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On Jul 20, 2009, RickardE Goshen, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have ordered from Sand Hill Preservation Center for a few years now and am very pleased. Glenn and Linda Drowns are a national treasure. I have purchased seeds and sweet potatoes from them. Their tomato selection is larger than any other place I've seen. I ordered several packets of seeds this year and have had excellent germination rates.
A couple of years ago, I bought a sweet potato assortment and had excellent results considering I've never planted sweet potatoes before. Growing instructions were included and made a huge difference. This year I was looking forward to the Northern Special for sweet potatoes but they sold out due to increased demand. Lesson learned? Order earlier next year! I received a refund and a letter that clearly explained the obstacles they faced this year with cool weather and increased demand.
Along with Baker Creek Heirlooms, SHPC is one of my favorite seed companies. I hope they keep doing what they're doing for a long time!
I decided to try sweet potatoes for the first time this year and was very impressed with the number of varieties offered by Sand Hill Preservation. The order was shipped in the time frame promised and the slips arrived in excellent condition. The instructions included were very helpful. I'll definitely be ordering other items in their catalog next year.
I thought I'd give you guys a try this year so I sent in a teeny-tiny order for Amish Paste tomato seeds. They arrived promptly and I got 100% germination. Now they are some of the biggest tomato plants in the garden. Good job and thanks alot.
Unlike Most of the people here, I have had a horrible experience with Sand Hill Preservation. First I ordered seeds and a lot of them failed to germinate, They advertise they send more seeds than the 15 they quote, but the pack of okra they sent me had 14 seeds and not a single one germinated, they sent a free pack of flowers and again not a single one germinated.
I ordered Sweet Potatoes in early march and got a confirmation number. Since we have been going through a horrific heat wave I E-Mailed them on June 22 asking when my sweet potatoes would arrive and letting them know if they were not at my residence by the 25th of June it would do me no good to plant them in this High Heat and to cancel the order and refund my money. I received one of the most unprofessional e-mails I have ever received in my life.
I can say this I will never order anything from this company again.I believe they should take a course in customer relations. I guess they think it is ethical to keep my money for three months and not send my order.
On July 10th, 2009, cityfarmer066 added the following:
The people at Sandhill Preservation are whiners, and groaners,. They whine all through their catalog, they set up their rules and regulations for the people who might consider ordering something from them, then they do not abide by the rules and regulations they set up. It's like the old adage "don't do as I do, do as I say" They blame every one and every thing for why they can't keep their word. They do not have the professionalism to deal with the people who are unfortunate enough to order anything from them. They moan and whine about the weather constantly. From my dealings with them they are very negative people. If you order anything from Sandhill Preservation be prepared to be disappointed.On Jun 27, 2009, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
"On Jun 27, 2009 10:03 PM, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
Upon reading this posting, we were immediately very concerned and started searching our records for someone in Addison, IL. We place all orders once they are filled into files by state and in zip code order. This allows us quick access when a customer calls about an order for any reason. Sometimes they call because they want to know what variety they ordered in a previous year because it did well for them and they didn't keep track of what it was. Because we have such a diversity of material, this allows us to give our customers a little extra help if they forget (for example) which one of the over 600 varieties of tomatoes it was that they ordered. We searched the Illinois state file and found no customer in Addison, IL. The comment also indicated a sweet potato order, which we also checked our sweet potato order list and found no order at all from Addison, IL. We then checked our mailing list to see if we had sent a catalog out and found no listing in Addison, IL. We have no idea who this person is as we have sent no seeds, sweet potatoes, or catalogs to anyone in Addison, IL. In addition, we received no e-mail from anyone in Addision, IL concerning a sweet potato order. That concern being addressed, we must assume that this person lives somewhere else so we will address the concerns that they had.
The first was a shortage of seed in one packet of okra. Our business has grown some to where it is not just the two of us filling packets anymore. We have several very responsible people that help us during the busy season. Since our policy is to only fill five packets of a variety at a time (we do this to keep the seed in proper storage for as long as possible), it is entirely possible that one of our packet fillers accidentally grabbed the wrong measuring spoon when filling that packet. Had the customer contacted us, we would have certainly sent them a new packet of seed plus something complimentary for their trouble. We were not contacted about this situation so, therefore, could not remedy it.
