Another Missouri Treasure…..

This past weekend, Sharon and I motored over to Mansfield, Mo. to attend the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed garden show, located a few miles from town on Baker creek. She has shopped there before, each time returning with a couple of their monster cinnamon rolls baked on the premises. Little did I know there would be thousands of folks attending this event from all over the United States. Agriculture is in our blood and we were right at home among the folks who share our interest with gardens, large and small. I was pleasantly surprised at this event and enjoyed the day immensely.

The Baker Creek Seed Catalog

The founder of this seed business, Jere Gettle, began this venture in 1998 as a hobby farm where he doubled down on his boyhood fascination with seed. His expertise and interest soon resulted in the expansion of his heirloom seed business from some 70 variations of seed to well over 10,000 varieties on display in one of his 1.4 million seed catalogs distributed annually. Heirloom seeds are not your genetically modified offering seen today, rather seed with it’s roots going back to the days of the family farm and/or garden. His seed stock includes such delicacies as “French Breakfast” radish seed, dating back to pre-1885 France in origin. His seed is not limited to vegetables, with a bountiful display of flower and herb seed as well. There is a ‘Seed House” on the farm where many of his offerings are on display and can be purchased. He also ships seed world wide, with an international reputation for excellence.

There were many private vendors lining the street in Pioneer Village
Inside the Baker Creek Seed House

During this show, several country, make that blue grass, bands rotated between two sound stages, replete with bales of straw as seating, wowing the crowd with fingers flying on guitars, violins (fiddles), mandolins and banjos setting the mood with several vocalists singing to this music. I love blue grass and these ensembles did not disappoint. There is a restaurant on the premises serving up country vittles as well as the aforementioned cinnamon rolls, each a meal in themselves. The big attraction was a gorgeous display of tulips, in full bloom, delighting the many camera toting visitors with their color and beauty. The Pioneer Village is relatively small, but well thought our with plenty of room to stroll through the old buildings all built on the site.

“One More Dollar” pickin and grinnin

There are also a number of green houses for folks to stroll through with guided tours being offered. All of these attractions were free of charge after paying a nominal parking fee, designed to keep the crowd at a manageable level. You were required to purchase your parking permit on-line, as there were no provisions made for drop in crowds. The Ozarks never ceases to amaze me, and this relatively unheralded treasure is yet another reminder of the back to earth nature of the people in this region. Kids were well behaved, as would be expected from mostly rural folks and dogs were welcome, on lead. It was a terrific way to spend the morning and I will certainly plan on attending again next year. The music alone was well worth the drive to Mansfield.

Heirloom cabbages…….ain’t those pitiful Wal-Mart Cabbages, believe me
As might be expected, I ran afoul of the high sheriff

I hope to see you there next year. An hour in this seed house will result in a garden that is the envy of every neighbor within 10 miles, seed as God intended, not altered in a lab somewhere……

Have a great week!


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