Have you ever wondered what goes into the packets of heirloom seeds that you get in the mail? Those little paper envelopes have a lot of work, care, love and attention in them. We wanted to show you a little peek behind the scenes on how we pack our seeds here at Terroir Seeds.
Some people don’t know that we hand pack each and every one of our heirloom seeds packets, while others don’t understand why we don’t use a machine to pack them. To answer the second point first, the seed packing machines that are used in larger seed companies are prohibitively expensive, even when available used. They are fast, but require cleaning and recalibration to the new seed for each and every seed variety packed. In our company, this would mean we would spend about two thirds of our time cleaning and calibrating the machine and less than a third in packing seeds. It doesn’t make sense for us quite yet! And yes, we actually do hand pack each and every seed packet that we ship!
For quality control, we only work with one type of seed at a time. This avoids mix-ups, as all tomato or pepper seeds look the same! When a new batch of seed arrives for the season, we count the number of seeds that are supposed to be in each packet, then find the correct measure that will consistently give us the number we are looking for. This may mean we count the same seeds several times, to make sure we are putting the correct number in a packet. We try to err on the generous side. Sometimes that is the same measure as the year before, but not always. Differing weather conditions, nutrient availability, pest and disease pressures all play a part on the physical size of the seeds from year to year.
As you probably imagine, this part of our business is very important to our continued growth. It is a detail oriented, behind-the-scenes type of job that requires high levels of concentration. With our growth, keeping up with the seed packing is requiring more time and will soon be a full time job.
We hope you enjoy the video and learn a bit more about why we put so much effort and love into our seeds!