Interview with Sandia Seed Company

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No doubt without seeds, there is no gardening. I want to take time on this blog to recognize some seed companies that are doing great work. Today I want to share with you an e-mail interview I conducted with the Sandia Seed Company. This company is unqiue in that they focus on peppers – Hot peppers, super hot peppers, sweet peppers, green chiles. They do also offer some tomato seeds. Their pepper seeds are open-pollinated and they pledge to NOT knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. You can buy their seeds online at their website or visit dozens of locations across New Mexico.

The founder of the company is Patsy Coles. She is a graduate of Arizona State with a masters in Horticulture. Below is my interview with her.

1. How did Sandia Seed company get started?
Sandia Seed got started in 2007 with 6 different green chile varieties.
I designed seed packets and had them printed, and then put seeds in them.
With an acrylic 6 pocket display, I went to Albuquerque plant nurseries
and asked them if they were interested. The response was fantastic and
they were very excited. There was demand for individual packets of seeds
for home gardeners wanting to grow more than Anaheim and Big Jim chiles.

2. Why peppers?
We sell peppers because there is a real need for more variety for the
home gardener. We live in New Mexico and eat green chile everyday!

3. What advantage are there to buy seeds from your company as opposed
to another source?

The advantage of buying seeds from Sandia Seed is that we sell
certified seed. All seeds are organic, non-gmo, untreated and guaranteed
to germinate. Germination is retested when seeds are delivered to us and
retested again in 6 months.

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4. What do you think is the most unique pepper that you sell?
Our most unique pepper is the ghost pepper, aka Bhut jolokia. It was
the first famous super hot pepper in the Guinness Book of World Records
and continues to be popular. It is a household name and easy to grow. It
even tastes good! We now sell it in many different colors.

5. What have been some of the biggest challenge or obstacles you have
faced in this business?

The biggest challenge has been the amount of time it takes to keep
track of consignment seed terms. Seeds are traditionally sold on
consignment, and any unsold packets are returned for credit and then
disposed of. Once we reached 100 nursery customers on consignment, it was
difficult to care of with 100% accuracy. To fix this problem we changed
our seed terms to outright buy. This saves everyone a lot of resources;
time, shipping, freight, book work, seed packets, etc. We also encourage
nurseries to recycle their old display racks to display our seeds.

6. What is your favorite aspect of running this business?
My favorite aspect of running Sandia Seed is when a customer tells me
about their gardening success. It is when they have grown their seeds to
produce peppers, and then enjoy them in a meal.

Final Thoughts
If you plan to grow peppers, this is the company you want to get your seed from. Their passion for that they are doing will show in their product and in your garden. They just don’t want to offer you seeds, they want to offer you quality seed. They test the seed and re-test the seed to make sure they will germinate well for you. Their selection is phenomenal and growing. They even offer the popular Ghost pepper in several different colors (chocolate, peach, red, and white)

Thank you Patsy for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share with my readers and I some insight into your fantastic company.

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