I read recently of a plan to restore Civil War-era vegetation to Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park's Heritage Garden. Master Gardener Kendra Mattal was online searching for heirloom seeds for the project when she "met" Jere Gettle. In just a few days, 100 varieties of heirloom seeds arrived on her doorstep! The donation was much appreciated and now the seedlings are up and ready to be planted. The garden is being planted behind "Latta House" (a log cabin that was built in 1834) with heritage varieties like Grandfather Kurtz Cowhorn okra, Lincoln peas, Hollow Crown parsnip and Tom Thumb lettuce and heirloom herbs like licorice basil, lemon basil, cinnamon basil and lettuce leaf basil. Old-fashioned hollyhocks, foxglove, poppies as well as flowering cotton and tobacco plants will be placed in flowerbeds around the two story log cabin. There will be some maintenance required with this garden. There was no Roundup back in Civil War time, weeds will have to be pulled! The project will be a step back in time so that we can appreciate how our ancestors lived!
So many people want to get back to the basics and learn how their Grandparents made it through tight times. As the old saying goes, what goes around comes around. Families are coming full circle and getting their hands dirty in the garden again! One of the most unique catalogs I receive is Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Located in South Central Missouri near Mansfield, Baker Creek is not your ordinary type of farming business. The Gettle family started the company in 1997 and devoted themselves to preservation of old-time heirloom varieties that have practically disappeared. The unusual seeds are gathered from around the world. The Baker Seed Store is part of a dream that the Gettle's have brought to fruition.
The Gettle's own and operate "Bakersville" at Mansfield, Missouri. An Old Time Mercantile Store, Herbal Apothecary, Bakery, Garden Museum, Blacksmith Shop, Music Halls and Western Jail are there for customers to enjoy while they shop for plants and seeds. They supply free seeds to many of the world's poorest countries, as well as locally in school gardens and other educational projects. An American company with a conscience, I like that!
*Visit Baker Creek Seeds at their website HERE