The next concern this person expressed was that a lot of the varieties of seed that they got from us failed to germinate. Seed germination is extremely important to us because we maintain so many varieties that are not available elsewhere. If the germination fails on those, then, in many cases they would be lost to the world. Again, we were not contacted that there were any germination problems, so, therefore, could not help this person.
The sweet potatoes this year have been a challenge. The interest in ordering slips has been three times greater than the previous year. We set orders up with a number as they come in with the explanation (in the catalog itself, in the online catalog, and on the order form) that the slips are not shipped until between May 25 and June 25. Our sweet potato slips are all started here on our farm in Iowa from sweet potatoes grown on our farm here in Iowa. We are totally dependant upon Iowa weather to get these slips sent out to the customers as quickly as possible. We cannot set up our starting beds before the end of April or first of May because it is too cold. Many of the varieties that we maintain require several days of consistently 80+ deg. F weather before they will break dormancy and sprout. The first 16 days of June this year we never reached 80 deg. F. No one could have been more frustrated than we were with day after day of cloudy, cool weather. We are thrilled that we got as many to sprout as we did in that cool weather and are very disappointed that we never got the heat in time to get all of the orders filled within our established dates.
We are in the process now of sending refunds to all those people who didn't get anything with our humblest apologies. We have no intentions of keeping anyone's money when we were not able to supply a product to them. Unfortunately, it does take quite a bit of time to process and mail out all of these refunds. We posted weekly updates on the website (as we indicated in our printed catalog that we would do) to keep our customers informed about the status of the sweet potato orders. It is simply impossible for us to contact each and every customer who places a sweet potato order to let them know the status of their individual order. We did indicate on the "News and Updates" page of our website that confirmations were not sent out after April 1 because of the uncertainty as to whether we would be able to produce enough slips to fill all of the orders. We also indicated that the customers could telephone our office to inquire as to whether we had received their order and to get their confirmation number by telephone.
One or two days of very warm weather speeds up the process just as one or two very cool days slows down the ability to ship out slips. It is impossible for us to give an exact day that an order will ship out just as it is impossible to predict what the exact temperature will be a month from now.
We are very sorry that this customer has so many complaints about their order, but we have not had anyone from Addison, IL contact us either to place an order or about problems with their order.
We would encourage each and every one of our customers to please contact us if they have problems with any seed germination or number of seeds in a packet. We are very concerned about having satisfied customers and will do everything we can to work with each person.
Sincerely, Glenn & Linda Drowns
Sand Hill Preservation Center"
Wow, what a gem Sandhill is. They offer many varieties not offered elsewhere at fantastic prices. They have so many seeds in each packet that we had enough for two years. The germination rate was great, even for the year old seeds. We also ordered some Orpington chicks from them 3 years ago to start our own flock. We still have the best of the original flock as well as their offspring. Thank you Sandhill!
On Mar 24, 2009, glendamcfadden El Dorado Springs, MO wrote:
I ordered 50 chicks from Sandhill, I got them today (a day earlier than expected!) and they are doing great!!! They sent me 55, 2 passed away during shipping (looked like they just got trampled by they others) They are so healthy and precious, We love them all!! Buy your poultry from Sandhill!!! Loved talking to them, they were very helpful and kind!
On Feb 7, 2009, heirloompumpkin San Francisco, CA wrote:
My favorite place to buy my seeds. By spending $10.00 there is no shipping cost and always a different packet of free seeds (never the same). They give a generous amount of seeds per packet. Excellent customer service too!
On Apr 1, 2008, johnsonjrbm Olympia, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:
Sand Hill Preservation is one of my favorite seed companies. Their primary goal is genetic preservation, not profits, so they carry a lot of open-pollinated varieties, not just the current popular ones.
