Best source for heirloom plants in Kansas City

carieeApril 17, 2010

I posted this last year & now cannot find the post!

I believe robeb was a wealth of info about it however.

I have specific varieties I want, have settled on 2 different ones from the local nursery, but will not settle on the rest.

I had planned to order from Daryl ( this year but I don't need that many plants so with shipping it comes out to around $12/plant which I'll pay if I have to, but would prefer to buy local. So, help! :)

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I posted this last year & now cannot find the post! I believe robeb was a wealth of info about it however.

Where did you buy them last year? I don't know if you have Lowe's in KC but I was in there the other day and was amazed at the number of open-pollinated varieties they are offering this year! Google pulls up the names of many nurseries in the KC Metro area that you could call and ask. Ask them what open-pollinated varieties they are offering, not "heirlooms".

Better yet, call the county extension office for references or one of the many botanical gardens listed in KC. They often have big plant sales this time of year.

But why decide on a specific variety or 2 until you at least know what is available to choose from? That will really limit your availability for plants.


Here is a link that might be useful: KC Gardens - Tomatoes

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 9:02AM
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try ace hardware / i got brandywines and cherokee"s there / they have a huge selection of plants /and there way better looking than those bonnie plants /

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 12:53PM
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There are 3 good ones I know of

Bear Creek Farms - Farmer's Market in Brookside Saturdays 7am-1pm :
This one is worth waiting till Saturdays to buy plants. Bear Creek Farms offers a long list of heirloom types. Not just "standard" ones but others you wont find elsewhere. Robbins is a sometimes poster here and a SSE member.

She has a list with pictures of the tomatoes so you can see what you are buying. Get there early for the best choice.

Farmer's Market in Brookside (directions and info)

James Worley sells plants from his house in southKC current Craigslist listing:
You can contact him and place and order and also see what he has to offer this year from his blog

Don't forget to note the date of the Tomato Tasting in KC Aug 7th this year!

specifically the list of what he offers is linked here

Family Tree Nurseries also have a decent selection of heirlooms. These nurseries are located in several KC suburbs but the ones which I know carry the Kurlbaum's tomatoes are the Shawnee and Overland Park stores.

Many Farmer's Markets have other growers selling a few types but the ones above will give one the most variety selection that I know of in the area.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 3:37PM
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Thank you all - especially Mulio. I think you were the one that was so helpful last year. I have hit all the box stores, just haven't seen what I was looking for. I did find Cherokee purple & a Brandywine at Family Tree in Shawnee.
I have sent an email to James as he has most everything I have on my wish list so hopefully I'm now covered.

Carie :)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 4:04PM
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As junktruck mentioned, Westlake Ace Hardware usually carries some Chef Jeff heirlooms. I've grown some out and even saved seeds with good results.

I'm familiar with 2 out of 3 of mulio's choices. The Brookside Farmer's Market & Family Tree Nursery. Not to try to scare anyone away from Family Tree, but I did buy some bad pepper plants from them a couple of years ago. Never any problems with tomato plants.

Another source is the Overland Park farmer's market.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 4:10PM
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One of the problems that happenes at family tree and other nurseries are people pull tags out and then put them back in the wrong container and/or pick up plants and put them back in the wrong spot.

The knowledge of some attending to the plants at FTN seems iffy.

FTN is usually a good place for peppers because they offer so many different kinds.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 4:23PM
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My "bad pepper plants" from Family Tree were not mislabeled, but sick. They didn't show signs of leaf damage for a few weeks.

When it was obvious that these plants were not going to make it, I yanked them. I returned to FTN for replacements. Every pepper plant that they still had for sale looked like the ones I had pulled.

I don't blame the nursery, perhaps their suppliers. What did bother me was that they left sick plants out for sale.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 5:08PM
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i actually forgot about brookside / will have to check out what they got next weekend

    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 9:52PM
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Cariee, I hope you find the varieties locally but just in case, here is the cost if I were to ship them.

Cost to ship 4 plants in cell trays to KC is $10.50 including the box. The plants would be $12 for a total cost of 4 plants at $22.50 or $5.50 each. There is a definite small order effect but it is not quite $12 per plant.

