Our guest today is Jere Gettle, dubbed the Indiana Jones of Seeds by the New York Times, he is the founder of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and has journeyed far and wide to obtain heritage and heirloom seeds.
Jere started his first garden at age three and ever since wanted to be involved in the seed industry. At age 17 he mailed out the first Baker Creek Heirloom seed catalog, today it offers the largest selection of 19th Century seeds available on the market. With his wife Emilee, Jere has co-authored two books, The Heirloom Life Gardener and the Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook.
Today Jere will be sharing how and why he started Baker Creek, what heirloom means, the history of seeds and much more.
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- Jere’s fondness for seeds started at a young age, with his family very active in gardening
- There’s an unsung variety in the varieties of seeds available
- Tommy Apple Melon is an example of how a particular variety of melon becomes bred as it’s own variety after enough time
- The definition of “Heirloom” is open to interpretation, but is generally considered a variety that is passed down from generation to generation and is an open pollination variety that is not hybridized
- An easy way to preserve these varieties is to “adopt a seed.”
- To bring a seed into the US often requires a Phytosanitary certificate issued, sometimes there are simple lot permits that you can use to get around this
- Seeds often carry the history and culture of where and how the seeds were produced and raised
- Tomatoes were not indigenous to Italy, even though it has become iconic to their cuisine
- Jere looks for seeds that look amazing and grow amazing to carry at Baker Creek
- Bakersville was started as an opportunity to have a taste of what life was like before life was connected to the internet
- Baker Creek is located 5 miles from the Laura Ingalls Wilder home
- One of the seeds tied closest to Baker Creek has been the Alibaba water melon, which was featured by Dr. Amy Goldman in Melons for the Passionate Grower