Dear Gardening Friends,
Dear gardening friends,
It is hard to believe that this is our 18th seed catalog, and that I have now been selling seeds for over half of my life. It has been an amazing adventure that I feel really blessed to have been able to work with seeds, plants and great gardeners each and every day. Each year the joy of finding "new" plants seems to be growing, both for me and my family, but also for the Nation.
Crops like pepinos, stevia and yacon are becoming sought-after crops by home gardeners and chefs. The diversity of the food supply is increasing for many, and we are thankful that people are again taking up the time honored art of producing their own food, herbs and flowers. Speaking of flowers, we are greatly expanding our selection again this year. Flowers make for a more healthy garden, a happier person and, best of all, they help save the important little pollinators.
Across the country, we continue to get reports of declining population of many types of butterflies and bees. At the same time, our government keeps increasing the amounts of ever-more-toxic kinds of pesticides that can be sprayed on crops, crops that in many cases have also been genetically altered to take larger and larger amounts of herbicides while at the same time producing their own GMO insect-killing toxins in every plant cell. The poisons and GMOS are killing off our insects and harming our ecosystems as a whole, not to mention the continual and growing list of studies from independent scientists and farmers that question or downright condemn our toxic, factory farm food system.
It is time to take back our food system to a time when gardens and farmsteads were diverse places and not only sustained the family, but they also helped support the local community--not the pesticide industry or factory farms.
In our own trial gardens diversity may go to the extreme, but how can we say no to another kind of dahlia, eggplant or basil? We planted around 2000 varieties at our Missouri farm last season, testing and admiring varieties for quality, type and for our own enjoyment!
In the process of growing all these varieties, we have found some incredible favorites, as well as learned new ways to cook zucchini or can tomatoes. Yes, abundance is one thing we enjoyed last season and are continuing to enjoy year round both from our pantries and from our winter gardens, which last year survived temps of 17 degrees below zero and went on to give us an abundant harvest of garlic, kale, onions and other super hardy vegetables and flowers early last spring,
Gardening is such a great activity for for kids. Our daughters love being in the soil, and the soil seems to love being on them as well... Sasha, 7, loves helping with planting, harvesting and saving seeds from any stray pod, and especially enjoys planting fall bulbs. Our daughter Malia, 1, mostly enjoys the harvesting and eating process, with edible flowers being a favorite of both our little plantivores.
We continue to be amazed at the success of our National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, California, as well as our festivals in both Missouri and Connecticut. These are all indications of the growth of the heirloom movement as people look to grow their own food and move back toward a simpler way of life.
We always love hearing from our customers and friends. Many of you send us comments and suggestions throughout the year, and we consider every one of them in an effort to continuously improve our customer service. We have also implemented a new order picking and shipping system that greatly improves the turn around time of filling your seed orders.
Visitors are always welcome here at our farm, restaurant and pioneer village. Please take the time to stop by and say hello when you are in the area. We always have something interesting growing in our gardens from early spring through late fall. Bring your camera and feel free to snap some pictures.
We hope you have a blessed growing season and that your gardens will be abundant. We look forward to hearing about your harvest.
Jere, Emilee, Sasha & Malia Gettle