I love to hear stories about families working together, so a family business that works to provide heirloom seeds for your garden certainly catches my attention. Enter the fabulous folks at Seeds for Generations. I recently talked to Jason at Seeds for Generations about the amazing business that he, his wife, and their seven children are all involved in running.
1. What inspired you to start Seeds for Generations?
I’ve been gardening my entire life. Literally. Before I could walk, my parents had me out in the garden with them, and once I could walk, the garden became my pasture for grazing. They planted important seeds in me – love for God’s creation, enjoyment of working with my hands, and an appreciation for the thought and effort that goes into growing food. I’m doing similar work with my seven children, working to pass on the legacy of gardening to them. We’ve done this for years now – my oldest daughter has been in the garden helping since she could walk.
I’d been looking for a long time for an opportunity to have my kids work alongside me and to work with each other, and one winter about 5 years ago I had an epiphany. Our family loves heirloom seeds and vegetables, why not share them with others? So I decided to start a small cottage industry as a way to give my children an opportunity to work together with me in a family business.
2. What are some of the blessings (as well as challenges!) that come with running a business with your wife and children?
I’m your proto-typical entrepreneur – always having ideas and plans, but not having enough time or energy to implement them all. My specialty is marketing strategy and management, so I do all the online marketing work and administrative management, and my wife is a graphic designer, so she creates our promotional graphics. It’s really nice to have a graphic designer in-house. Literally. Our kids do all the seed packing and the oldest kids do order fulfillment, usually daily.
When we do event marketing at festivals and other shows, the kids are able to watch and learn, and my oldest daughter talks to customers and gives gardening recommendations, and also processes their orders and takes payment. She can basically run the booth herself and she isn’t even 12 yet. She’s amazing. Since we homeschool, this business fits nicely into our lifestyle, since it’s always a learning opportunity – building skills and/or character.
3. What are some of your bestselling seeds?
4. Do you have any new products you’re really excited about?
We just added garden seed packs, such as our Root Crops seed pack, and Mixed Greens seed pack. We’re going to be releasing others in the near future as well. One of my favorite plants we grow and sell are Black Hungarian Peppers (and not just because I’m of Hungarian descent). They are one of the most pretty plants in the garden, with purple veins, purple flowers, and dark purple peppers that turn red when they ripen. They’re similar in heat to jalapeños, but much prettier and more prolific. We’re also big tomato fans, and out of my collection of almost 100 tomato varieties in my personal collection, we continue to add more. Our family favorite for fresh eating are Pineapple Tomatoes, which are a low-acid fruit with a very sweet, tropical flavor.
5. What is your favorite thing about gardening?
The seasonality of it and how it keeps us connected to God’s creation. Being able to steward what God’s given us and create an increase. Being able to grow our own food and enjoy the blessing of our labor and God’s provision. And being able to teach the children – even the littlest ones – how God created the earth and plants, and how He feeds us from them.
6. Why do people like ordering from your company?
People love that we’re a family business raising up our kids in the garden and teaching them through this enterprise. People love interacting with the kids at events and via our videos that include them. They love that we do our best to provide training and education to help everyone improve their skills and grow more food for their own families.
7. Any cute stories from the kids working alongside of you?
There are lots of them, but here’s a cute one about what my kids said worms were good for – we captured it on video.
8. What does the future look like for Seeds for Generations?
We will continue to grow the company as our family grows, and I expect that one or more of the children will have a desire to take over management of the business at some point in the future. This is one of the visions I have for my family – to raise up entrepreneurial adults and bless them with the skills and resources (and businesses) to make a difference in the world while providing for their families.
9. Anything else we should know about Seeds for Generations or your family?
We love to help people live a more fulfilling life and succeed in becoming more self-reliant, not just in gardening, but in other areas as well. If you’re interested in becoming more self-reliant and less dependent upon modern systems, please take a look at my Beyond Off Grid project, and if you’re interested in becoming an entrepreneur and/or starting a family business, please connect with me on Linkedin and let me know how I can help you.
I really appreciate Jason taking the time to talk to me about his family’s business. If you’d like to connect with Jason and learn more about Seeds for Generations, you can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, and their website. Seeds for Generations also has a great newsletter you can sign up for.
Now…if you will excuse me, I need to go order my seeds. 😉