Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Where to get seeds and bulbs in Sweden

There! My potatoes are presprouting! This year I'll grow both Amandine and Maris Peer - those seed potatoes I can't find a place for here will be sent to my brother in law for a place in his outdoor potato plot. I bought the Maris potatoes at Nordic Gardens, so I though this post would be about the different seed suppliers I took a closer look at (there were more than these of course, but these were the ones I stopped by).

You know Impecta by now, and they do have an english version of their site. Don't be discouraged by the main frame in swedish - the left navigation column and their seed presentations are in english. They have a large and interesting assortment of both swedish heirloom seeds and tropical rare seeds (dragon's blood-tree for exemple). I stopped by and bought some asparagus sallat just because I could.

This year I took a closer look at Runåbergs Fröer (sorry, link in swedish only, but most swedes speak excellent english, so you can contact them with questions). Runåbergs is of the same kind as Impecta - they are the quality brands of seed suppliers - this is where you buy seeds when you have ambitions and live up to them. If Impecta has a bigger assortment of seeds, Runåbergs are greener and have a higher percentage of heirloom seeds. For exemple they sell gotlandic salsify, collected from an medieval ruin at Gotland. A bigger percentage of their seeds are sustainably grown.

The potatoes were bought at Larsviken, a family farm specialising in these lovely tubers. Unfortunately their homepage is in swedish only, but you should be able to send questions to them via email. Remember though that it's much more troublesome exporting and importing roots than seeds, so if you live outside the EU you may not be able to buy from them. (I'm not clear about why, but I have a hunch that roots carries diseases more easily and have to have more thorrow check-ups. Seed potatoes sold between EU countries often have a plant passport to prove that they are healthy.) Anyway - Larviken brought a library of seed potatoes to the fair, they carried tubers of all colours and shapes for the interested. Blue Congo (a potato which is blue both on the outside and straight through the flesh) sold out quite early, so I had to make do with a fast growing delicacy potato instead. I'm not that disappointed...

For the real gardening and vegetable growing geeks enthusiasts there are The One organisation left; Föreningen Sesam (the Sesam Association). Their webpage is in swedish only, but they should be able to answer questions via email (se above). Their aim is to preserve the diversity of cultivated plants, and in particular swedish heirloom seeds. This year they handed out seeds to those visiting their booth at the fair, which means I'm going to try out the tomatoes 'Outdoor Girl' and 'Red Cherry' for indoor growing later on this year. (No, I don't know why these varieties have english names or how this relate to the aim to preserve swedish heirloom seeds.) Members exchange seeds in the spring - untill the fifteenth of April to be exact, so now I'm praying my membership application will be approved soon so I can take part.

Sorry about the delay friends! This cold is hard to beat!


SwedeLife said...

Glad to find your blog, found it searching for Swedish seed sources. Thanks for sharing your indoor gardening adventures.

Rosengeranium said...

You're welcome! Hope you can find some interesting seeds that works in your garden. And welcome to Sweden!