It all started in 1998 with Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, the company that now offers one of the largest selections of heirloom seeds in the U.S. with over 1,300 varieties of tasty vegetables, fragrant flowers, and spicy herbs. Groovy seeds for all your home and market garden needs. Jere collects many ethnic varieties each year through his extensive travels. We offer the most unique, colorful and flavorful varieties. Our varieties have been grown in many major gardens, including Disney World, the U.S. National, Chicago, New York, St. Louis Botanic Gardens, Monticello, Living History Farms, and Colonial Williamsburg, to name a few.
Baker Creek carries one of the largest selections of seeds from the 19th century, including many Asian and European varieties. Jere Gettle founded the company in 1998 as a tool to promote and preserve our agricultural and culinary heritage. Our varieties have been featured in Organic Gardening, Mother Earth News, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, O Magazine, Martha Stewart, and many others. Gardeners can request a free 124-page color catalog that now mails to over 250,000 gardeners nationally.
Over the past dozen or so years, Baker Creek has branched out into other related projects as well, including The Heirloom Gardener magazine, which is now in its seventh year of publication. The Gettle family has also expanded to a location in Sonoma County, California, in the beautiful town of Petaluma. In June 2010 they expanded to Connecticut, buying and preserving the near 200 old Comstock, Ferre & Co. One of America's first seed companies.
We started hosting festivals in 2000 as an idea to bring gardeners, homesteaders and natural food enthusiasts together to exchange thoughts, seeds, listen to speakers and enjoy vendors, old-time music and much more. These festivals gave birth to the idea for our pioneer village, Bakersville. Other projects include our trial gardens, seed collecting expeditions, our popular online forums at idigmygarden.com, and educational produce exhibits.
We also work extensively to supply free seeds to many of the world’s poorest countries, as well as here at home in school gardens and other educational projects. It is our goal to educate everyone about a better, safer food supply and fight gene-altered Frankenfood and the companies that support it.
This is my 3rd year using this company and have nothing but great things to say. Awesome selection of seeds at a great price, very inexpensive flat rate shipping, and possibly the fastest turn around time. I've never had germination trouble with any of their seeds and plan to continue trying new things from them for as long as I am gardening!
I ordered in early January and got the seeds within days. I had ordered last year and was pleased with the quality of the seeds, and I expect to be again. I was disappointed that the "hog brains peas" were already sold out--was so excited about trying them!
Posted on February 2, 2015, updated February 4, 2015
Placed an order with them for the first. Was very happy to see the seeds arrive within 5 days of the order which was made on a Friday. I almost immediately put some in some soilless medium and put them in a dome on a heat rack and within 3 days the pink tiger tomatoes and pineapple tomatoes are sprouted and out of the dome loving life! Still waiting to see how well the peppers and eggplants germinate as they have only been down for 4 days. There were almost twice as many seeds in the packs than stated on the pack too. So far over all I\'m very happy. On February 4th, 2015, Joshsgarden added the following:
The rest of the seed have sprouted less than a week after planting. Very happy with rareseeds.com and I will be making another order soon.
pintarich Wind Gap, PA (1 review) February 3, 2015
I love this company. They have a huge variety of heirloom seeds. Their catalog quite literally gets me through the cold winter days. Great germination rates. Very friendly and helpful. Orders received quickly. I can not tell you how happy I am with them.
vlwalker44 Rossville, GA (1 review) February 2, 2015
This was my first time ordering from Baker Creek, and I am pleased with the quick delivery time. The seed packs have complete instructions for planting, and some other helpful hints.
Everything is fine. Seeds are good. I'm pleased. I have no complaints. Seeds inside more, than written on the package. Order # 100555087 and 100527460. Best regards from Russia!
chaderrader Lawrenceville, GA (1 review) January 31, 2015
One of the seed packets I received was empty. I sent an email to the company requesting a replacement. I am waiting on their reply.Company representative comment on February 2, 2015: On Feb 2, 2015 3:26 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
Thank you for emailing us! We have another packet headed your way!
