Hard times reap profits for seed catalogs

2009
03.16


One business that is thriving in these uncertain economic times are the seed sellers. People’s anxiety has fertilized the garden industry which has seen a huge increase in sales this season.


“I wouldn’t say people are panicking. It’s more like they are anxious,” said Bill Timmsen, Human Resources Director at Baker Creek. Vegetable seed sales have more than doubled this year. Baker Creek had been experiencing a slight growth every year, but this spring, seed orders started pouring in early and haven’t stopped.

“It’s more like folks just don’t know. We can’t see tomorrow. We don’t know how bad things are going to get. Growing our own food is one way we can have some control.”

Washington is using the term “shovel- ready” to designate projects that are ready to start creating jobs the minute funding arrives. That shovel-ready work has already started in America’s back yards.

Amid the Washington talk of “shovel-ready” recession projects, few projects are more shovel-ready than a backyard garden. Vegetable seed sales are up by double-digits at all of the nation’s biggest seed sellers.

“ After years of declining veggie seed sales the whole cycle has completely reversed and we are experiencing tremendous interest from a new generation of gardeners who want to, for the first time, start a garden to grow food, said Renee Shepherd, owner of Renee’s Garden.

During a recession, it is a predictable cycle. People tend to want to get back to the basics. But most seed growers have never experienced a jump in sales this large.

“All our seed sales have increased,” said Timmsen and particularly our vegetables seeds.

tomato seedlings

Baker Creek

Renee’s Garden

Nichols Garden

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