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This is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to promoting & perpetuating traditional seed lines. I've been ordering from Native Seeds/SEARCH for almost 20 years now. But not just seeds for my garden - NSS used to be the only place I knew where one could obtain blue & pink cornmeal, before such things became popularized in mainstream markets - Yes, in addition to seeds for growing, they also raise money by selling some foodstuffs including corn, diverse varieties of beans, various chiles (smoked whole pods, flakes & powders).
I ordered via their website. I ordered Texas Wild Cherry Tomatoes, Hopi Yellow Watermelon, and a type of blue corn. I got my seeds within a week. I was very happy with their service and fast delivery. I was highly impressed with their selection and will be ordering more for next year's garden.
decherdt Fort Worth, TX (Zone 8a) (6 reviews) May 30, 2013
About 2 weeks for slow poke delivery, but we are the pleased custodians of some South Texas Chile Pequin pepper plants and got some landrace tomatoes too.
January 11 I placed an order. To date I have received no seeds or Email stating why. Unable to get an Email through to them because of a problem with their server. Waiting to see.
dlbailey Central Valley, CA (Zone 9a) (5 reviews) February 18, 2010
This is a great organization. It is also a great seed company. I recieved my seeds 10 days - this includes two holiday weekends - after I placed my order. Each tomato packet has at least 50 seeds and each pepper at least 35. Last year all my seeds came up and the plants were very productive.
It is refreshing to find a source for seeds that understands the challenges of gardening in semi-arid regions with long, hot growing seasons like the Central Valley.
cerridwenn Farmington, NM (Zone 5a) (4 reviews) March 20, 2009
ordered a number of seeds from them last year. most germinated well, and they have a good variety although limited to things that are actually native cultivars for the southwest. so some of the things you might wish for are not there because they are either not native cultivars or are not southwestern.
seeds are expensive, but because of their requirements this is to be expected, and they are not as expensive as some other places. they also tend to germinate well although with southwestern items it is often hard to get the heat, sun and moisture accurate and the plants in general for those reasons can be difficult to grow. it is especially useful to know if something is adapted to low desert or high desert.
and, if you care at all about sustainable farming and xeric vegetables etc., then their whole approach to seeds and gardening will be very important to you and they are worth using for that reason alone.
I have had a lot of fun trying unique bean and Capsicum varieties from this organization. Everything is always just as claimed and germination is about 100% for me. The high elevation varieties have usually performed well in Northern MN, which is a couple of thousand miles north of their native area. NSO's native pole bean selection is amazing and interesting to grow and eat.
I have been very pleased with NSS. What people need to remember is that they are a not for profit group trying to preserve heirloom seed varieties from Native American tribes of the southwest. Some of these varieties are ancient and the ancestors of modern varieties such as corn.
I live in the midwest, zone 5. i learned of NSS when living in Ticson where they are based. Due to ongoing drought conditions in my region last year, and global warming, I thought it may be a good time to introduce desert hardy plants into my garden.
Although seeds are not inexpensive for obvious reasons I have been very please with them. Although in small quantities my germinations rates were simply amazing. This occured with seeds a season and two seasons past their prime. (due to personal hardships) my garden is looking very lush and happy right now.
I planted a three sisters garden which I encourage all people to research, it's a great way to naturally enhance yield, nitrogen in the soil and reduce weeds.
I was most impressed with the Cuidad victora tomatoe variety. it lives up to it's description of being "weedy". I have tomato jungles that grow amazingly well, considering my black thumb. They also tolerate abuse and came back to life after I once forgot to water them to the point of droopiness.
I have zero complaints.
paracelsus Elmira, NY (Zone 6a) (18 reviews) November 26, 2007
When I first came across this company, they were selling less than 10 different seeds. Now they have a wonderful selection of all kinds of stuff, especially beans and squash, that you can't get anywhere else. I also appreciate their large selection of Nicotiana rustica varieties that I have seen nowhere else and the various gourd types that are used ritually.
tombaak High Desert, NV (Zone 5a) (15 reviews) April 15, 2007
With the dwindling of crop diversity an ever increasing problem this is a welcome and important seed source!
My order (which is filled with stuff i can hardly wait to try) came quickly and was well packed.
I would encourage everyone to step out of their growing comfort zone and plant just one crop from here!
throneofyord College Station, TX (Zone 8b) (7 reviews) January 14, 2006
Wow, these guys are fast. The selections and descriptions on their site are great.
I got several interesting SW specialities from Native Seeds Search. They have seeds for the SW mountains as well as low altitude deserts, such a very short season pumpkins and corn. I was happy at what I got from them, and find their staff to be knowedgeable and helpful. This is a non-profit, and it's worth supporting their important efforts to preserve indigenous specialties. They aren't the cheapest supplier, but on the other hand you can save the seeds for future years, and they sell things not available from any other source. If you're Native American, you can get some seeds for free.
mikepiper Circleville, OH (Zone 8b) (20 reviews) November 29, 2001
I ordered from them years ago when I lived in New Mexico.
I have ordered seeds from these folks for several years. All were as advertised and grew well in spite of the fact that I lived in a mid-Atlantic area of zone 6, very different from the SW climate to which they are acclimated. I have also purchased several baskets and was very pleased with the craftsmanship. I was so impressed with the work they are doing that I sent in my membership fee the second year. NS/S is providing a valuable service to the human race by maintaining this growing assortment of heirloom and rare seeds…Well worth everyone's support. I would also recommend anyone with diabetes to check them out, as they sell books, foods, and seeds of interest to diabetics.
I would recommend this company to anyone living in a valley or mountaintop desert. I live in Tucson so I'm unsure about their response time and how they deal with mistakes when ordering via mail. I enjoy their gardens, and the staff seems friendly and helpful not to mention knowledgeable about native and traditional crop seeds. All my native seed search seeds sprouted in record time (and these were seeds from the 97 crop). I would highly recommend buying their seeds to anyone in a climate that can grow them. I just can't say enough about them, their heart's in the right place. So if you're interested in native southwest seeds, please support them.
They're great people to work with. (I've had great luck with their seeds. I live about 80 miles southeast of Tucson at about 4500 feet. They categorize their seeds according to whether they're useful in the low or high desert.