Comments regarding Sand Hill Preservation CenterClick here to return to Sand Hill Preservation Center's listing.
|On Jul 27, 2011, Janna Mahwah, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:
I placed an order with this company in February and was so excited about my new sweet potato collection! The company offers many varieties and I was really looking forward to it. In mid-May the order never showed up, so I called and was re-assured that the order will ship soon after a small delay. The woman was not very friendly on the phone, she blamed the delays on the bad weather. I agreed to wait and did not order my potatoes elsewhere (what a mistake!). Then I called again few weeks later, and this time a long recording was re-assuring people that their orders will ship no later than "next week." After July 4th I got the sinking feeling that I am not getting anything from this company. In a week or so I received a letter saying that my order will not be fulfilled and my check was returned.
On Jul 27, 2011, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
"On Jul 28, 2011 9:22 PM, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
We are sorry for your disappointment, but as we clearly state in our catalog and on our website, our slips are started here in Iowa, in the field. Therefore, we are totally dependant upon the weather as to whether we will get a crop. As an avid weather observer for over 40 years, I felt that the cold spell would not linger as long as it did and delay the slips' growth. All indications from previous years, with the heat building in the Southwestern United States that it would eventually spread northward and we would finally have normal growing conditions. We had enough roots bedded had we had normal weather to produce enough slips. When we did not get normal weather by the middle of June, it became a crisis situation for us. We attempted to keep people updated with messages on the "News and Updates" section of our website and via messages on our voice mail. We did all that we humanly could to try to reach every person, but we realized that we would not be able to please everyone. What this person recognizes is the fact that we do have a huge collection, of which it is our goal and mission to spread as many varieties around the United States to as many people who have never had the opportunity to grow sweet potatoes but can with some of the unique varieties that we have. There is a reason why the large scale producers only offer a few varieties, because those are the ones that are predictable sprouters and produce large numbers of slips so that they can guarantee a crop. We try not to focus on those varieties, but instead, focus on ones with unique characteristics and genetic diversity. The unfortunate situation is many of these are not predictable sprouters and in some cases produce very few sprouts. We never ever advertise or try to convince people to rely totally on us for their sweet potato crop. We, instead, prefer to stick to our mission as being a source of genetic diversity for those who are adventurous enough and patient enough to deal with the uniqueness of some of the ones in our collection. We wish this person well on the search for sweet potatoes for 2012."
|On Jul 18, 2011, lynnward Madill, OK wrote:
I placed an order for sweet potatoes very early this year along with a seed order. There should have been plenty of time for the company to get the sweet potatoes sent in a timely manner, at least in time for planting in my area. I recieved a letter stating that the rest of my shipment would be sent ( the sweet potaotes). I waited and waited, the optimal time for planting passed, I emailed and got no response, I called their number and the message there stated that "if you had not gotten a confirmation letter you probley would not get your order', I asked at that time ( left a message, as they do not actually answer their phone or email you back) for my order to be cancelled and requested a refund. I did not recieve my refund as requested and will chalk up my experience with Sandhill preservation center as a waste of money, time and aggrivation. A lot of us work regular jobs and do lots of activities on the side. I imagine that a lot of us would be able to find time to respond to others that had sent us their hard earned money for products we were selling.
On Jul 18, 2011, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
"On Jul 28, 2011 9:07 PM, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
We are very sorry for this customer's disappointment over the sweet potato situation. It is extremely difficult for many individuals to understand that our sweet potato slips are grown here in Iowa in the field (not in a greenhouse) and are not drop shipped from the southern states. This is the reason that we are able to offer well over 100 varieties --- because we grow them ourselves. We grow the roots one year and make our starting beds to produce the slips the following April. This year was an exceptionally cold Spring and we were not able to get the slip beds started until the first week-end in May. We did not have very many warm, sweet potato favorable days in the month of May and the cold stretch extended into June. To help explain the process of how sweet potato slips are produced, you place the roots on the ground in 2" x 4" frames and then cover with peat moss. We then soak that down with water and cover with plastic for a couple of weeks until the slips start to show. In normal weather, you can harvest the slips every two to three days and a new crop keeps coming on. Normal sweet potato slip weather is highs in the 80's and lows in the 60's. The perfect temperature seems to be about 90 in the daytime and 70 at night as well as very humid. Sweet potatoes produce very little growth with temperatures below 70 during the day. We had one full week in June when it rarely reached 70 during the daytime and was close to 50 at night and they simply did not produce slips. We indicate in four places what our normal shipping season is - - - in our catalog, on our website, on the order blank, and on the confirmation that is sent when we receive the order. Our normal shipping season is May 25 to June 25. We in no way attempt to deceive the customer that we are able to provide them earlier than that. We, ourselves, here plant ours when our normal shipping season of June 25 is over and before we start shipping the "Season Closeout" specials. This person's order number was in the 400's and was for some varieties that were slower to sprout this year. These varieties were also extremely popular and there were many orders ahead of hers. Her slips were shipped on June 22 and the only communication that we can find from her was a telephone call on June 23 cancelling the order. I attempted to contact her and was told by the person who answered the phone that she did, in fact, receive the slips but not when she wanted them. I am not sure what we can do further when we clearly indicate what our limitations as far as shipping times are."