As a comparison, a similar order of 16 plants would cost $56 including plants, box, and shipping. Cost per plant would be $3.50 each which shows that shipping is a big part of smaller orders but not so much on larger orders.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2010 at 11:55PM
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Hi Daryl,

I was interested in 8 different varieties and just one plant of each. I *assumed*, probably erroneously, that each 4 plant cell tray is of the same variety. I should have contacted you for clarity. With this in mind I was pricing 8x 4" single plants.

The cost of the 8 4" plants with one freebie would be $36.
Box cost $3.

The weight would be 12 lbs which the fedx site gave me a price of a whopping $52 for 2nd day shipping.
That comes out to be 11.37 a plant which is a bit much.

I'm not at all implying it's what you charge, it's the shipping quote that turned me off. I'm now getting some of my plants from a local person, but still have a few I haven't found locally. If you're able to customize the plants in the 4 plant cell tray, I'll definitely let you know what I'd like. I'm sorry for any confusion.

And this year was ONLY supposed to be SIX specific tomato plants. I'm already up to 10 with 4 more I want.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 12:59AM
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The big advantage is that you can get one plant at a time, but I prefer to ship no less than 4 plants total. Most of my orders looks like this one.

1 - 1884
1 - Andrew Rahart
1 - Aunt Ginny's Purple
1 - Big Beef X EPB
1 - Bloody Butcher
1 - Bradley
1 - Brandywine OTV
1 - Camp Joy
and so on....

I rarely use Fedex these days, they are too expensive. 2 day shipping is also a waste, plants do just fine with 3 day delivery. You get about the same benefit using USPS since Fedex does all of their overnight packages now.

As noted above, actual cost per plant is nowhere near $12.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 12:36AM
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cbars(z5b6a MO-Kansas City)

Not sure where you are in KC but Planters Seed in the city market area had a great selection of heirlooms a week ago. Another place is Penrods Greenhouse in Kearney.

Best of the best is Brookside market. Robbins usually has a wide selection of heirlooms.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 2:06PM
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roselane(5b/6a Kansas)

Hi Cariee,
I highly recommend Heartland Nursery in Lee's Summit. I was there this week and I think they had almost a table full of heirloom types-more than one type of Brandywine, Hillbilly, Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, and some others that I cannot remember. They also have a lot of good cherries like Sungold and Black Cherry. Pretty sure that tomato plants were $2 each, but possibly $2.50.

I think Suburban near 135th and State Line had some also, but I didn't look very closely. They were the Chef Jeff variety. Overall, I usually have good experiences at Family Tree (grew up a mile away, so I've been going there my whole life), but the staff this time of year is pretty much clueless and some are not particularly friendly, either. I don't think I've ever seen a good selection of heirloom tomatoes there, but they have a TON of hybrids!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 10:05PM
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be careful at Heartland Nursery. They had serious mix ups where the varieties that were supposed to be potato-leafed were regular leaf and/or were both PL and RL for that variety. Good place to get perennials you wont find elsewhere.

My guess is the supplier who grows heirlooms for FTN has not shipped them yet because we are still 2 weeks early.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 12:56PM
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robbins(z5/6 MO)

Hi Cariee - I'm Robbins of Bear Creek Farms. We are at the Brookside market and our plants are also at Whole Foods Markets in KC. If there are particular varieties you are looking for just email and I'll be happy to let you know if we have them and make sure to send them up to the Brookside mkt. on Saturday. We have several hundred varieties.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 12:11AM
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roselane(5b/6a Kansas)

Robbins-Are your plants at the Overland Park Whole Food's, too? Or, just the location on Main? I'm only in KC Tues-Thursday and never on the weekends so I cannot make the Brookside Farmers Market, but hoping to buy some of your plants. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 8:20AM
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roselane(5b/6a Kansas)

I know Cariee has found her tomatoes by now, but in case anyone else in the area is interested, I did an extensive search in KC today and I stand corrected on Family Tree Nursery. I counted 30 heirloom varieties there! Suburban had about 10 varieties. Also checked out Whole Foods in OP and they had a LOT Of the more unusual varieties (a plus), but they had not been well cared for there-many were a little yellow or wilting. Better buy direct at the Brookside farmers market. I didn't count the varieties at Heartland last week, I would estimate about 15-20, but it sounds like they might have some labeling problems there.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 8:18PM
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