Bountiful Gardens is one of those catalogs that make you feel all sustainable and tree-huggy just browsing through it. They are a California-based project of Ecology Action, promoters of the Biointensive method (John Jeavons, double digging, intensive planting, etc.). The seed is mostly West Coast-grown and the descriptions don’t necessarily take our Mid-Atlantic climate into consideration, but it’s worth a look. For vegetables, selection is pretty good (open-pollinated varieties, many heirlooms) and prices are quite low. This may be the place to find seed for that unusual plant you wanted to grow; it’s where I first found seed for sea kale and for Egyptian spinach or molokheya.
I’m also very keen on their seed mixes and seed collections – the mixes are just fun if you want, for example, to try multiple varieties of turnips without buying a pack of each, and the collections would make good gifts for a beginning gardener. They have good selections of slow-bolting lettuces (for California, at least; I’ll see how they do here) including both a mix and a Summer Salad Collection.
I’m also very tempted by the seeds for both native and non-native trees and shrubs (aronia, black currants, tea, etc.). And if you’ve been wanting to try grains this is one place to check out. Lots of books and useful supplies available as well. Overall, a fun, quirky, sincere, sustainably-minded seed source.
I refuse to double dig, though; it hurts my back.
Notes: (1) You can order a print catalog through most of the catalog websites (or in some cases, download a PDF version). (2) Mention of specific products, brands, or companies is not intended as an endorsement by the University of Maryland. (3) I do not receive consideration of any kind for mentioning products, brands, or companies in my postings. The seed catalogs I review are those of sellers from which I have previously bought seeds.