Frequently Asked Questions

Online Orders, also know as the Seed Up In a Box:

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to postpone in-person events, we created The Seed Up In a Box program.  As we transition to this new program we are keeping the core element of bringing BULK seeds to our communities.  Below are some of the frequently asked questions and the answers that can help explain how this program works.
*UPDATED: March 2, 2021

1. What is a "serving" and what comes with each variety?

For lack of a better word, a "serving" is what we are using as a measurement of seeds for one person and are based on the "scoops" we designated during our in-person events. A typical seed packet is much smaller than our generous servings so we needed a different term to describe how many seeds are available in what you are ordering. Each variety of seeds has its own serving size dependent on the size of the seeds and our costs as we buy in bulk. So if we can use our purchasing power to get a really great deal, we will pass that on in larger serving sizes.

Each individual variety comes with ten (10) servings of seed in a single "Ten Portion Bag", ten (10) business-card-sized information cards, and ten (10) smaller bags to divide up the seeds into servings.  A Seed Up In a Box single order is ten servings per variety.

 

One individual generous serving of peas = 1/4 Cup.
A Seed Up In a Box single order = 2.5 cups of peas.

One individual generous serving of lettuce = 1 Teaspoon.
A Seed Up In a Box single order = 10 teaspoons lettuce.

2. What is a bundle and what is included?

Our standard bundles with 25 different varieties* each are the Essential, Basic, and the Banquet Bundles. Each one of these bundles come with enough seed for 250 of our generous servings, and a copy of Bill McDorman's Basic Seed Saving. The selection of varieties in these bundles will vary from time to time as we adjust based on availability and cost.  There might be some overlap of varieties in these bundles as we make our adjustments.  Each of these bundles have a cost savings of $3 to $15 based on selecting the same varieties in a Mix and Match bundle.

Our Ultimate Bundle (when available) has 75 different varieties of seed, each with 10 portions. This bundle has the greatest savings of $17-$25 depending on variety availability and has two extra copies of Basic Seed Saving.

Our Mix and Match Bundle allows you to select the varieties you want from our entire available list, within a minimum order of $160.00. The books are not automatically added and must be selected with your order.

3. What if I want to substitute a variety in one of the standard bundles? 

The best option in that case would be the Mix and Match Bundle which has no pre-selected varieties to start. You pick your own collection of varieties from our entire list of currently over 80 different varieties.

4. What if one of the varieties is 'out of stock'?

For the most part, we are only allowing seed purchases to occur for the seed we have in stock. If a variety has run out, we will adjust our standard bundles with another seed variety to allow for further purchases.

We work very hard to ensure we have sufficient inventory for the orders we are receiving, however we might in certain rare circumstances not have seed available to fill an order. When out of stock of any variety listed in one of our standard bundles, we reserve the right to substitute with similar varieties so we can get your seeds out to you in a timely manner. When out of stock of any variety chosen for a Mix and Match bundle, we will try to fill the order as best we can and depending on status of our supply deliveries, we will either ship a partial shipment with the balance to arrive later, or we will communicate with you to let you choose an alternate seed to complete your order.

5. What if I don't need 10 servings?

Well - our answer is "Share them!" One option is that you reach out to your church, your neighbors, or even your social media friends to partner up for this bulk seed opportunity. Another option is to divvy up the seed servings into gardening gift sets for holidays or special events. You can read this blog article on "Eleven Ways to Share Seeds" by Kari Spencer at www.urbanfarm.org/shareseeds.

We are a BULK seed program and do not offer individual seed packets.

6. Do these seeds work for my area?

The varieties we have selected are viable all across the United States although individual planting zones and climates will affect the best planting time.  However some varieties such as indeterminate tomatoes will need indoor or green house care in our colder climates.  We do teach that growing and saving seed in your own yard will produce seed that is better adapted to your climate and micro-climates.

7. Are the seeds GMO free?

Yes. We only source non-hybridized and non-GMO seeds.

8. Are the seeds organic?

All our seeds are untreated and open pollinated making them excellent for saving and perfect for an organic program if you are planning on selling food grown from the seeds. Furthermore, if you grow them organically (which we hope you do) and save them (which we hope you do), they now become organic! The certified organic seed program is complicated and has many provisions. Since a very small percentage of the overall seed market is organic, if we were to buy ONLY organic seed, we limit our ability to find great seed stock and diversity outside that narrow margin. We want to increase diversity and seed access and the reason we created the Great American Seed Up. We acquire the seeds from sources our co-founder Bill McDorman (Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance) has worked with since as early as the 1980’s.

9. When will I receive my order?

This is a new project and we are giving ourselves some extra time to plan and implement our system.  Local pick up will be available and we will notify you by email when your order is ready.

March 2021 update:  Currently we are shipping within 10 days of receiving an order.

10. Can I order if I am in Canada?

Yes. We have opened up shipping to Canada as of February 2021.  This process does take a little extra paperwork and of course crossing international borders will take a little longer.

If you have any other questions, please email them to Janis@GreatAmericanSeedUp.org.  Thank you!