The new Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog for 2014 came in the mail the other day. For the past few years the Baker Creek catalog has been a thing of beauty, but this year’s Whole Seed Catalog, billed as the World Largest Seed Catalog, is 355 glossy pages of fabulous photographs of heirloomvegetables. There are famous, beautiful and excellent nursery catalogs, but this book has taken the seed catalog to a whole new level.
Jere Gettle is an amazing man. In 1998, at the age of 17, he printed his first heirloom seed catalog. It looked very different from this one. Talk about a Wish Book! It is filled with 1,500 vegetable, herb and flower varieties, profiles of seed farmers, seed explorers, recipes, and information about festivals and celebrations. The Heirloom Festival nearest to us is at the historic Comstock, Ferre & Co. (now owned by Gettle) in Wethersfield, Connecticut on May 25, 2014. The largest is the National Heirloom Exposition which will be held in Santa Rosa on September 9-11, 2014. Produce displays, 100 speakers, vendors and music! Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds seems to be more than a seed company, it works on conservation, education and celebration! They even have a Facebook page.
I have written about Jere Gettle before, but this catalog shows me that he has been very busy since then. His commitment to fighting GMO seeds continues. He not only finds heirloom seeds from the US, but from countries around the world including Syria. He partnered with the First Presbyterian Church in Anselmo to work with the Bare Root Tree Project in Afghanistan. This organization has become the umbrella organization that brings trees, seeds and water systems to Afghanistan. The Heirloom Gardener magazine is in its 10th year of publication and their new Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook joins the Heirloom Life Gardener published in 2011.
The Whole Seed Catalog will be for sale in bookstores, but their beautiful and informative regular catalog will be available as usual.