If you are in the market for heirloom seeds, you may want to first consider what varieties of crops grow well in your area. You can then look into different seed companies to see which carry the types you are looking for. After this, you may want to check if these are established companies with sound reputations. You might then want to interview a member of their management teams to determine where the seeds they sell come from, and how they are harvested and preserved.
Knowing what type of vegetable or flower to plant in your garden can be an important first step. Do not assume that just because certain heirloom seeds are sold at your local nursery that they are well-adapted to your climate. Be prepared to research this information by checking with local growers or a government agency that oversees farming and crops. If possible, make a list of recommended varieties to take with you when shopping.
When talking with farmers in your area, you may want to find out where they purchase heirloom seeds. Ask them what kind of service they usually receive and whether or not they are satisfied with the products they bought. You can also inquire about the farmers' opinions on which local establishments seem to be the most reputable, so you may visit these stores in person.
Go to the seed store and talk with its retail associates. Find out where it obtains the heirloom seeds sold there. If possible, try to determine how long the seeds may have been picked before being sent to the seller. You might also want to find out how they are preserved so you can make sure they are fresh when you purchase them.
If the seeds are in open bins rather than packets, you may want to look through them to see if there are any defects. Check for ones that seem to be withered or rotted. If you notice signs of insects, you might want to consider purchasing your seeds elsewhere to avoid bringing harmful pests home with you.
The crops produced by heirloom seeds are believed to be healthier than those produced by genetically-engineered seeds. Traditional varieties can also be saved year after year, so they generally only need to be purchased one time. By planting these non-hybrid varieties, you could produce an abundance of fruits and vegetables that taste far better than most store-bought produce.