Friday, September 30, 2011

Landreth Seeds needs help

From the Gardener of Eden blog and Ohiofarmgirl - Landreth Seeds (since 1784!) is in financial trouble and seeking help.

Landreth now sells 900 varieties in colorful, old-fashioned seed packs, things like the "King of Mammoth" pumpkin, which dates to 1824, or the famous Landreth zinnias, which the company introduced to the United States from Mexico in 1798.

While Melera says sales have been growing by more than 50 percent a year since 2007, the recession has been painful. The turnaround she counted on taking three to five years took seven.

They´re selling advance copies of their 2012 catalogue ($5 a copy) to try to come up with the required funding to stay in business.

Founded in 1784, it's America's oldest seedhouse. It introduced Americans to the zinnia (1798), the white-fleshed potato (1811) and the tomato (1820). It is revered for its vast range of heirloom seeds. With a new generation of gardeners sprouting up across America, Landreth was positioned to become the gold standard for high quality seeds.

So Melera and her husband Peter, a professor at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, bought Landreth. The years of 7-day, 80-hour weeks began.

Seems like anyone across the pond (or not) who would like to keep alternatives to Monsanto in business might want to order a Landreth catalogue. But time is very short - they have an Oct. 1 deadline.

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