About Us

Garden Medicinals and Culinaries was founded in 1996 as a separate specialty catalog of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, a family-owned seed company founded by Jeff McCormack and Patty Wallens in 1982. We specialize in open-pollinated (non-hybrid) seeds and plants. In addition to medicinal and culinary herbs, we also offer select ethnic and heirloom varieties of vegetables and flowers. We are grateful for the help of many friends, customers and garden writers who were partners in this dream from the beginning.

Today, Garden Medicinals and Culinaries is cooperatively owned and managed by members of Acorn Community, an egalitarian and income sharing intentional community. We live on a 70 acre farm in the Piedmont Valley of central Virginia, about an hour east of the Blue Ridge. Currently we are a community of 25 adults and three children.

Unlike many seed companies, we grow or source as much of our seed as locally as possible. All of our seed is untreated and much is ecologically grown by natural methods. We do extensive germination testing to ensure the viability of our seeds, and most seed packets are labeled with the latest test results.

We believe that seeds should remain in the public domain. Therefore, we do not offer hybrid seed, patented seed, or genetically-modified seed or plants. We encourage gardeners to save their own seed by offering resources and information on how to do so.

As much as possible, our seed gardens are modeled to mimic natural ecosystems by creating and maintaining diversity. This practice greatly reduces potential pest and disease problems, and encourages the growth of beneficial organisms. Our soil is carefully maintained using natural rock powders, compost, and other organic materials in order to produce the best possible seed.

Please browse our online catalog and try our seeds. We look forward to becoming your source for quality seed and service.



To increase, collect, and disseminate the seeds of medicinal and culinary herbs in an ethically and environmentally responsible manner.

To increase awareness of the importance of conserving and protecting our native plant resources.

To reduce the collection pressure on wild herbal populations by making herb seeds and plants more accessible to gardeners and growers.

To provide access to information resources regarding the therapeutic and culinary uses of herbs.

To provide the information, supplies and materials for making herbal preparation.