|On Jul 6, 2011, DarkBrownEggs Macclenny, FL wrote:
*************** The Nightmare from Hell!
On Jul 6, 2011, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
"On Jul 28, 2011 8:50 PM, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
We have waited to respond to this posting until we received verification that Mr Higginbotham not only received our check for a total refund, but had actually cashed the check. Now that that has occurred, we are going to present our side of the story with facts and minimal emotion. On December 13, 2010, we received an order from a long time customer of ours for 15 ducklings to be shipped to the above individual. No money was enclosed with this order and, not knowing if it was a surprise gift, we sent the confirmation on January 3, 2011, to the individual that placed the order indicating that we would need payment by January 20 if the order was o.k. as confirmed. On that confirmation, we indicated the first possible ship date of May 17. In the rush of the Spring season, we did not realize that we had not received payment for this order until March 13 when Mr. Higginbotham called wanting to know where his ducks were. We indicated to him at that time that we had not received payment for his order yet. We did receive payment for this order on March 21. On May 17, we shipped him 17 ducklings. On May 19 he received them and 5 were dead. He called the next day and indicated that 11 total had died. At that time when he called we indicated to him that we were very booked up on the breed of ducks he needed replaced and that we would work him in for a reshipment just as soon as we possibly could. With our odd Spring weather that we had, duck fertility did not hold up well and when we were running behind, it became more apparent from his e-mails that he wasn't patient but that he also kept changing the breeds and species that he wanted us to send as replacements. Therefore, on July 2, I sent him an e-mail indicating that I would send him a total refund including postage and indicated that I would pray that he would be able to come to peace with this situation. I then went out to do chores and, over the course of the next 1 to 2 hours he sent 4 e-mails and 3 telephone messages that were filled with filthy language and violent threats against our personhood. The things that he mentioned that he would do to us personally should not be placed in a public forum where children might have access to them. As far as his reference to us as being a nightmare, it is us who has the nightmares wondering if he will show up to carry out those violent acts. We have contacted our County Sheriff's office to alert them of this possibility and were told to call immediately if anything devloped. He has received a complete refund. He was not sent diseased birds. Our flocks are inspected twice a year by a certified veterinarian and we comply with all the rules, testing and guidelines of the NPIP. Therefore, he should have nothing more to say about this issue."
|On Jun 13, 2011, purple53 Rohrersville, MD wrote:
Posted on February 4, 2011, updated June 13, 2011
On June 13th, 2011, purple53 added the following:
The slips for 7 varieties of sweet potato that I ordered in early winter arrived safe, sound, and beautiful today. With the weather we were having here in the Mid-Atlantic--extreme heat and no rain, after dark, cool days and flooding rain back in April and May--I've had my hands full getting beds ready and plants in the ground. But I WILL have the sweet potato beds ready by tonight or tomorrow! This is one crop I care very deeply about. The solar-powered electric netting around the garden is saving me from groundhogs; the high tensile fencing is still keeping deer at bay. Sand Hill is the source of not only my sweet potatoes but my heirloom tomato and pepper seed as well. Everything is healthy so far, and I'm happy.
|On Mar 11, 2011, miles2go Saginaw, MI wrote:
My order went out in the mail Feb. 16, received the seeds Mar. 5. Seeds nicely packaged, order complete. Nice freebie seeds included, too. I would definitely order from them again.
|On Mar 7, 2011, Moodene (Nadine) Devers, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:
I ordered okra seeds called Jing Orange from Sand Hill Preservation Center and was amazed how fast I got them in a timely manner by snail mail. Will buy from them again. I only found these seeds in 2 locations and other site was sold out.
|On Mar 7, 2011, dreaves Hutto, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
I ordered some seed (Orange Jing Okra) that I had been unable to locate anywhere else along with a few other types of seeds. The order was processed quickly and accurately. To be honest, I'm somewhat amazed since I know that the operation is done on a hobby basis, with paper-base systems.
|On Mar 2, 2011, drthor Irving, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
I have just received my seed order.
