Planning Your Spring Garden with Heirloom Seeds from Comstock, Ferre & Co.

By Analiese Paik

If you’re planning to plant a garden this spring, now’s the time to visit your favorite seed seller to make your selections before stocks are depleted. Backyard gardening has never been more popular and each year new gardeners jump on board to revel in the joy and benefits of growing their own food. Research has shown that children who grow and pick their own food tend to eat it. That means they’ll eat more vegetables!

Check out this WTNH Good Morning CT Weekend segment for a quick lesson in getting your spring container garden started with Comstock Ferre’s heirloom seeds and supplies from Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens.

Comstock, Ferre & Co. in Wethersfield, CT offers over 250 varieties of heirloom seeds in their 2011 catalog, including these rare kale, leek and pea seeds.
Supplies for a spring container garden of peas - terra cotta container, organic planting mix, gardening gloves and three stakes for trellising - can all be purchased at Gilbertie's Herb Gardens in Westport. Be sure to ask for planting and composting advice while there if you're new to gardening.

Seeds are very inexpensive, and if you make your own compost, you’ll likely wind up saving money by growing your own. A fantastic online source of inspiration and advice for home gardeners is Kitchen Gardeners International, the group behind the campaign to replant a kitchen garden at the White House.

Some of the best planting advice is dispensed by the experts at our local garden centers and one of my favorites is Gilbertie’s Herb Gardens in Westport. They sell everything you need to start your own organic garden, from soil and containers to seedlings and raised beds. A few weeks ago I got a sneak preview of the gorgeous Western Red Cedar wooden planter boxes and raised garden beds they are stocking for the spring. Assembled in 5 minutes, these planters are designed for the home gardener looking to grow on patios, decks, and even rooftops. The elevated garden beds are a great solution for anyone with limited mobility or just plain tired of gardening on their knees!

After watching this video about Comstock Ferre & Co., a 200-year-old seed company in Wethersfield, CT, that was recently acquired by Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company of Missouri, I ordered  the seed catalog and chose a number of heirloom varietals I had never heard of before. The Comstock Heirloom Seeds catalog offers over 250 seed varieties, all of which were part of their original 1820-1950 heirloom seed collection. An heirloom seed is one that is at least 50 years old and has been selected to be saved and passed down from generation to generation because it grew well and tasted good. Heirloom seeds, unlike hybrids or GMOs (genetically modified seeds) will reproduce true to the parent strain. Rewarded with the same excellent vegetable they remember from past years, gardeners would again save seeds for the next season’s planting. You can save seeds too!


Comstock, Ferre & Co., located in historic Wethersfield, CT, is the oldest continually operating seed company in New England and celebrated its 200th anniversary last summer. Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company is  committed to restoring Comstock Ferre to its original state, including choosing historic art work originally commissioned by Comstock from local artists to grace the covers of their seed packets.

How to Purchase Comstock Heirloom Seeds:

Seed packets are available for purchase at the retail store in Wethersfield, CT, just 5 minutes south of downtown Hartford. Comstock, Ferre & Co. is located at 263 Main Street in Old Wethersfield, and is open Monday through Friday from 9-4. Phone: 860-571-6590 860-571-6590 or visit them online at to order a catalog or place an online seed order.

Leave a Comment

Fairfield Green Food Guide
Like the content you see here? Join our weekly mailing list...
* We hate spam and never share your details.