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  • Jennifer Jewell


FOODSCAPING - with Brie Arthur. Photo courtesy of Brie Arthur, all rights reserved.


As seed catalogues continue to arrive in our mailboxes and in-boxes daily, filling our notebooks and dreams, we take a behind the scenes look at an independent seed source well-known to gardeners and market growers throughout North America: Johnny’s Selected Seeds. We are in conversation with current CEO Dave Melhorn and Lauren Giroux, Director of Product Selection and Trialing Research.

For over 48 years Johnny's Selected Seeds has dedicated to "helping families and friends to feed one another.” Now 100% employee-owned, Johnny’s offers organic seed, F1 hybrid, open-pollinated, and heirloom seed varieties. "Johnny's does not knowingly sell genetically modified seeds"; nor do they "breed new varieties using genetic engineering." Their breeders use "traditional, painstaking methods of natural crossing to create hybrid seeds that are healthy and safe.” In this effort, Johnny’s stewards one of the largest in-ground seed-trialing programs in the United States.

They are proud to be "one of the nine original signers of the Safe Seed Pledge,” in 1999, an initiative of the Council for Responsible Genetics.

You can follow Johnny's work online at


you might also enjoy these Best of CP programs in our archive:

True Love Seeds, with Owen Smith Taylor and Chris Boldem-Newsome

JOIN US again next week, week when we revisit another seed supply and seed commons advocate, Vivien Sansour of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library, working to recover ancient seeds of Palestine along with their stories and to help put both stories and seeds back into people’s hands.


Cultivating Place is made possible in part by listeners like you and by generous support from the California Native Plant Society, on a mission to save California’s native plants and places using both head and heart. CNPS brings together science, education, conservation, and gardening to power the native plant movement. California is a biodiversity hotspot and CNPS is working to save the plants that make it so.

For more information on their programs and membership, please visit


Thinking out loud this week:

This week two questions:

1. What seeds are you dreaming of/sowing this year?

2. What worries you most about the security or integrity of the seed world right now?

Thanks for thoughts! Send them to me by email: or send them to me in the comment sections on this week's episode post on Instagram, where you will find me @cultivating_place

all Photos of Johnny's past and present courtesy of Johnny's Selected Seeds





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