Frequently Asked Questions

What is an heirloom seed/plant and heritage seed/plant?
The terms heirloom and heritage are synonymous. An heirloom plant is an open-pollinated, cultivated plant, or cultivar. Heirloom plants are not used in today's large-scale agricultural operations, but they were traditionally grown during earlier periods in human history. The term "heirloom vegetable" is often used in place of "heirloom plant" because the most well-known heirloom (or heritage) plants are vegetables. Over the last decade, growing heirloom plants has been gaining notability in the United States and Europe. Heirloom and heritage seeds come from heirloom and heritage plants.
What is the difference between open-pollinated and hybrid seeds?
Open-pollinated plants are pollinated by birds, insects, wind, or other natural means. Under these conditions the plant will produce seeds naturally. When these seeds are harvested and re-planted they will reproduce the same plant as the parent. Conversely, a hybrid plant is the result of controlled pollination of inbred parent plants. The plant's seeds are often sterile and, if they do germinate, they will not reliably produce the same plant as the parent.
What is the difference between GMO and non-GMO seeds?
A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic substance has been changed using genetic engineering methods. Non-GMO seeds have not been genetically changed, and they are traditionally the same as they were originally created. Non-GMO seeds have all of the nutrition that animal and human bodies need for maximum growth and nutrition. Traditional seeds grow into plants that have been consumed for thousands of years. Non-GMO seeds offer you the peace of mind that the foods you grow and eat are as nature intended.
What are certified organic seeds?
Certified organic seeds are harvested from plants that have been grown without synthetic chemical fertilizer, pesticide, and fungicide. As a result, seeds are chemical-free.
Why not buy off-the-rack seed packets?
Seeds need to be stored in environmentally controlled conditions in order to ensure optimum germination. Seeds bought off-the-rack from your local stores are often displayed outside and exposed to the elements. These conditions may affect the ability for the seeds to germinate.
Our seeds are stored in environmentally controlled conditions up to the point of shipping. Before being shipped, seeds are packaged in re-sealable Mylar® bags which provide great seed protection, as well as the opportunity to plant now or later.
How long can seeds remain viable?
There really is no definable limit, as was recently proven in Israel with the successful germination in 2005 of a 2,000 year old seed of the extinct Judean Date Palm that came from an archeological dig at King Herod's palace near the Dead Sea. In 1978, a 12,000 year old Lotus seed discovered in a dry lakebed in China was also successfully germinated, which prior to the Date Palm was the world's oldest successfully germinated seed. More recently, the Millennium Seed Bank successfully germinated three species of plants from 200 year old seeds.
What are the benefits from buying Humble Seed garden seed kits and growing heirloom, certified organic, non-GMO, and non-hybrid seeds?
Our convenient garden seed kits and premium garden seeds offer you the ability to:
  • Grow herbs and vegetables that are fresher and more nutritional than their store-bought counterparts
  • Save money by purchasing seeds in bulk and growing your own foods
  • Engage your family around a backyard experience, and educate children on the importance of gardening for a sustainable way of living
  • Learn how to garden in convenient, inexpensive, and informative ways
  • Sustain yourself with garden know-how in case future disasters deplete our nation's food supplies
What is the story behind the name Humble Seed?
The name Humble Seed took several months to take root. After listening to a presentation on humility and the importance of being humble, Kristen thought about seeds: small and unassuming, and when they're in the wrong place at the wrong time, a nuisance. Then, she thought about how when a seed is planted into the ground, and given a little bit of tender loving care, it can provide food for years to come ... Humble Seed (Seed That Feeds).
Who are Humble Seed customers?
We service experienced and first-time gardeners; larger organizations such as charities, nursing homes, and schools; preppers; restaurants; urban development initiatives; and urban dwellers throughout the nation who seek the many benefits of growing their own food.
I am uncomfortable ordering online with my credit card, how else can I place an order?
Feel free to phone in an order at 877-956-seed (7333); however, please note that phone orders will also be entered on the website.
Am I able to order from Humble Seed if I live outside of the United States?
At this time, due to national and international agricultural restrictions, Humble Seed cannot ship seeds outside of the United States.
How are orders shipped, and how soon can I expect my seeds?
Typically, all orders will be processed within two business days and shipped via the United States Postal Service®, Priority Mail® Flat Rates.
How can I find out if my online order has been shipped?
You will receive a confirmation/receipt email when you place your order and another confirmation email when your order is shipped.
What if a particular seed is out of stock, do you replace it with a substitution?
Due to the scarcity of certain types of seed, we reserve the right to substitute an out of stock seed with a similar variety of equal or greater value.
What type of containers will my seeds be stored in?
Unlike some seeds companies that use PVC tubing to store seeds, we use FDA approved containers.
Does Humble Seed donate seeds to charitable organizations?
Yes. Humble Seed donates to qualifying agencies. Please contact us for more information.