Preserving history for future generations is done in a variety of methods. Preserving ancestral heritage, rare antiquities, or grandma’s pie safe is all important to history. Consider vegetable and flower seeds.
Jere Gettle is correct when he states that “Heirloom seeds bring history alive and connect past, present and future together like nothing else can.”
Take a day to make a trip to Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Store. Visit the pioneer and farm village that is just ten minutes outside of the town of Mansfield. From the lake area, follow State Highway 5 south to Mansfield.
This is the time of year when our thinking turns to the outdoors. Envision lush green foliage, colorful flower blooms, and tasty home-grown vegetables. The first step is to plant the proper seeds to ensure bountiful results.
Jere and Emily Gettle’s Bakersville Pioneer Village and Seed Store offer almost fifteen hundred varieties of heirloom vegetables, flowers and herbs.
Gettle printed his first Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog in 1998 at the age of 17. He planted his first garden when he was three years old. In a recent newsletter he said “seeds that have been passed down through the generations, savored, saved and honored as part of each culture tell a still-living story of a culinary and horticultural past. This is a past that is filled with amazing seeds and stories—stories that are just as colorful as the fragrant flowers and vintage vegetables that are now filling our gardens again.”
Their seed is non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated, and non-patented.
The farm’s goal is to “promote and preserve our agricultural and culinary heritage… to educate everyone about a better, safer food supply and fight gene-altered” products.
The Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Store location includes a speaker barn, restaurant, an old-time mercantile, herbal apothecary, a natural bakery, garden museum and blacksmith shop, two music barns, a Western jail, a native rock oven, a windmill and many breeds of historic poultry and livestock.”
Kathy McFarland, public relations specialist, stated that “Our restaurant serves an Asian style vegan meal. There is no menu. The cooks post the daily selection on the chalk board, and diners pay by donation. There is no set fee. Lunch is served daily; including Sundays now (The Village is closed Saturdays). Jere's mother Debbie runs the Flour Mill bakery. It is open during festivals and at her discretion during the week. Visitors are often surprised to find her there baking fresh breads and cinnamon rolls, but she does not have a set schedule.”
All of the buildings are always open during regular village hours. Visitors are welcome to browse through them all. There is also a wide range of heritage animals, particularly rare and unique poultry on exhibit. Kids and adults always enjoy looking at the bunny rabbits, various sheep, donkey and miniature ponies.
Page 2 of 2 - The newest project in process is creating an Italian style country courtyard garden. Located in the heart of the village, it has more than 90 plant beds surrounding a water fountain and will eventually have slate tile walkways to make it handicap accessible.
Their projects include: trial gardens, online forums, educational exhibits, world seed collecting, two books, a new cookbook, supplying seeds to needy countries, and school gardens. They have two other locations, one in California and one in Connecticut.
Visitors will be happy to know that the admission to the village is free. Be sure to save an appetite to enjoy lunch at the village’s restaurant. Shoppers will find there are seeds of many varieties, items in the way of clothing, garden tools, certificates, herbal remedies, and gifts to select. The store offers a free color catalog. And, check out the online newsletters. Visiting the Mansfield area the historic Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum is an excellent side trip.