|On Jan 28, 2011, Tabacum Mantua, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:
1/28/11.........Received seeds ordered from Sandhill
|On Jul 28, 2010, JollyRoger Oliver Springs, TN (Zone 6a) wrote:
Ordered from this company for the first time this year. (Feb 2010). Very pleased with the seeds and fast service. They offer a very large variety of tomato seeds and I tried several including the free Medford sent with my order. Great experience and I plan to be a regular customer.
|On Jun 21, 2010, MotherGoose2 Lobelville, TN wrote:
Posted on June 21, 2010, updated June 21, 2010
On June 21st, 2010, MotherGoose2 added the following:
I was contacted later in the day with a message saying that they intended to send me a partial refund since they didn't send me the breeds I had ordered. He was rather short and accused me of hanging up on him twice- please! In any case, we'll see what kind of refund I get. It will be only established poultry houses from now on- rest assured.
|On Jun 17, 2010, LadyRadagast West Grove, PA wrote:
This was my first poultry mail order and I could not have been more pleased!
|On May 12, 2010, VAgardener2 Richmond , VA (Zone 7b) wrote:
Posted on April 30, 2010, updated May 12, 2010
On April 30th, 2010, VAgardener2 added the following:
I wanted to add that I got a free seed packet of Kale. I would never have considered growing it, but will try it now that I have some seed. Free seed packets are a good way to try something new. Thank you, Sand Hill.
On May 12th, 2010, VAgardener2 added the following:
I wanted to add that there is no shipping charge for orders over $10, and $2 shipping for orders under $10. That's the best shipping policy I have seen. And their prices are very-very reasonable.
This is my top 5 mail-order seed company.
Keep up the good work.
|On Apr 26, 2010, DonFromNJ Secaucus, NJ wrote:
Seeds were received within the guidelines offered by Sand Hill. It's remarkable that they get everything together as a "hobby". Quite an admirable undertaking. I was particularly interested in obtaining seeds for the South American squash, Zapallito de Tronco. Sand Hill was the only retail supplier I could find in the US. This squash is a household staple in Argentina and Uruguay, yet is almost unknown in America. It is a winter squash, generally harvested in an immature state and used as a summer squash, often stuffed. I'm hopeful that something with such great popularity in a country whose cuisine is similar to ours might become a useful addition to my home garden and my home cooking.
|On Mar 26, 2010, Doug9345 Durhamville, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:
This is the first time I ordered from this company. I mailed my order on 3/6 and my seeds were mailed 3/19. Not bad for mail having to go both ways. I ordered from them because ethy had a number or corn varieties that I couldn't get otherwise. All the seeds I ordered were included. I'd like to see them include a packing list with the seed to make it easier to check the order and to have something to file so that I know what I ordered when I look next year. I'd also like to be able to order online.
|On Mar 13, 2010, Missyinbama Wetumpka, AL (Zone 8a) wrote:
I placed and order for chickens and seeds, relatively late in the ordering season. The turnaround time on the seeds was very good. I'm also actually pleased that they seem pretty accomodating to my chicken order since they are one of the few places that have the breed of chickens that I am looking for- and I looked around!
|On Mar 9, 2010, blueeyeskms Waverly, KS (Zone 5b) wrote:
So far I have been pleased with this company in the past. Extremely displeased that I cannot choose my own varieties this year and had to order a general assortment instead. Will wait to see how many varieties are included and report back after receiving order.
|On Mar 6, 2010, m8247 Davis, CA wrote:
I have ordered from this company for the past 3 years and while I admire the mission, I have grown less impressed with the customer service over time. I ordered sweet potatoes the first year and those came packed well and performed well. The seeds have also been fine and I really do enjoy the rare varieties they offer. My sweet potato order 2 years ago was not filled due to weather/flooding (understandable), and last year I ordered an assortment package that did not get filled.
|On Feb 9, 2010, digly Mountain View, CA wrote:
After reading the company ratings on this Dave's Garden website, I chose to order seeds from two companies. One of which was Sand Hill Preservation Center in Calamus, Iowa. With respect for the old fashion way of doing business, i was very impressed with the turn around time. It did require me to write a check and print out forms and fill them out which wasn't that difficult and then mail it to San Hill. I ordered toward the end of Jan. 2010 and it took 12 days including the day i mailed my order for me to receive all of my 8 seed packages which i ordered. The seed packets probably averaged 45 seeds per packet which was very nice, along with a freeby packet which i will give a try in the garden. I do wish they would have updated their website before the first of the year, as i choose not to order seeds which the website stated were "out of supply" as of mid year 2009. There website has been updated as of early Feb. 2010. I will followup with the germination rate.
|On Feb 5, 2010, chikentrain Earlton, NY wrote:
Got my 1st flock of chickens through Sandhill and they were/are just the most wonderful birds . Always been a pleasant experience dealing with them prices are GREAT on the assortments. Such wonderful people and birds ! Can't wait too get this years flock !
