Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Seed Catalog: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

In December, Bob gave us several posts about his favorite seed catalogs - and now I'm going to continue the series with some of mine.  I'll cover five or so in the next week.  Feel free to tell us about your favorites in the comments!

Okay, let's be upfront about this.  I have described Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds' catalog elsewhere as "food gardening porn" and as long as UME doesn't censor me, I'm sticking to that description.  This is the most luscious, seductive piece of seed advertising I have ever seen.  Which is amusing, as the Gettles, who run the Missouri company, have a very clean-cut image.  Don't get me wrong; there are no bikini-clad people of any sex showing off the fruits of garden labor - the fruits (or mostly vegetables, with herbs and flowers as well) show themselves off.  But who else does double-page photo spreads of carefully-posed and lit... squash?


This catalog isn't just a pretty face, though.  They have a huge selection of heirloom and other open-pollinated cultivars (no hybrids), with particular specialties in melons, squash and tomatoes.  This is the catalog you bring along on a trip when the weather looks like it might ground your plane for hours.  And then you want to buy everything because it all sounds so good (I am convinced they spray the catalog pages with something addictive).  Prices are mostly between $2 and $3 a packet; to continue Bob's comparison, Brandywine tomato seeds (took me a minute to find them in the 30-page tomato section organized by color and half taken up with huge glossy photos) sell for $2.25 a pack, minimum 25 seeds.

The catalog suffers a bit from what I call Cute Caucasian Child Syndrome, but all the kid-photos are actually of the Gettles' daughter, who is indeed quite cute.  As opposed to the vegetables, which are absolutely gorgeous.

Notes:  (1) You can order a print catalog through most of the catalog websites (or in some cases, download a PDF version).  (2) Mention of specific products, brands, or companies is not intended as an endorsement by the University of Maryland.  (3) I do not receive consideration of any kind for mentioning products, brands, or companies in my postings.  The seed catalogs I review are those of sellers from which I have previously bought seeds.

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