Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Landreth – the Oldest Seed House in the States

A book that's available
Gardening Bloggers Wanted is the post that GrowMap put up on Monday ... asking especially American readers (gardeners and all) to help save the Oldest Seed House in America – which seems like an excellent idea.

Creative wise – we need to save our Heirloom plants and seeds - who knows we may well need them desperately in the decades ahead; knowledge is everything, if these seeds disappear then they’re gone for ever .... Do-do-ed into non-existence.

The company is also Non-GMO.

Growing heirloom plants may help
preserve rare genetic varieties.

Here in England we have Kew Gardens, which sponsors the Millennium Seed Bank based at Wakehurst Place in Sussex – both beautiful landscapes to visit, wonderful resources and extremely interesting to look around.

To support the cause - the GrowMap post lists lots of gardens, bloggers to visit, seeds, notelets, books or the catalogue to buy – all of which could be a wonderful source of potential blogging or author ideas.

There’s a cook site, a Faerie site, a Home Grown Goodness Forum, a Lament even ... lots of gardening bloggers' sites ...

The Catalogue
Gosh I don’t need to go on - do I?  It’s a site worth visiting and please purchase the catalogue – looks so much fun, or the seeds ... and generally if possible do the things I don’t do!! i.e. tweet, FB, like, G+ et al ... crumbs ... I have a lot of catching up to do.

This is one of those actions that’s not short-term ... it’s for the long-term those 7 generations ahead ...

... also the post is one of those that perhaps we could poach from for the idea to help your fellow authors spread their words – books, novellas, poetry, music ... marketing thoughts abound there.

Shannon O’Donnell has just posted about Elana J’s idea “Random Acts of Publicity Week” – which is in much the same vein ... perhaps we could do a pre Christmas one for everyone’s books?

Maize: female and male plants
I wrote a post last November about tales, sagas or stories we can glean from our heirloom vegetables ... and the reasons why they shouldn’t be lost ...

When you go to order the catalogue, as I have, you’ll see the photo .. and this paragraph:  

“Why Do We Charge For Our Catalogues?

The D. Landreth Seed Company is America's Company. It was founded near the time of the birth of this Nation and has grown with this Country through its ups and its downs over the course of four centuries: the 1700s, the 1800s, the 1900s and now the 2,000s.

We are honored to have been a part of this Nation for so long, and we have a deep commitment and feel a great responsibility to this Country. We could have this catalogue printed overseas, and the printing costs would be 1/4th the costs of printing the catalogue in the United States, but we are not going to take American business overseas.

Landreth seeds
The catalogue is designed by a small, Baltimore-based and family-owned business, Victor DiPace Associates and it is printed by a family-owned local printing company. Producing this catalogue is far more expensive than it is for most companies who are outsourcing their printing requirements overseas.

We charge for our catalogue to help with some, but not all, of the costs to produce and mail. Each catalogue that you purchase from Landreth is helping to keep an American employed and therefore making this country stronger.”

GrowMap’s post tells you a great deal more ... here’s to our books, your seeds, our heirlooms and the creativity that will fuel our minds from within these websites and catalogue pages.  Let’s help save Landreth ...

PS The Landreth Seed Catalogue would make a good Christmas present ... just a thought?!

I also ordered some note-cards - they look fascinating .. providing details on the reverse .... and the Seed Art book (I didn't order) but it looks quite delightful .

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Diane said...

Interesting post that gives us much to think about. Diane

Rosaria Williams said...

Fantastic! Thanks for sharing this.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane .. glad you're thinking .. I just thought it was so worth while .. and really is an organisation after my own heart. You being a gardener .. thought you might be interested!

@ Rosaria .. good to see again - I know I haven't been by recently .. it is such a worthwhile cause - glad you can see it ..

Cheers Diane and Rosaria .. Hilary

Mason Canyon said...

What a great post. We do need to save our Heirloom plants and seeds if we are to survive. Thanks so much for the links. I'm off to check it out.

Thoughts in Progress
Freelance Editing By Mason

Unknown said...

I think it's so important to make sure the seeds and plants that are today and in the past are still around for generations to come. It would be sad if there were only a few varieties of vegetables and other plants left. What state will our health be in then? Great post. I'm going to check out all the links now.

Helen Ginger said...

Great post and a very good recommendation. My husband would probably love this for Christmas.

Julie Flanders said...