I've ordered from them several times, and will again. Their seed counts are very generous, and germination has always been excellent. They are also one of the few seed companies that sell packages of seed for chicken forage.
If you decide to order from them, please do read the information on their website first. Their seed sales are a seasonal business, and since their family farm carries both a large number of open-pollinated plants and a large number of rare heritage-breed poultry, it's best to order seeds a few weeks ahead of your planting time.
I have not yet ordered poultry from them, but will not hesitate to do so when the opportunity arises.
On Mar 31, 2008, rhomestead Plattsburgh, NY wrote:
I have been very pleased with Sandhill Preservation Center. My one experience is with poultry. In ordering poultry, one needs to read all their ordering info and understand that they operate quite a bit differently than large commercial hatcheries do. You ask for specific dates. They will call you the evening of the shipment, and only then, whether it is your first, second, or third requested date. It bothers some folks who expect to be told that their chicks are NOT arriving on a certain date. They clearly explain that they call when the ships ARE shipped, and only then.
Heritage breeds of ducks do not lay fertile eggs year round. I wanted ducks last year, in July. Since my first choice only had a few eggs, they filled in my order with my second choice, AND will send a full order of my first choice this spring, with me only paying for the additional shipping.
If you can be flexible and hang loose, you will be very, very happy with the service and quality. And if you ask for breed advice during the winter, they are very good about sharing their expertise.
This company is my hands-down favorite source for heritage breeds of poultry and waterfowl. They also have a stunning variety of heirloom seeds and sweet potatoes. Some of their offerings, which I've found only in their catalog, are very rare and in great need of preservation. Their products are reasonably priced and are of excellent quality. They are a small, seasonal company located in the Midwest. I would highly recommend them!
On Jan 27, 2008, cannaqueen Mantua, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:
This company lays out specific guidelines on their expectations for
consumers in their catalog.This family operation is trying to preserve
pure, genetic propagation of plants and birds. This farm is located
in a unique sandy area in Iowa. Must be a wonderful area to experiment and grow many types of plants and birds!. I decided to order some seeds from this company because their prices were
reasonable. Order arrived quickly , with more seeds than I expected!
I also, live in a unique area where people try to grow heirloom seeds
native to the area. My soil is black, carlisle muckland in a conservancy district. The seeds I ordered from them will do great
here! Awesome selection of vegetable seeds.
Two years ago ordered sweet potato slips. They turned out good. Last year ordered tomato and watermelon seeds. All did very well. They have huge selection of tomato, watermelon, and sweet potatoes. Their sweet potatoes are now certified organic. Catalog also has rare poultry that is hard to impossible to find elsewhere. Great people doing huge favor keeping genetic diversity alive.
They have a very good selection of seeds at very fair prices. Service was like I expected after reading their site and catalog. Very generous amounts of seed. Included 3 free packs of tomato seeds. I also ordered Celery, Brussel sprouts and Broccoli. I will be starting some of these seeds in the next few days. Will update thins review after seeding and growing out. Definately in my top five.
On January 12th, 2009, elkwc36 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Every time I ordered I checked their internet site to make sure the desired seeds was available. I have never received a completer order. Always short two or more items. Did receive a slip for use on a future order once and a substitute another time. I'm one who researches what I want and don't order unless it is something I desire. This causes me to have to place another order elsewhere and pay another shipping charge. Will only order in the future if they handle something I can't get elsewhere. On Feb 12, 2007, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
On Jan 18, 2009 9:26 PM, Sand Hill Preservation Center added:
We state in our catalog that we grow approximately 90% of the seed varieties that we offer. This makes our operation a bit different in that when we run out of seed, we are out until the next growing season. We cannot call a supplier and get more seed for most of that 90% of the varieties that we offer. The Sixth Edition of the Garden Seed Inventory indicated that we had 345 varieties that are unique to our company. We are never sure how popular those unique varieties will be and are occasionally overwhelmed with requests for them. We have a place on our order form for the customer to indicate whether they will or will not accept a substitution. We will only substitute a very similar variety and then only if the customer has indicated that it is all right to substitute. Our typical policy when we run out of a variety is to substitute (if given permission) and, in some cases, we also issue a credit with the substitute. In most cases two varieties are substituted for the one which was ordered. We issue a credit slip (which may be returned for cash or used on a future order) to those who request No Substitution. We do not send small amounts of cash through the mail and stopped sending refund checks for small amounts unless the customer sends back the credit and requests a check. We do not have a postage charge unless the total seed order is under $10.00. We are not always able to keep up with updating the internet website for availability of seed varieties. We attempt to update it about once a month. The nature of our operation means we must spend time producing the seed, filling seed orders, etc. That does not always leave time to update the internet daily. We try to do the best that we can to keep up with notifying the public through our website about availabilities on seed varieties. We do want to make sure to remind everyone to not only check the individual varieties, but to be sure to check in on the "News and Updates" page for any message concerning availabilities or delays in shipping."
