Updated: Feb 15
It’s never too early to start planning for the planting season. As you look into what plants you want in your garden, and this is the perfect time to start from seeds. As much as growing plants and vegetables from nursery plants is satisfying, there’s nothing as gratifying as seeing a plant sprout from seed.
Thinking of where to shop for your seeds? We support Black-owned seed companies for so many reasons.
Black farmers and people of color have largely been excluded from agriculture in America, making up less than 2% percent of all farm producers - in large part due to discrimination and the increase in food deserts.
The re-emergence of interest in homestead planting and container gardening has encouraged a rise in black gardeners and farmers and consequently Black-owned seed companies, many started by farmers with a passion for growing things.
Black-owned garden companies help to get more people of color into gardening and promotes it as an active, pandemic-safe hobby that encourages healthy eating.
For many people of color, the plants we choose for our gardens has personal and historical significance. Black-owned seed companies stock heirlooms, rare and ancestral seeds and other plant seeds for the spring/summer garden of your dreams.
For the budding or more enthusiastic gardener, here are considerations to make before choosing seeds for spring planting:
1. You have to take into account the indigenous plants and vegetables that thrive in your region. That’s not to say you can’t challenge yourself to grow something exotic.
2. Take into account the space and lighting you have available and make sure both can support the plants you propose to sprout from seed.
3. Educate yourself on plant requirements and care.
4. Have a great soilless seed potting mix to support their growth.
This article will highlight 20 Black-owned seed companies you should check out for the next planting season:
1. Urban Farms Garden Shop
Shop non-GMO, heirloom seeds from Urban Farms Garden Shop. Their site also offers educational materials for garden enthusiasts.
2. TrueLove Seeds
Truelove Seeds is a farm-based seed company offering culturally important and open pollinated vegetable, herb, and flower seeds. Buy from them for a good cause: 50% of seed sale profits goes back to the farmer who grew it.
3. Urban Garden Project
Urban Garden Project is focused on creating bio diversity and combating food insecurity in Houston's food deserts. Their mission is to making gardening accessible by providing heirloom seeds at $1.99.
4. Tennessee Tropicals
5. Sistah Seeds
Sistah Seeds is an initiative by Amirah Mitchell, who aims to be a seed source of culturally important African, African-American and Afro-Caribbean heirloom varieties of okra, peppers, squash and black-eyed peas. You can find varieties like “Ole Pepperpot” pepper, green-striped cushaw squash and Odell’s white watermelon, which are difficult to find in mainstream seed markets.
6. God’s Garden Girl
God’s Garden Girl seeks to combine gardening with grounding, healing energy. Get all organic, non-GMO seed sets for your spring, summer and fall veggies.
This small business is dedicated to making indoor gardening simple for everybody no matter their space – or lack of it. Get seeds, container kits and hydroponic sets for your urban space.
8. Vegan Chef Ietef
Chef Ietef coined the term Eco Hip Hop and uses his platform – and seed store - to share awareness on climate change, food justice and vegan living.
9. Grow the Block Girl
Grow the Block Girl’s mission is to have a garden on every block, and buying vegetable, herbs fruit and flower seeds and kits from them supports that admirable mission.
Polycultured differs from other garden initiatives in that they focus on educating farmers from soil to table. Shop seeds or tincture mixes from their organic shop.
11. Big Fig N Vegetables
This is a small farm promoting ‘back-to-eden’ gardening practices. Farmer Odyssey is famous for his loofah plants. Grow yours with loofah seeds from his store.
12. Seed Mail Seed Co.
Seed Mail Seed Co boasts a large selection of seeds ranging from veggies to fall tubers and flowers too.
13. Soul Gardener 74
Soul Gardener 74 is a small, independent seed store all about bringing back farming to black families to benefit the community. You can buy a variety of seeds for planting, and also shop handmade products like tea blends, infused oils and balms.
14. My Backyard Texas Garden (the Okra Lady)
Sherrie, the shop owner and curator of My Backyard Texas Garden, is known as The Okra lady. Buy okra seeds and a variety of other seeds for food from her Okra Lady Etsy Shop.
15. Naturally Dopeanics
This brand is known for organic products and most of all, heirloom seeds for gardening.
16. Naturally Dope
Naturally Dope’s seed garden is known for carrying the best organic flower and herb seeds for container gardening and homestead farming.
17. Overflow Farms
Overflow Farms is a non-profit focused on encouraging community farms and donating produce to local food banks and churches.
18. Renaissance Farms
Renaissance farms is famous for their heirloom tomato seeds but they also stock a wide range of other plant seeds.
19. Soil Vibes
Soil Vibes aims to connect gardening with easing anxiety and depression, using gardening to soothe mental health. Their collections are carefully selected for this purpose and available to shop.
20. Ivy Leaf Farms Seed Co.
Ivy Leaf Farms Seed Co is a family-owned operation spanning community gardens and a sprawling farm that includes animals. Shop organic seeds from their greenhouse.
21. The Hood Garden
The Hood Garden shop combines seeds, spice and merch for black gardeners and gardening enthusiasts.
Add to our list by commenting below! Happy shopping!