Looks excellent, thanks for spreading the word! I also really enjoyed reading your post from last November, wonderful post. I was not blogging then, so it's fun to be able to catch up with some of the great posts I missed out on.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mason .. thanks - great you're checking the links out ..

@ Clarissa - you too .. delighted this post is interesting everyone - I know re my health .. I'm glad I was born when I was .. with lots of fresh veggies and fruits from the land ..

@ Helen - great to read .. glad someone's Christmas present is solved!

Cheers Mason, Clarissa and Helen - enjoy the links across and please order the catalogue!! Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Julie .. it does look excellent - can't wait for mine to arrive and I ordered some notecards ..

I loved writing that maize, squash and tomato (three sisters) post last year .. especially with the links back to Spain via the Historia .. so so interesting .. and the fact that it was known as the Florentine Codex .. just fascinates me!

So pleased you enjoyed last year's post too .. thanks for the visit .. cheers Hilary

Jannie Funster said...

I think the seed packets are art.

LOVE they make the catalogues locally. What a caring bunch. I'm hooked into learning much more.

The notecards? After my own heart, dearest Hilary mentioning those for sale.

THANK YOU for this post. I want to get involved with Landreth in some way.


Anonymous said...

This post takes me back to when I was a young kid. I'd order seeds from this seed company and sell them door to door. Flowers did the best. I sold a few veggie seeds to. I actually made pretty good money at it and met a lot of people. Ah .... memories.

Anonymous said...

The Landreth Seed Company/Catalogue. Keeping jobs in America. That's exactly what we need to do more of!

We need to save a lot of things, including seeds, to survive. But you are the one who thinks of such things--and gets the word out to us. Now to follow some of the links....

Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

Anonymous said...

I just viewed the D. Landreth Seed Company's website. It's gorgeous! I never stop to think that such awesome things can be found on the Internet. You do a great service, Hilary, by bringing these wonderful sites to our attention!

MorningAJ said...

I agree that this is important- but I think UK bloggers should be supporting UK seed banks. The US is big enough to look after its own.

MTeacress said...

I'm not much of a gardener, but every once in a while I have success. Looks like these people are pros. :)

Since I've been gone for the month of August, I'm glad to be catching up on blogs. Good to 'see' you again (though I've seen you commenting on my blog - thanks so much) :)


This was great to read and I had never heard about the seed house before,

joylene said...

One can never learn enough about gardening. I'll definitely check these out, Hilary. Another few weeks & I'll be outside preparing my gardens for winter. Boo hoo.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jannie .. those seed packets do look so pretty don't they .. you seem to have picked up on their substance, and I wondered if you'd spot the notecards! Great that you'll be popping over to their site.

@ Stephen .. that was an innovative way to make some money Stephen! .. selling seed packets door to door - what a great idea. I bet you had fun chatting to people and possibly going back to see how your seeds had grown. As you say memories .. and a good story line for spotting a murder happening?!

@ Ann - it's interesting that I'm letting Americans know about Landreth .. but I just find some sites and if it's interesting I'll post about it.

The company has some wonderful information .. and anything that's been around for 250 years needs our support.

@ Anne - I appreciate your comment and thought about it - I did mention Wakehurst Place and I've often written about Chelsea, or Kew .. but there are stories here of old times .. and my post of last November on maize, tomatoes and squash .. has a lot of historical information.

I expect we hold quite a few South, Middle and North American seeds at the seed bank in Wakehurst place too .. as well as in botanical drawings, art, records etc ... on the plants themselves.

The thing I find interesting is that in many of my posts I'm imparting information that Americans didn't know about - it's the mix of information that I hope opens other conversations and doors to people around the world.

So that's why I posted about Landreth .. it was fascinating enough historically to know about and remind us all that the future is with our seeds.

@ Michelle - I should hope they're professionals as they're all gardeners by trade, or passion!!

Catching up .. good luck! Pleasure to comment on your blog ..

@ Yvonne - glad you enjoyed the post ..

@ Joylene - you're right there and glad you'll check out their site. I cannot believe you'll be battening down the hatches for winter very soon .. it wasn't so long ago that you were asking us about your Lake and its freezing over, and then becoming unfrozen last Spring!

Thanks everyone .. delighted you all enjoyed finding out about Landreth .. Hilary

Talli Roland said...

Another wonderfully informative post, Hilary - I love that someone is watching out for our heirloom seeds. I must pay another visit to Kew Gardens soon!

