Tuesday, July 6, 2010

THE ENDURING PAST



One of the things ingrained in this Southern girl is the importance of “pass along” plants. Some call them “heritage” plants because they tell a story. 


Like Tiger Lilly bulbs that grew by my grandmother's kitchen door. The orange blooms with black speckles seemed huge to my little girl eyes. My grandmother died nearly ten years ago, however, today, when I see Tiger Lillies I'm immediately transported to the happy days of my childhood. There is something comforting about the enduring past. 

My uncle gave me purple hull pea seeds that come from the seeds his father planted. The neat thing is that I know without a doubt that every seed is a purple hull pea unlike some companies that label their seeds as “field peas” because there may be a mixture of types of peas. The remnants of previous pickings get lodged in the harvesting machinery and are mixed with the next picking, therefore mixing purple hulls with crowder peas, for instance.

Why am I talking about gardening in a travel blog? Well, one of my fav places to order seeds is from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company where you know what you are getting! While on vacation in Branson, Missouri, it just so happened that while on vacation we were close to their retail store in Mansfield, Missouri in a their pioneer village, Bakersville. 
What a fun place to visit! I found walls of heirloom seeds in the Mercantile. A gardener's heaven. I took my time browsing what seemed like thousands of seed packages, looking through books on gardening and talking with Mary who answered my questions.  

But it isn’t just seeds you will find there. I browsed the herbs, soaps, teas and gifts in the Apothecary and enjoyed a yummy meal in their historic Asian restaurant from veggies grown in their own gardens! By the way, payment for your meal is by donations. You don't see that much anymore. The day I was there they served Mediterranean Wraps with green beans, beets, and fried onion rings! It was all good, but oh, those onion rings! Amy and Hannah made sure we were well fed and refreshed with their mint tea made from the mint grown in their own garden. Wow!
  

After returning home, I looked at their site, www.rareseeds.com, and found out they have festivals! Next year I plan on attending their Spring Planting Festival and listen to their expert gardening speakers! Also, the first Sunday of every month they have Heritage Days Festivals. So why wait until the spring? At these festivals they offer great music, demonstrations, crafts, a farmers market, garden exhibits and contests for the kiddos.

Wow. Who knew? This all is happening in my own back yard, so to speak.

If you are in the Branson or Springfield area of Missouri, it is worth your time to visit Bakersville. Buy heirloom seeds while you are there, and pass them along to friends and family. Tell your story.

2 comments:

Claire said...

I went to Baker's Creek Seeds on July 4th. My mom, aunt, cousin and I made it a weekend adventure and had a blast. Love, love, love their seeds. I'm determined to grow a 1500# pumpkin from the heirloom seeds I ordered from them.

Wonderful place and the folks who run so some impressive charity work.

Claire said...

I went to Baker's Creek Seeds on July 4th. My mom, aunt, cousin and I made it a weekend adventure and had a blast. Love, love, love their seeds. I'm determined to grow a 1500# pumpkin from the heirloom seeds I ordered from them.

Wonderful place and the folks who run so some impressive charity work.