On Dec 29, 2006, Cleo1717 Knoxville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:
Wonderful company! They have an incredible selection of heirloom tomatoes and an amazing selection of sweet potatoes. Their prices are fantastic and the quality is superb. The sweet potato slips I received were the nicest I've ever seen.
Sand Hill Preservation is one of the very best companies to order tomato seeds from. I hold them in very high regard. Last time I did a rough count, they had over 500 varieties to choose from. Also, they are carrying several varieties that you won't easily find elsewhere commercially.
Can't beat the prices. No shipping/handling charge for orders over $5. Tomato packets are $1.75 each, any 10 for $16.00, any 20 for $30.00. In my experience, they are exceedingly generous with the quantity of seeds provided. I don't think I've ever received a pack from them that had less than 50 seeds in it, usually it is more.
Please be patient when dealing with these folks and *read the instructions* for how and when to order, so that you aren't disappointed. They don't take credit cards or orders over the internet, and they don't take orders (for seed) August 15 to December 25. This is a hobby business; Glenn and Linda state that quite clearly on their webpage.
On Oct 4, 2006, Zeppy Shenandoah Valley, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I ordered only veggie seeds, and mostly tomato, at that. They sent easily double the number of seeds I've received from other companies. Germination was fantastic, and the varieties were true to type. Very pleased. I'll be putting in an order for chickens soon to arrive next spring/summer.
I expected it would take a long time to receive my order, since everything is done through the mail (not online, in otherwords), and it's a small operation. However, I received my order in a timely fashion, all things considered, and they were generous with the seed quantity. One of the seeds I ordered was out of stock, so they issued me a note with a $2 credit towards my next order, with the option to request a refund now. I'll definitely spend it on my next order.
On Mar 18, 2006, LooneyLinda Mantua, UT (Zone 4b) wrote:
This is a great company. I had heard that they always give you more than you ordered, but I was unprepared for just how much!! The package of Benary's Giant Zinnias said I would get 15 seeds so I ordered 2 packages. Just for fun I counted them--186!!!!!! I gave the second package to a friend who loves zinnias, too.
I planted my tomatoes yesterday and there were many more seeds than advertised.
I have heard that they are redesigning their website shortly. Hope they will add an online ordering system.
On Mar 18, 2006, lafko06 Brimfield, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:
My order came today. I was thrilled with how many seeds were in each package (around 100 or more) because the packets shows there are 15 seeds per packet. I also said on my order to please use any kind of replacements if my choices were not available. 2 of the 10 packets were not available and they gave me THREE replacements AND a credit!! Can you imagine for such small order of 10 seed packs? I was impressed. Not only that, they put in a packet of free seeds which I was not expecting. Also, the credit had a small handwritten personal note of apology from the owner which I thought was outstanding customer service. I love this place and plan to place many, many, many, more orders here.
