Our Story


The Seedstead is all about 'bringing seed home', and home is where the heart is. Our heart lies in Africa, in family, in sharing, in seed. We are  passionate about what we do and how we do it.


The Seedstead is the next step in our family's journey, but perhaps we need to start at the beginning:



Sean and Nicola ably assisted by Tessa (who actually eats peppers) doing pepper evaluations

on their farm in South Africa.


The Freeman family has a long history in the seed industry, with the origins of The Seedstead rooted in South Africa.


As a young boy in Africa I was an inveterate seed collector and often had seed in my pockets, these often went through the washing cycle much to my mothers "amusement". My seed collecting at that point was typically focused around South African indigenous trees and plants, with me collecting seed anytime I found a tree or plant shedding seed, as I entered my teenage years this interest extended to orchids and other exotic plants.


With the arrival of our first child in 1998, one of our primary goals was to feed her the best food possible, and everyone knows that to do this you had to grow your own organic veggies. Which my wife and I promptly did.

This specific event is how our journey into vegetable seed started. I was soon collecting vegetable seed from every gardener in the area, and then some.


Within a matter of a year or two, my hobby had become a bit of an obsession, with people calling me from across the country as word of my unusual vegetable seed collection spread. People would call up specifically to ask for rare and unusual vegetable seed varieties, and I would gladly share. The beauty of this was they would often have something to exchange in return, and this added to our collection.


This modest collection formed the basis of South Africa's very first online heirloom seed store, Livingseeds in August of 2009. Livingseeds is unique in South Africa as we grow over 80% of the seed varieties ourselves on our own farm. South Africa has stringent seed importation laws, necessitating that we develop techniques that would ensure we could grow a large number of seed varieties in a very small area. Our farm in Africa is just over 80 acres in size with about 35 acres under intensive production in poly-tunnels, isolation cages and open fields


Over the years we have developed a number of proprietary techniques and systems to ensure that we keep our seed varieties pure from generation to generation. We will typically grow over 800 varieties of vegetable seed on our farm every year. Getting the timing and logistics right to ensure that only pure seed is produced is a major management task and we are very fortunate that we have a strong team of breeders and production staff to ensure that this happens in the correct sequence every season.


The Seedstead is the US affiliate company to Livingseeds that has been created specifically to bring our unique African seed varieties to the American home gardener. It is our desire to bring our unique seed and knowledge across the globe and into your homes.



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Latest

The Seedstead 2021 eCatalogue

The Seedstead 2021 eCatalogue

CLICK HERE To Download The Seedstead's 2021 eCatalogue now. No need to place an order or wait, you ..

$0.00

Wampum Ornamental Corn

Wampum Ornamental Corn

One of the earliest corn varieties, this is a highly attractive multi-colored corn variety that is j..

$2.85

Multi Color Broom Corn

Multi Color Broom Corn

Growing to well over 10' tall this sorghum produces naturally colored stems. This sorghum makes a gr..

$2.85

Polish Paste Tomato

Polish Paste Tomato

Sublime processing tomatoes. These guys and easily push 10 - 14 oz each. Big indeterminate plants th..

$2.85

Mr Stripey

Mr Stripey

Mr Stripey is a longstanding heirloom variety that has a strong following with many gardeners. Often..

$2.85

San Marzano Paste (Determinate)

San Marzano Paste (Determinate)

Solanum lycopersicum One of the best flavored paste tomatoes. A good producer, slightly earlier t..

$3.25

Tomato Gardener's Delight

Tomato Gardener's Delight

Outstanding in production and outstanding in flavor. Gardener's Delight is an old heirloom variety t..

$2.95

Egg Yolk Tomato

Egg Yolk Tomato

OK! Here's a tomato that you want to get into the garden this season. Production starts at 70 days, ..

$2.95

Banana Legs Tomato

Banana Legs Tomato

Highly productive determinate tomato variety. Has a sweet low acid flavor profile that really works ..

$3.25

Tomato Azoychka

Tomato Azoychka

A great really tomato variety collected in Russia. This tomato has a strong following with both home..

$3.25

Amana Orange Tomato

Amana Orange Tomato

A really great tomato from Iowa, these plants bear huge exceptional tomatoes that are really worth a..

$3.25

Teddy Bear Sunflower

Teddy Bear Sunflower

The first two things that spring to mind with Teddy Bear Sunflowers are space-saving and absolute re..

$2.85

Black Russian Sunflower

Black Russian Sunflower

Super huge sunflowers, typically planted to feed wildlife. When flowering, these guys attract massiv..

$2.85

Giant Teddy Bear Sunflower

Giant Teddy Bear Sunflower

Giant Teddy Bear are the bigger cousins of the regular Teddy Bear, just as showy and just as reliabl..

