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He Sells, Promotes Rare “Open Source” Garden Seeds
For Mike Dunton at Victory Seeds, promoting heirloom seeds is a mission, not a marketing gimmick.
  “When we started out about 20 years ago, we were one of only a couple companies that specialized in heritage or heirloom varieties,” says Dunton. “We remain one of the few that actively works on the preservation effort. A ton of sellers have jumped on the bandwagon for marketing reasons.”
  Unlike many larger operations, Dunton’s family-owned company grows out most of the seeds they sell on their farm. The ones he doesn’t grow are produced by a network of selected growers. He locates and documents rare, open-pollinated, non-GMO, non-hybrid, heirloom seeds and promotes them to home gardeners. A big part of the website is devoted to those aspects of the company mission, including 27 varieties from the Open Source Seed Initiative.
  “Since our founding, the Victory Seed Company has only offered seeds that were not only rare, open-pollinated and primarily heritage or heirloom varieties, but ones that our supporters (customers) are encouraged to propagate and save seeds from,” says Dunton. “The Open Source Seed Initiative was founded in 2012 to protect the ability to share seeds.”
  The company offers more than 50 different crops from artichokes and asparagus to turnips and watermelons. There are 10 different groupings of tomatoes, with 20 varieties listed under brown and black alone. Dunton lists more than 30 under corn and 46 under salad greens. Tobacco has 57 different varieties.
  “Tobacco is quite a magnificent plant, with beautiful flowers that make them a great addition to flower beds,” says Dunton.
  As part of his effort to promote heritage seeds, Dunton maintains a collection of historical information on vegetable origins, WW II Victory Gardens, great American seedsmen, and more. The website offers a wealth of information on gardening as well.
Dunton also offers cover crop seeds, some gardening books, hard goods and even some apparel. Tools sold on the site are handcrafted by a traditional blacksmith in Montana.
  Dunton offers individual seed packets, bulk seed and a variety of seed kits - multiple seed varieties or types, including a culinary herb seed collection.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Victory Seed Company, P.O. Box 192, Molalla, Ore. 97038 (ph 503 829-3126; info@victoryseeds.com; www.victoryseeds.com).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #2