At OSC Seeds, our mission is to supply our customers with the highest quality seed available at competitive pricing. All our vegetable seeds surpass CFIA standards for germination and purity in Canada. We also offer a range of Organic seed products that are certified by the Centre for Systems Integration (CSI).
OSC Seeds is the largest wholly Canadian-owned and operated packet seed company, offering a full line of products including over 30 herbs, 250 vegetables, 240 annuals, and 100 perennials and biennials suitable for Canada’s various climates.
Our fifth-generation family business has over 125 years of growing history and is proud to be wholly Canadian-owned and operated. From our central facility in Kitchener, Ontario, we can ship from coast to coast across Canada.
Over 125 Years of History
We match our superior product offering with knowledgeable and experienced staff, helpful customer service, and on-time deliveries across the country. We guarantee the purity and vitality of our seeds to the full amount of the purchase price.
So the vendors we’ve rounded up below all sell heirloom seeds—many of which are also organic—that can be saved from year-to-year. Saving seeds and sharing with neighbors is an important way to both preserve heirloom varieties, maintain genetic diversity, and help our communities to build resilience and self-sufficiency.
A perhaps unexpected impact of the current pandemic is that more people are taking an interest in becoming more self-reliant and growing their own food!
During the first and second World Wars, people started victory gardens of their own herbs and vegetables to reduce strain on the food system. Now, victory gardens are back, so we’ve created a guide of where you can find heirloom seeds within your region in North America.
“‘Heirloom’ describes a seed’s heritage, specifically a documented heritage of being passed down from generation to generation within a family or community. An heirloom variety of vegetable, fruit, or flower must be open-pollinated—or pollinated by insects, birds, wind, or other natural means—and ‘breed true,’ or retain its original traits from one generation to the next.”
As the pandemic reveals how vulnerable we are when we’re reliant on a centralized, exploitative food system, those of us who are inclined to grow some of our own food should try and prioritize buying heirloom seeds—often they taste better, they may be more nutritious, and diversifying our food varieties will ultimately be better for our collective health.
Before we go into that, you may be curious what we mean by “heirloom seeds” and their significance. According to Seed Savers Exchange:
Over the past decades, the industrialization of agriculture has led to a great loss of agrobiodiversity. Since 1900, 75 percent of plant genetic diversity has been lost “as farmers worldwide have left their multiple local varieties and landraces for genetically uniform, high-yielding varieties.”
Through our catalog and online store, we get varieties out of our seed bank and growing. Sales support our nonprofit work.
When seeds are in our bank, they are protected. When seeds are growing in your garden, they thrive.
We steward a collection of 20,000+ rare and heirloom varieties in a seed bank at our Iowa headquarters.
Thank you for growing with us.
Since 1975, we have grown, saved, and shared heirloom seeds and led a movement to protect biodiversity and preserve heirloom varieties. At the heart of our organization is a seed bank that houses a collection of 20,000+ rare, open-pollinated varieties. With gardeners like you, we can get these seeds where they belong—in gardens and on tables everywhere, for generations to come.
Donated to SSE in 2004, Wick’s lima has a long history of being grown and shared as far back as the 1930s in West Virginia.
We educate and support community groups and gardeners looking to grow, save, and share seeds.