Sea Spring Seeds is a vegetable seed company
It is owned and managed by us, Michael and Joy Michaud, and is based at Sea Spring Farm, a specialist nursery overlooking the English Channel in West Dorset.
Sea Spring Seeds specialises in chillies, and sells around a hundred different varieties, all that we feel are worthwhile varieties that are interesting, flavourful and/or intriguing in some way. They range from very mild to the superhots; from tiny fruit to enormous ones; from miniature plants to ones capable of growing up to 8 ft tall! Many of the varieties we sell are unique to Sea Spring Seeds, developed through our chilli breeding programme. Dorset Naga, one of the hottest chillies in the world, was one of our first varieties.
Being tomato lovers, we have also sourced seed of an extensive range of the very best varieties of tomatoes. These include some of the best tasting tomatoes there are, as well as those displaying a whole range of different types, shapes and colours.
Sea Spring Seeds also offers a selection of salad crops that covers every gardeners’ needs. We also promote ‘Easy Peasy Gardening’ for time-stressed adults, children and anyone without a garden.
Our aim is encourage home owners and allotmenteers to grow vegetables. We only sell seeds of reliable, productive and good tasting varieties that we, as gardeners ourselves, would grow. We achieve this by conducting variety trials on our nursery, always looking for the best varieties available for home growing. This means that every variety we sell has first been grown, tasted and evaluated by us.
Sea Spring Seeds is run along side our other enterprise, Sea Spring Plants, selling chilli plug plants in the spring (orders accepted from October to May) and mature, fruiting chilli plants from June to September.
A bit of history
After working in agriculture and horticulture for several decades in the UK and abroad, we came to Dorset to start our own business in 1989. At first we grew vegetables and herbs for local shops and restaurants. But we became increasingly interested in chillies, until in 1994 when we took the plunge and formally started specialising in chillies, thus, becoming Britain’s first commercial chilli farm. We produced fresh chillies, growing types that were formally virtually impossible to buy fresh in Britain. A lot were sold to Mexican restaurants and for retail sales established Peppers by Post, a mail-order business (this was before the internet so it was all with cheques and snail-mail posted orders).
We then began hunting for new chillies in immigrant shops and allotments, which is where we found naga morich, a Bangladeshi landrace variety. It was through the naga morich that we developed the Dorset Naga, at the time the hottest chilli in the world and adapted to growing in the UK.
Sea Spring Seeds was started in 2006 in response to frequent requests for chilli seeds, and generally to satisfy our love for growing and eating high quality vegetables. We now sell seed of a wide range of vegetables, and being growers ourselves, sell only those varieties that reach the high standards we have for flavour and productivity. We only sell seed of varieties we have grown, and in our search for the best we have grown and tasted hundreds of varieties – and eliminated many that were downright bad or depressingly mediocre. But there are always a few that stand out as being exceptional, and these are the ones we offer in our seed shop.
Sea Spring Seeds is a work in progress, and we are continuously working to expand our range of varieties on offer. The process is slow and steady, and every year we conduct more trials, looking at a wide range of vegetables including some on tomatoes, peppers and leafy salads. But we will always remain loyal to chillies, and each year continue working on our breeding programme to produce more exciting and unique varieties to follow.