If you read nothing else, read this paragraph. Ordering from us is a lot like growing things: it takes patience, you may doubt the outcome, and it might take the better part of a year, but you usually end up with what you wanted. We ship root and tuber orders in time for planting in spring. Pre-orders show the approximate date of harvest, which is the earliest that your order could possibly be shipped, but most orders will ship months later than that date. If you place a pre-order when they first open in April, you could be waiting almost a year for shipment. If you have a warm climate with no freezing weather in the winter, it is possible that your order will ship during the winter, but the only guarantee is that your order will arrive by planting time in the spring. You should only be concerned about fall/winter orders of roots and tubers if your order has not arrived and you haven’t heard from us by April 1. Once the spring rush ends, shipping time for in stock items usually comes down to about two weeks and the current shipping estimate can be found in the info box at the top of our home page. We ship everything through the US postal service.
We almost always ship seeds and roots/tubers separately, particularly if you live in a climate where we can’t ship roots and tubers until spring. This gives you the chance to get your seeds started on time.
There is no time when I can give you an estimate about when your specific order will ship because I don’t know. If pressed, I might give you one, but it is a wish, not an estimate. Weather changes constantly; some plants take longer than others to clean and pack; some are in the cooler waiting to be shipped, but others are harvested on demand; and there is only one of me and I don’t know when I will get sick, break an ankle, get called to jury duty, or some other time-wasting enterprise. We have been bringing in 1000 to 1300 pre-orders and fall/winter orders the past couple of years. I can ship about 30 orders per day. You can see that, at the rate that I can work, it would take 43 days to ship all of the orders. That’s almost 9 weeks, assuming that I take weekends off. That also doesn’t account for weather. There are very few places that we can ship to in January. I ship roughly in the order received, but sometimes it is more efficient to skip around. It takes all of February and March to get the orders out the door. None of that is a complaint, but I do sometimes get a little grumpy with customers who don’t read this and then ask me for lots of updates.
In general, we can’t accommodate requests to ship at a specific time. You can ask, but the answer will usually be no. January through March is a three month death march where I do very little but package, stuff envelopes, and sleep. While I would like to be able to satisfy special requests, experience has shown that I usually screw them up.
Most orders over $10 get tracking, but it has to be entered manually and we often fall behind on adding it to the system. If you didn’t receive a tracking number and your order doesn’t arrive within two weeks of receiving the order completed email, send us an email and we’ll dig up the tracking number to figure out what’s going on.
Between the time that you place your order and the time that it ships, you may receive email status updates:
* Processing means that we have received the order but haven’t looked at it yet.
* Weather hold means that your weather (or occasionally ours) is too cold to ship roots and tubers.
* Completed means that your order has been packed, postage printed, and either has gone or will soon go to the post office.
There are other statuses that you will only see if you log in and look at the order through the web site:
* Ship prep means that we are preparing your order (locating items, cleaning, packaging, etc.). This doesn’t necessarily mean that the order is shipping soon, just that we have looked at it to make sure that it is shippable as is.
* Contact means that there is some problem with your order and we have either attempted to contact you or are planning to.
* Hold means that we are waiting for your payment to arrive or clear (if you paid with a check or money order) or that something unusual has happened with payment (for example, if Paypal has opened a dispute about the order).
* EAP means that you placed an order for Early Access Program items, which we will ship once all the preorders are out the door.
Orders that include roots, tubers, bulbs, and rhizomes carry a label listing the contents on the outside of the package in order to comply with the import requirements of some states. If you are sending someone a gift and want it to be a surprise, you might not want to ship directly to the receiver.
Orders contain a packing list that only shows the identity and quantity of each item. Prices and totals are not printed on the packing list.
Most orders are sent in padded envelopes. Larger orders are sent in boxes. We typically reuse boxes. To our surprise, some people object to used boxes. If you are one of them, email and let us know when you place your order.
Some states have restrictions on import of plant materials, as listed below. If you live in one of these states, your order may be stopped and inspected and potentially confiscated if the inspectors don’t like the condition of the materials. Usually the inspectors will contact us if there is a problem, but if they contact you first, please give us a call. We guarantee the condition our products, so we will be happy to work with state inspectors to resolve any problems.
We cannot ship the following products to the states or provinces indicated:
Alaska: Potato tubers
California: Onion bulbs
Florida: Potato tubers
Hawaii: Sea kale and related Crambe species
Idaho: Onion bulbs and potato tubers
Montana: Potato tubers
We only ship seeds outside the USA. True potato seed is available only to customers in the USA because most countries have import restrictions on true potato seed.
We do not ship roots, tubers, bulbs, or other vegetative material outside the USA. We used to make exceptions in some cases, but in practice, it just invites the temptation for people to do things that can get them into trouble. Even if you offer to take full responsibility, we can’t know if you really understand the regulations of your country and we definitely don’t. At the end of the day, we want to feel good about what we do and that means not helping you get into trouble. So no exceptions. Please don’t ask.