I am about to reveal to all those who have to write the thousands of descriptions for all those varieties of seeds in all those seed catalogs how to get me to buy their seeds.
Tell me a story about them. Connect them to a person. That’s the hook for me.
Yes, after twenty plus years of buying seeds, I’ve just figured out that I prefer seeds that are connected to a person, that have a story behind them.
When I read about a tomato variety that is “German type, full, hearty beefsteak”, yawn, I might be sort of interested. But if I read that Mr. Emory Trusty grew these tomatoes for 70 years just 50 miles south of here, and Nature’s Crossroads, a local seed company down in Bloomington, has them for sale as ‘Trusty’, I’m getting them. Getting them. Don’t try to stop me.
Even if the seed catalog writers don’t connect a seed variety to a person, if I can make the connection myself, it doesn’t matter how banal their description is in the catalog, I’ll buy that seed.
They can describe ‘Green Arrow’ peas as “garden peas” for all I care. I’m still going to buy them because I connect ‘Green Arrow’ peas to my Dad. I once found an old seed packet for them in a box of seed packets left from the spring he passed away. That spring might have been the only spring he grew that variety, but that doesn’t matter to me. I’m always going to grow ‘Green Arrow’ because Dad did, at least once.
They can write about ‘Emerald’ okra any way they want. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m going to try ‘Emerald’ okra because my uncle told me how good it grew for them, 150 miles south of here. I want to try okra. Now that I know about the variety my uncle grows, it doesn’t matter what the seed catalog writers say about all the other varieties of okra, I’m buying ‘Emerald’.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Tell me the story of the seed variety, and I’m likely to want to grow it. But if too many seed catalog writers start doing this, I’m going to be in big seed trouble. Or bigger seed trouble than I’m already in…