So far very happy with my seed order, have ordered seeds from many different companies over many years. Baker Creek is the Fastest Seed Delivery ever received! Plus they sent a bonus packet of Seeds (always a good thing, thank you). Excited to see how well the seeds Grow andTaste.
MollyBlooms Grosse Pointe Farms, MI (6 reviews) January 19, 2015
Very prompt service, easy-to-use website, and unusual seeds with detailed descriptions. I ordered seeds for pink bananas, which not only came up but thrived, despite my utter lack of experience in growing bananas from seed. Excellent company; will order from them again.
Actually I had 2 positive experiences. No negatives. One in Sept. when I contacted them about a flower seed that never grew and was credited immediately and then this morning when I called to ask if I could add a couple of items to the order I placed yesterday. I was told by Leah that, alas, I couldn't but if I placed the order and followed her directions, instead of the 3.50 delivery charge I would only be charged $1. I thought that was fair since the error was mine.
Great customer service. As Spring and Summer approach let's see how all those seeds do.
Permi_Eden Meadville, PA (Zone 5b) (3 reviews) January 5, 2015
Posted on February 4, 2013, updated January 5, 2015
Their catalog is just gorgeous! I \"read\" it like a book.
I placed my order a few days ago and already have it. Great service and thank you for preserving so many hard to find varieties.On January 5th, 2015, Permi_Eden added the following:
1/5/14 - Update - At the very end of last year I placed a significant order through Baker Creek. The entire order shipped within 2 days and only took a couple of additional days to arrive. I went down through my pull ticket and everything that I wanted was shipped. As always, Baker Creek included a free packet of seeds of their choice. Great job!
I am especially excited about a couple of the new seeds that I ordered from the explorer series. What a great way to add some fun and interest to my garden while preserving the seed heritage globally!
I have had no problems with Baker Creek.
I am pleased at their selection, and I appreciate the fact that I get a response each time that I email them.
In fact, I've found that I can even converse with them on Twitter occasionally.
This is a great company, and I appreciate them.
Posted on December 26, 2014, updated December 26, 2014
Posted on July 22, 2013, updated December 26, 2014
great company ordered seeds from them back in January and the ghost peppers look great. the Cherokee purple tomatoes are awesome. and every other seed pack I ordered from the carrots and okra to the tomatillos are all doing great
the only tomato I was disappointed in was the solar flare tomatoes by wild bore farms plants grew good but they did not put any tomatoes offOn December 26th, 2014, ArkansasJack added the following:
On December 26th, 2014, ArkansasJack added the following:
Just ordered more seeds 3 days ago they arrived fast
I've been a Baker Creek customer since I started my first "grown-up" garden years ago. I primarily start tomato and pepper seeds, along with a few eggplants, cucumbers, and other things. The germination rate of the tomatoes is amazing. Literally every single tomato seed germinated in my most recent garden. After thinning them out, I ended up with 24 plants that produced very well. The reviews are a big help- they give me a good idea which varieties will thrive in my zone.
And of course it goes without saying that I look forward to their catalog every year. I know some gardeners are turned off by the glossy marketing, but I love it; it gets me excited about all the new things I can grow in the spring!
edgar2975 San Jose, CA (1 review) October 28, 2014
This was my first time using Baker Creek and my order was delivered as requested.
orangepassion Springfield, MO (Zone 6b) (3 reviews) October 9, 2014
I have been a Bakercreek customer since the company first started in 1998. They offer a wide selection of seeds at good prices and their shipping is very reasonable. I've always gotten my orders quickly and their seeds have always done well for me. The only problem I've encountered in the last 16 years had to do with an oversight in a shipping request. I purchased a large quantity of seeds to be shipped to a charity organization in another state and the order was mistakenly sent to me. I called to let them know what had happened but had already re-mailed the shipment to its intended destination. 3 days later, I received a check in the mail that more than covered the 2 shipping charges I had incurred which I did not ask for or expect. To me, that speaks volumes toward the integrity of this company.
