Our choices for sources of sprouting seeds. We have thought about how to present them, so they are ranked by our highest recommendation to our lowest. These rankings are biased by Phil’s history, so keep that in mind. He wanted to put Glut Food Coop at the top of the list for sentimental reasons.
#1 A Local Co-op [Glut]
Glut has been in business for 40 years, at the same place doing the same thing, with the same bare wood floors. If you have never been to a food coop, a hangover from the 70’s when there were lots of them, it is a must visit. These coops started the idea of offering food in bulk. You would bring your own container and fill it from their bins. Glut still offers bulk grains, flours, seeds. You will recognize the bulk section at your modern store as having come from the food coop idea. They are a small store, relative to a Whole Foods, but they have a lot of advantages. Glut is a not-for-profit charitable trust. It is a nonstock corporation, so there is no owner. The prices at Glut are calculated to cover the cost of food plus operating expenses and surplus is rechanneled into Glut. They now have a website: http://www.glut.org/
#2 Your Local Indian Grocery Store
We recommend you check one out and come away with an assortment of dals, lentils, mung, and especially urad dal (whole). This last one has a high omega-3 content is easy to sprout, and the sprouts taste good. You need to soak them a little longer than mung or lentil before you sprout them. None of these will be organic, but the only place to get some of the small beans
#3 Quality, first choice: Frontier Natural Products Co-op -
A very large outfit, one of the major organizations in this country dealing with herbs and spices. Phil has dealt with them for about 25 years and says they have always had outstanding quality products. Their sprouting seeds have had the highest percentage of seeds that actually sprout.
The following blah blah blah is from their website: “Frontier also embraced many of the positive ideals underlying the popularity of co-ops. The early management envisioned a workplace where employees would enjoy their work, families would come first, the quality of products would be unsurpassed, organics would play a key role in the business and social responsibility would be inseparable from their actions. These values have been sustained—and have contributed significantly to Frontier’s success—throughout its entire history.(since 1976) As a leading supplier of organic herbs and spices, we hold a leadership position, not only in the marketplace, but also in the effort to convert food producers to sustainable farming and production practices. Our work is driven by the belief that fostering environmental responsibility is crucial to our world's future.
From Frontier you can get jars, seeds, as well as many of the non-food items sold in health food stores. Order on-line or by phone.
#4 choice – My Organic Market [MOM] - In Washington, D.C. Area
From their website "Scott Nash started MOM‘s in 1987 at the age of 22 with an initial investment of $100. MOM‘s was initially called Organic Foods Express and operated as a home-delivery/mail order company out of Scott‘s mom‘s garage. “ Phil dealt with Scott ever since the beginning. His stores are a refreshing relief from the yuppy-centric expensive Whole Foods. For many years his prices were much better than Whole Foods, but now MOM is 5 stores and a big business also. MOM still has ONLY organic foods, no need to hunt for the organic amongst the rest, and has a good bulk products section. You can get case discounts. Scott buys from small growers, and has a much wider variety of organic fruits and vegetables than the competition. This is slowly changing as he grows."
#5 Choice - Frankferd Farms Foods
From their website: "Frankferd Farms Foods grew out of a desire to work at home with our family to raise and sell organic food. Twenty years have passed and our businesses, like our children, are growing. The Frankferd Farms family now includes our OCIA certified organic farm and flour mill and the retail showroom located within our warehouse. We're part of a larger family of farmers, processors, distributors, and consumers who, working together, create an alternative, organic-oriented food system.
"Frankferd will mail you stuff (It is like shopping at a MOM’s or Whole Foods from your house) or once a month a truck is sent down this way. The truck is free shipping but requires a $250 minimum. Again, use the opportunity to get together and work up a communal order. Their prices on food items are better than MOM’s, Whole Foods, etc. Case prices especially good."
#6 Choice – Bob’s Red Mill www.bobsredmill.com/
Great source for hard to find grains like teff, and flours like hazelnut flour. Baking supplies, lots of varieties of beans. Phil’s experience is that their mung beans have a relatively low sprout percentage
Last Choice – Whole Foods
Why the last choice? Phil’s bias at work. Phil has always disliked their higher prices, lack of organics, and general ambience. They are harder on small growers, which has a large negative impact on the organic movement.
See also the selection on this site!
Container gardening indoors