Take a Tour of Baker Creek's Spring Planting Festival

comments (2) May 3rd, 2016

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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The sign to Bakersville leads to the Baker Creek pioneer village complete with a restaurant, apothecary, flour mill and more. 
Baker Creek invited me to be part of the festivities and talk about my new book called Blue Ribbon Vegetable Gardening. A profile of Jere Gettle, called The Happy Eggplant Hunter, is featured in the book along with some of his tips for growing eggplants.
Gardeners came from around the U.S. to browse through thousands of vegetable, fruit, herb and flower plants. Garden carts were filled to overflowing. 
The seed store was a popular place with all regular seed packets priced at $2.00 each. The bins emptied quickly as gardeners filled their baskets and bags with heirloom seeds.
Jere Gettle started Baker Creek Seeds in 1998 when he was just a teenager. Hes still passionate about helping preserve the tradition of growing heirloom vegetables and herbs.
Musicians came from near and far to be part of the Spring Planting Festival entertainment line-up, as well as impromptu jam sessions among old friends. 
In the area between the Baker Creek Seed Store and the main village area is the demonstration garden. Every planting space is filled with either spring greens, fruits, flowers or early vegetables.
The Missouri weather has warmed enough for Baker Creek to start planting the fields for this gardening season. Rows are covered with plastic to warm the soil before planting.
The sign to Bakersville leads to the Baker Creek pioneer village complete with a restaurant, apothecary, flour mill and more. Click To Enlarge

The sign to Bakersville leads to the Baker Creek pioneer village complete with a restaurant, apothecary, flour mill and more. 

Photo: Jodi Torpey

I had the chance to travel to Mansfield, Mo., May 1 and 2 to be part of the annual Spring Planting Festival at the Baker Creek Seed Company's headquarters and pioneer village called Bakersville.

I was there to join a dozen or so other festival speakers to present a program on my new book called Blue Ribbon Vegetable Gardening. Other speakers covered topics like gardening without chemicals, growing and using rare and unusual herbs, creating a four-season garden, organic farming techniques and saving seeds.

It was an old-fashioned spring celebration that included 150 vendors selling plants, plants and more plants. An estimated 10,000 folks from at least 30 different states showed up to do their spring garden shopping, listen to old-time musicians, watch the hands of 50 skilled craftsmen and soak up the beauty of the Ozarks.

The company started hosting festivals in 2000 as a way to build a community of farmers, gardeners, homesteaders and pure food enthusiasts. A national Heirloom Exposition is held in September in Santa Rosa, Calif. 

Jere Gettle started Baker Creek Seeds in 1998 when he was still a teenager. Now the company has grown to include the Bakersville village, a seed store in Petaluma, Calif., and the Comstock, Ferre & Company Seed House in Wethersfield, Conn.

Each year the Baker Creek Seed catalog features more than 1300 varieties of open-pollinated vegetables, flowers and herbs. It's easily the largest selection of heirloom varieties in the country. The annual festival is just one more way Baker Creek Seeds is working to pass along the tradition of planting and growing heirloom plants. 


posted in: heirloom, Baker Creek

Comments (2)

AdamCox writes: ssuuppeerrbbbb...
Posted: 2:48 am on October 18th
ShakolGopter writes: This is crazy.. =) Nice dude!

Posted: 4:23 am on October 13th
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