Livingseeds, is the best heirloom seed company.

Livingseeds is the best seed company in South Africa.

Yes, I know I’m biased, being the owner of Livingseeds brings me immense pride and joy. We know that what we do is so important for the South African gardener, farmer and smallholder, in fact for anyone that is concerned with food security, seed freedom and seed saving.

There are many things that Livingseeds can claim to be the best at: We were the first Heirloom seed company in SA, we are the largest Heirloom seed company in SA and we have the largest selection of Heirloom seed varieties that are locally grown.  Many local heirloom seed companies use Livingseeds either as their own seed supplier or as their yardstick to ascertain quality.


I could go on, however, for this article, I’m going to concentrate on one single aspect: Our seed quality.

Seed quality for a seed company, is paramount!

At the end of the day, we know that our customers will gauge us by our seed quality, and every interaction is typically based off of the initial experience.

Many customers have come to us and told us how happy they are to receive our seed and how great our germination is. Good quality seed with fantastic germination is of utmost importance to us and we appreciate the affirmations we are getting from gardeners and growers from all walks of life. It is just as important for us that the beginner gardener has the same success as the expert growers out there.

The focus of Livingseeds is very simple. We provide the very best heirloom vegetable seed in South Africa.

So how do we know that we have the best seed in South Africa?

Let me tell you a story, one that I’m very proud of.


Thomas Linders is a very well-known permaculturist in South Africa. He’s been practising in South Africa for over 30 years, with his Permaculture journey starting long before that in Switzerland, so he has been around for a while.

He runs the Rosendal Permaculture Institute at Waaipoort Farm in the Free State and as such, is widely recognised as an authority in what he does.

In 2016 I was at a sustainability show in Pretoria and Thomas started chatting to me.

The story that transpired is for me, one great honour. Thomas related that over the years they had run experiments with the offerings from various seed suppliers and producers in South Africa. Due to the nature of permaculture, diversity is of paramount importance to ensure that the system is able to feed back into itself, and provide the incredible harvests that permaculture is known for.

To achieve this there is no single seed supplier that can supply all their needs, and by necessity permaculturists need to order from numerous seed suppliers. It must also be noted that the various seed companies, very often stock the same varieties. So naturally there is some over-lap.

Over the years, Thomas has ordered from every single seed supplier in South Africa, and in doing so he has been able to sample the wares that each supplier has on offer.

So now it comes down to the actual seed quality. Thomas and his people have planted seed from all of the various suppliers’ in real world applications. These were not specialist, double-blind lab tests, but practical field trials, where seed from various local seed suppliers were planted primarily for production.

The seed was planted correctly, by knowledgeable people in the correct manner, which, if you think about it, is the best way to assess the quality of the seed.

Thomas told me that over the years of planting locally supplied seed, every year, Livingseeds seeds came out as the best quality seed, both in terms of germination and in terms of actual quality of the plants produced.

What I find most impressive is that he said that these results were the same EVERY year, which goes to show that our seed quality is consistent year after year.

For a seed company, having someone that has intimate knowledge of seed, seed sowing practices and an in depth knowledge of growing practices say that your seed specifically, has a noticeably better germination that any other supplier, is high praise indeed.

We do a number of things that separates us from our competition, we know that we are the best seed company in South Africa, we lead and our competition follows, every year.

For us being listed by a credible authority, that is 100% external to Livingseeds, as having the best quality seed in South Africa, is probably the highest form of praise.

NOTE: Thomas Linders has not, and will not receive any compensation for this.

This article was written by myself (Sean Freeman) and I have received permission from Thomas to use his name.