Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Keeps On Growing

comments (3) December 17th, 2009

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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Jere Gettle, founder of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, started the company when he was only 17.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog is known for the colorful cover art created by D.L Gettle, Geres mom.

Seed Company Grows the Old-Fashioned Way

Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company had a simple start in 1998 when seventeen-year-old Jere Gettle sent out his first seed catalog to a few hundred gardeners. Since then, his seed company has grown into one of the foremost heirloom seed companies in the country, printing 250,000 catalogs that feature more than 1400 varieties of vegetables, flowers, and herbs from 70 different countries.

There’s a lot to love about Baker Creek Seed Company, from the colorful catalog cover art created by Jere’s mom, to the family photos of his wife and daughter, to the fact that all of the seed is non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated and non-patented. These are true heirlooms.

I had the chance to meet Jere at a tradeshow and he’s as genuine as his seeds. You have to admire a guy who dreamed of becoming a seedsman and then worked hard to make his dream come true.

Catalog Features the Rare and Unusual

The company headquarters is located in Mansfield, Mo., site of the Seed Company and Pioneer Farm, and home to monthly festivals including the old-fashioned Spring Planting Festival in May. The company also has a seed store in Petaluma, Calif., and in 2010 purchased the Comstock, Ferre & Company Seed House in Wethersfield, Conn.

  Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
2278 Baker Creek Road
Mansfield, MO 65704
Baker Creek Seed Bank
199 Petaluma Blvd. N.
Petaluma, CA 94952

Request a catalog...
Gardeners can find just about any heirloom or rare seed they want, from amaranth to watermelon, in Baker Creek’s paper or online catalog. Each selection includes complete descriptions of where the seed came from, a bit of its history, why the variety was selected for the catalog and ideas for using the finished product in the kitchen.

This catalog is the place to browse a wide selection of oriental greens, 32 kinds of hot peppers, 27 different radish varieties, and unusual ornamental melons from the wilds of Africa. There are more than 60 new items in the 2011 catalog including many old tomatoes from around the world.

Some of the more unusual include "Chocolate Stripes" which is described as a mahogany-colored tomato with red stripes, and a small, bright orange tomato with the mouth-watering name "Rich Sweetness 132." Long, slender Roma-type tomatoes in the Icicle series come in three colors: black, yellow, and pink.

Cottage Garden Favorite Flowers

In addition to the overwhelming variety of heirloom fruits, herbs and vegetables, the catalog has a selection of old-fashioned cottage garden flower seed. Asters, Bachelor’s Buttons, Calendula and Hollyhock are some of my favorites, but who could resist a flower called "Kiss-Me-Over-The-Garden-Gate"?

  NPR interviews Baker Creek founder Jere Gettle 10/7/11
Jere has also packaged seed collections to help gardeners find an economical way to get started in market gardening. The packages are available for both Northern and Southern options and come in small, large and jumbo sizes.

The Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog isn't simply a way to order seeds for the garden, it also has recipes, inspiring quotations and beautiful photos. Jere’s catalog is both a fascinating shopping experience and an enjoyable way to learn why it’s important to preserve heirloom seeds for the future.

More catalog reviews...

posted in: catalogs, Vegetable Seeds, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Comments (3)

JackHorton writes: I've never seen so many strange and odd-ball seeds in my life and I've read my old catalog so many times it's falling apart. I've been waiting for the Baker Creek 2010 catalog and check my mail every day as soon as my dog lets me know when the mailman passes.

I'd like to make one observation: I think your slogan doesn't quite go far enough. "Catalog Features the Rare and Unusual" is accurate, but other seed companies sell some rare and unusual seeds. What pushes Baker Creek to the top of my hit parade are the many seriously peculiar seeds. Where else in the world are you going to buy Cannibal Tomato (eggplant) seeds?

Therefore I think you ought to ought to add "and the Never Heard Of" to your slogan to read

"Catalog Features the Rare and Unusual and Never Heard Of"

I hope I get my catalog soon...
Posted: 2:06 am on February 25th
AlyBlu writes: (not so patiently)Awaiting my order to arrive - I did their big combo pack for a home gardener - I was overwhelmed by the catalog and figured a suprise bag of goodies would make me happy.
Posted: 1:33 pm on January 2nd
JadaE writes: The Baker Creek Catalog is the "Vogue" of seed catalogs, in my opinion (although Seed Savers is a close 2nd!)...I love the photography, quotes throughout, and product descriptions. This is a company that is marketing itself very well!

I ordered from Baker Creek for my Spring 2010 garden, and can't wait to try the Asian greens, onions, and other goodies! They sent me a bonus packet of Saskatchewan Cream watermelon seeds (a white watermelon) that I'm going to try just for fun...

Love them! :)
Posted: 11:48 am on December 21st
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