Seed sales boom as Y2K worriers plant for futuregreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
4/10/99 -- 11:34 AM
Seed sales boom as Y2K worriers plant for future
ROBESONIA, Pa. (AP) - The big plastic container under Ralph Kellner's Christmas tree was labeled Y2K EMERGENCY KIT. Inside were duct tape, a fortune cookie, some fish hooks and Twinkies - ``Expiration date: 1-3000.''
But among the gag gifts from his children were instructions that struck Kellner as entirely logical: ``Plant seeds in spring.''
Joke all you want, he told his kids, but we're doing just that. And seed companies say the Kellners are not alone.
Fearing power outages, empty grocery shelves and food distribution chaos, many Americans are stocking up on canning gear and planting apocalyptic vegetable gardens: potatoes, cabbage, beans, carrots - anything that will keep through the winter of 2000.
``We're getting a lot of calls in our customer service department from people who have never planted a seed in their life,'' says Renee Beaulieu of Shepherd's Garden Seeds in Torrington, Conn. ``Questions from people who have zero experience, but a lot of ambition - plowing up your entire back yard is not normally how you'd start gardening.''
The Y2K bug is a programming glitch that, come Jan. 1, could cause computers to think the year 2000 is really 1900 and chew up reams of data that run modern lives. Industry and government disagree about how widespread problems will be, and some companies see opportunity in the confusion.
On its Web site, Heirloom Seeds in West Elizabeth trumpets the ``Y2K Special,'' $115 worth of seeds for 92 vegetables and herbs. A bigger set includes 254 seed packs for $299.99.
Territorial Seed Co. in Cottage Grove, Ore., says its Millennium Victory Garden kit is its best-selling item ever.
Seeds of Change in Santa Fe, N.M., recommends ``survival seeds,'' from arugula to turnips.
And Millennium Seeds, a company started two years ago by Michael Morris, a Livermore, Colo., computer salesman worried about the Y2K bug, has seen monthly sales increase eight-fold since Jan. 1, from about $3,000 to more than $25,000 in early March.
``I've been in marketing all my life, so I know a good market when I see one,'' says Morris, who quit his job to start Millennium Seeds. ``We were out there buying seeds and I said, `Wow, this is an awesome market.'''
Gardener's Supply Co. in Burlington, Vt., reports increased sales of greenhouses ($300 to $3,000) and rain barrels ($110).
The Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry in Manitowoc, Wis., says sales of canning equipment have doubled.
Even companies ignoring Y2K marketing opportunities say they are inundated. Venerable W. Atlee Burpee & Co. in Warminster and Johnny's Selected Seed in Albion, Maine, report upticks since January.
Much of the sales boom is in so-called heirloom seeds. These come from open-pollinated plants, meaning gardeners can gather new seeds from this year's produce and plant them next year. They can't do that with the more common hybrid seeds, which are designed to resist certain pests or diseases.
``A couple of dozen people called and said they want one of everything that is an heirloom in our catalog,'' marvels Ellen Ogden, founder of The Cook's Garden in Londonderry, Vt.
This spring's catalog for Chattanooga Shooting Supplies, a Tennessee mail-order company, offers packets of heirloom seeds alongside gun sights and ammunition.
``We don't know how bad it's going to be,'' says company buyer Bob Johnston. ``One thing we're not going to do is not make money on it.''
Ogden calls the whole phenomenon ``ridiculous.''
But Tom Johns, president of Territorial Seeds, wants to be ready for whatever happens.
``I'm trying to put myself in their position and say, `What would I want on my shelf?''' he says. ``Whether the problems associated with Y2K come along or not, they're going to have a real good collection of seeds. It wouldn't hurt if people could be more self-sufficient anyway.''
Bernie Crooks, 76, knows something about self-sufficiency. She's talked about Y2K and gardening to parishioners at church in Clarion.
``I'm old enough that I lived during the Depression, and we turned a whole back yard into a garden. My mother canned. I was only 6 or 7 then, but I have strong memories,'' Ms. Crooks says. ``My granddaughter said, `Oh, it can't happen.' I said, `OK, honey. But if it does happen, your grandma has some rolled oats.'''
The Kellners are former commercial artists from Brooklyn, N.Y., who moved to rural Berks County, 60 miles from Philadelphia, 18 years ago.
Ralph Kellner has researched the millennium bug, read information from every reasonable source he can find, watched congressional hearings on C-SPAN and talked with friends in computer programming.
