Garden in March with Sow True Seed

Posted 2.27.13

Story by LENA R. BRODSKY | Photos provided by NEELEY DAWSON

The belief that we should know where our food comes from and how it is produced is not new. Recently, however, such education has gained much momentum, both locally and nationally.

As more people decide to buy locally grown produce and eat at restaurants that make an effort to important such foods, others take it one step further by planting and cultivating their own gardens.

This upsurge in personal gardening has opened the doors for local seed company Sow Tree Seed. For both the greenhorns and the veterans in gardening alike, Sow True Seed offers resources, gardening tips, and an exclusive and extensive array of open-pollinated seed, organic seed, ecologically grown seed, and heirloom seed.

The company, which is entering into its fifth season, is a testament to founder and president Carol Koury’s commitment to a healthy and self-sustainable community. As a lifelong gardener herself, Carol said that she wanted to make an investment in something that would benefit the local community when she started the company.

With Carol’s green thumb in business as well as gardening, Sow True Seed grew quickly. After the first year and a half the company was too large for its warehouse on Riverside Drive and moved into its current location, a warehouse and retail store on Church Street in downtown Asheville.

Having their own retail store is a great addition to the flourishing company. Carol notes the benefits of the store. “We have displays for over 450 varieties of seeds,” she says. “Everything we sell can be found in our store. People can also come in for advice, information, and workshops.”

Sow Tree Seed also sells their seed in a number of other locations, including local businesses such as the French Broad Food Co-op, as well as in stores in other states.

A main goal of the company is to provide as many people as possible with seed that has not been genetically modified. Neeley Dawson, a marketing voice for Sow True Seed, says, “As a company and as individuals we are concerned about food safety and about the genetically modified plants already out there.”

Neeley notes that there is no long-term research on the consequences of having a genetically modified food supply on the body and the environment. Carol adds to the dangers of genetically modified crops by noting that natural plants could disappear due to a lack of protection and testing.

For these reasons, Sow True Seed is committed to exclusively selling open-pollinated seeds, which have neither been genetically modified nor engineered.

Additionally, most open-pollinated varieties were developed over generations for hardiness in hostile climates, and growing through drought, wind storms, hail, and flooding. They had to adapt and that adaptation produced extreme hardiness. 

In line with their commitment to supporting the community, Sow True Seed encourages gardeners to save the seeds from their plants to use in the future. Carol says, “We want people to be able to save their seeds; we want people to have food security and know where their food comes from.”

Sow True Seed offers workshops that cover starting seed, planting, transplanting, and seed saving. They encourage those who are interested to call the store for more information.

For those who are just starting their gardens and those who have gardened for years, now is the perfect time to stop by the store and pick up seeds. “Late February and March is a great time for gardening,” Carol says.  “It is a good time for cool-weather crops, your wonderful greens like chard, kale, spinach, and lettuces; the hardy plants. It’s also time to start indoor seeds for plants like peanuts, peppers, and tomatoes.”

For more information about Sow True Seed please call 828-254-0708, visit their website,, or stop by the store located at 146 Church Street in Asheville.