204. White Harvest Seed Co. | Heirloom Seeds | Mike Knocks | Kansas City, Missouri

White Harvest Seed Company Heirloom SeedsWebsite Page

My featured guest today Mike Knocks from White Harvest Seed Company is here to tell us about heirloom seeds.

If you’d like to read the full shownotes or listen to the podcast just go to the Organic Gardener Podcast

Tell us about your seed store. I have a lot of new listeners if they are new to gardening what’s an heirloom seed and abut your store.

Our store is White Harvest Seed Company and we’re strictly and heirloom seeds company and what that means is:

There’s 3 types of seeds

  • heirlooms
  • hybrids
  • GMOs

grow your seeds

save the seed

year after year it will constantly be that seed.

hybrid – they take one variety

  • get some benefit
  • bug resistance
  • shelf life
  • whatever

If you take a hyrbid sterile not

plant reverts back one of its granddaddy

beefsteak heirloom tomato year after year


corn is the most popular and they cross with roundup resistance 

totally not natural and it never reproduces true to type

Heirlooms are tended to be noted to have better taste

old fashioned flavors our grandparents fell in love with

Ozarks of Missouri


mailorder and phone

White Harvest Seed Company

how we got our name

here to help

call and question about things

glad to talk

I’ve asked a lot I haven’t really understood, but the fact that it reverts back, that finally makes sense. You have all sorts of things on your website.

What is the best gardening advice you have  ever received?

Fertilizer thing!


the big three and had good results

news to me

the trace mineral side of things

  • adding those trace elements
  • quality of the plants
  • replenish
  • frequently
  • add fertilizer elements
  • compost
  • biggest thing that I learned through the years
  • Old timers used to just throw some cow manure
  • find when you focus

How big is your place?

We have 30 acres that we live on

our gardens that we use

one is probably 30×100 the one by our house

is probably 50×50

  • we hope to expand
  • by condensing it to be more efficient

running like chickens whiteout our heads

Tarheal Heriloom Beans

Tarheel Beans

Is that what’s growing there? The seeds?

We kind of specialize in things that are rare

One of the beans that we sell, is called a Tarheel bean one of 2 companies that sell that

heirlooms have to have isolation distances between things.


japanese long cucumbers

if you have 2 different cukes within a mile of each other since they are insect pollinated they won’t be true-to-seed

partner with other growers that grow seed for us

  • according to our spects
  • germination
  • few companies that are wholesale seed companies

most important question for us, and most of our customers “Are you tied to any GMO?”

even foreign companies

If they give me the right answer which is of course no.

at the present time

we deal with 4-5 companies

3-4 certified organic

our selection of seed is very well rounded

Very confident that it is genetically modified exempt and we test every 10 months

status of all our seeds

nothing more frustrating then to order seed and get it in and have it not grow 

your entrusting your good money

Not only your money, but your time as well, if you put seeds in the ground and they don’t grow where we are there’s just that one window. A lot of my listeners are interested in becoming a seed farmer what would you tell them to do to start? 

One of the things

different parts of the country

different growing zones and

looking into becoming a seed grower they should just contact us.

send the proper info

what’s their growing practices

We don’t like using seed that’s grown with gobs and gobs of pesticides on them. 

Just have them contact us

call us or send us an email


phone (866) 424-3185

  • not a big money maker
  • big additional
  • how big of items
  • seeds
  • grow or buy

just because you grow 100lbs

people that want to grow vegetables

market is ripe

definite need

people are looking for quality grown fresh produce

Amish growers

sitting at the farmer’s markets their stuff looks pretty nice.

I just want to back up a little. Is there anything that you do different to grow for seed then you do for vegetables? Is there a different process?

That questions has a multi-answer.

All vegetables have their own mannerisms

grow them with

Have to learn how their pollinated

  • wind
  • insect or
  • self pollinators

how far apart they have to grow to save true to type seed

for example

corn is a wind pollinated vegetable

if you have corn and you have your patch growing and you have someone else growing any other type of corn within 2-3 miles you’re most likely to get a cross especially if you’re down wind and they tassel at the same time

save the seed from it

whatever it cross-pollinated youre gonna have an issue next year. If it crosses with a GMO variety

Another example, carrots

Anyone growing queen annes lace – it’s pretty but some people call it a weed

that is in the same family as a carrot if you have it growing near anything.

going to seed

biggest thing you have to think about as a grower is learning how to keep herilooms from cross pollinating. Rough rule of thumb? you need 1/4 mile of separation

how can that be done then?


bagging and succession planning.

