About Franchi Seeds
In 1783 (the year the American Revolution ended) Giovanni Franchi started selling seeds around the market squares of Parma from his horse-drawn cart. The company is still in the same family 229 years later, with Giampiero Franchi at the helm and modern facilities in Bergamo, near Milan. Franchi Sementi (Sementi is the Italian word for Seeds) is a family-owned business that is not affiliated with any other seed company.
Franchi Sementi is so much more than just packaged vegetable seeds; it’s a story of tradition, pride, experience, quality, and excellence handed down over seven generations.
(At right, Seeds from Italy owner Dan Nagengast shares a laugh with Giampiero Franchi at the Franchi Seeds offices in Italy.)
Franchi carries a large selection of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds, including an ever-growing number of certified-organic seed. Most are open-pollinated heirlooms that have been passed down through generations because of their great flavor. Franchi offers seeds from every region of Italy, helping to preserve the regionality of Italian cuisine. That's why you'll find, for example, 17 varieties of green zucchini — so that every regional specialty can be served.
Franchi caters to backyard gardeners and small farmers while maintaining the highest professional standards. Every batch of seed is tested to ensure it exceeds germination standards. Seed is stored in climate-controlled rooms to maintain its viability. Varieties are regularly grown in trial gardens outside the warehouse to be sure they are correctly named and consistent; the photo below shows a small portion of the trial gardens.
Franchi buys 70% of its seed from Italian farmers. Someone from the company visits those farmers regularly to ensure the seed crops are healthy and quality standards are observed. The small percentage of seeds that are not purchased from known contractors are grown out in the trial gardens to ensure their quality.
Franchi seed packets are big and beautiful! The amount of seed is always generous, making them a great value for the price. Packets have full-color photos on the front and descriptions in multiple languages on the reverse. We add an English-language label with growing instructions, too. Most important, Franchi seeds grow strong, healthy plants that will give you delicious food and beautiful flowers.
Grow Italian and taste the difference!