“Check back later?”
You may be wondering why some of the seed varieties listed in our catalog can’t be ordered online yet. The short answer is that although we have confirmation from the seed grower that the crop will be coming, we have not yet received it and performed the germination test necessary to sell the seed. We will continue receiving seed from our growers throughout the winter, and once we confirm it is of the highest quality, we'll update our website and offer it to you. If you see an item with “not available yet—check back later,” we sincerely hope you will!
Many of our favorite varieties are grown by small farmers who harvest and process seed by hand or with specialized equipment. For most seeds, harvest happens in late fall, and as climate change warms and extends our fall season, many harvests are happening later. Once seed is harvested, farmers clean it of chaff and field debris, and then dry the seed before sending it to us. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the crop and the farm’s facilities.
Once we receive the seed, we take several steps to ensure it’s top-notch. We may need to finish drying the seed to its ideal moisture content in our drying shed; do additional cleaning with our in-house equipment; or send a sample out for GMO testing. (Fedco does not sell any genetically modified seed.) When the seed is ready, our Quality Control Coordinator Kimberly will assess the germination rate, vigor and appearance of a seed lot. A germination test takes several weeks to complete, and only when a seed has passed with flying colors do we put it into packets and offer it for sale.
We talk with our seed growers often, so we know the varieties listed in our catalog looked great in the field when our catalog went to press. Crop failures do occasionally happen, but these days it’s unusual to list something that we won’t be able to sell. Every day we are delighted with deliveries of more beautiful seeds to our warehouse. Thank you for your patience, and please check back!