Friday, October 19, 2012

The Stepford Seed

Is it just me, or has someone else shuddered at the Baker Creek Seed homesteading nostalgia? The wholesome youth of its proprietors, the relentless use of their own family in marketing images, and the explosive growth of the company into nostalgia-based, thematic retail outlets coalesces into enough discomfort that I shy from buying.

I suppose there is little more American (Americana?) than this strange concoction of business, entertainment, and family. The Times mentioned the weirdness of Baker Creek a few years back, but came around by the end. In fact, I only found myself looking at their website after a link was given to them in the excellent NYTimes story on the vegetables of East New York (no weirdness there). In this article they mention the hybridizing going on in some of these gardens. And isn't that a point worth pondering? I don't see us going forward by selling backwards. In fact, although I grow mostly heirlooms now, I often drop varieties because they do not stand up to disease or are generally unproductive. Hybrids that reap the taste and texture benefits of heirlooms while improving health and vigor of the plant wouldn't be turned away by this gardener.

Finally, don't get me started on banjos, fiddles, and harmonicas at farmers' markets. I like Blue Grass as much as the next, but I don't need it with my cabbage.


  1. mismatched plaid. That, in itself, is ... too much.

  2. I was sent a magazine of theirs in the mail. Was riveted by the images. Halloweenish.

  3. i agree! i love the lusciousness of the vegetable images (garden porn, no doubt) and i use the catalog as reference, but i always look elsewhere to buy my seed. just can't buy from them. too creepy & i hate how they use the cuteness of their daughter. a bit too cheesecake to me.

    1. I've never received their catalog, although I hear Pa Gettle does all the photography himself.


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