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Seeds FAQ


Shipping / Orders FAQ


Why are you called Truelove Seeds?

Truelove Seeds founder Owen Taylor wanted to name the company for an ancestor since our primary focus is on working with farmers and gardeners who grow and save their ancestral seeds. Leticia Truelove is Owen's mother's mother's mother's mother's name, and honoring her is a way to honor the entire matrilineal line of amazing women. We also like to say: keeping SEEDS is an act of TRUELOVE for our ANCESTORS and our collective FUTURE.


Can you tell us about your seeds?

Pesticide-free and non-GMO:

Our growers use various levels of natural farming practices and none of us use chemical pesticides or fertilizers on our farms. A couple of our several dozen growers are certified organic, but for the rest of us, we nurture our soils and attempt to live in harmony with our farm ecosystems without the prohibitive costs and burdens of the organic certification processes, and without the use of synthetic chemicals. We would never knowingly offer seeds that have been contaminated with genetic engineering (or GMOs) as we believe in the sacredness of life, the value of 10,000 years of traditional human plant selection, and the freedom of sharing seeds without patents.

Culturally-Important Heirloom and Open-Pollinated Seeds:

We primarily offer heirloom seeds, which are older varieties that have been around for many generations. We are particularly invested in helping to preserve and proliferate the seed varieties that our growers, customers, and broader community identify as most important to their sense of self and community, and their taste of home. When possible, our culturally-important seeds are grown by farmers of that particular culture - this is part of our rematriation efforts as well as our focus on supporting a vibrant, living culture of seed keeping. All of our seeds are open-pollinated, meaning that our seed crops come from stable populations of plants where pollination happens naturally via wind, insects, birds, and the plants themselves. We do not offer hybrid seeds, except for our few genetically-diverse "landraces," which are open-pollinated as well.


Do you do germination testing for your seeds?

Yes! We test our seeds through a certified laboratory with the Department of Agriculture. We ensure that our seeds are germinating well above the federal germination standards for vegetable seeds in interstate commerce.

If they are below standard, we legally have to tell you this, and will do so on the packet and on the product page on our website. We sometimes offer lower germinating seeds if they are hard to find elsewhere, so that you still have access to this variety. Again, we will tell you on the product page and on the packet if this is the case. Otherwise, we aim to only offer seeds germinating in the 80-100% range. To raise our germination rates, we offer our freshest seed, and clean it very thoroughly with preference for heavy, dense seed for more vigor and vitality.


What is the difference between germination rate and total viability?

In their results, labs we test through list the percentage of seeds that germinated successfully under their testing methods. This percentage is the germination rate.

Some labs list a result for the "total viability," which is the germination rate + the percentage of dormant  or hard seed they found.

For some plants (especially black eyed peas, okra, and wild varieties who disperse hundreds of seeds at a time), many of their seeds are mature, alive, and ready to germinate but will remain dormant until the ideal conditions are present to sprout, such as being planted in soil at the right time and temperature. Although listed as dormant, these seeds are still considered viable and able to germinate.

Total viable seed = germination rate + dormant seed percentage.


What do you mean by "Profit Sharing"?

Our seeds are grown by more than 50 small-scale urban and rural farmers committed to community food sovereignty, cultural preservation, and sustainable agriculture. We share our profits directly with our growers: 50% of each packet sale goes back to the farmer who grew it! This is very unconventional in the seed world. This means that when our products sell well, our farmers see larger payback for their hard work and their heart work of preserving and keeping their beloved seeds.


Do you sell wholesale?

Yes! We love supplying retail stores, urban agriculture programs, and others with wholesale seeds. We offer a wholesale rate when ordering at least 50 packets, including at least 5 packets of each variety (if you would like to order large quantities that do not meet these requirements, please email us).

Please email wholesale@trueloveseeds.com for our pricing information. Because we are a profit sharing company (see above), we give our growers 50% of our packet sales, and so we do not lower our prices drastically for wholesale orders.

Click here to see a list of varieties that are available for wholesale pricing: PDF: 2024 Truelove Seeds Wholesale Varieties (v2024-01).

From August to October, we sell Wholesale Cut Flowers grown on the Truelove Seeds Farm. Find information here.


Do you have a print catalog?

We have not yet made the large financial investment in printing catalogs. We only have our online catalog for now (this website), but hope in the near future to at least make a PDF catalog available.


Can I buy your seeds in person?

You can find Truelove Seeds in stores around Philly and beyond! See the list here for retailers that are selling our seeds in stores. Please note: These locations only have a selection of our seeds. For our full offering, please order online using our website.


When will _________ be back in stock?

Thank you for your interest in our seeds and other offerings. On each product's page, under the SOLD OUT message, there is a link you can click to get notified when products come back in stock. Please click the link, enter your email address, and press SEND. We will email you as soon as the product is available. Generally, new seed varieties are back in stock around the beginning of the new year, but occasionally we update our inventory throughout the growing season when possible. Thank you for your patience.


What is your shipping policy?

Please click here to read our entire Shipping Policy. We only ship within the US, and to Canada and the UK. We are not able to offer Import Permits, Phytosanitary Certificates, or refunds for rejected packages.


Can you help me track down my package?

Yes! Please click here to find out how.


Do you have a seed donations program?

As a new, small seed company, we rarely have the capacity, time, or excess to do seed donations. We bring our limited excess to our local Philadelphia Seed Exchange seed swaps, which mostly happen in the cooler months at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Occasionally, we make small seed donations to food sovereignty projects led by indigenous folks (such as the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance native seed drive) and other people of color (such as Back to the Root: a Black Growers Gathering).


How does my non-profit organization create a tax-exempt account?

Please email us before placing your order! Here are the steps to follow:

  1. First, create an account on our website here: https://trueloveseeds.com/account/register.
  2. Email your tax-exempt paperwork to orders@trueloveseeds.com and let us know what email address you used to set up your Truelove Seeds account.
  3. Once we receive your email, we will manually make your account tax-exempt.
  4. After receiving confirmation from us that your account is tax-exempt, you can place your order on our website and tax will not be included. Note: you MUST place the order while signed in using the same email address that you sent to us.

If you place an order before contacting us, we will be unable to refund the sales tax charged on your order.


What is your refund policy?

We cannot provide refunds for customer errors as we are not able to resell seeds that we have already shipped out. If you are not sure if your order went through, please check your email's spam or promotions folder. If you still can't find a confirmation email, please contact us before re-ordering. If you reorder and get charged for two orders, once both are mailed, we cannot provide a refund. Read more here.