All of it convinced him the power will fail at the start of 2000, for several weeks to a few months. So he and his wife, Mary, both 65, bought a generator to run the freezer and pump water from their 200-foot-deep well. They've filled four blue tubs with soup, rice and canned tuna. And they are planting vegetables in six beds covering 350 square feet.
Mary Kellner has never preserved food, but she plans to learn. Winter squash, carrots and potatoes will go into the root cellar under the garage. Tomatoes will make sauces. Corn she will freeze; beans she will dry.
``I'm going to do it, too,'' Ralph Kellner says, ``and I'm the worst gardener in the world. I've been living here for almost 20 years, and I've had a vegetable garden and each year I've neglected it. It's the joke of all our friends.''
``This year,'' his wife says, ``we decided we better get serious.''
And if Y2K glitches never occur or are solved in days?
``We'll save a heck of a lot of money,'' Mary Kellner says, ``because we won't have to go to the food store.''
-- Ray (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 10, 1999
Can we use Gary North's commentaries as fertilizer?
-- Sunny Disposition (email@example.com), April 10, 1999.
This article is a perfect example. I'm buying what amounts to $1,000 in dwarf (pottable) fruit trees, mini (houseplant) fruit trees, tons of (trellis) fruit vines, and lots and lots of seeds for vegetables, ranging from trellis'd beanpeas to root crops to all the typical stuff. Most of my property will be gardened, and it's a LOT of sq' space. Hoping water won't be TOO big an issue; it rains a great deal here until summer so hopefully things'll be normal on the water front by then; otherwise, well, it takes less to water something in a pot than in the ground. In the end it is going to cost me more money for the wood beams, plywood, oil, additional soil and vermiculite, to make all the garden plots than it is to buy the plants and seeds. But it seems to me that, although I'm buying stuff to store too, gardening is the only logical solution to a potential disruption in food supply. It's also the one thing that can help us help others -- trading, if necessary, labor in the garden for a meal (or labor in guard duty!).
PJ in TX
-- PJ Gaenir (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 10, 1999.
I forgot to mention that I can't seem to grow an ivy houseplant without killing it this far in life, so to say this is an ambitious undertaking for me is an understatement. (Four planets in Virgo and I can hardly grow mold. I ought to be ashamed of myself...)
PJ in TX
-- PJ Gaenir (email@example.com), April 10, 1999.
Now, I'D be interested in the mini houseplant fruit trees, with or without Y2K. Where can they be purchased, and how long does it take them to bear fruit? Also--how difficult to grow/maintain?
-- FM (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 10, 1999.
Miller Nurseries, NY, is advertising tiny apple trees, single stem, can be grown in a pot on a patio, deck or balcony. They stop growing at about 8'; apples are full-size. Price is 24.85 ea, two for 22.85. I've ordered roses from these folks, good quality and service. There are dwarf cherries (6-7') and peach (5'). They also have asparagus, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, plums, paw paw, etc.
-- Old Git (email@example.com), April 10, 1999.
I have been growing Calamondin Oranges in my home for about 10 years now. The little bitty oranges are very sour but they are a good source of vitamin C and they work well in recipes that call for orange juice or zest. I grow them in a north window less than 400 miles south of the arctic circle, so I think they should pretty much grow anywhere. The downside is that in dryish indoor situations, spider mites love citrus, so I keep the plants bathed and inspect them regularly. I have 8 mature oranges and dozens of blossoms on one in a 6 inch pot right now (after a long winter). I do not supplement the natural light with grow lights. I would like to try the Meyer lemon as it will also grow well in a container but with all of my projects I don't know if I'll get around to it. Good luck.
-- Ramp Rat (Aviation_R_us@noname.nocity), April 10, 1999.
If 1-1-2000 is just another day , I think its great that families are digging in the dirt and trying to make thier lives a little simpler . Gardening has always given us alot of first class quality time together as a family and going out to pick a bucket full of fresh veggies and salad fixins aint to bad either. ..Good Luck.
-- Capt D (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 10, 1999.
