Victory Seeds® is one of the better seed companies out there. There was a time when I used to be a seed catalog addict and could have spent way more time than I had, perusing seed catalogs. Over the years, somehow, the temptation to this addiction has almost vanished in my life. I still enjoy looking at a good seed catalog. But I recognize my limitations and generally avoid excess. When I take time to really go through a seed company’s listings, I generally look for several things:
- Unique listings
- Regionally adapted varieties
- Emphasis on open pollinated (non hybrid) crops
- Private, preferably family owned
- Dedication to preservation of rare and/or old varieties
- Good information on what is offered
- Good customer service
I haven’t done much business with Victory Seeds®, but I have friends who absolutely LOVE this company. Furthermore, there was a time when I enjoyed some good correspondence with Mike Dunton, founder and owner of Victory Seeds. Though I haven’t done much with Victory Seeds® I frequently hear about the work this company is doing in the area of preservation. I also hear “happy sounds”® from satisfied customers. So, this may well be a seed company you would want to check out!
Though located in Oregon, Mike tells me that Victory Seeds® sells a lot of seed to gardeners in the South. The purpose of Victory Seeds® is not to be a region specific company, but rather to specialize in preservation of rare and old garden varieties. In his quest to do this, Mike Dunton has developed a relationship with David Pendergrass and New Hope Seeds which is located in Tennessee. As of 2017, Victory Seeds® will be selling for New Hope Seeds, in a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Victory Seeds® is family owned. The company also has a clear purpose, which defines what they do. On their home page they state that it is: “to search out, document, preserve and make available to gardeners, rare garden seed varieties.” For decades this company has done just that. I “met” Mike Dunton back in 2006, as we corresponded about some rare heirloom varieties. Even a week ago, I was on a garden forum, someone mentioned a very rare heirloom bean, and in the course of discussion, it came out that Victory Seeds® still has seed in storage and might re-list it if there are enough requests. In other words, Victory Seeds® is “in it” to preserve our gardening heritage.
Always Working for the Future
Victory Seeds® is involved in ongoing research, exploration and documentation of heirloom vegetables. They’ve been foremost in the recovery of tomato varieties developed by one of the world’s earliest tomato breeders, A.W. Livingston. These varieties go back to the mid 1800s, yet they are of high enough quality to earn high ratings by today’s home gardeners. Take a look at the tremendous information and great amount of work that Victory Seeds® has put into this historical tomato project. Just think, for a few dollars you can purchase some of this living history and grow it in your own garden!
This company has done good work with garden beans and also soy beans, which are becoming harder for home gardeners to find. It’s obvious that this company is very actively involved in saving valuable seed stock and preserving the historical/cultural heritage which comes with it.
Finally, I would encourage you to “poke around” on their website. The website looks deceptively simple. It’s easy to navigate. However, at every turn one will find educational materials regarding seed saving. This website is full of important, useful information for the gardener who would save his own seed.