Passing seeds down from one generation to another used to be one of the most sacred and necessary traditions. Saving bacterial food cultures and passing them on was also a practice that was seriously observed. Hence the phrase...."preserving the culture" of an indigenous people. Of course preserving the culture also means to pass down customs, language, religious beliefs....etc.Life itself often depended on this activity of saving seeds and bacterial starters or cultures. Individuals and a few privately owned companies are still continuing on with this most vitally important movement. We can all play a role in preserving this tradition.
I have been ordering my seeds from a company called Baker's Creek Heirloom Seeds. This particular company now offers two simply gorgeous free seed catalogues. Each December I check my mail everyday with keen anticipation.I having been growing with their seeds now for several years with great success and much joy when watching new varieites grow ...varieties I had never tried before. Seeds are just amazing! I was very excited to find out that the owners of Baker's Creek Heirloom Seeds recently bought the oldest seed company in the United States....Comstock Ferre & Company...in Wethersfield CT. They are preserving the building, keeping the name and have created a line of seeds based on some of the old varieties from this area.
Baker's Creek Heirloom Seed Company is now located in three areas of the country. Their home base is in Mansfield, MO. http://rareseeds.com/ and they have also opened a store in Petaluma , CA. There are two videos below, one of the seed bank in California and the other is a video of the owner of the company speaking. Spreading the word about heirloom seeds and our heritage is not only the owners' vocation but you can tell it is also their passion. I have met them and they are very down to earth wonderful people. Below are some of the pictures I took at their store in Wethersfield. It was a celebration of the 200th birthday of Comstock Ferre Seed Co. and a celebration of Baker's Creek Seed Co. restoring the old buildings and carrying on this most sacred tradition. Crafts, food, music, plants, seeds, antiques, demonstrations......it was a special day.
Photo below is of the owner Jere Gettle (the one in old fashioned garb)
THE HEIRLOOM LIFE GARDENER : AUTHORS ARE OWNERS OF BAKER"S CREEK
THE EDIBLE HEIRLOOM GARDEN