The Blonde Duck said...

I would love to have a garden. It's so hot and dry here even cactus burns up.

Mike Goad said...

Landreth does look like a good idea for a Christmas present for Karen, though our veggie gardens don't often do well, still an interesting catalog, I'm sure. Thanks for sharing.

Chase March said...

We have national archives of books, films, and music.

After reading your post here, I can see that we need to have one to maintain plants and seeds that are in danger of going extinct. Like you said, we might very well need them in the future.

My thumb is anything but green. I really don't know much about gardening but I respect what farmers and gardeners do.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Talli .. thanks - I quite often go to Wakehurst place .. and we take friends on their way back overseas - good place for a final walk, and/or snack .. land for the kids to run around .. but I must get back to Kew - one day .. perhaps we can meet and go together in the Spring.

@ Blonde Duck .. is it still hot and dry .. you must be in the southern half .. yet you BBQ? Burgers .. I'm coming over for yours! A garden is just lovely when the weather's reasonable - not like now - cool and damp!

@ Mike - thanks .. excellent that you think it might suit Karen .. I can understand why your veggie garden doesn't do too well - you're always on the road on those wonderful Exit 78 trips!! no time to nurture or water .. perhaps the Landreth catalogue will change that ...

@ Chase .. I'm sure Canada does have its own archives .. and probably a seed and plant one too ..

Plants feed us - so we need the strongest, most resilient and best for us .. it's great that they're collecting and storing new ones for the future.

They grow plants here that were eliminated in the wild and are taking them out into their native habitat around the world to re-establish themselves.

It's amazing what the farmers, wildlife rangers, environmentalists, botanists do .. as well as the small or large gardeners - protecting so many flora and fauna of our world.

Thanks Talli, Blonde Duck, Mike and Chase .. great to see you - cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Hi Hilary, I'll check out that seed site. Thanks for blogging about it. Have a wonderful day!

Arlee Bird said...

I've heard of this company and catalog. I don't grow much of anything and gardening is not my forte, but I'm sure keeping this seed bank alive is an important pursuit.

Tossing It Out

Unknown said...

What a fascinating post. Thanks for the links that I'm on my way to check out.
We really should pay more attention to making sure our seeds and plants are available for the generations to come.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Susanne .. great to see you - and delighted you're going to check the seed site out.

@ Shirley - welcome and thanks for following etc.. you're my 250th! Great news and you're up in Lancashire .. good to meet you.

We've got an amazing seed bank down in Wakehurst Place .. millions of the things in cold store - it's very impressive and scientific.

I just loved the thought of old varieties being shown in the catalogue, and hated the thought of a company that seems to have nurtured plants for 250 years going out of business ..

Cheers Susanne .. and Shirley - lovely to see you both .. Hilary

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,
You can breathe a sigh of relief, for yes, I, shy and humble I, have arrived to plant a comment on your latest posting. Couldn't last night, because blogger was behaving badly.
Some incredible information and links you have so kindly put up on here.
Anything relating to gardening gets my attention. I'm amazed how well my garden has done, considering we didn't exactly have a summer.
And quite right, we need to save our heirloom plants.
Cheers Hilary.
In kindness, Gary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gary .. you're very welcome to plant a comment here amongst my small seeds of a blog ..

.. why was blogger behaving badly?

I know gardening and me don't mix too well .. but never really had one to get stuck into for a duration of years - one day soon!

We didn't have a summer - but then plants don't seem to mind that?!

I hope you get to glance at the Landreth site .. and as you say we do need to save the heirloom plants of the world ..

You too Gary - always good to see you around .. with your wonderful comments... cheers Hilary

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh, I think my mom would be interested in a catalogue like that! I live 'in a wilded area' so there is not gardening or even a yard . . .but my mom loves gardening!

nutschell said...

I wish we had space for a garden in our backyard. I've always wanted to grow rare heirloom plants--although we do have heirloom tomatoes growing in a pot. :)

Susan Scheid said...

Well, I'm fascinated by this, as neither me, nor, more to the point, our household's in-resident expert gardener, has heard of this company at all. So as to salvage what little reputation we might have had in this area, let it be known that we're aware of at least two other fine heirloom seed establishments in these parts, Johnny's Selected Seeds, and a favorite, the Seed Saver's Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, which claims to be the largest non-governmental seed bank in the US. You can find them here, for the curious: here.

Anonymous said...

