Sunday, March 13, 2011

Seeds, part 3

One of the most interesting seed companies I have found is The Thyme Garden Herb Seed Company.  I stumbled upon this company last year while I was searching for herb companies that might supply catalogs for our Herb Society spring symposium.  I 'googled' herb companies and this was one of the websites that came up in my search.  After viewing their company through their website, I sent them an email requesting catalogs for our event.  They were nice enough to send me a boxful of catalogs that I could put out at our event and I was very excited to offer new possibilities to my 'herbie' friends.
It proved to be an exciting connection!  After viewing their catalog, I found many new and exciting herbs to choose from......some I'd never seen seeds for and some I'd never heard of before!!!  But, I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let me tell you a little about the company.

The cover of Thyme Garden catalog.
The Thyme Garden Herb Seed Company is off to their 22nd season.  The company was founded by Rolfe and Janet (I couldn't find a last name anywhere, I think Habig).  They have 2 daughters, Emily and Bethany which are now both grown.  Rolfe started as a carpenter from Ohio, then also owned a restaurant, and then began selling seeds, most of which they raise themselves on their farm that is hidden in "the magical coast range mountains of Oregon."
Their place sounds idyllic with many features to see.  Along with their many gardens, they also have a secret reflecting pond hidden in their forest of tall firs and old growth maples, they have a conservatory filled with an aromatic collection of exotic plants, they have a country restaurant which is surrounded by herb gardens, and the 2 streams that run through their farm where you can watch the salmon run.  I hope to plan a trip out there one day. 
Their catalog is chocked full of many, many varieties of herbs as well as some peppers, everlasting flowers , hops, and mushroom plugs.  They also carry some dried medicinal and culinary herbs , some herb and spice blends, and herbal teas.  They are stictly to-the-point when it comes to the catalog.  There are not a lot of showy pictures, but I find lots of information about the plants, how to grow them, and what to use them for and also some history and lore about the plant.

The Basil pages of the catalog.

They sport 33 varieties of basil alone!!!!  I ordered some last year and was very impressed to find varieties of basil like 'Baja' and 'Amethyst'  They have 5 varieties of dill including one called 'Indian' which is somewhat more bitter and grown extensively in Japan and India. I am blown away by the vast variety of herbs that they sell!  They even have seeds for what we view as common weeds -- chickweed, plantain, nettles.  Most of us try to get RID of these plants.  Who would want to actually buy seeds for these plants!  But these plants are actually great plants for eating and healing.  I'm just lucky enough that I have them in abundance and don't need to buy seeds.
Catalog page about hops.
They had an interesting segment in the catalog about hops.  It included history, cultivation, and uses for the plant.  They raise several varieties of hops and sell the rhizomes.  I hope I get around to finding a place to plant hops in my garden so I can order some this year.
A couple of other interesting things in their catalog was a thyme blooming schedule, a chart of plants for a moon garden and some yummy-sounding recipes at the back of the book.  They also have a cookbook and a cooking blog that you can follow.
Salmon cakes recipe.
Creamy Dill Cucumber recipe.
I have found their prices to be very reasonable and their service is great.  Check them out!  They are located at 20546 Alsea Hwy., Alsea, Oregon 97324.
You can reach The Thyme Garden at 541-487-8671 or visit their website at  Also check out their blog at
Next time, I have a couple of other companies that I want to highlight just to make you aware of what's out there, and then we'll start to focus on more springtime activities like preparing the garden and starting seeds.

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