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|Hayley Matthews • 11/14/17|
The Short Version: Based in Missouri, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is a go-to destination for gardeners of all ages. The farm, village, and seed catalog offer people an abundance of ways to learn and grow together. The catalog has over 2,000 varieties of vegetable, flowers, and herb seeds, making it the largest catalog of its kind in the US. Baker Creek’s annual spring festival showcases the cream of the crop in a popular outdoor event with fresh food, country music, and hands-on activities. Over 10,000 attendees come out to the festival to enjoy themselves and make connections with garden enthusiasts from around the world. Daters can take in the romantic scenery of Baker Creek all year-round by making a visit to the farm with someone special.
Since he was a toddler, Jere Gettle has loved planting seeds and watching them grow. He started his first garden when he was just 3 years old, learned to read by pouring over seed catalogs, and began collecting and saving different seeds as he grew up. In 1998, at the tender age of 17, he printed the first Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog to share his interest with others, and it was an immediate hit among gardeners across the country.
Jere’s deep-seated passion for gardening led him to create the US’ largest selection of heirloom seeds, offering 2,000 seed varieties from over 100 countries. He expanded Baker Creek farm with a mission to spread environmental awareness. This tremendous work garnered attention from top news outlets including The New York Times, The Associated Press, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
When one writer named Emilee met Jere for an interview, they connected over a mutual interest in organic living. Their bond soon turned to love, which flowered because it was nourished by common values and experiences. Jere and Emilee have now been married for 11 years and have two daughters.
Located in the heart of Missouri, Baker Creek connects, entertains, and empowers gardeners across the country. The catalog has a mailing list of over 625,000 people and fosters a flourishing community grounded in a shared love of gardening. If you’re interested in growing fresh foods or beautiful flowers, you should absolutely check out this rich resource.
Additionally, Baker Creek’s farm welcomes thousands of visitors during special tours, festivals, and expositions. You can plant the seeds of romance by attending a unique garden-focused event at the farm. The picturesque pioneer village provides a lovely backdrop for conversation and connection.
Kathy McFarland, Public Relations Director at Baker Creek, told us people of all ages and experience levels show up to see the sights and pick up gardening tips from Baker Creek’s seasoned experts. “Our events have really taken off in recent years.It’s just exploded,” she said. “It’s amazing the wide range of people who have an interest in gardening and growing their own foods.”
If you have a green thumb, you’ve probably heard of Baker Creek’s 150-page seed catalog. The comprehensive listing of rare seeds reaches hundreds of thousands of growers a year. This national catalog can help you grow your gardens, and the farm that produces it can help you grow your social network.
Baker Creek encourages a community spirit among gardeners by hosting lively events throughout the year. The most popular event is the Spring Planting Festival, which offers an excuse to spend a day in the fresh air with someone special.
Over 10,000 people turn out to the festival and enjoy some good old-fashioned family fun. On a sunny spring day, you can escort a date to Baker Creek farm to sample home-grown fruits and vegetables, listen to bluegrass music, and learn about life on the farm.
In California, the National Heirloom Expo showcases the fruits of the Baker Creek team’s labors in a weekend-long exhibition. Hundreds of volunteers, speakers, vendors, and gardeners turn out to mingle in a unique and colorful gathering. The gardening enthusiasm is positively contagious and ideal for a special date activity.
“Our events bring a lot of like-minded people together,” Kathy told us. “It’s a great way to reach out and get involved in the gardening community.”
When the festivals are over, Baker Creek settles back into a natural rhythm of quiet beauty and old-fashioned values. The farm’s history dates back to the mid-1800s, and its original buildings hearken back to that era. The barns, mercantile store, blacksmith shop, windmill, restaurant, and other sights give visitors the romantic impression of going back in time.
Daters can take a significant other on a journey into yesteryear by making a trip to Baker Creek’s quaint pioneer village just outside Mansfield, Missouri. Bakersville is open Sunday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. And it’s free!
Hundreds of visitors stop by to marvel at the old buildings and colossal seed warehouse. You can peek in a Western jail, watch livestock grazing in the fields, and browse through an herbal apothecary all in one place. There’s always a lot to learn and see at the village, and the team stays busy running over 500 tours of the farm throughout the year.
“A lot of couples come here, and they’re often surprised by how much there is to do. Baker Creek is a mini pioneer village,” Kathy explained. “It’s a way for people to connect in the outdoors over something they enjoy doing.”
Whether you’re strolling through the garden museum or sampling a tasty treat from the all-natural bakery, you’ll find plenty of diverting activities to entertain you and your date at Baker Creek.
Kathy retired from teaching high school about nine years ago and moved to a quiet Missouri town near her childhood home. When she stumbled upon Baker Creek, she fell in love with the atmosphere and the mission to support garden enthusiasts everywhere.
The retired English teacher got a seasonal job at the seed warehouse and ended up staying to work there full time. She’s been heading up the marketing team for years now. “I love it here,” she told us. “I’m the biggest cheerleader for what we do.”
Baker Creek employs about 50 full-time employees as well as a smattering of part-time college interns and high school students.
Kathy told us Baker Creek team members have a wide range of educational and skills levels and are environmentally aware individuals who enjoy working for a good cause.
The traditional farm and seed catalog’s altruistic agenda has taken root all over the world as more people educate themselves about cleaner, safer, and healthier ways to enhance the food supply.
What began as a teenager’s hobby in 1998 has now grown into a national rare seed catalog of over 2,000 varieties of vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Jere found success and happiness by doing what he loved, and he now creates opportunities for his fellow gardeners to do the same.
At Baker Creek’s dynamic events, couples can grow closer together through their shared interests and values. It’s easy to cultivate a new connection when you’re surrounded by beautiful sights, delicious treats, and fun activities. If you love to garden, you can join Baker Creek’s vibrant community to add more variety to your hobby and spice up your love life at the same time.
“When you’re in a relationship, the more you have in common, the more you have to talk about,” Kathy said. “And the more interests you share, the more you can do together, so I think Baker Creek is a great place for couples.”
Photos courtesy of Rareseeds.com and Simply Resourceful