Are Heritage Seeds Organic Seeds?

As you know, it is important to make sure the seeds we are planting are organic seeds,

so I was pleased to see that some are checking for the “certified organic” label.

As I was reading through the comments, I came across a most interesting question concerning Heritage seeds sold by Canadian Tire.

Shelley had posted this question:

I just bought seed at Canadian tire called Heritage, from Heritage Garden Products, 30-9th street Brandon, MB R7A 6E1. Is this a division of McKenzie seed?.
Does anyone know if these seeds are non GMO , non GE?
I can’t find them on the McKenzie website and Heritage is too general to find a site.”

In other other words, Shelley was wondering if Heritage seeds were organic seeds.

Although I thought that Shelley’s Heritage seeds were probably organic seeds because the Heritage organization is usually associated with sometimes rare  organic seeds exchange, I wanted to be sure before answering Shelley.

Those names — Heritage, McFayden, McKenzie — sounded familiar,  so I went back to check the post Organic Seed Sources for Organic Gardeners ( also on this blog) which I had written back in April, and I looked at the list of companies whom the governmeent has identified as companies selling  organic seeds.

Sure enough not only are both McFayden and McKenzie on that list of companies selling organic seeds, but also both  seemed to have the same address as the Heritage seeds mentioned by Shelley.

So I decided to contact McFayden’s customer service and explained what Shelley wanted to find out.

Mandi Boyle, Customer Service Representative graciously sent me this answer,  so with her permission, here is her explanation:

Hi Marcie

I received your email regarding McKenzie/McFayden seeds.

McFayden is simply the mail order division of McKenzie Seeds, who supplies to various retailers throughout Canada.

 Heritage & Heirloom Organic Seeds Catalog 2010Heritage or Heirloom is not specific to McKenzie, but to all seed companies that carry rare varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. In some catalogues- like McFayden’s- the heirloom varieties are marked as “organic seeds” or “organic certified”, but not necessarily in all- so you have to know your varieties. Here is a great website to further assist you:

Any of our seeds that are certified organic will be marked as such.

If you have any further questions, please contact me directly or call our customer service department at toll-free 1-800-205-7111. We are available Monday- Friday, 7am- 5pm CST.

Mandi Boyle, Customer Service Representative
McFayden- A Division of McKenzie Seeds
1000 Parker Blvd. Brandon, MB R7A 6E1
(204) 571-7506/Toll-Free 1-800-205-7111

I am so grateful to Mandi for clearly explaining the situation.  I’m sure that if you have further questions, she would be glad to answer them.

And Shelley, your Heritage seeds are definitely non GMO. non GE.  They may not be marked as certified organic, but I think it is quite safe to think that they are organic seeds.

Thank you to both Shelley and Mandi for their permission to use their name and information.

By the way, I think Shelley was wise to double check to make sure her seeds are organic.  If people keep asking and double checking, after a while the companies will make sure they are selling organic seeds and will be proud to mark their packages as “certified organic.”

Happy Gardening!


Bio: A gardener since the 70’s, Marcie Snyder knows that there is no comparison to growing your own vegetables and plants organically. Therefore, to help the budding gardener, she has dedicated four blogs to explaining different aspects of organic gardening. In addition, besides the FREE ebook “The Complete Guide to Organic Vegetable Gardening” (OVG GUIDE), Marcie also offers a very comprehensive step-by-step ebook detailing 4 methods of composting. Check for more articles at

Please note: You can use my articles on your blog as long as you use it as is without changing any of the text and  you  include my bio with my website link.

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  35. Lucy says:

    Heritage seeds are not necessarily organic. You must always check the certified organic label. Also check who has certified it.

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  43. Mya Laroo says:

    Id hate to break it to everybody but had to say what Ive found out, when something is labelled organic, it means that it was grown in a pesticide free environment, but it still can be a GMO vegatable or fruit, thats how theyre getting away with selling thier gmo seeds or friuts and veggies in the organic section of stores. Sly bunch of rascals they are. I beleive now the only way to get gmo free seed is to get ahold of the amish or hutterites they keep thier seed from year to year.