It's that time of year when serious backyard gardeners and farmers alike get to ordering their seeds. With that, we pay homage to the revival and continuation of one of our most precious collective traditions -- heirloom seeds. Before we explore the new pioneers of the business, we look to one of the old timers. The D. Landreth Seed Company , founded in 1784, has seen its fair share of troubles , but has weathered all storms thanks to the support of passionate gardeners. The seed catalog—which contains a bewildering variety of crops—is well worth its $7.95 cover price.