On March 21st, 2006, lafko06 added the following:
I just planted my tom seeds and I will update with germination info. With the free green eggplant seeds I received in my order, I stopped counting the number of seeds after 200!!! I had enough of them that I filled one 72 jiffy cell tray and I still have leftovers seeds. I may never order heirloom veggie seeds anywhere else. This place is too great to believe!On January 5th, 2007, lafko06 added the following:
All my seeds germinated and it was nice trying something I would never have tried, even if the seeds were older ones, it was a nice gesture and cool idea to have people try new things. In fact, we liked the eggplant so much, we included it in our 2007 order. I love it here. On Mar 18, 2006, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
On Mar 22, 2006 12:26 AM, Sand Hill Preservation Center added:
This is a response from Sand Hill Preservation Center management to lafko06. Thanks for the nice comments. We just want you and others to know that the seed that we include as free seed with each order is seed left over from the previous growing season that we like to share with our customers to give them a chance to grow something that they might not otherwise try. It's important to remember that this seed may not germinate at the same rate as the fresh seed - - - therefore, the reason for the higher number of seeds in the packet. Please be aware that you may need to sow this "free seed" a bit thicker than any fresh seed that you ordered and paid for. Since the primary goals of our operation are genetic preservation and education, we feel it is better to send surplus leftover seed with compliments to our customers than to simply throw it away."
I have ordered for the third year now and am always more than satisfied. They supply generous amounts of seed that germinates very well. My day old chicks were healthy and grew into affectionate adults including the roosters. My husband and I are still (as of this posting Feb. 24, 2006) eating candy-like sweet potatoes we grew from the starts we ordered last spring. Be patient and flexible- these are very busy people.
On Jan 1, 2006, matermania Saint George, UT wrote:
Highly recommended! I have tried a few "backyard" type seed suppliers and have vowed never to buy from them again with the exception of Sandhill. What great people. They stand behind their product, have a wonderful selection and the seeds are quality. Great germination rate.
I heard about 'Sandhill' early last spring. Their selection of seeds and chickens is incredible. I ordered seeds and sweet potatos in March. The seeds arrived in less than two weeks and what I was able to plant germinated 100%. The 50 assorted sweet potatos arrived two weeks earlier than expected, and after a dryer than normal summer more than 80 are still thriving. I look forward to doing buisness with them again.
On Aug 22, 2005, oldseed Dexter, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:
Received my order from Sand Hill very quickly. Well packaged and with some extra seeds as well. I will be very pleased to order from them again.
On May 25th, 2006, oldseed added the following:
Adding: This year I ordered many seeds as well as chicks from Glenn at Sand Hill Preservation, and like their business style very much. All the chicks came through in wonderful condition, and germination rates on the seeds are tops.
On Apr 15, 2005, PurplePansies Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:
Well I can't tell you much about service because when I ordered I wasn't paying much attention to how fast things got here etc. .... I ordered in advance.... but the prices are good.... better than some and the selection excellent.... plus they try to preserve hard to find and almost endangered seeds.... seeds I will say had EXCELLENT GERMINATION.... now lets wait and see if the seeds (tomatos) live up to their description once they "crop" :)
On Oct 2, 2004, Farmerdill Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
I ordered a sweet potato cultivar that I had been searching for over sixty years. The plants arived arrived in excellent shape and extra plants were included. I read thier disclaimers first and did not expect them to fall all over themselves delivering customer service. I did find them to be efficient and deliver on what they promise. This is a place to find those rare items that you you cannot get anywhere else. They do not claim to a full service company. There are several rare old timers that I will order in January.
Unfortunatlely, unlike most of the other folks who have posted to this site my experience has not been a positive one. I placed an order in May for poultry and received a confirmation letter dated July first. I understand that they are busy and I did not expect any contact with them until either the delivery date that I was given of July 20 or failing that, the backup date of August 17. Well, it is now the 25th of August and despite effort on my part to contact them I have not heard anything. Frankly I am at a loss as to what to do. My sons where anxiously waiting for their new ducks, but they have started back to school and there isn't anyone I can have sit around our house for the first three days each week on the outside chance our order may be delivered. All that aside, I would have been content if they had just let me know that they were even aware that they had missed the backup delivery date.
Unbelievable selection of heirloom tomatoes. Read the catalog- they are not your average company- important to know. I always order my seeds early in January and have never had a problem. 3 year customer now.
