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Thursday, May 22, 2014

How will my garden grow? With non-GMO heirloom seeds!

It took a year and a month but I finally made it to the Petaluma Seed Bank. Located in an old bank in Downtown Petaluma the shop sells Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds which are special because they are non-gmo, not hybrid, not patented, and not treated.

It's sad that one has to make a special effort to find untainted seeds like those offered at The Seed Bank but if that's what it takes, that's where I'll go.

Miner's lettuce grows wild at Jack London State Park in Sonoma County

I first learned of the Petaluma Seed Bank after I was invited on a media tour and wrote this blog post: Discovering Eastern Sonoma County: Wineries, Jack London's Beauty Ranch, and landscape art. While visiting Beauty Ranch, home of author Jack London, I learned of Miner's Lettuce for the first time. It's an edible plant that grows wild in shaded woodlands around Northern California. I wanted some seeds and looked for them online, which is how I discovered the Petaluma Seed Bank.

When I walked in and saw all of the seeds I felt a little giddy! Considering I don't even have a yard at the moment I told myself I couldn't buy any seeds, I was just there to investigate and take pictures for this blog post. Why did I make the two hour drive up to Petaluma just to introduce you to this store?

From their website:

"All of our seed is non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated and non-patented.

We do not buy seed from Monsanto-owned Seminis. We boycott all gene-altering companies. We are not members of the pro-GMO American Seed Trade Organization! We work with a network of about 150 small farmers, gardeners and seed growers to bring you the best selection of seeds available! Many of our varieties we sell were collected by us on our travels abroad.

We offer over 1600 fine varieties! Unique seeds from over 75 countries!"

There are several three sided bays of seeds as well as an island of flower seeds upstairs.

There were even live plants for sale at the front of the store.

And gardening books. . .

. . . Composting information and tools as well as many other from and for the garden gift items.

This is one side of the upstairs island of flower seeds.

And the downstairs. . .

Where I found more gift items, gardening supplies, an entire room of air plants, and a small room set up for presentations.

There were also flower bulbs in the basement.

Remember how I said I wasn't going to buy any seeds? Yeah. That didn't work out so well. I found the Miner's Lettuce.

And these cute mini vegetable seeds. . .

Japanese seeds I've rarely seen like daikon radish and hadn't ever seen for sale before Hokkaido pumpkin. . .

My favorite bulls-eye striped Chioggia beets. . .

Some basic veggies like green onions, radish, green beans, rainbow Swiss chard, spinach. . .

Cucumber, lettuce, and tomatoes.

Rosemary, sage, chives, thyme, and basil.

And herbs. I'd been reading up a lot about mosquito repellents to make my DIY, natural, mosquito repellent spray and learned that mosquitos don't care for the scent of sage, basil. . .

. . . and lemongrass. The rest including the Thai sweet basil will be for cooking.

Oh my gosh. What am I going to do with all of these seeds? I figure as long as I relocate by the beginning of August I can plant and harvest one crop this year. If I haven't relocated by then I'll have to give my seeds to a friend with a yard so they can plant them. It was crazy to buy them but I couldn't resist. After all, it took me a year to get there the first time, who knows when I'll make it back for a second visit.

If you'd like to purchase Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds there is the option to do so online. Just visit their website RareSeeds.com to find out how.

Or visit the Petaluma Seed Bank at:
199 Petaluma Blvd. North
Petaluma, CA 94952
Phone (707) 773-1336
Visit their website for hours
Find them on Facebook

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