I work in the ag sector and would like to pass on a warning to gardeners. Recently, it has been discovered in our area that non-ag people have been planting animal feed (oats, wheat, corn) in their garden as seed. Animals feed is relatively inexpensive and cheaper than commercial seed. Unfortunately, animal feed is not well cleaned of wild varieties and weeds. It is also not treated against disease. What is happenning is that new varieties of weeds are being imported through the feed and establishing themselves. As we do grow grains as a crop locally, these weeds could threaten the viability of local varieties as well as other crops. We have learned from historic experience (Marlahan mustard) that a non-indigeanous species can turn on ya and take over. Call your ag extension advisor, ag commissioner or local organic grower and ask where to get field seed in large quantities. Or order from a reputable seed retailer. Please !
-- marsh (email@example.com), April 10, 1999.
It's funny, because up here, ther are TONS of seed available in the stores. Also- even some people who have always gardened in the past have decided NOT to garden this year. Go figure.....
-- anita (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 10, 1999.
Hey Ramp Rat:
Can you give a source for the above mentioned oranges and lemons?
-- brother rat (email@example.com), April 10, 1999.
Mr. Yourdon comments on April 1 rollover
asked in the TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Q&A Forum ---------- Mr. Yourdon writes a weekly Y2K column for some outfit called Cutter Consortium. He wrote one of these columns about the April 1 rollover, and a friend passed it along to me. Not sure if it's kosher to post it here on his forum, but I figure that what goes around comes around...
Welcome to the Y2000 E-Mail Advisor, a weekly electronic briefing from Ed Yourdon, Director of the Cutter Consortium's Y2000 Advisory Service.
THE 1 APRIL FISCAL YEAR ROLLOVER
It's now been a week since New York, Canada, and Japan celebrated the beginning of their new fiscal year; as I write this week's column, the British government is going through the same process. Thus far, it appears that there have been no significant Y2000 problems, and Y2000 pundits are now trying to decide what it all means.
Unfortunately, much of the discussion has degenerated into petty bickering between the Y2000 optimists and pessimists (or, to use the more disparaging terms, pollyannas and doomsayers). The pessimists may have been hoping that dramatic Y2000 problems would emerge in Ottawa, Tokyo, London, or Albany in order to validate their predictions about Y2000, or to at least raise the level of awareness about potential problems looming ahead in the next few months. And the optimists may have been hoping that the lack of 1 April problems would prove, once and for all, that the pessimists' predictions were grossly exaggerated.
I found myself dragged into the fray when a participant on the comp.software.year-2000 Internet forum reminded his fellow participants shortly after 1 April that I had written a grumpy article last July (available at http://www.yourdon.com/articles/y2kClintonspeech.html) in which I said "On April 1, 1999, we will all watch anxiously as the governments of Japan and Canada, as well as the state of New York, begin their 1999-2000 fiscal year; at that moment, the speculation about Y2K will end, and we will have tangible evidence of whether governmental computer systems work or not." It was suggested that I should "put up or shut up": unless there was tangible evidence of Y2000 problems resulting from the fiscal year rollovers, I should acknowledge that Y2000 isn't going to be such a bad problem after all.
Well, maybe it won't be -- and if that's the case, we should all rejoice. After all, we're all on the same side, in terms of our desires for a best-case Y2000 outcome, even if our current assessments of the situation may differ. I'm happy to agree with the notion that the fiscal year rollover success enjoyed by New York, Canada, and Japan -- coupled with the similar experiences enjoyed by the Eurocurrency projects, as well as the absence of catastrophic rollover problems on 1 January 1999 -- means that there is less reason than before to assume that Y2000 will lead to TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it). But I never believed in the TEOTWAWKI scenario in the first place, and I still think there's an enormous amount of potential for moderate disruptions between the "bump in the road" scenario predicted by the optimists, and the apocalyptic TEOTWAWKI scenario articulated by the doomsayers.
Looking back on the words I wrote last July, I do regret having said "at that moment, the speculation about Y2K will end," because it has become evident that there is still much to speculate about. The most significant aspect of speculation involves embedded systems: regardless of whatever problems the various government authorities might have had with their financial computing systems on 1 April or their Eurocurrency systems back in January, none of it involves the embedded systems. We still don't know how that part of the Y2000 story will unfold, and we continue to be whipsawed between optimism and pessimism as we see each new report indicating that embedded systems failures are worse than -- or, according to the next report, less serious than -- what we previously believed. Y2000 optimists and pessimists will continue arguing passionately about the presence or absence of life-threatening embedded system failures until much later this year -- indeed, possibly right up to midnight on New Year's Eve.