rissole Atlanta, GA (7 reviews) September 18, 2014
Posted on September 19, 2014, updated September 19, 2014
Posted on September 14, 2014, updated September 19, 2014
Posted on September 14, 2014, updated September 14, 2014
Posted on September 9, 2014, updated September 14, 2014
I placed an order for seeds toward the end of August. After receiving my e-mail acknowledgment, I heard nothing for almost a week and a half. Puzzled, I sent their customer service an e-mail. Didn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t get a response. So, I called them up. (Incidentally, they don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t have a toll-free number, which seems pretty cheap.) The woman I talked to said that she didn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t really know what had happened to my order, but that she would try to reach the warehouse. After placing me on hold for a couple of minutes, she came back and said that she couldn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t reach anybody but would try to find out what happened. I called back the next day and talked to the same woman, but she had no more information than on the previous day. She then talked to someone else, and she said that person would call me back. They left me a message a little later that said my package shipped out today (13 days after I placed my order!!!). Also in the message, she said that it was shipped \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"priority,\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" so I should receive it in \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"3-4 days.\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" Huh??? Last time I checked, Priority Mail arrives within a couple of days. Well, if I don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t receive my seeds within a couple of days, I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'m changing this rating to a negative. I mean, my package doesn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t ship out for 13 days???? What kind of service is that? And if I hadn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t called them up (on my dime, since they didn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t respond to my e-mail), would it have even shipped out at all? Timing is very important for a fall garden, and I hope it\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s not too late to plant these seeds to still get a decent harvest--that\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s why I ordered them a couple of weeks ago. It\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s doubtful that I will ever order from this company again. On September 14th, 2014, rissole added the following:
Interesting how no company representative has bothered to apologize for their terrible service. Well, I\\\\\\\'m done with this company. Even if they apologize at this point, it\\\\\\\'s just too little, too late. On September 14th, 2014, rissole changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
On September 18th, 2014, rissole changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Thank you for at least responding and explaining what happened.
Concerning the seeds that were out of stock:
1) I was never informed that the seeds were out of stock and that the order was being held because of that. The proper thing to do is to SEND the package as is, and then send the remaining seeds (at no extra charge) when they get back in stock. (I mean--how long were they planning to hold up my order to wait for these seeds? A month or more???) That\'s what most reputable companies would do. And why was I charged for them in the first place? There was absolutely nothing to indicate they were out of stock when I placed my order. Why was I even allowed to order them if they were out of stock?
2) I had to call up again and find out why that one packet of seeds was missing. Only THEN was I told that they were out of stock. So, I could have ordered these seeds a long time ago from another company, but instead I have to order them late and hope that they don\'t arrive too late for fall planting.
You-all have good seeds, and your prices are good. However, your customer service is very bad and need serious improvement. Because,of that, I\'m leaving the rating as Negative. On September 18th, 2014, rissole changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Company representative comment on September 18, 2014: On Sep 18, 2014 1:37 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We do apologize for the delays in both getting you the seeds you ordered, and in answering your attempts to contact us. This site does not give me your contact information, so I have to guess at who you are. I did find one order that fits your description above as far as how long it took to ship. It appears the warehouse was waiting for a seed to come back in to finish filling your order. When you called, they went ahead and refunded for that seed and shipped the order out. Tracking shows it went out on the 9th, and was delivered on the 11th. We say 3-5 days for priority shipping, as our local mail hub has closed, and we've noticed it taking a little longer than normal sometimes for our customers to receive their packages. We are working with the post office to minimize these delays as much as possible. A majority of our employees were sent out to California for the National Heirloom Exposition, including the main person who monitors and answers things on this website, which is why there was such a delay in getting this answer posted.
OrbSilk Haines City, FL (2 reviews) September 4, 2014
My household has ordered three times from the company. The only issue was once with the rooted plants, but the issue was resolved. I am really happy with the varieties offered and the seeds have an excellent germination rate. The company offers both exotic varieties and competitive pricing for some of the more familiar cultivars, which is very balanced. The articles, additional information like recipes, and fair amount of photographs of the offered varieties makes this company one of my favorites.
