Posted on 12 July 2007 by

Seed Catalog Review (Part 3)

Seeds of Change UrbanGardenCasual

By Reggie Solomon

[This post is the third part of a three-part series reviewing catalogs produced by three major seeds providers and examining the magazines’ helpfulness to gardeners in deciding what seeds to purchase and what to grow in their home gardens. To read the beginning of the series — click here]

Seeds of Change (SOC)

Seeds of Change’s 84-page magazine may appear skimpy with its small number of pages as compared to the other contenders, but it makes up for it by being unapologetically organic.

If you’re into organic food, this is the seed magazine for you!

SOC’s consumer-oriented mag features photos and profiles of the people who grow and produce the seeds (many whom appear from some of the bearded photos to be ex-hippies). Seed descriptions are personalized and often include the names of the people who produced them.

SOC even includes a testimonial from a San Francisco restaurant chef.

But don’t let the farmer’s tie-dye shirts and overalls fool you, the layout and design inside the magazine is spot on!

SOC’s magazine is the best blend of attractive layout, stunning photography, and helpful seed descriptions of the three reviewed magazines.

Granted, after reading this mag I did have the feeling I should add more whole-wheat to my diet, pick up a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, and consider test-driving a Prius, but don’t let that keep you from getting seeds from these hippy-sters.

SOC carries unique vegetable varieties created through organic design that even Johnny’s doesn’t carry. While organic seed production may limit the number of seed varieties offered, it certainly doesn’t limit the rarity and uniqueness of SOC’s offerings.

SOC supplies the right balance of consumer information with the needed amount of technically information, including days to maturity.

Unlike Burpee’s plant descriptions which border on being unnecessarily flowery at times, SOC’s descriptions are personalized. When I read SOCs descriptions, I feel like I’m buying seeds from a trusted neighbor rather than a company.

For example, my favorite SOC lines are from an entry that reads, “Fondly known on the research farm as ‘Dino Kale,’ the leaves of this extremely winter-hardy variety become sweeter after a hard frost. Delicious and tender when stir fried or steamed.”

Now what urban gardener wouldn’t want to do lunch with this research team?

Seeds of Change takes the cake and gets Urban Garden Casual’s “Best of Seed Magazine” review for 2007!

Now, where did I put my bowl of whole-wheat cereal? 😉

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