It's also fairly clear that a fiscal-year rollover phenomenon only concerns those computer systems that are aware of the concept of a fiscal year, and that make use of that concept in their decision- making and/or calculations. Thus, there are almost certain to be a wide range of computing systems within a government organization that are date-sensitive, and potentially noncompliant, but which are completely unaffected by the fact that the organizational entity has moved into a new fiscal year that extends from 1 April 1999 to 31 March 2000.
But let's put these two categories of systems aside for the moment, and focus on the heart of the debate: what can we conclude from the apparent fact that FY-sensitive computing systems in the Canadian, Japanese, and New York State governments appear to have survived the 1999-2000 rollover event?
The optimistic interpretation is fairly obvious: it means that appropriate remediation efforts on those systems were indeed finished on time, rather than falling behind schedule; and it means that the testing efforts were sufficiently thorough and comprehensive that no "show-stopper" bugs have appeared. And if that interpretation is correct, one might logically conclude that the government agencies will extend their success to the rest of their systems, and thus succeed in remediating and testing all of the other systems that would otherwise fail on 1 January 2000.
But this gets back to the issue of what I referred to as "tangible evidence" in my 1998 article. How do we know that New York State's mission-critical systems survived the fiscal-year rollover? Well, we have the governor's word for it: on 1 April, New York Governor George Pataki issued a press release (available at http://www.state.ny.us/governor/press/year99/april1_1_99.htm), which announced that "New York State's "mission critical" computer systems -- such as the state's payroll, general accounting, and tax systems -- that are dependent on the state's fiscal year have been remediated, tested, and are in production." Alas, we have become such a cynical nation that we're not entirely sure if we can trust such public statements; after all, we live in a nation where the meaning of truth is sometimes determined by what the meaning of "is" is. Thus, the Y2000 pessimists -- along with at least a few computer- illiterate cynics -- may seek their own evidence that the state's computer systems are working properly.
But it's likely that many computer problems that might have occurred on 1 April were simple enough that they could be fixed by computer programmers within a matter of hours, without the public ever becoming aware of the problem. True, this might have cost the taxpayers some money, and it may have caused an incremental, temporary decrease in the efficiency and productivity of the state government. But the reality is that if the problem is small enough -- or, to put it more cynically, if the problem is capable of being hidden and covered up -- then it doesn't qualify as "tangible evidence." If the citizens and taxpayers don't see it, it doesn't exist.
That seems to have been the experience with the Eurocurrency situation, and the FY-99 rollover experience. That's not to say that either of these two "trigger dates" were completely problem-free; a Eurocurrency problem with one of the French banks led to riots in Marseilles by welfare recipients who had not received their checks by mid-January 1999 (see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=000144088531503&rtmo=3umxxY3M&atmo=rN 00bsGq&P4_FOLLOW_ON=/99/1/7/wrio07.html&pg=/et/99/1/7/wrio07.html
for details); and rumors abound of European banking difficulties with bungled deposits and funds transfers. And though the FY-99 rollover didn't lead to any catastrophes, there is no shortage of minor problems that have been reported (see http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000RSP for one such list).
But thus far, we have NO evidence of FY-00 rollover problems in Canada, New York, Japan, or England. It's worth remembering, though, that many of these problems -- if they exist at all -- may not show up until several "cycles" of processing have occurred, e.g., when monthly or quarterly reports have to be generated, or when several payrolls have been run. The cumulative effect of software errors -- sometimes referred to as the "Jo Anne Effect" problem among Y2000 cognoscenti -- may not be visible until numerous database records have been clobbered, or numerous end users have been affected.
And that will be the ultimate test: if FY rollover problems cause New York, England, or Canada to bungle the payment of pension checks to a hundred thousand retired civil-service workers, it won't be possible to hide the problem. We've already seen one such problem, though it's now attributed to human error rather than a Y2000 software bug: the recent fiasco that led the New Jersey state government to erroneously credit thousands of food-stamp recipients with an additional payment.
For whatever it's worth, the public acknowledgments of the 1 April situation by New York and Canadian Y2000 managers was cautious. A 2 April article in the *Los Angeles Times* (see http://www.latimes.com/excite/990402/t000029233.html) quotes Jim Bimson of the Canadian Year 2000 office as saying, "So far it's been a nonevent. We haven't heard anything today, but I'm not that surprised since we really have to wait a while for some transactions to occur. Most of the computers are still working in the last fiscal year."
