Baker Creek Heirloom Seed company is based in Mansfield, Missouri and carries over 1,400 varieties of heirloom vegetable, herb and flower seeds, the largest selection in the United States. I have purchased all of my garden seed from Baker Creek for the last two years.
Why is buying heirloom seed important?
- History and Tradition – Many heirloom varieties are over a century old. Seeds are passed from generation to generation. You can eat a tomato that really does taste just like the one you ate out of your grandma’s garden when you were five.
- Variety – F1 Hybrid and GMO seeds are often sterile and must be “grown” in a lab. Because of this companies that deal with these types of seeds usually “perfect” several varieties. F1 Hybrid apple seeds are only available in a few varieties while there are over 10,000 different varieties of heirloom apple seeds available. Of course variety is not just limited to apples. Many heirloom plants are available in a host of varieties.
- Experimentation – Aren’t you curious to try some of those heirloom apples? Check out this Heirloom Apple Tree Farm in Hood, VA. The left side of the website lists hundreds of unusual apple varieties.
- Self-reliance and seed saving – Because most F1 and GMO varieties are sterile, saved seeds will often not produce fruit or will produce a fruit far inferior to the original product. Heirloom varieties have survived through the process of seed saving. Saving your own seeds can be very frugal and fun.
- Taste – Taste and heirloom tomato next to a store bought tomato and you will immediately know the difference.
- Health Reasons – although their are conflicting studies available, some scientist believe that GMO produce can cause organ damage and decrease liver and kidney function.
When Richie and I went to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museums last month we decided to drive out to Baker Seed and Pioneer Village which is just 7 mile away. All I can say is WOW! Baker Seed is such a cool place. Just take a look at a few of these photos!
Not only do they have a HUGE store where they sell their seeds and gardening related merchandise but they also have a really cool Pioneer Village. The Village is complete with a garden, live animals in all varieties, demonstration areas, a general store and even a restaurant. We visited mid-week and it was pretty quiet but they have a Heritage Days Festival on the first Sunday of every month which looks to be something to see. They also have a Spring Planting Festival usually in May.
We really enjoyed Baker Seed and Pioneer Village but beware – they are CLOSED on Saturdays!