The Richters 2013 Herb & Vegetable catalogue arrived just before Christmas but I didn't have time to browse through it until today. Richters (located in Goodwood, Ontario) has a wonderful selection of herbs and gourmet vegetables. Their service is speedy with reasonable shipping costs that ensure your live plants arrive safely. This year they have added SeedZoo, a project to preserve traditional and indigenous food plants from around the world. Here is a short video on SeedZoo.
The SeedZoo seeds are sold on a first come, first served basis. Many of the seeds are from rare and endangered food plants so there is only a few seeds available. Once sold out the seeds may never be available again. Home gardeners can help preserve these plants by buying the seed packets ($6 each), growing the plants then collecting the seeds to share with family and friends, much the same way as you do with heirloom varieties. This is a wonderful way to experience vegetables from around the world that you might otherwise not have the opportunity to enjoy.
I ordered three packets - Hutterite beans, monkey faced peppers and giant Armenian black beans. I really would have liked to order more but a lot of the seeds are indigenous to Africa meaning the chances of them doing well here in Ontario, Canada is about slim to none but that doesn't mean I couldn't try. They really are pricey though at 10 seeds per package for $6 plus shipping and HST. Still, it is a well worthwhile project and I do hope that many home gardeners buy at least a package or two to support the cause. More importantly, preserve the seeds and share them!