Oooh yes, that Seed Art book looks wonderful!! I've heard of this co. on Martha Stewart,I think. She promotes the preservation of heirloom seeds as well, and I agree,so very important. Thanks for this informative post! ~Scarlett

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nutschell .. good to see you after your hectic summer - that's interesting that you've got heirloom tomatoes in a pot though ... and one day you'll get your garden: definitely!

@ Susan .. it's like all things isn't it - we pick up some things and not others .. if GrowMap hadn't posted about the company I most definitely wouldn't have known about them. It was the fact they're 250 years old .. as old as the American nation really ..

Good to know about your two heirloom establishments - thanks for posting ... I'll pop over.

I'd hate your gardening expert to be shown up ... I hope you'll get the catalogue and/or some seeds ..

@ Scarlett - ah! the Seed Art book - now I'm glad I posted the picture! the artist comes to the fore.

So pleased you enjoyed the post - I can see your craft mind working away ...

Thanks Nutschell, Susan and Scarlett .. so good to see you - cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan .. just popped over - and as you say well worth a read - thanks for linking from here.

I see Harvest Festival is nearly here! Cheers - Hilary

Marja said...

Great idea and great cause. i think gardening is becoming more important and food will have to be more locally grown as transporting it all over the world will become more expensive. My husband is a keen gardener and we have a reasonable size vegie garden. Since the earthquake more and more garden clubs arise. Thanks for the link.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Marja .. thanks for coming by - gardening is wonderful therapy isn't it - and it's lovely to hear your husband loves his and the veggie patch!

That's interesting to read .. that since the earthquake new garden clubs have sprung up .. good to know.

Pleasure to see you here - Hilary said...

Oh I love this. I love the little details and the accompanying pictures that all loaded quickly.

I have a great passion to knit vegetables, but haven't got around to it yet, too many other projects to finish. :O)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Madeleine .. as I have nothing on the blog except posts and friends .. it should load fast! Glad to know it does .. I understand your frustration of slow loading pages with lots on them.

Knitting vegetables sounds interesting and novel .. one day you'll get there .. perhaps with a book novel attached - & patterns at the back?! Cheers Hilary

Susan Blake said...

Hi Hilary! Great info here - thanks so much! I expanded my garden this year and then had to leave it all to "whatever happens, happens" and head to the lake while my new kitchen was being installed at home. Great reason of course, but sadly the garden didn't do well. I want to start with all heirloom seeds next year so this was a very valuable resource!

Manzanita said...

Hilary, Gee, thanks for this information. I didn't know this was going on. I love heirloom seeds. The only kind to buy. I'm glad you're on top of things. :) Their tomatoes are the only kind to grow. Most delicious.Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

Julie Flanders said...

Hi Hilary!
I just wanted to comment here again to let you know I have you an award on my blog today. Cheers and happy weekend to you!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Kat - apologies I think yours got 'stuck' in moderation .. ie I didn't go there to check til now!!

Great that your mother might be interested - I know mine would have been .. and she loved gardening too.

@ Susan - that's what happens to gardens isn't it if they're not looked after - still now you have a new kitchen - the garden is a necessity for next year!

Glad you can see the site and Catalogue as a useful resource.

@ Manzanita - it's clever of me to be on top of American seeds when I'm over the pond - but just loved the thought of the site etc .. and the pics!! So excellent you're interested too.

@ Julie - many thanks I've just been over .. I'm not the best with awards! and I've got a couple outstanding .. perhaps I should do something!!??

Cheers Kat, Susan and Manzanita thanks for commenting ... and Julie - many thanks for the award - I hope you can all have peaceful weekends ... Hilary

quilthexle said...

Thanks for the hint - will check it out !! As I love gardening ... it might be very tempting ...

Lydia Kang said...

I love their cover and adwork--they're frameable, even if they're just trying to sell stuff.

This makes me excited for spring all over again. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Frauke .. seemed like a very good bet to me .. enjoy having a look and a possible purchase?!

@ Lydia ..yes - that's what drew me in too: the art work looked glorious - except I thought of the value of the organisation too ..

You've got Spring - lucky thing! Still ours is only 6 months away!!

Good to see you both .. thanks for visiting .. cheers Hilary

Janet Johnson said...

Okay, I am bookmarking this post, because I bet my mother-in-law would love the catalogue! Thanks for the great post. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Janet - good to see you - I do hope your MIL will enjoy the catalogue .. pleasure re the post!