|On Nov 15, 2009, DonShirer Westbrook, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have been ordering from Sand Hill for at least 4 years. I am impressed by the number of different heirloom varieties hard to find elsewhere, especially tomatoes. Every selection has germinated well and given me more seeds than I can use so I share with others. Only problem was that the bugs ate some cabbages, but that's not Sand Hills fault!
|On Nov 9, 2009, maam Chester, CT wrote:
this year was my first experience with sandhill. i ordered 60 sweep potato slips to divide among friends, all early or midseason types. they all looked very healthy. three varieties were substitutions, and we received at least 70 slips. my 20 ( 9 varieties) went into big pots on june 15. they had barely doubled by july 13 because of the cool weather. i was able to pick young leaves and tips by early september, and harvested the first week of october. even with 5 plants giving 1/2 to 2 pounds each, the total yield was 80 pounds !! i was extremely pleased, and have already placed my order for next year.
|On Oct 29, 2009, yentzn1 East Orleans, MA wrote:
I've had great experiences with this company.
|On Oct 27, 2009, containergarden Los Angeles, CA wrote:
We had a very poor experience with Sand Hill Preservation Center sweet potatoes as well as with the staff. We are both Master Gardeners and have successfully grown sweet potatoes before from slips we produced at home from supermarket sweet potatoes. This year we decided to branch out and order a variety of slips from Sand Hill for ourselves and our fellow community farmers. So we put in a reasonably large order with Sand Hill. As a back-up, we bought an organic Whole Foods sweet potato to make slips ourselves. Needless to say, the Whole Food slips produced heavily. However, Sand Hill took more orders than it could reasonably fill, and failed to respond to a series of messages I left concerning the order I had already paid for. When a woman finally responded, she was unpleasant, seeming to blame me for her failure to respond or to satisfy the order. Nevertheless, she petulantly promised to satisfy my order. Although the slips spent no more than two days in the mail, many of the Sand Hill Preservation Center slips were dead on arrival and had to be discarded. We planted those with any sign of life in them, but got only meager harvests from them. Some of the stunted potatoes were clearly diseased, even though sweet potatoes are normally disease-free in southern California, ideal growing country. So we can only assume that the slips themselves were diseased. The way Sand Hill seems to fill orders is to start collecting slips and then wait until they have the full order, which may take a long time. The result is that the earlier collected slips are dead and only the later collected slips are remotely viable. In short, a regrettable expenditure of about $50 for a useless product. Fortunately, we have since located a reliable, responsible, and friendly California supplier of a wide variety of sweet potato slips.
On Oct 27, 2009, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
"On Nov 4, 2009 9:08 PM, Sand Hill Preservation Center responded with:
We are very sorry to hear of the poor experience this customer had. This posting on Garden Watchdog is the first that we have heard of this customer's problems with our product. Had they contacted us directly at the time of receipt of the order, we would have immediately sent replacements for what was damaged in shipping. It has been four months since the sweet potato slips were shipped out and this is the first we have heard that there was a problem. As we start our slips in the field here in Iowa, we are at the mercy of the weather and we indicate that both in our catalog and in the "News and Updates" section of our website. We indicated on the website in April that we were all sold out for the season. We attempted to keep people updated on the website with the progress of the slip production. We kept anticipating that warm weather would be forthcoming, but we never had an extended warm period which is needed for the roots to sprout and form slips.
|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.
|On Jul 5, 2009, anitar49 Ridgeley, WV wrote:
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.
|On Jun 27, 2009, Spriggin Selma, OR wrote:
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.
|On Jun 27, 2009, cityfarmer066 Addison, IL wrote:
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.
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.
|On Apr 29, 2009, NtheWoods (Zone 5b) wrote:
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 Apr 9, 2009, Driftingcowboy Helenwood, TN wrote:
Ordered bunch of tomato seed. I like dealing with Sand Hill. I order early.
|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 26, 2009, greenmulberry Iowa City, IA wrote:
I recently received a nice order of seeds from this company. I have to admit I was leery of mailing in an order, as I am used to ordering by internet and getting that instant email from a company.
|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.
|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.
|On Mar 11, 2008, Harvest_Moon China, ME wrote:
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 28, 2008, Big_Red Bethelridge, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
Excellent company to deal with! Received my seeds within a three week period with no back-orders. Will deal with again in the future.
|On Jan 27, 2008, cannaqueen Mantua, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:
This company lays out specific guidelines on their expectations for
|On Jun 10, 2007, gardenbumpkin San Francisco, CA wrote:
Excellent experience! Had no problem in getting the seeds to germinate, prices are good and their S/H is the cheapest.