Need to learn proper procedures

grow for us

carrots out there

2 things

It takes 2 years carrot seed

how are you gonna keep it 

following through properly.

One thing spinning in people’s heads. Where are you putting your property if you don’t have property yet. 

Especially if youre growing for yourself.

most frustrating

saved it


look like a carrot all season till it starts forming it’s fruit gonna be a weird thing that you thought was gonna be a food source and you’ve spent 3 months, planning this growing this

learning those techniques

resource internet is live

get a resource you can have in your hand

Complete Guide to Saving Seeds- 322 Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, Flowers, Trees, and Shrubs.jpg

The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds: 322 Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, Flowers, Trees, and Shrubs

Seed to Seed

doesn’t just take about vegetables

herbs are vey important

grow your own medicine cabinet in your own backyard

get that

have that as

A favorite tool that you like to use? If you had to move and could only take one tool with you what would it be?

For gardening stuff

Rogue Scuffle Hoe Tool

 Rogue Scuffle Hoe

grab as many of mine as

Here in the Ozarks we have some tough winters

Chain saw


A favorite recipe you like to cook from the garden?

Besides the fresh stuff

fried zuchini

Me and my wife’s nemesis! We can sit and  pig out on that all day

cut the zucchini like french fries

like our crunchy


  • milk and flour
  • bisquick
  • temperua

good bowl of ranch dipping recipe

Sweet corn is Awesome too!

A favorite internet resource?

Dave’s Garden

My Folia Website

My Folia

  • herbal side
  • resource
  • encyclopedia

White Harvest Seed Company Heirloom SeedsWebsite Page

Our website  information under resources that tie into links and websites

friends of our businesses!

A favorite reading material-book, mag, blog/website etc you can recommend?

Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward C. Smith

yes one of my number one resources is the Vegetables Gardener’s Bible

back 1/3 of it in the same way

people have broken down each individual variety

  • greek oregano
  • vegetable
  • what it needs
  • water,
  • fertilizer
  • soil temp

that’s what I love

you don’t have to know everything on every products

your not gonna grow everything…

If you have a business to you have any advice for our listeners about how to sell extra produce or get started in the industry?

realize it’s not simple

take your time

educate yourself

wide open topic

you might think you’re an expert

well rounded

every years’ different

  • no bugs and everything
  • drought
  • rainy
  • educate yourself on how to adjust

Business Side

do your due dilligence

  • effort
  • resources
  • time

rewards are so much rewarding!

  • get to be your own boss

even though you have your other boss

something you can do!

Not limited to rich people or college education folks

I had to learn and I’m always learning

someone will introduce as an expert and I cringe. I learn every year and I’m different…


The guy who taught me how to podcast John Lee Dumas went to law school for one year and he said, in a court of law, an expert is someone who knows more then everyone else in the room so you probably are an expert most of the time!

Final question-

if there was one change you would like to see to create a greener world what would it be? For example is there a charity or organization your passionate about or a project you would like to see put into action. What do you feel is the most crucial issue facing our planet in regards to the environment either in your local area or on a national or global scale?

Not to be too political

from our point of view as a seed company


so many negatives about that just for the human health part of it. So many terrible results on a health basis. On that side on the growing and the gardening side I’d say that. 

What I’d like to see more and I am seeing more

seed saving

organizing a seed bank in your local area

People come together and grow their seed properly

  • pass that on
  • your neighbor grows something else and give it back to your neighbor
  • communities will be able to help each other

Seed Saving

To be honest with you. I’m not a big government fan

There were some seed saving communities building seed banks and the government went in and were calling them terrorist organizations and that’s got to stop!

as human beings and citizens we need to be able to grow on our own farms

Some people close to me started a local Seed Library. 

Have them to contact us before the next seed swap and we should be able to donate. Remind them that I talked to you.

Well people are interested. I was there the first year, they expected 350 people and 1500 people showed up. There were 500 flyers and they were gone before it even started at 10 oclock in the morning!

contact us before our seed swap! Will donate some

Do u have an inspiration tip or quote to help motivate our listeners to reach into that dirt and start their own garden?

I said earlier the lord led us to do this business we try to honor him

Scripture Verse From 

Isaiah 61:11

“For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”

How do we connect with you?




White Harvest Seed Company Heirloom Seed Facebook Page

were on Facebook under

twitter @whseeds


Rogue Hoeyoutube channel on rogue hoe 

and the Rogue Scuffle Hoe



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