$2.95

Autumn Beauty Sunflower

Autumn Beauty Sunflower

This is a classic sunflower, one of the earliest flowering sunflower varieties, producing masses upo..

$2.95

Japonica Striped Corn

Japonica Striped Corn

Zea maysJaponica Striped Corn is absolutely stunning. The beautiful variegated leaves, colored tassl..

$3.25

Asparagus UC 72

Asparagus UC 72

Developed by UC Davis from Mary Washington, it's also known and Mary's Granddaughter as a nod to it'..

$3.25

Warrior Onion

Warrior Onion

A superb, outstanding AAS winner. This bunching onion is a real quick grower, you will start harvest..

$3.25

Tokyo Long White Onion

Tokyo Long White Onion

An outstanding Japanese Heirloom variety. These can be harvested at almost any stage for salads or f..

$3.25

Evergreen Bunching Onion

Evergreen Bunching Onion

Grown almost exclusively as a crisp green onions, these versatile onions are a real winner. Can be h..

$3.25

Yellow Sweet Spanish Onion

Yellow Sweet Spanish Onion

If you are a northern grower these guys will give you a bumper crop of real out-sized bulbs. Being a..

$3.25

White Sweet Spanish Onion

White Sweet Spanish Onion

If you are a northern grower these guys will give you a bumper crop of real out-sized bulbs. Being..

$3.25

Walla Walla Onion

Walla Walla Onion

This is a superb onion, so sweet one can almost eat it raw like an apple. This is Washington States ..

$3.25

Red Torpedo Onion

Red Torpedo Onion

A highly productive intermediate day-length onion. Its production ability comes from the fact that y..

$3.25

Onion Cipollini Red

Onion Cipollini Red

Traditionally considered a long day onion, many gardeners say that they can grow the in intermediate..

$3.25

Drumstick Phlox - Zaluzianskya maritima

Drumstick Phlox - Zaluzianskya maritima

Stunning wildflower from South Africa, rarely seen in cultivation. The flowers of this plant only op..

$6.85

Mountain Karee - Searsia leptodictya

Mountain Karee - Searsia leptodictya

A small evergreen South African tree that is the perfect complimentary tree for a small garden. This..

$3.25

Tree Wisteria - Bolusanthus specious

Tree Wisteria - Bolusanthus specious

Outstanding, Stunning, Magnificent. Beautiful, Gorgeous, Opulent, Splendid are just some of the word..

$5.25

Kalahari Christmas Tree - Dichrostachys cinerea

Kalahari Christmas Tree - Dichrostachys cinerea

Known by various names Sicklebush, Bell Mimosa and Chinese lantern. This is a fast growing tree / tr..

$3.85

Weeping Boer-bean - Schotia brachypetala

Weeping Boer-bean - Schotia brachypetala

This is an exceptional feature tree in any garden in Zones 10b+. Expect a tree of substantial propor..

$6.50

Broadpod Robust Thorn - Vachellia robusta

Broadpod Robust Thorn - Vachellia robusta

Also known as Ankle Thorn, this is a real tough customer. Drought resistant in the extreme this tree..

$4.50

Sweet Thorn - Vachellia karroo

Sweet Thorn - Vachellia karroo

One of Africa's ubiquitous thorn trees. This is the home of many species of bird, insects and animal..

$4.25

Purple Barley

Purple Barley

What a stunning variety. If you are looking for an ancient grain to add to your collection, grow you..

$3.15

Einkorn Wheat

Einkorn Wheat

The original wheat, before man started to play with modern wheat's genes. A truly ancient grain with..

$3.35

Emmer Wheat

Emmer Wheat

This is an ancient grain originates in the so-called Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, it is the ..

$3.25

Black Sesame

Black Sesame

The tastier brother to white / yellow sesame, Black Sesame is without a doubt the better option when..

$2.85

Quey Teff

Quey Teff

Quey Teff (pronounced key) is a traditional East African grain that is predominantly used to to make..

$3.25

Peacock Iris - Dietes bicolour

Peacock Iris - Dietes bicolour

Superbly stunning year after year, the Peacock Iris is a worthy addition to your flower garden. In t..

$3.25

Katstert - Hebenstretia angolensis

Katstert - Hebenstretia angolensis

A very rare plant in the garden, this showy perennial with give you years of pleasure. A tall (growi..

$6.00

Umbrella Thorn Acacia - Vachellia tortilis

Umbrella Thorn Acacia - Vachellia tortilis

All of the African "Acacia spp" have been moved to the genus Vachellia, this tree is one of the most..

$3.25