Bountiful Gardens and Ecology Action

February 5, 2009

Specializing in open pollinated, heirloom, and other rare seeds, Bountiful Gardens has been selling seeds for over twenty years and helped introduce me to the world of heirlooms. Bountiful Gardens and Seeds Blum (which is no longer in business) were a couple of the first seed companies that I stumbled onto that specialized in heirloom vegetable seeds.

Bountiful Gardens was started by John Jeavons, author of “How to Grow More Vegetables,” and a pioneer of the French Intensive Biodynamic Gardening method that incorporates raised beds, composting and sustainability into an organic gardening program that will “grow more vegetables than you ever thought possible on less land than you can imagine!”

bountiful-gardens-websiteAlong with Ecology Action, its sister organization, Bountiful Gardens has worked to promote the concepts and practices of growing heirloom vegetable varieties, producing food in a sustainable manner, organic techniques, and conserving resources. They are a source of not just heirloom seeds, but also an incredible amount of information and instruction related to mini-farming and intensive food production.

Open Pollinated Vegetable Seed Selections

All of the seeds sold by Bountiful Gardens are untreated, open pollinated varieties and include the following interesting heirlooms:

  • Heat and drought tolerant Moth Beans
  • Several types of Sprouting Broccoli
  • Sweet French Charentais Melons
  • White Lisbon Bunching Scallions
  • Jimmy Nardello’s Sweet Italian Frying Pepper
  • Rat’s Tail Podding Radish
  • Orange Jelly Turnips
  • Perennial Alpine Strawberries
  • Lebanese Light Green Summer Squash
  • and Huge Monster of Viroflay Spinach

You’ll also find a selection of flowers, herbs, and even edible fruit bearing varieties of wild trees and shrubs that can be grown from seed.

Bountiful Garden’s Unique and Special Offerings

Their specialties include grains for the backyard grower, green manures, and crops that can be raised to produce large quantities of carbon and compostable matter. The compost and green manure seeds include various clovers, fodder radish, vetches, bell beans, field peas, other legumes, and even a few edible greens that also serve as cover crops.

Phacelia tanacetifolia is a special green manure offered by Bountiful and described as a crop that will attract beneficial insects, improve the soil structure, and reduce nematodes in addition to producing material for the compost pile. They also offer a compost mix formula that contains a combination of various green manure seeds.

If you’re ready to try your hand at raising grains in the home garden, Bountiful Gardens has plenty of choices to get you started. You’ll find a number of different sorghums, hulless oats, Japanese millet, triticale, spelt, quinoa, and an assortment of ancient wheat varieties.

Other Gardening Resources Available

Bountiful Gardens is a great source for gardening books, research papers, and videos. Many of their book listings go beyond the basic “how to grow” topics and delve into more advanced subjects with titles such as:

Finally, there is also a range of organic gardening supplies available from Bountiful Gardens including; inoculants, an assortment of high quality and durable tools, plant protection devices, seed starting supplies, and organic insect controls.

Other Related Vegetable Gardening Posts:

  • I’ve only grown a few Heirloom varieties before, but have often thought I really need to focus on this. Thanks for the book suggestion and the seed company.

  • I enjoyed that book. I’ll have to check out Bountiful Gardens for some of my seed needs.

  • Olympia

    Hi Kenny,
    I have been enjoying your newsletter, thank you.
    When you grow heirlooms, do you save the seeds? I garden and own Suzanne Ashworth’s Seed to Seed, but am confused about things like spacing for heirloom peppers and tomatoes, esp.
    TYIA for your advice,


  • Kenny Point

    Thanks Olympia, I do save some of my seeds and am starting to seriously save more and more of them. As far as spacing goes, it all depends on the plant and how concerned you are with ensuring seed purity with no or little chance of any crossing. I know gardeners who plant peppers and tomatoes right next to each other and are able to save seed that seems to grow true to type every season. Others separate them by planting in different sections of the garden, using containers, or simply cage individual plants or flowers to ensure that there is no cross pollination.

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