I’ve known about Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company since 2000. I have friends that live in that area and, through conversation, learned about this company. In 2002, another friend and her daughter attended the Spring Planting Festival. I was already receiving the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Catalog. Hearing first-hand how amazing this company was though convinced me to purchase their heirloom seeds.
You might ask yourself, why are heirloom seeds so important?
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) pose many risks. Neonicotinoids are now coating seeds and are killing bees. Hybrid seeds cannot reproduce. These are just a couple examples of why it’s important to preserve our future by using heirloom seeds. Seed companies like Baker Creek have committed themselves to preserving our history and future. They have taken a pledge, along with others, to ensure the safety of our future generations. “Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats…”
Ok, so what’s so special about Baker Creek?
I would have to say that one of the most appealing attributes about Baker Creek is that it was founded in 1998 by a 17 year old young man, Jere Gettle, who had a mission to share his passion about heirloom seeds with others. Currently they offer over 1800 varieties of heirloom seeds and have been featured in the The New York Times, The Associated Press, Oprah Magazine, Martha Stewart, The Wall Street Journal, and many others. The company promotes and preserves agricultural and culinary heritage through their publications as well. Jere and his wife Emilee have published several books and Baker Creek hosts several events throughout the year to bring “gardeners, homesteaders and natural food enthusiasts together.” Baker Creek provides educational opportunities as well with seed expeditions, trial gardens and promotional exhibits. They also donate seeds to school gardens and other educational projects.
Great! Now how can I check it out myself?
If you have the opportunity to visit Baker Creek’s little village in Mansfield, Missouri, go for it. You will step back into time and experience the beauty of the Ozarks. They have the Baker Creek Seed store. They have a speaker barn, restaurant, and mercantile. There’s an herbal apothecary, a natural bakery, garden museum, and blacksmith shop. They have music barns, a Western jail, a native rock oven, and a windmill. Most importantly, they have seed warehouses and many breeds of historic poultry and livestock. You can bring the family and visit for free (except for the two days in May during the Spring Planting Festival). You can also visit the Baker Creek on the west coast at the Seed Bank store in Petaluma, California. There is also one on the east coast at Heirloom Market at Comstock Ferre in Wethersfield, Connecticut.
If you are able to visit one of those three locations, be sure to order a free Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Catalog! Check out the rare seeds, books, and products this company has to offer. Educate yourself on the importance of heirloom seeds!
(originally published 3/15/2016)