Taking Your Gardening Dollar

Smart seed porn—with a message


Despite the fact that I have no intention of growing any plants from seeds—not in this garden, anyway—I love a good seed catalog. Baker Creek is one of the classics.  Over 200 pages long, the bulk of the book is devoted to vegetables, with much smaller sections on flowers and herbs, some gifty booky stuff, a few announcements of events I might attend if I lived in California, and essays. My one quibble is the cover. I have actually tried to give this fabulous catalog to food-growing friends who had never heard of it, but they look at the zinnias on the cover and get confused. The zinnias are pretty, but if I were these guys, I would have gone with some heirloom habeneros or maybe the Red Roselle, an amazing looking variety of exotic hibiscus, used for sauces, drinks, desserts, and other brightly flavored concoctions. The Atomic Red carrots are totally cover-worthy, as well.

The descriptions have a few too many exclamation points, but they are excellent, overall. And I liked this year’s essay (reprinted from Heirloom Gardener, the company’s magazine), hopefully named “GMOs—is the end near?”  There are five reasons author Jeffrey M. Smith thinks a big backlash against GMOs is imminent:

  1. Weeds are evolving to resist Round-Up on their own, so being able to carpet-bomb fields with Round-Up won’t mean much.
  2. Insects are developing resistence to the GMOs that produce their own internal pesticides.
  3. Problems with GMO-fed animals are reaching critical status, to the extent producers will need to stop using them or suffer big losses.
  4. The havoc wreaked by GMOs in microorganisms is becoming more widely understood.
  5. Activism and awareness raising has reached the point where consumers are figuring out why they might want to avoid GMO brands.

Of course, the photos of unbelievably beautiful vegetables that can be grown from the company’s unadulterated seeds are what really make the case.

Posted by on December 17, 2012 at 8:00 am, in the category Taking Your Gardening Dollar.
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8 Responses to “Smart seed porn—with a message”

  1. Susan says:

    I love Baker Creek – I order a significant portion of my seeds from them. I especially like that they cover what they refer to as “Frankenfood News”. You pick up a lot in their catalog that the MSM misses or chooses to ignore. (I do so hope that Jeffrey Smith is right!) The cut flower seed packets are gorgeously illustrated, and I’ve always been very satisfied with my purchases. They also bought Ferry-Morse seeds in Connecticut a few years ago – that would be a doable road trip for us western New Yorkers…….

  2. Jayme B says:

    Thanks you for the thoughtful review of Baker Creek… I handn’t heard to them, as I’m not a Seed Freak, but all the reminders on GMO’s excellent.

  3. UrsulaV says:

    Baker Creek gets me every year. “Surely I can grow this vegetable despite my terrible soil and the lack of will of anyone in the house to actually eat it!”

    But they are so, so pretty…

  4. Rachael says:

    The Baker Creek catalog gets me through the Montana winter.

  5. I don’t know — I think I’m going to order those gorgeous-colored zinnias right now.

  6. Kevin says:

    All I know is that Baker Creek heirloom seeds has my money every single year. I’ve grown about 12 different varieties of seeds from them and they all turned out absolutely wonderful. Talk about an awesome company :)

  7. commonweeder says:

    I don’t plant many seeds either, but I do love the BAker Creek catalog and continue to be alarmed at all the GMOing that is going on and the fix I think we will all be landed in.

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