Meanwhile, it's also important to remember that Canada, Japan, England, and New York State are not finished with the systems that MUST work on 1 January 2000. A quick look at the "top 40" mission- critical systems in New York State (visible at http://www.irm.state.ny.us/yr2000/top45lst.htm, which shows the status as of January 1999) indicates that roughly half are not yet compliant.
Whether you're an optimist or a pessimist, it's important to remember that we still have several months before we'll really know how Y2000 will turn out. If you think of it as a 10-round boxing match, the optimists can claim to have won the first three rounds; but there are still several rounds to go.
-- 32356 (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 10, 1999.
I got my orange bushes from Eagle Hardware garden center. (A big home and garden warehouse for those of you not familiar with Eagle.) I have seen them off and on at various local and out of state nurseries and greenhouses. They usually sell them in the spring around here. Same with the lemons. I was in Florida a couple of springs ago and southern California and Pikes Street Market in Seattle last fall and all three places had them for sale in outdoor nurseries. Happy hunting.
-- Ramp Rat (Aviation_R_us@noname.nocity), April 11, 1999.
OK, I will list for you the dwarf trees and mini trees, all of which fruit, which I am ordering next week. (All listings are dwarf, none of these are standards.) I'll include all the info I have on them. I have a letter into the horticulturist asking for some data I don't have yet like harvest time on some of them -- and when each of the different types can be expected to fruit (most fruit I'm told takes 2 years before fruiting), but most plants are at least a year mature, so...).
Please note all prices listed are for either the largest size tree they ship (most mature) OR for the "deluxe" version if that is offered (most mature and other issues). Non-deluxe versions of the plants are cheaper; less mature are cheaper; regular trees (non-dwarf) are cheaper, just fyi, so these prices are the HIGHEST possible for each plant please check Gurneys for all pricing. Their catalog is online (www.gurneys.com).
Note: For veggie seeds, willhiteseed (www.willhiteseed.com - I think) are the cheapest I've found by far. But Gurneys has LOTS of other stuff -- novelties, grasses, trees, shrubs, flowers, veggies, fruits, etc.
I'm also buying fruit vines. Good for fencing, esp. link, and thorny types like raspberry may discourage less hardy intruders esp. children.
I tried to choose varieties, when possible, that could pollinate each other and yet harvest at slightly different times, as big a spread as possible, so I'd have food consistently rather than more than I could eat all at once.
Pole apples: trellis'd up a single pole. Four types, Cortland / Honey Gold / Red Haralson / McIntosh, $76.95 all four. You can buy them individually. Plant comes 3-4'H; grows to 2'Wx8'H.
Dwarf apple trees: Granny Smith, those green apples, deluxe version $24.99. Grows to 15'. 5-types, a tree that grows 5 different types of apples all on one tree (!), deluxe version $39.25, harvest late October.
Plumcot (plum/apricot mix): comes 4-5', grows 12', $26.98, harvest July.
Pears: Red D'Anjou deluxe grows 12', $24.89 harvest September. Barlett deluxe grows 12', $22.45 harvest August. Duchess French deluxe grows 12', $20.45 harvest late Sep-October. (Note: a recent post said some pear tree, bartlett I think?, was bad because the limbs tend to fall off causing property damage. But on a dwarf tree I hardly think this is an issue.)
Apricots: Sungold and Moongold deluxe versions offered together (1 ea) for $38.85, grow 8' tall, harvest July. Manchurian Bush apricot, comes as 2-3' plant, grows 10' tall, $6.65 for two plants. (Note: this plant fruits third year.)
Peaches: Elberta (harvest mid-late Sep), Reliance (harvest late Aug) and Hale Haven (harvest early Sep) deluxe versions offered together (1 ea) for $50.99, grow 8' tall.
Nectarine: Mericrest, comes 4-5', grows 8', $21.99, harvest mid-late August.
Plum: Stanley, deluxe, grows 8', harvests September, $26.49. Native, comes 2-3', grows 10', $5.89.
Cherry: North Star (dark cherry) deluxe, grows 10', $23.75. Meteor (pink cherry) deluxe, grows 10', $25.65. Hansen (dark cherry), and Nanking (bright cherry)both come 1.5-2', grow to 5', are viningbushes, 6 are offered together (3 ea) for $10.99. All cherries listed harvest in July.
