The Old is New

  • Post published:12/22/2009
  • Post comments:2 Comments

Between the concern about GMO seeds and a difficult economy, gardeners are more and more interested in seed saving. The Seed Savers Exchange has been around for years and is now celebrating 35 years of helping people find and continue growing heirloom, open pollinated seed for hundreds of vegetables and flowers

Kent and Diane Ott Whealy founded the SSE and you needed to be a member to get seeds (and they were free) from the owner of the seed. I knew that the Whealy’s were eventually able to start growing heirloom vegetables and flowers for seed, but I was surprised by the colorful, glossy catalog that arrived in my mailbox – so different from the plain listing with descriptions of plants I got many years ago.

You can now order from this beautiful catalog with items like Long Island Cheese squash for pies, Rat Tail radishes (you don’t eat the roots), Opalka paste tomatoes, as well as Snail Flowers grown by Thomas Jefferson. Hundreds more are in the catalog and online at the Seed Savers Exchange website.

If you become a member you will get a 10% discount on catalog seeds, a quarterly magazine and many other benefits.

The Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company was the brainchild of 17 year old Jere Gettle. This company is celebrating its first dozen years with a gorgeous catalog with heirloom seeds from all parts of the world. There are Russian tomatoes like Black Prince from Irtusk, an Australian Butter squash, and melons from America, Asia, Europe and Africa.  It’s like taking a trip around the world in vegetables.

Baker Creek offers flowers, too, Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate, Sweet Williams, and Purple Passion cuphea! So much love in the garden.

This is a company that has grown to include a seed store in Petaluma, California, festivals, and blogs. Logon to the Baker Creek website for information about all their projects.

Both companies offer books, and other items.  Here it is, not even Christmas, and the gifts of catalogs and dreams are already arriving.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Frances

    Thanks Pat, both of those are my go to seed sources. I like to get the seedling plants from SSE too. Our Baker Creek order has already been sent and arrived! Oh the wonder of seeds, so cheap and so full of promise. May your Christmas be the best ever!

  2. linda

    Both are truly impressive companies Pat. I’m blown away by Jere and what he’s done with his company starting from such a young age. I met him in Chicago at the IGC show this summer, and we had a very nice, long conversation about his adventures. Pretty amazing what he’s accomplished.

    Merry Christmas!

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