Can I buy seed from Badgersett and grow my own plants?
UPDATED: yes, with some restrictions, and we still recommend against it for most people (see below). Hickory and Select seed will still be unavailable for some time, however, for the same reasons as before.
For about twenty years the answer was "No", for the following reasons.
We tried this at the beginning, and at that point it NEVER made anyone happy on either side of the transaction. Basically:
- Hybrid nut seed is expensive. There is no resemblance to the cost of, say, wild black walnut seed. Multiply the real cost of production by around 500 or more, when you include 30 years of testing and the cost of controlling the pollination process (which we do). Random seed, from random, untested hybrids may look cheap, but when you get useless plants, it turns out to be very expensive, indeed.
- No matter how much we emphasize how attractive to wildlife the nuts are, folks don't understand, or they don't believe us. "Hey, I've been growing trees for years, buddy, I can do this," is what they think. The result is this standard phone call: "Um, I know you told me the mice would eat them, but I planted them yesterday afternoon. I was going to get the protection installed this morning, but a raccoon or something found them and, um, they're all gone...Have you got any more seed I could buy?"
No, we don't. We're always in short supply of enough seed to provide our tubeling customers with the plants they want.
So our choice is: sell seed, make no one happy and have no plants growing anywhere as a result; or sell tubelings, make some folks happy, and have folks with live nut trees. Somewhere down the road, when seed production is up dramatically, we should be able to offer seed for sale, but not now.