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Gardeners and Historians, a Thing!

As you may have noticed, I recently started getting back into gardening. So maybe a week ago, I saw a thing about this seed company being in trouble. I started reading about it, and here's the deal and why I want you all to know about it too: This is Landreth Seeds. They have been in business since 1784, which is pretty cool in and of itself. They are the oldest seed company in the States, which is also pretty cool. They're dedicated to preserving heirloom varieties of seeds, and while they do carry hybrids, they won't carry any genetically modified seeds or plants. Personally I'm not against genetically modified plants completely, but I do care very much about biodiversity and preserving the heirloom varieties, so I started perusing the site.

There's a lot of cool stuff there! They have neat notecards with art from vintage, illustrated seed packets, they have great tools and equipment for gardeners, they have gorgeous books for people interested in things like heirloom tomatoes, and the variety of plants and seeds is actually a little staggering.

They also have collections of seeds, often with a book or pamphlet of information or recipes, packaged up in cute little bags. I ordered some of these the other day.

One of these is particularly interesting to me, and a big part of why I want to get the word out about this. They've put together a collection of African American heritage seeds. There's more information on the Special Collection page (and more varieties than what comes in the set), and I really think that this is a very cool, very important thing. There's a lot to be learned about a culture based on their food history and what they grew, and preserving the actual heirloom varieties that slaves and sharecroppers were growing is a really important piece of history. I think it would be a really cool way to teach some of this to kids, by getting the collection (which comes with the book that the historian who put all this together wrote on the topic) and starting a garden with them.

So obviously, the best thing would be if you ordered stuff from them. They're doing a drive to save the company right now, and even if you don't garden, ordering their catalog would be a good thing. It's a gorgeous catalog with illustrations of the plants, and really well put together, from what I hear. If you don't want a catalog and don't have any use for the stuff they sell but still want to help, there's a button to donate on the front page. Spreading the word to anyone you know who does garden is also good. Of course, no one who reads this is under any obligation to do anything at all. If this isn't your thing and you don't know any gardeners, whatever! It's no big deal! I've been telling people about this in email for a week, and finally decided I should put this out here for anyone I know who might be interested.

In other news, the other day I got to eat an ENTIRE SALAD of THINGS I GREW MYSELF and I was like "GREENS SO FRESH EVERYBODY WANTS TO FIGHT ME." because it was so awesome.


I don't know how to make that smaller right now, sorry.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 25th, 2011 07:01 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a cool company! I will get something for my mom for the holidays there :) my parents are much better at gardening (and have 100x more land) than I am!
It's really awesome that they are working to preserve heritage lines of veggies. I hope they will be OK :(

That salad looks delish btw! And I don't even like salad greens ;)
Oct. 25th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
I know, right? I don't know how I missed hearing about them before this, but I'm addicted to their site now that I know. :) I'm planning to do most of my holiday shopping with them. I figure the notecards will be great for the non-gardeners, mostly.

It was so good, oh my god. It was mostly baby greens that I was thinning out, plus a big wad of spinach. I drizzled a little bit of olive oil over it all, little salt and pepper, and it was basically perfect. Made some garlic toast to have with it, and I thought I was in heaven.
Oct. 25th, 2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
Mmm nom nom. That does sound really tasty! So jealous :Q

I might order their catalog just for the pretty pictures. I LOVE their seed packet designs <3
Oct. 25th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
Go for it. A lot of people are doing the same! I figure for the non-gardeners it would make fantastic collage fodder.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 25th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)

When I started thinking about the history of some of the seeds, I tried a couple of keyword searches to see if they had anything originally brought from Morocco. I didn't find anything, but there may have been something I overlooked.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 25th, 2011 09:15 pm (UTC)
One of their collections is on ideas for patio and container gardens! Just sayin'!
Oct. 25th, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)


Also, what a lovely salad, Miz Emily.
Oct. 25th, 2011 10:02 pm (UTC)
I KNOW! I swear, there is nothing cuter than new seedlings, too.

Thank you! It was super-delish.
Oct. 25th, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC)
Baby plants ARE insanely adorable, I agree. I just got a wee greenhouse, too! Though my mint plant is a bit of a Seymour and keeps trying to molest the sweet basil, and has been reaching through the bars to grope the parsley as well. We're going to have to discuss boundaries soon, with a pair of clippers...
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:39 am (UTC)
Mmmm, tiny greenhouse. I'll be making a few of those out of plastic takeout containers over the winter, I think.

I need a gardening icon.
Oct. 26th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC)
That's a really cool site, Emily. Thanking for sharing. I have to check whether my budget can afford it but I'm really interested in buying the packet of seeds that were important to slaves. Very hands-on way of understanding that culture.
Oct. 26th, 2011 02:27 am (UTC)
p.s. Can I steal the bulk of your post to repost?
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:35 am (UTC)
Of course!
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:37 am (UTC)
I know, right? I'm really looking forward to reading the book. I'm also curious to see how many of the plants end up being the lowest possible maintenance types of plants when I actually get them in the ground, since that's what would make sense to me, given the circumstances.

You were actually on my list of people I needed to email about this, when I finally realized I should just make a post.
Oct. 26th, 2011 02:32 am (UTC)
You talking about gardening will always make me think of the time I dumped an entire jar of rosemary vinegar on my hair and left it overnight or something.

Emily, why did I do that?
Oct. 26th, 2011 11:35 am (UTC)
I have no idea. I don't remember what happened though?
Oct. 28th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
Thanks, my Uncle's Christmas gift is now purchased! (German Harvest basket + Heirloom seed packs + catalog!)
Oct. 28th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
Yay! That's so cool!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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