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Spring has finally “sprung,” and many Ozarkers have taken to a spade and hoe to plow their own little patch of earth. One company in southwest Missouri is hard at work producing heirloom seeds whose DNA has not been altered. KSMU’s Jennifer Davidson talked with the horticulture expert who works there, and has this story.
Baker Creek is the site of rows upon rows…upon more rows of tomatoes, beets, pole beans, lettuce, onions, and the list goes on and on. These plants are all busy producing heirloom seeds. Horticulture expert Art Davidson says the company produces seeds that were at risk of “going away.”
“People were not continuing to grow certain old varieties anymore, because we have these newer, quote, unquote ‘better hybrids.’ They’re not always better,” Davidson says.
One onion Baker Creek has is close to 300 years old—at least.
“There’s a bullnose pepper we have here—and that was grown by Thomas Jefferson back in the 1700s,” Davidson said.
Davidson says many customers are concerned that they aren’t sure what pesticides or other hormones are in the foods they buy at a grocery store.
He says personally, he eats vegetables from heirloom seeds because of the taste.
One of his favorites, he says, is a purple tomato called “Cherokee Purple.”
Baker Creek is now part of a fun little community called “Bakersville,” which includes a seed store, restaurant, and other pioneer-themed buildings. The company hosts a monthly festival on the first Sunday of each month, and its annual Spring Planting Festival will be May 5 and 6 this year.
For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Davidson.