Free Seed Project FAQ
This is the FAQ for Free Seed Project.
Questions about how to use the seeds/ how to start a garden/ how to grow food?
See the Free Seed Project Gardening Guide. This is an extensive and comprehensive resource.
Are there other ways you recommend obtaining free seeds?
See our suggestions in Where to Get Seeds to Grow Food.
What growing zones / regions is this pack ideal for growing in?
We have selected some of the most common, easy to grow foods and medicines from seed. Wherever gardens are grown in the United States, these seeds are a great match. USDA plant hardiness zones 3-10 are the ideal growing zone for these seeds which covers over 90% of the continental United States. Zone 2 and 11 would be the most challenging to grow these seeds. See the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map here to learn what zone you are in.
In an ideal situation, we would all source our seeds from our local regions and even seeds that are adapted to our particular micro-climates. As you become more connected with your gardening community we recommend transitioning to locally grown seeds. In the meantime, this pack is a great start for new gardeners and gardeners who don’t have access to local seeds.
What seeds are inside the pack?
This pack includes a variety of 20 different healing greens, hearty veggies, tasty herbs and a mix of pollinator friendly flowers. The pack contains enough seeds to densely plant two 4’x8′ raised beds and can produce over $400 worth of food. You can learn about what’s in the pack here. This page shares details about each seed variety that we supply along with growing instructions. For the average person to purchase these seed packs of high quality, non-GMO seeds they would typically spend over $80.
Do we ship seeds internationally?
The Free Seed Project is located in the United States and Free Seed Packs are available for United States addresses only at this time. Why? Agricultural regulations make it prohibitively difficult to ship outside of the United States. Shipping internationally is also prohibitively expensive and we are able to serve more people by focusing our funds and resources within the country we live in. We do not send packs internationally even for those that offer to pay for international shipping.
Are the seeds we provide organic? Are the seeds GMO/ GE/ genetically engineered?
We work with and supply solely non-GMO/non-GE seeds with absolutely no exceptions.
Each of the varieties of seeds that we provide are open-pollinated, except for one (the carrots which are F1 hybrid).
Half of the seed varieties are organic. To provide all organic would substantially decrease the number of people we can provides seeds to for free. We purchase organic seeds where the cost increase is minimal and choose the non-certified organic options where the price is substantially different. That said, the non-certified organic seeds are produced with high Earth ethics. All of our seeds can always be grown regeneratively, sustainably and in harmony with Earth – with no pesticides – (all qualities of TRUE organic, the way the Earth loves it)!
Where are the seeds we provide sourced from?
We source our seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. “For 49 years Johnny’s has set the standard for high seed quality, meeting or exceeding federal minimum requirements for germination rates, pathogen testing, and traceability.” Fully employee owned, they pledge to supply non-GMO safe seeds.
Why do we use plastic bags?
Thank you for caring about sustainability! We have done extensive research and explored every option we can find and using plastic bags is the only financially viable way we have found to be able to provide free seed packs to 10,000+ people per year.
To switch to paper bags would increase prices so substantially that it would mean providing seeds to way fewer people. We believe that the most impactful way that we can run the Free Seed Project is to maximize the number of people we serve, even if that means doing it a little bit less sustainably. The plastic in this envelope provides enough seeds to produce hundreds of dollars worth of food, with substantially less plastic than one single plastic wrapped fruit or veggie at the market. We are fully confident that the benefits for Earth and humanity far outweigh the cost. We wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t believe it.
I received free seeds from the Free Seed Project last year. Do I need to request a pack again this year?
To receive seeds you must request a pack each year. We do not have a running list from year to year.
I was on the waitlist for a free pack. Do I still need to request a pack to receive seeds?
Yes, the waitlist is only a list to receive a notification once we have seeds available. When we move from the waiting list to the request list we send an email to each person who added their email to the waitlist letting them know that they can now request a Free Seed Pack.
I tried to get free seeds last year and didn’t get any. Why?
There are a few reasons you may not have received seeds.
- You may have been on the waitlist, but never on the seed pack request list.
- Your envelope may have been lost. A small percentage of mail gets lost by USPS.
- Some people don’t put in their address correctly into the request form.
- Sometimes our emails go to spam or get buried. We may have sent you an email that you did not receive sharing that you are not receiving a pack.
- We may have made a mistake too. As a very small not-for-profit team, our resources are limited both in what we can provide materially and in time to respond to all desires. We are very hopeful that all will be patient with us, whether you receive a pack or not, and grateful for our service to Earth, humanity and our plant and animal relatives.
Can I request more than one free seed pack?
Many people accidentally make multiple requests. Because of this we remove duplicates from our list. If there are multiple people that would like to receive seeds you can have each of them sign up on their own. You can use the same mailing address and email, but it must be a different name requesting the seeds.
For additional questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org