I'm especially impressed with the quality of the seeds and the prices, which to me, is what is most important. I've ordered from Johnny's Selected Seeds in the past and found FedCo quality to be as good (possibly better) at a fraction of the price of Johnny's.
The few qualifiers are that one, the items may take some time to arrive given their shipping schedules and size of operation; two, you may need to coordinate orders through their bulb, tree, and seeds divisions; three, you'll need to look past the less than subtle political statements in their catalogue (if you're not liberal, in which case you'll probably enjoy it); and finally, the selection may not be as diverse as companies such as Johnny's, particularly their selection of organic seeds.
Qualifiers aside, I can't imagine I'll be shopping anywhere else in the future. Their catalogue is a helpful source of information throughout the growing season, and the online ordering process was a smooth one. And as mentioned, the prices and the quality are excellent.
Nice catalog with GREAT prices. And if you order $30 shipping is Free. And who can't order that much seed. My dad & I pooled orders and we had over $150 between us. And he was under orders to cut back this year....
Order shipped within a week. There was only one item on the whole order that was not available due to crop failure. So far the seed has germinated great.
My dad ordered from them for the first time last year and he thought it was some of the best seed around right now.
I decided to order from Fedco because they carry organic seed, and because of their GMO stance. I ordered from them in March, received the seeds (30 packs) about a week later. Prices were great, and shipping was low. My germination rates have been very high, with very vigorous growth. The zucchini seedlings have grown so fast that they've been shading the others! I will definitely order from Fedco again, very satisfied.
On Apr 18, 2008, oklaquilter Grundy Center, IA wrote:
I am so glad someone here referred me to FEDCO!!! I absolutely adore the catalog and detailed information regarding the varieties they carry. Especially like that they are not selling GMO seed. I ordered in early March (close to $145+ order) and was surprised how fast the packages arrived. So far, everything that I have started has come up. Am very pleased w/the germination rates. Will find out w/the direct seeded items very soon. This is my new favorite seed company. I printed the catalog (.pdf file off the computer), stuck it into a 3-ring binder for easy access. Now, if I can just keep my other gardening friends from taking it home all the time. Two thumbs up!!!
This company was recommended by the head of our community garden. There was no glossy catalog to look through, but on line ordering was easy and their prices were outstanding. They delivered quickly, charged one dollar for postage and my little seedlings are coming up with high germination rates.
I have ordered seeds & potatos from this company yearly for about three years now. I love how they note under each item where and how it was grown. This year I am ordering from FEDCO Trees as well. Their catalog is second to none with their elaborate drawings and indepth discriptions of the plants. Excellent company.
I'd intended to buy my organic seeds from a source I'd used before, but they were sold out of a couple varieties, so I recently tried Fedco for the first time.
I found they offer a tremendous selection of both standard and organic varieties. I also liked the prices--around half what I was used to paying. (Some of the packets are a little smaller sized, perfect for a gardener like me who usually ends up with tons of extra seed!)
Doing some research on the company, I was impressed with Fedco's dedication to their business & employees, as well as their stance against GMOs. I also liked that with a small minimum order, my shipping was free!
I received my order quickly, with only one variety sold out. The seed packets are no-frills, with very basic info only & no glossy photos--though they do have re-sealable flaps.
I started some seeds indoors, and after only 4 days, I had one red cabbage seedling come up. The next day, 3 more appeared (100%), and the following day, an amaranth plant had popped its head above the soil. I've never grown these particular varieties before, so I can't say for certain, but the germination seemed pretty fast compared to some other seeds I used. The cabbage seedlings have grown rapidly and are almost the same size as some cauliflower starts that I'd planted several weeks before.
Good seed, great prices, quick service, entertaining (to say the least) catalog - I have been ordering from Fedco for 6 or so years and they are my favorite. I especially appreciate that they have dropped all of their Seminis/Monsanto varieties. I dropped two of my other favorite seed companies because they did not do the same. I also appreciate that I can now order online after their March ordering deadline - way to go!
On Feb 26, 2007, CountryDaddy Wilmington, IL wrote:
I realize that one of the stipulations for placing a comment here is that you have dealt with the company. I was about to, but didn't, and this is why. Their shipping and handling costs are prohibitive! Their plant selection is OK, some pictures would be nice, but when I saw a $14.00 charge for shipping to Illinois and a $5.00 box fee I couldn't believe it. I think that's ridiculous. It's about three times the average shipping and handling charge of other companies.
On February 26th, 2007, CountryDaddy changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I must apologize to Fedco for my previous negative comments. After going back and rechecking, I found I had looked at the shipping charges for Fedco Trees and not Fedco Seeds. Their shipping/handling charges are actually not out of line. I'm sorry I spoiled their perfect positive rating. Too bad the negative mark can't be retracted. I'm going to try ordering from them and see what happens.On February 26th, 2007, CountryDaddy added the following:
I see the negative mark has been removed. Excellent!On February 26th, 2007, CountryDaddy added the following:
On Jan 3, 2007, PrairieMoon2 Burlington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:
Someone recommended FEDCO to me last year with a high recommendation. I ordered most of my vegetable seeds and some annuals from them last winter. I was very happy with my experience. The prices were very fair and they offered smaller amounts that fit with my small garden. The seeds had a good germination rate and the plants grew well. They also offered untreated seed which is important to me and they had varieties that I was looking for.