I received a order from another person instead of mine. It's frustrating to wait and not receive what I orderedCompany representative comment on August 18, 2014: On Aug 18, 2014 8:50 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We are so sorry for that mixup! We received your email, and we are shipping the correct order to you right away.
Posted on August 12, 2014, updated August 13, 2014
After having very good recommendation from my sister, i am disappointed.
From the start i wanted to order from my phone. After 3 attempts i nearly gave up. I finally found phone info but then found they have an additional charge attached to phone orders. Apparently they don\'t like talking to customers. So i emailed thru the contact info. They dod indeed contact me and was able to make my small phone order of fall seed in without the additional fees. So now a week later i receive email stating it has been shipped. Now fast they are. My seeds are in my mailbox today. Cool! I think? I opened the package and find that my order is not complete. That they double one item and not send one. One was known to ship later. - i have hit reply on my notification and don\'t count on a follow up. Quite honest i am disappointed On August 13th, 2014, SquirrelRalph changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
After my post yesterday- i would like to update or amend it. In my email early today Leah with Baker Creek notified me and stated she would fix my order. I won't up grade to positive. Till my order is complete.
SquirrelRalphCompany representative comment on August 13, 2014: On Aug 13, 2014 9:04 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
As we stated in our reply to your email, we apologize for the missing item, and it will be shipping out to you today.
SullivanLP Colorado Springs, CO (1 review) July 29, 2014
I've ordered seeds, books, and magazines from them; always had great service on my orders, and enjoy the gifts of extra GMO-free seeds that they seem to tuck into many of the boxes. I really like what they're doing too, preserving heirloom lines and educating people about the risks from GMO contamination of heirloom strains. Small farmers have enough to worry about, without spurious lawsuits from giant corporations (when GMO frankenfoods grown in adjacent farms accidently cross-pollenate and ruin their traditional seed-to-seed cycle).
OllieKatt North Bay Canada (2 reviews) July 29, 2014
For two years now I have ordered vegetable seeds from Baker Creek as Christmas gifts for my dad. He loves his garden and really enjoys the exotic seeds I give to him. This company always ships promptly, includes a free package of seeds, and so far, has provided seeds with a great germination rate. My dad said this year that every seed popped up for him and is growing fabulously. Hopefully, I'll be able to gift him with Baker Creek seeds for many Christmases to come...
I have ordered from Baker Creek for the last 3 years. I usually order twice per year. All my experiences have been good. I love the extra seed they slip in from time to time. I like to order from them because not only has the service and seed been good but I share there love of heirlooms and their distaste for GMO seeds.
Just received my first order from them. Great seed selection, cheap shipping prices, quality shipping package, received order in less that two weeks, seed packets had more seeds in them than advertised and received a free package of seeds. Great experience and will order from them again for sure! Thanks Baker Creek!
BertKinchen Port Saint Lucie, FL (1 review) July 23, 2014
Ordered some seeds from Baker Creek and they arrived before the date they said they would. I am very pleased with the amount of seeds that were in the packets. in the spring I will be planting an acre and a half and I will be getting most if not all of my seeds from them.
I really want to love this company, because I've gotten many wonderful seeds from them over the years and their customer service was great the only time I ever had a problem. On another occasion, they answered an email with general questions about a variety quickly and helpfully. They seem like nice people who are trying to do things the right way, but I am sick of getting their glossy, wasteful catalog full of biblical quotes. I am not a Christian, but I am a Baker Creek customer. I see a very narrow slice of human society reflected in the quotes and philosophies endorsed in the catalog. I see a lot of support from Baker Creek for diversity in seeds, but not so much for diversity in people-- or at least that is the impression I have from the divisive quotes provided in the catalog. I throw issues of "Watchtower" in my worm bin because they will decompose quickly, and I hate to see such a beautiful, magazine-quality publication hit the garbage can-- but I can't even toss it in the worm bin because of the glossy nature of the pages and the toxicity of the inks. It just won't compost.