Cheers and a peaceful weekend .. Hilary

Empty Nest Insider said...

What a beautiful book! It's always good to plan early.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Love this post. I often give seed packets in spring gifts.

My sister saves her tomato seeds year after year. Heirloom seeds were very important to our pioneers.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Julie .. that book cover does look quite delightful doesn't it .. I rather liked the seeds, catalogue and notecards - that I didn't put up ...

I just thought for $5 .. the catalogue would be a good Christmas present ..

@ Teresa - ah! then I've solved your prezzies for your Spring gifts - lovely idea ..

Glad your sister saves her tomato seeds - does she let you have some? Heirloom seeds are so important to keep that strain of plant going - and were essential to your pioneers ..

Good to see you Julie and Teresa .. thanks for coming by .. Hilary

Rosalind Adam said...

How interesting. I'd never heard of this catalogue before. I did know about the seed bank that Kew are responsible for and I agree that that's vital. Our local Botanical Gardens, which belongs to Leicester University, contains a number of national collections of plants including hardy fuchsias.

Betsy Brock said...

I have pretty good luck growing things from seed from my garden. This company looks interesting. Their seed packet designs are just lovely!

Marinela said...

Interesting post and good recommendation, love it :) :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Ros .. nor had I - but loved the look of it the company and what knowledge it held. And like you I support the Kew version at Wakehurst Place .. and it's good to hear that your Botanical Gardens have a number of national collections .. I love fuschias too - very Cornish. Our UK ones are extremely important as they're probably more universal.

@ Betsy - that's good - green fingered Mum! and lovely fresh veggie and fruits for the family .. especially those boys! Aren't the designs lovely ..

@ Marinela .. thanks so much ..

Lovely to see you all Ros, Betsy and Marinela - all the best this weekend .. Hilary

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Interesting, Hilary! I'm not a gardener, but this is good information for those who are and others just interested in history.

Thanks for sharing,

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Hilary -

I'm so glad this company made the choice to keep their business in the U.S.

I was particularly fascinated that they go back to the 1700's since Karen and I are writing a book in this timeframe. We'll have to explore their site and see what information we can glean from it.

Susan :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Monti .. useful for the artist perhaps - as you are? and as you say the historical element.

@ Susan .. it is good that they decided to be all American .. and use local services.

I know you're doing lots of research of the 1700s .. and use of the words 'can't and don't' which were not in use then. I hope you can find something useful .. even reference to specific seeds etc

Good to see you both .. have a blessed Sunday .. Hilary

Patricia said...

Wow this was a great post and I popped over to the site and forgot to let you know how much I appreciated your sharing.
I did FB and tweet

I get so many emails asking me to work on petitions against GMO and Montsanto monopolies that this was a refreshing reverse view...They don't mention that Montsanto is breathing down their necks at every opportunity and $ they can spend...
Scary stuff...and we already are dependent on these kinds of seed companies

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Patricia .. thanks for doing all the right things for the site - I hope they get a few more purchases from 'my post and connections'.

The Brain Pickings post just seemed to ring so true .. and I love learning about these old companies that have stayed true to their roots in so many ways ..

Delighted you enjoyed it - cheers for now .. Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

I think Burpee is our big seed company in the US. I don't have a place to grow a garden now. I miss it.

Did you know Native Americans used to plant a fish with their corn to help the corn grow?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Theresa .. I think I'd heard it - and certainly we used to collect seaweed for my step-grandfather to put around their garden .. very good fertilizer.

So dead fish would enhance the growth of the corn - makes sense .. they'd have been cultivating near a river.

Thanks for telling me about this - we forget the simple things of life, that can enhance growing conditions.

Thee without a garden .. know a few tricks! Thank you ...

Burpee has only been going since 1876!!

Cheers for now .. Hilary

Amanda Trought said...

Hilary, this is right up my street, love the post, just went to Kew last week with my son, had a lovely time. Definitely going to visit the sites you mentioned. Amanda

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amanda .. yes - I can see this site would interest you a lot .. enjoy the links over.

Excellent that you took your son down to Kew - I must get back there one day ...

Cheers Hilary

Dan said...

Thanks for mentioning this post in the comment on my post about other early American seed companies. Seeds are so important, I hope all these companies can survive.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Dan - as you come from Philadelphia ... I thought you'd be interested ... glad I've made you aware of Landreth ... cheers Hilary