I especially loved that they are trying to be responsible in whose seed they offer and I was very happy to be informed of Mansanto taking over a seed company. They did the work for me, so I can buy with confidence and feel good that I am ordering along with growing in a way that is ecologically sound.
I've been buying from fedco since 1980. I belive my friend Sue and I were their first New Jersey customers. I adore their customer service folks also. Always a great variety of seeds, and plants.
If ya call fedco--tell Gene Frey *The Jersey girls say hello*
My garden is always a full bloom cause of fedco.
On Jun 27, 2006, dwarfconifer Boyds, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:
This was my first time ordering from FEDCO. A small order consisting of 4 tomato varieties, squash, cucumbers, carrots, and bush beans. The order was a bit slow to arrive (~2 weeks), but all packets indicated germination rates, all germinated well, and they are now growing strongly in my garden. I would definitely order from them again.
I spent a lot of time reading seed catalogues
this past winter,and Fedco was the only one that
informed me that Monsanto had taken over Seminis.
It may not make headlines in newspaper, but I consider
it a pretty major event for us veggie gardeners. And
by the way I love their catalogue, seeds, and everything.
All concerns were answered promptly. Fedco will always
be my main supplier for seeds!
I love the catalog, the selection of seeds, and the politics of Fedco, but their shipping policies and weak ordering systems have room for improvement.
I wanted to place a replacement seed order for my farm on a Wednesday morning this spring, and was told that they couldn't ship my order for a week since they only ship on Wednesdays, and it would probably take a few more days after that week to get to me. I asked if I could fax an order right then and there. No. I asked if they could take a phone order. No. Was there anything I could do to get the order in that day? No. Every other company I called was much more accommodating. It's one thing to be a quirky, personable business, but that shouldn't mean being quirky in meeting customer needs. I ended up ordering from another company that shipped my seeds that very day.
The online ordering is OK, the website has an odd design that is not typical of online ordering systems and makes the process cumbersome if you are placing large orders.
Still I order most things from them when I have time to plan ahead and spend days working out all the strange codes. Excellent prices and varieties, and a fun catalog to read in the quiet time of winter.
On Mar 27, 2006, kattrox Floyds Knobs, IN (Zone 6b) wrote:
I have been ordering from Fedco for a few years now. I find seeds and supplies here that I cannot locate elsewhere. Seed germination is excellent and prices are reasonable shipping is fast and very inexpensive. They offer a fantastic range of seeds to choose from. The catalog is a rare find, very interesting and I often find myself referring to it throughout the growing season. I recommend Fedco Seeds highly.
On Mar 26, 2006, Periwrinkled Baltimore, MD wrote:
I cannot speak highly enough about FEDCO -- much organic seed; an abundance of varieties and of detail about each plant. They operate with great integrity, intelligence, and a sense of humor. Excellent prices; they are about Doing the Right Thing far more than about making as much money as possible. Read the catalog, and you will want to do business with these folks.
Please know that one can now order seeds online -- far less attention to detail needed than a few years back.
On Mar 4, 2005, oxenmantim77 Susquehanna, PA wrote:
I ordered the bulk of my garden seed from Fedco this year and am very pleased. They have an excellent selection of varieties at extremely reasonable prices. The catalog is unique in that there are no images of the varieties themselves but many old and new "woodcut" prints interspersed with facts, quotes, and insights that are interesting or inspirational to gardeners. It is a very enjoyable catalog to work with.
One thing to keep in mind is that their ordering system is a little unusual and I ran into some small problems due to it. When filling out the order form you use the varietie's code number rather than the variety name to indicate what you are purchasing. It is very important to use good handwriting and to make certain you write in the correct number. Most seed order forms from other companies have you use a number AND write in the variety. This provides some redundancy to make sure you are intending to buy the right seed. Fedco's form doesn't allow for this. On my order I had two problems, for one item I wrote down the incorrect code number and so I recieved a different variety, on another item I wrote the number illegibly and my 5 was interpretted as a 6 and I didn't get the variety I wanted as a result. I do not blame Fedco for this although I wish their order form was a little easier to use for this reason. Just be aware of it and no problems will arise. They have a website but you cannot order from it at this time, you CAN get a printable order form however. Also, Fedco will only ship seeds until sometime in April so it is not a year-round seed company like many others, if you snooze you will miss out.
On Jan 25, 2005, rebecca101 Madison, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:
I ordered from FedCo for the first time this year (found them on this site). My order was a little slow in coming (about 5 weeks), and they don't have online ordering so you actually have to fill out the order form with a pencil and physically send it. Some items were backordered -- hopefully those are coming. However, the catalogue is truly a gem and they have an astounding selection of unusual and interesting vegetables. Their gardening integrity is admirable. I'm going to try to order more from them in the future.