There is no "tyranny of science." Please start labeling your seeds with species names, DTM, and zone ratings like all the other seed houses! These details are important to those of us who grow your seeds, although I understand that DTM can vary from year to year and locale to locale. Germination has been a problem for me on a few seed packs, although most sprout quickly and true, and the quantity of seed is extremely generous! I'd much rather have fresh seeds with no germination issues than an expensive-to-produce catalog that I don't even use, because I shop on your website. (The website looks good and the upgrades and changes made over the last year have been great.)
I still occasionally buy from them when I can't get something in a trade or by saving seed, but I find myself using them less and less because I just can't tolerate the Ron Paul quotes (who believes that the Civil Rights Act was a mistake, that the LA riots were caused by black people not receiving their welfare checks, that public education and the EPA should be abolished, that we have no moral obligation to care for our sick and poor, and that we should not legislate to protect our environment in an age where overwhelming scientific consensus reveals just how much we are damaging our world). There is a place for morality in business, and I hope Baker Creek finds their place sooner rather than later.Company representative comment on July 18, 2014: On Jul 18, 2014 3:09 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
Thank you for your feedback! On the catalog, we used recycled paper and soy inks, so they can be re-purposed by our customers for anything from starter pots to worm bins :) We are working to include the species names and the days to maturity on the seed packets that we are making now, but a lot of our seed packet designs were made several years ago, and we are updating them as we can.
I have purchased from Baker Creek several times. Orders are always fulfilled exactly and have had very fast delivery. The seeds we have purchased have provided great produce. Will order from them as often as we need seeds. Would recommend this company to anyone.
I have had only pleasant dealings with Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. As usual, i received the package in a timely manner, and with correct seeds. And, some bonus seeds! I am super happy with these guys!! Thank you Baker Creek!!
Another happy costumer,
mefrelix Corona, CA (Zone 9b) (1 review) June 14, 2014
I received bittersweet nightshade seeds instead of the Korean hyssop I had ordered. Other seeds were of the wrong variety and with about half of my complete order of different plant seeds, Those packets didn't have one germination. I wish I had known about garden watch dog before. To each own experience though.Company representative comment on June 16, 2014: On Jun 16, 2014 11:48 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We're sorry to hear there was a problem with your order! We do guarantee seeds to germinate, and grow true to type, for one year from the date of purchase. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to either send you replacements, or issue you a refund.
Posted on May 10, 2014, updated May 26, 2014
For the past three years I've purchased from Baker Creek. However beginning last year and through this years order I've been disappointed with the germination rate on many of the varieties that have been sent to me. In some instances the rate was zero. I use only 50 lb. bags of professional potting mix that I purchase from a local nursery. It's 'Faford' professional potting mix and it's served me well. So I don't think it's the medium. I'm wondering if this company is mixing old seed in with new, or selling old seed at the beginning of the season, (generally I order in January) or whatever?
It just isn't working for me. I don't know where I'll go for next years order, but the bigger issue is that I waste valuable time when I have to plant two or three times as many seeds to get what I need for transplanting. Sorry, Baker Creek, I do like your catalog, and you've a lovely family, but I need seeds that I know will germinate.On May 26th, 2014, sesails changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I submitted a complaint on Baker Creek on May 10th and was contacted by their representative a few days later. They cared enough to do what was right and handled the incident in a professional manner. I'm back in the fold and will use them again. Thanks Baker Creek! Company representative comment on May 12, 2014: On May 12, 2014 10:45 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:
We're sorry to hear you have had trouble with our seed! We do not sell any seed until we have a successful germination test from each lot of seeds. Many things can happen to the seeds once they leave our warehouse that can affect germination, such as irradiation from x-raying the package, being left in a hot location for too long, etc... , this is not something we can control. This is why we guarantee the germination of our seed for one year from the date of purchase. If you will email us at email@example.com we would be happy to either replace the seed or issue you a refund, whichever you prefer.