After having looked around a bit trying to find a decent store I could rely on for herb seeds of all sorts, I discovered Horizon Herbs. I have to say I was initially impressed with the vast range of selection that this company had [and, not only initially impressed, I still am]. However, knowing that looks can be deceiving, I further investigated. I spent some time on Google trying to find user reviews of Horizon Herbs, and I scoured Usenet too. Because really, if I am to place an order somewhere, I better know if the site is legit or not.
The result? Well, all I could find was positive feedback - and a great deal of it too - this is important as it builds trust. That a company has returning customers over time is a must.
I ordered my selected seed batch and got it after something like a mere week, which to me is quite fast (I live in Norway by the way). The seeds are of good quality, and they are all at a very affordable price too, which is important.
I've come to the understanding that Horizon Herbs may be the best there is, atleast in what they do, which is to have a large number of medicinal herbs, and similar. Another thing that I like is that you are dealing with human beings that really cares about their work. That means something.
If yet another person stumbles upon this site, not knowing whether to use Horizon Herbs or not, then I hope this little feedback of mine was helpful. The ones I read were helpful for me, so...
And as for me, I need to get a bigger garden, because I have plenty of seeds to work with now (perhaps even too many!)
On Mar 21, 2007, TxHorsegal Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:
I've been ordering seeds from Richo forever. I think, ever since he got started in the seed biz. In all those years, I've never received anything but the finest service and products. The germination rates of the seeds are spectacular, and the seeds are about as fresh as they can be without going out to gather them yourself, and then re-planting them immediately.
There's millions of reasons a seed, or seeds, might not germinate, and I'm not saying Natural didn't do all they could to get their seeds to germinate. Some seeds won't even show above dirt level for a year, maybe longer, but still be growing actively underground forming their root system. Sometimes it might even be just a matter of a degree or two, either way, in temperature, or the addition or subtraction of a component in the seed starting medium, or maybe they need to be struck by lightening! :) Some seeds are that finicky, and those, I don't even mess with.
It would be intersting to know, Natural, what seeds you have that didn't germinate. Just curious! Whatever they were, I can guarantee you that Richo will help you out in any way possible to get your finicky seeds to germinate. It would be really interesting to hear if you're successful at germinating your seeds, and how you went about it. I can tell you for sure, that I've had plenty of varieties that were stubborn. Sometimes when you're just getting ready to throw the dirt out of their starting pots, you see an itsy bitsy speck of green, long after you'd given up on them. Hopefully that will be what happens in your case, but in any case, summon Richo for help! If he didn't answer the first time, go after him again!
On Mar 21, 2007, Kraeuterguru 27367 Germany wrote:
Horizon herbs is since many years one of my favourite seed sources for rare herbs. I want here to express that I have had - compared to some seeds of other companies - even also with the more difficult to germinate seeds, very good results.
Richo Cech was always fast to answer any question that came up. As the owner of one of the best known herb nurseries in germany I really know what is the meaning of "good seeds". Richo's seeds are really good.
I recently ordered Horizon's Tincture Press and was impressed with both the service and the product. Also needing cactus stems for tincturing, Richo Cech made every effort of providing me with what he had available. His efforts saved the day and it was most appreciated. Being an herbalist myself, I have come to rely on Mr. Cech books and extensive knowledge. I will definitely continue doing business with Horizon Herbs, and can only hope other companies would follow their fine example. John Kaleel LifeThread Herbal Formulas, LLC
I have never been disappointed with ordering from Horizon Herbs. The pride and care that Richo and the Cech family take with both their customers and their products are, from my experience, unsurpassed. The website is amazing, the catalog is a delight, their knowledge of the cultivation, use and properties of the plants is joyously shared to anyone who asks. All of this while being so very down to earth! I will continue to order from them, and unhesitatingly recommend doing business with Horizon. My seed orders have always arrived promptly. My plant orders have been meticulously wrapped and always of a very healthy nature. I am very pleased.
On Nov 12, 2006, tedroonio in Parker, CO (Zone 5b) wrote:
These people are great! My order had two problems and they were both handled wonderfully.
First, I ordered at the end of the season and they didn't have as many plants available as I had ordered. They sent me what they had, placed the order in a smaller shipping box, and lowered the shipping charges accordingly (lowered shipping charges never happen on eBay, let me tell ya...).
Second, they sent the plants to my billing address instead of my shipping address (where they sat for weeks and died). When I called Tracy, she couldn't find my shipping address in their system but promptly refunded my money anyway and didn't even insist on seeing the receipt confirming the addresses.
For superior customer service, I wholeheartedly recommend Horizon Herbs.
I too Have gotten nothing But The Best Service from Richo and His People...They are Prompt to return emails and it is often Richo himself that does...Their Catalog Is The MOST Thourogh I have Ever Seen..and Most Items are Priced Very well..The Press Looks to be of VERY High Quality, My Only Negative is, That they do not offer a cheaper Press..GREATLY Needed by us poorer people.lol..or Low enough that we all can Make Our Our Plant Medicines..as The Book with the same name instructs..I have 2 of his books and Both are wonderful tools..My whole family enjoys learning from..I help w/ the tech Things..Please tell of any lower priced plant press if you would..Thanks for everything you do Richo, and Your Efforts..Our Lifes'are better for them..Take Care, B.K. Medley
On Sep 24, 2006, Horizon Herbs, LLC responded with:
On Sep 25, 2006 10:26 AM, Horizon Herbs, LLC added:
Hi Medley and Family,
Thanks for your positive note. The least expensive tincture press (and the most valuable) is actually your own two hands. You dump the macerating tincture into a cheesecloth in a bowl, gather up the edges and squeeze and squeeze. The tincture press we make out of stainless steel presses out so much more of the tincture, though, that given the high price of alcohol, you make your money back in the end, by way of higher yields. We're hard pressed by inflation over here at Horizon Herbs--all the transport costs and raw material costs and labor costs keep going up. For all of us small scale manufacturers that keep the business here in the good ol US instead of parting off the work to Malaysia or China, well, our goods end up supporting American labororers but costing our customers more. I'm dedicated to keeping the work local, so as a result our tincture presses cost what they do. I can't make a cheaper one, because I am unable to compromise quality to save on cost...
