied on it for the Open Oak Farm CSA all season long. Variety sourced from Bingenheimer Saatgut, the German biodynamic seed company.
Sorrel, Transylvanian (Organic)$3.25–$24.00
Rumex acetosa. Perennial.
A variety of garden sorrel with nice long, strap-shaped leaves. Good color and flavor all winter. Tolerates dry spells. Extremely hardy and perfect for the permaculture or gourmet garden. We like it added as a small part in salad mixes, sauces, and used in sorrel soup, of course. Collected by The Seed Ambassadors Project from a Hungarian farmer at the farmers market in Cluj, Romania, on our 2008 trip to Transylvania.
Tobacco, Massachusetts Wrapper (Organic)$3.25–$18.00
As folks that haven’t spent much time in New England, we were surprised to learn that Connecticut and Massachusetts have a 300 year history of producing premium tobacco for wrapping cigars. Warm summers, long day length, and high humidity provide favorable conditions for leaves that can reach 3′ across and twice as long! After 18 months of processing, each of these giant leaves may become two cigars. Here in the Pacific Northwest with our cool temps and low humidity, the giant wrapper tobaccos don’t grow quite as large but are still very impressive in the garden, with leaves reaching 3′ long and 1½’ across at the widest point. Massachusetts Wrapper tobacco grew to 7′ in our garden, with pretty light pink trumpet shaped flowers atop the central stalk. Early maturing. We’ve never experimented with curing or smoking tobacco, but these leaves fared well in our taste test of chewing dried, unfermented leaves. We don’t usually chew tobacco, and others think the plants are worth growing for their ornamental qualities, unique size and shape. Also, tobacco may be more useful in bartering than Bitcoin! We sourced this variety from Scott Weech at a seed swap in Eugene, Oregon.
Tobacco, San Juan Pueblo (Organic)$3.25–$18.00
A traditional, native New Mexico variety grown in secluded patches by San Juan Pueblo elders. Shorter plants have rounded leaves and yellow cup-like flowers. Leaves are often collected, dried, and powdered. Some use it straight for ceremonies and others add it to moist commercial tobaccos. The Nicotiana rustica species is a very potent species of tobacco. The high concentration of nicotine (up to 9%) in its leaves makes it useful for creating organic pesticides. Nicotine is very toxic, be careful.
Seed produced by Pitchfork & Crow in Lebanon, Oregon.
Tobacco, Shirazi (Organic)$3.25–$18.00
This rare Iranian tobacco grows about 4-5′ tall and produces lovely white flowers with lavender-pink blush. Said to be a good, full-flavored smoke and also good for a homemade garden insecticide, though we haven’t tried either. We have been informed that Shirazi is easy to cure out here in the West and doesn’t require a complicated fermentation process to taste good. Might be just what Oregon’s future economy needs.
Valerian, Anthos Arterner Mix (Organic)$3.50–$6.50
Valeriana officianalis. Perennial in zones 4–9.
A mix of improved strains of valerian, preferred for commercial production because of their high yield of roots and high essential oil content. Valerian is a favorite herbal treatment for insomnia, and the small pink and white flowers were once used in perfumes. Considered a powerful brain and muscle sedative, valerian can have varying effects on people, even stimulating some. Dried valerian flowers are used in a biodynamic preparation that is applied to compost, to influence the processes of phosphorous in the compost. Plants can grow to 5′ tall and spread slowly via rhizomes.
Yarrow, Danish (Organic)$3.50
Achillea millefolium. Perennial.
Sometimes our penchant for seed saving goes a little too far – such is the case with Danish Yarrow. We saved seed from a bunch of plants growing along the roadside while out exploring the ruins of a 14th century castle about 20 km from Aarhus, Denmark, during the first days of our Seed Ambassadors Project trip in 2006. A patch of this perennial now grows in the backyard, in deep shade (though it prefers sun), where its feathery grey leaves make a nice ground cover for most of the year. Yarrow is also an important herb in biodynamics; its lacy white flowers are used to make prep 502, to stimulate potassium, silica and selenium in the soil. Slowly spreading via roots and seeds, grows well even in poor soil.
Yarrow, Parker’s Gold (Organic)$3.50
Achillea millefolium. Perennial.
A striking ornamental perennial. Gold flowers make excellent cut flowers and are even better dried as everlastings. The upright growth makes for easy cutting and the flowers last all summer. What we love most about Parker’s Gold is the captivating aromatic leaves that look like ferns but smell like the desert. It is one of our favorite smells from the plant world. Plants grow to 4′ tall and are easy to care for, needing little fertility or water once established. Prefers a location with full sun and good drainage. Hardy in zones 3-9 which means it can take a lot of cold too. Plants bloom in their second year, sometimes in their first if planted very early in the season. The species is known as fernleaf yarrow and is native to central Asia. Aka, Parker’s Variety.