As most of my readers know the last few weeks I’ve been engaged in numerous field trips with a new purpose–to promote my book. Out of these adventures came a phone call from a very kind woman at one such bookstore, inquiring if I might be interested in doing yet another book event, this one at Baker Creek Seed Bank in Sonoma County. Thus was the beginning of a most marvelous adventure, south to Petaluma to what I discovered is very much a destination gardening center! For starters, this company is dedicated to the preservation and distribution of heirloom seeds, a most righteous endeavor. Most intriguing is the site they chose for the California branch of their Missouri-based company–an old bank building! Love it!
Upon entering I was so enchanted I ran straight back to my truck to secure my camera and began my afternoon activities with a shoot, on the spot. You’ll see why!
It’s no wonder that the seed folk at Baker Creek found this building so enticing! Any person with an artistic sensibility would be drawn to this old architecture. What is most endearing is the reinterpretation from banking money to banking seeds. That can’t be beat!
Where tellers used to pack it in now stand rows and rows of the tools of our passions.
Wonderful charming pots!
These might actually keep the squirrels out of my rose pots!
Love these marvelous English tools!
More pots, and seed packets!
Adding to the charm and color is the addition of local handcrafted quilts, honoring the local creativity and sense of community.
Most importantly, the women working that day were friendly, knowledgeable and infinitely patient with all the customers coming in to Christmas shop for the gardeners in their lives. Each customer was offered a cup of hot apple cider and encouraged to look to their heart’s content.
I had the opportunity to speak with many of the folks who visited that day and I was immediately taken by how many people were from other counties! Some had come over from Napa, some from as far away as south of San Francisco. This truly was a special place and I can’t think of a single gardening store I’ve ever visited that could rival it. It’s truly not a nursery full of starter plants and fully grown plants one can pop into the earth for an instant garden. No. It’s a place for dreams. It’s a place of possibility. It’s a place for learning. And it’s first and foremost truly a place to buy high quality heirloom seeds (more than you can imagine!). I saw packets of seeds for zillions of vegetables I’d never heard of before. I’d opened The Vegetable Door. I’d by-passed agribiz and commercial produce and gone to The Source as it Should Be.
Can you tell I’m in love with this store? I can’t wait to return and soak up everything I can. I came home armed with their new seed catalogue. And trust me when I say I am NOT a Seed Catalogue Fan. Until now. And now I know why. This catalogue opens an entire new world of food possibilities to me. Endless variety.
And a universe of information, dealt from a caring heart. What’s not to love?
For more information please visit rareseeds.com. I encourage you to do this.
Love and Christmas blessings,
Posted on December 20th, 2010 by Kathryn
Filed under: Field Trips