On Sep 5, 2006, B1ZZYL1ZZY Javea Spain (Zone 10a) wrote:
Richo - thanks for your personal attention to my tiny order. This company is a breath of fresh air.
Seeds arrived in tip top condition and in five days all the way to Spain. I have had supurb germination from all so far. Quilquina seed came up in 3 days - Wow - super fresh seeds makes all the difference. Zaatar also within 5 days. Can't believe it!!!
On Sep 5, 2006, Horizon Herbs, LLC responded with:
On Sep 5, 2006 8:35 AM, Horizon Herbs, LLC added:
Thanks for your kind note. In ordering seed from far away there are many variables involved--there's the quality of the seed, the reliability of the mail service, the environmental factors of season, soil, sun, moon and rain... Some say that the good vibes of the planter are the most significant factor in getting seeds to sprout. Clearly this is what happened in your case!
Keeping it green,
I've never been more pleased with a plant/ seed order.The beautiful healthy plants were packaged securely and arrived in record time. While I try to buy and trade locally and have some guilt about the energy spent on long-distance shipping this is one exception I will continue to make. Wonderful company whose organic values, caring and expertise comes through in the quality plants I will treasure.
On Apr 22, 2006, Horizon Herbs, LLC responded with:
On Apr 23, 2006 10:46 AM, Horizon Herbs, LLC added:
Thanks for your comments. I know what you mean about shipping. I've been doing a lot of thinking about bioregionalism these days--its not a new concept, and in fact was at one time a working reality in the US and of course worldwide. But now our tomatoes, even the organic ones, if we don't watch out, are coming from Bolivia or something... Anyhow, my cogitations over all this have lead to one conclusion, which is that gardening is at the core of bioregionalism. And, if our mother plants that we ship all around the US go out and get integrated into local gardens and used to further the efficiencies and good energy of a newly emerging bioregional lifestyle, then I am not worried about the shipping. We'll all eventually learn to keep it closer to home, either by choice or by necessity. Richo"
Horizon Herbs is the best source of seeds there is, period. Most of the seeds (and all of the cooler-climate seeds) are FARMED, i.e. they are grown on Richo's farm and harvested each year to provide FRESH seed. This is very unusual, despite what many other companies claim. The bottom line is that seed germination rates are very, very high.
Someone always answers emails.
The catalog is amazing (and free).
When you order from HH (and JL Hudson too, it must be mentioned), you get your money's worth.
Horizon Herbs's work is great!
Mr. Cech personally finds always time to reply, kindly and fast, to every single e-mail.
HH also ships fast and the packages arrive soon.
The products are excellent (especially if you want to use them for herbal medicine), and the service is perfect both in professional and human terms.
Purchasing Mr. Cech's books and seeds you don't simply buy a product: you come to share the secrets and the powerful wonder of herbs with a true expert, who truly knows and loves them.
I've been buying from this company for years and have always been happy with them. When their catalogue arrives, it's a great day at my house- reading material for WEEKS! The Cech family not only runs a good business (ie, quick response, quick shipping, etc), but they also run an ethical business and a business providing an absolutely invaluable service to the world -- the conservation of medicinal plant species from all over the world. Really very great and good and Richo even answers silly questions over e-mail without much complaint.
LOVE THE CATALOG. If their plant and seed quality match up to the quality of their catalog, I will be a customer till I've filled every sq inch of my yard and home with herbs. I've never found an herb catalog that was this complete of a qrowing quide as well as having this kind of selection. Can't wait for my order.
On Dec 7, 2001, MikeD Liberal, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:
Like many small, family operated organizations, Horizon Herbs is more than a business. It is their life work. Although I do not know Mr. Cech personally, I know that I share many common values and recommend the company whenever people are seeking uncommon herbs.
They have been working at this since 1985 and offer about the most complete selection of herbs around. As an added bonus, the are organic certified.
The work that the Cech's do is valuable and worthy of our support.
If you are interested in medicinal herbs this is THE place to look. Their seeds germinate reliably and their plants are generous and healthy! Though their catalogue is newsprint with no pictures, it contains a wealth of information including detailed descriptions of each plant, its medicinal uses and its cultural requirements. I've ordered from them 3 years in a row and have had nothing but outstanding results. They are FAR better than Canada's Richter's Herbs, whose shipping season is so late as to make it very difficult to succeed with their plants here in California. The only down side to Horizon is that their plant selection is so small, mostly just seeds. A friendly, excellent company.
On Jan 1, 1999, Horizon Herbs, LLC responded with:
"I want to personally thank Fireman7 (Fireman7, THANK YOU)for this constructive comment, which got me to thinking (in 1999) about growing plants for general distribution. We improved our greenhouses and built a state-of-the-art shadehouse, which allowed us to start many more plants and make them available to our gardening friends. Now, at the date of this writing (2005) we offer about 300 different species of plants for sale, and we will be adding many more, common and rare, on an ongoing basis. I still really encourage people to use the seeds instead of buying the heavier and more expensive plants, but the reality is some folks do not have the facilities for starting seeds and prefer to get plants. Yours truly, Richo (HORIZON HERBS, LLC)"