I have recently placed multiple orders with Fedco Seeds, Fedco Trees, and Organic Growers Supply. I cannot say enough good things about the process. The seeds arrived promptly and germinated very well in the organic seed starter potting soil from OGS, the trees were well packed and are thriving, and my chickens love the organic chicken feed from OGS. I already have my list of things to order for next year.
On Apr 6, 2004, suwali_farm Glouster United States wrote:
We've had two years of experience ordering from Fedco. They are a great company. Lots of choices, fun catalog, personal service. They follow-up when something is out-of-stock. They are working on adding an online ordering feature to their website. Highly recommend them.
I placed my first seed order, via mail, and recieved it a weeks time. The seeds were well packaged, and only one was back ordered (I think that's pretty good, considering how many items I ordered.) The catalog is great, and has all of the planting instructions needed. It even had a nifty calandar to help with starting times. The packets have a few extra helpful hints, but the catalog is really where it's at for the details as far as culture is concerned. I can't wait to order from them again.
On Jul 20, 2003, johncandie North Kingstown, RI wrote:
I thought I ordered something from Fedco, but didn't get it. I wasn't sure and said so. I didn't. No problem, they said, we'll send it out today and won;t charge you shipping. That's Fedco's style. Love 'em.
I've gotten seeds from Fedco for 10 years now and have always been happy with their service. Fedco's oriented towards serving Northern customers, but even folks like me in Missouri are happy to order from them. (To get the heat-loving varieties I need I order from regional companies like Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, etc.)
I get most of my seeds from Fedco. They already have amazingly inexpensive seed, but then they've got nice discounts that kick in at larger amounts -- 10% off at $100, 15% off at $200, 20% off at $300, etc. Plus free shipping for over $25, yow...
Ordering by mail, I usually get my shipment here in Missouri in just over 2 weeks. Since I order a LOT from them, I usually end up having some stuff back ordered, but the stuff that's back ordered is (almost always) stuff that I won't need until later, and the Fedco folks are prompt about sending the back ordered stuff as it comes in.
What else... their catalog is great, with refreshingly candid descriptions of varieties -- e.g., they'll note that while such-and-such bush bean variety is early and has OK flavor but that it isn't as easy to pick as others... There's no pictures in the catalog, so sometimes I'll get out a Johnny's catalog or other catalog if I'm curious to see what a new variety actually looks like...
Fedco's now carrying more and more organic stuff, too. They just seem to get better all the time. I love these folks; I hate brand-name clothing, but I'd be happy to wear a Fedco t-shirt. (I wouldn't go out of my way to BUY one, but I'd happily wear one...)
I have switched nearly all my seed purchases to Fedco over the last few years. They have a WIDE selection of vegetable, green manure, flower seeds, and nursery trees. Many varieties are available both organic or non-organic. They are a buying co-op, so you can make further price reductions by pooling your orders. The catalog writers are too good - you'll want to buy one of each! They also write informational but not hysterical articles on food political issues such as genetic engineering with enough facts included to be truly useful.
I have ordered seeds,Moose Tubers (potatoes), organic fertilizers and soil amendments for the last 5 years. My seeds are sent by mail or UPS and I usually go to Waterville (Maine) to pick up my other items in late spring. Fedco has several days for this. The folks at Fedco like what they are doing and it shows by the results of their products. They are friendly and all are willing to answer any questions and help in any way they can. Their black and white catalog is not without great artwork throughout. The descriptions and personal experiences get the figurative pitchfork turning over the compost while the snow is still falling. Their quality is great and prices are very reasonable.
Just my favorite Seed Catalogue in every respect!! The seeds are reasonably priced. They have a large amount of organic seeds now, and everything I have bought from them had grown so well, nearly 100% germination. I just adore the copy and stories in the catalogue , it is so inspiring. Love their fine attitude about sustainable agriculture.I have purchased from them nearly all my seeds for 4 years now.Fabulous selection, where other companies have mostly hybrids, they had great open pollinated varieties to choose from. I am one very satisfied ,happy customer !
On Jan 23, 2003, autremike Ludlow, MA (Zone 5b) wrote:
While many seed catalogs inspire us, I think that Fedco is among the best. They are open about their business - I was surprised when their newsletter revealed the sales of the company - even which varieties were being purchased by customers. I work in the manufacturing world where this kind of information is carefully guarded. I suppose their openness is what it means to be a cooperative. It seems that they stop taking orders in early April, so they can plant their crops on their own farms. I especially like their 25th anniversary catalog which describes how they developed their seed business, in addition to very thorough variety descriptions and fair prices.
I just received my seeds tonight, after only a week, while keeping warm on one of the coldest nights of the year. It helps to give hope that the warmth of spring will overthrow this -4 degree windy weather.
We have had excellent results with Fedco's nursery stock. Any northern grower should consider them. The quality of their stock is much better than industry average, and they ship on time. We will be ordering seed from them this year for the first time.
I am a home gardener who has been purchasing Fedco seeds and potatoes since 1996. I have always had good experiences--the seeds are consistent, and the prices are excellent. Fedco is one of the only seed companies in the US that is organized as a cooperative (consumers own 60% of the company). The company is also an avid supporter of sustainable agriculture and is committed to preserving heirloom seed.