Kiwi: Seriously folks, the "Hardy" variety is a plant to have. Let me tell you what the catalog mentions: Withstands frigid cold. Can be grown anywhere in the country (USA). Resists pests and diseases. Thrives in almost any soil. Decorative landscaping plant. Sweeter than the kiwis you get in the store. Smooth edible skin, no peeling. Nutritious, higher Vitamin C content than even citrus fruits. Talk about the perfect fruit plant! You need male+female to produce fruit. They offer 4 plants, Hardy, 1male+3female, for $37.55. It doesn't say what size they come in, when they fruit, or when they harvest (I'm asking). Also there is an Issai Kiwi, self pollinating, plant is $11.59.
Blueberry: Patriot, comes 12-18", grows 6', harvest July, $6.69. Note: that one withstands subzero temps. Bluecrop, comes 12-18", grows 6', harvests June, $8.19. There is another blueberry offered called 'dwarf tophat', $8.19.
Misc.: Red Lake Currant, bushyvine, comes #1-1yr, $5.79. Gooseberry, bushyvine, comes #1-1yr, $5.98. Cranberry, bush, comes 18-24", $10.29. Note: cranberry can be grown in partial shade, and does not generally need pruning, so is good for borders and such too.
The following are considered almost houseplants, used for decorating, or for patio pots, "mini" trees vs. "dwarf" trees. They range from 1' (guavas) 2-3' (lime) to 5' (banana). You can bring them in during winter so your climate won't kill them. You do need to put them outside in spring/summer so they can get pollinated to fruit (and you may need two for pollination). All of these are trees. I don't know the size they come in or when they harvest (I'm asking about that).
Lime Tree $6.19. Banana Tree $5.15. Lemon Tree $6.19. Dancy Tangerine Tree $6.19. Fig Tree $9.25. Pomegranate Tree $3.95. Strawberry Guava Tree $5.15. Pineapple Guava Tree $5.15. (They also offer an Otaheite Orange for $6.19 but I heard some fellow mention massive thorns on it so I thought I'd skip that one.)
The "sweet leaf" tree (same genre for climate/size as the above little fruits) produces leaves which, when dried, are three hundred times sweeter than sugar. $10.49.
The "hops" vine (hops... you know... beer!) trellises 20-25' in a season with lots of leaves for shade. $3.99.
They sell a melon that allegedly tastes like sweet banana, called "banana muskmelon". 5-8lb fruits 1.5' long. $1.14 for 30-seed packet.
They sell Tahitian Squash, said to taste like melon when raw and like sweet potatoes when baked. 40-lb fruits. $2.05 for 10-seed packet.
Other novelties I thought were groovy: 2-3lb sugar-beets; tobacco; cotton; broom corn; giant (13-15') corn; cotton; millet; 4-leaf clover; flowering cabbage; 2'long-bean plant; 5'diameter gourd plant; polka dot watermelon; luffa sponges; rainbow chard; 5-6lb onions; 2-3' long cucumbers; and even little aquatic plants for your fish tank.
I found another web site (I'll search for URL when done here) that actually had 12 kinds of tobacco seeds, 2 kinds of opium-poppy (as opposed to other poppy) seeds, and other rare finds. (Not a druggie, but morphine might be useful! And the hops for beer, and the tobacoo for trade... Now, how to make all that stuff...?!)
PJ in TX
-- PJ Gaenir (email@example.com), April 11, 1999.
EXOTICA: http://www.seedman .com/WP/WorldWideSeed.html
The above link has SEEDS only, but they cover stuff from all over the world, much more exotic than the average seed catalog dreams of being.
The above link has most every herb you can think of. Many though they only sell the powdered/dried products of, not seeds for the herb itself.
VEGETABLES: http://www.willhiteseed.com/ Don't lose this 'cause I searched for them by name when I did and no search engine I tried turned them up, took me forever to find the site again. BEST prices I've seen anywhere on vegetable seeds and they have LOTS of open pollinated stuff.
DWARF/MINI FRUIT TREES and more: http://www.gurneys.com
I'm sure I have lots more bookmarks but most are at work. Seeing as how there I have a 21" monitor and the fastest desktop computer money can buy (a Mac of course!) -- my little 14" monitor 160Mhz PC at home seems pretty dim by comparison so I do most browsing on my own time at work. I'll try to remember to post some more links from there.
PJ in TX
-- PJ Gaenir (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 11, 1999.
Has anyone compared the prices of Gurneys to Stark Nurserys? A few years back I had ordered fruit trees from Stark - I believe they are in Missouri.
-- jeanne (email@example.com), April 11, 1999.