May 23, 2003
First I called to leave my name and address and request a catalog. I didn't get a response from them but I did receive a catalog promptly!
I received exactly the service I expected once I had read their catalog CAREFULLY. They are busy people and are quick to explain that they have zero time for frivolous conversation. So I didn't call or email, I placed my order and I waited. I received confirmation that my order was coming more than a month in advance of the actual date of arrival (plenty of notice). I was also given a backup date, in case the chickens refuse to lay on a date that THEY didn't choose. I am currently, happily, awaiting the arrival of my chicks.
I have no quarrel with the way they do business and would urge anyone who does to do what their catalog says and order from some other company!
Before you disregard me as an unpatient malcontent please read my letter.
Apparently the Sandhill Preservation Center I am dealing with is a different one than everyone else is dealing with because my experience with them has been ponderous to say the least.
First I requested a catalog from them in November and didn't recieved it until early February. When it arrived I promptly (within one week) sent in my order with payment in full. I heard absolutely nothing from them for the next month and then only after two phone messages and numerous e-mails from me.
Let me again say I am usually a patient person, however common courtesy at least dictates a response sooner than a month.
When they did respond it was to tell me half of the birds I ordered were out of stock or unavailable ( a fact they were aware of before sending out catalogs) and they could put me on a waiting list for next year. They also said the soonest they would fill my order for the birds they did have was not until May 13.
Well it is now May 16th and I have not recieved so much as an e-mail regarding wether or not I will get my birds now or for some reason I will have to wait another 6 months.
I understand that they are a small operation and this is something they do in addition to a full time job, (it is continually blasted all over the catalog and web site) HOWEVER, hobby business or not, it is a business none the less, there is a limit to ones patience and courtesy.
I also understand things come up and delays happen but this lack of communication with customers is unexcuseable.
On June 2nd, 2003, Shepherdmw changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
The day following my original posting I did recieve a very polite e-mail explaining the delay and giving a new shipping date. Had this came a little earlier my post would not have sounded so outraged. Since that time I have recieved my order and although they were shipped on time the US postal service saw fit to keep my chicks in transit for 5 days (Through no fault of the Drowns) and as most of you know, day old chicks can usually only survive for three days in transit. HOWEVER, as testament to the quality of the birds produced by Mr. and Mrs. Drowns over half of the chicks are fine and healthy. (for those of you who dont know this really is an amazing percentage)
Also upon contacting Mr. Drowns about my delayed order and loss he promptly offered to cover the replacement cost and explained a few things in a very polite an personal message.
So on that note I would like to apologize for any hard feelings or harsh words that have been conveyed and state that although my experience has not been the best Mr. Drowns has made it right with me. Thank you
Here's another positive rating for Sandhill. Quality seeds fast delivery and super nice people. And an excellent cause on top of that. This guy works full time and still manages to run this business like a true pro.
I have ordered from SHPC for several years, and hope to continue doing so for many years to come. They have a dizzying array of poultry and seed offerings, and what must be the most complete list of sweet potatoes on the planet. My biggest problem with ordering from them is that I have to narrow my list so!
Glenn and Linda have a real love for what they do- you talk to them for just a moment and you can feel it. If you like dealing with friendly, honest people that care about you and your order; and if you want to make a difference, either for a family owned company or for a rare variety, order from these good people- you will not be disappointed. Whitman Kramer, Forest Home and Garden
Glenn and his family, are the finest in infomation,
They are quick to help and love there presevation business.
I have to say that the person who has helped saved many vast squash varieties from vanishing should be thanked-
thank you glenn and family.
christopher maslon, columbus ohio
We've been dealing with Glenn since 1984, before he had a seed company. He and Linda have always done far more, and with better quality, than one could ask. Their business is a means to preservation, not an end in itself. They never drop a variety. We've also dealt with them in the area of poultry. Again, preservation is their goal. Quality is assured. This is a true family business. Their two boys help out as well. You can't go wrong with seeds or livestock from Sand Hill Preservation Center.