Monday, May 3, 2010

Baker Creek Spring Planting Festival

tomato seeds

We arrived home today from Mansfield, MO where we finally got to see Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for ourselves. We've been talking about making the trip up to Missouri for about 7 years, but never had the time/money/dog-sitters to make it feasible. One of the first things that we decided when we knew for sure that we were moving back to Oklahoma was that we were definitely going to the Spring Festival in 2010. After our first Mid-Del market day (which we considered successful despite spitting rain and parking quirks), we loaded up our packs and headed north.

We stopped in Tulsa at the Oklahoma Horticultural Study Group's plant sale and picked up some lemongrass and ONLY ONE tomato plant--a JD's Special C-Tex, which I had never heard of, but was on the top of their top 10 list. They had a great selection from Duck Creek Farms and there were about 20 other varieties I would have liked to get, but space in the car (not to mention the garden) was limited and required restraint.

We were intent upon camping, but, after a week of remodeling, heavy garden work, and babysitting one of the cutest babies ever, we gladly accepted dad's offer of a free suite in nearby Springfield. From there, it was only an hour drive to Mansfield. We set out on Sunday morning and drove through Mansfield, following the signs through winding streets and onto a long gravel road. We were pretty shocked at how beautiful it was in southern Missouri. Mason had never been and I hadn't seen it since I was maybe 12 or so. The village was amazing--rolling hills and bucolic pastures in bright spring greens.

best apple fritter ever

We paid our $5 and began wandering around Bakersville. There were so many things to see that we found something new each time we passed. The sheer volume of plants in the vendor stalls was a little overwhelming, so we decided to save plant shopping for later in the day. My first purchase was from a woman selling multiplier onions at a tiny table near the apple fritter line (our second purchase!). The onions were brought to America from Germany by her great grandparents. I bought 24 bulbs that I'm thinking about adding to the end of the perennial bed. While I talked to her, Mason smartly got into the long line for apple fritters. They were frying them to order, so it was slow moving, but so worth it! We agreed that it was definitely the best fried dessert that either of us had ever had. The fresh strawberry lemonade was pretty terrific, too.

sleepy geese

They have several heritage breeds of chickens, ducks and geese in various coops throughout the village. There is a little seed museum on the upper floor of the mercantile. The apothecary smelled incredible. But, the seed store, of course, was the best part. Wait, that's not entirely true. The fact that all tomato seed packets were on sale for $1 was the best part. Again, it was totally overwhelming. Mason helped me go through, row by row, choosing seed for fall tomatoes and next year's tomatoes and probably several years after that. I think I bought somewhere around 50 new varieties and stocked up on a few favorites. Obviously, they'll have to be stored in the freezer for a while--and I should have plenty to trade and share for a long time.

We bought several other things that I'll try to take photos of this week and post. I actually managed to be fairly practical and only ended up with two plants total--a $5 1 gallon pot of comfrey (which I've been trying to find everywhere) and a little $2 pot of malabar spinach, just in case ours doesn't come back this year. There is a lot more to add, but we've been working nonstop outside since we got home and I am too exhausted to remember it all right now.


1 comment:

  1. Wow, that must of been a great trip! I love all the photos in the catalog- to be there in person must be such a treat. Those fried doughy pieces of goodness have my mouth watering. :)