Thursday, September 8, 2011

A "Seedy" Expedition

When I refer to this as a "seedy" expedition, I am not referring to the definition of seedy that means "squalid"; rather, to the definition of seedy that means "full of seeds". This post is about an expedition you can take in Southern Missouri that is all about seeds! The first "seedy" place I want to tell you about is called the Bakersville Pioneer Village. This farm and pioneer village is in the beautiful Ozark hills, near the town of Mansfield, Missouri (See my blog post from August 14, 2010, for more information on visiting Mansfield).

The pioneer village contains gardens, pastures, an old-time mercantile store, herbal apothecary, natural bakery, garden museum, blacksmith shop, a Western jail, a native-rock oven, and a windmill.

The kids,especially, like the fact that they can see some "historic" livestock, like the sheep and pony shown here.

This "storybook-looking" building is also on the property, and never fails to bring a smile to folks who observe its unconventional construction methods. The owners say the decor seen around the village comes from years of collecting sickles, churns, washboards, old movie posters, horse collars, etc., etc.,! And the best part is that looking at all this stuff is free entertainment for you (except for the two days each May when the Spring Planting Festival is taking place). There is also a cafe on the premises where you can purchase a healthy lunch on weekdays. You can find out their exact hours of operation, get directions, and see the seed varieties they have available by clicking on their website,

The Bakersville Pioneer Village all got started around the original seed store, called the Baker Creek Seed Store. The owners of the seed store, Jere and Emilee Gettle, says seeds are their actual business, but their Bakersville Pioneer Village is more a "labor of love". And the seeds they sell are VERY SPECIAL!! Their advertisements say that they sell only pure, non-hybrid, non-GMO, non-treated and non-patented seeds. They say they are NOT members of the pro-GMO American Seed Trade Organization. Rather they work with a network of about 50 small farmers, gardeners, and seed growers to provide the selection of over 1300 varieties of fine seeds, they have available in their actual store at Baker Creek, and on their website store.

The next "seedy" place I want to tell you about is the Ozark Seed Bank, located in the "don't-blink-or-you-will-miss-it" community of Brixey, in south-central Missouri. I was going there for a meeting, had the address set in my GPS, and STILL managed to miss it, because I glanced to the opposite side of the road for a split second! The white structure, which has a very typical architecture for this area of the Ozarks, has been there for decades. Buildings such as this have been used for schools, churches, community centers, polling places, and whatever else a group of locals might need. The Ozark Seed Bank website states that their mission is to research, cultivate and conserve indigenous and non-native plants, and disseminate information on their potential benefits. They use the main floor of their building for monthly educational events, that serve as a gathering place for local farmers and gardeners interested in sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and plant protection. You can find out about volunteering to conduct a seed trial in your garden or farm by clicking on their website or phoning 417-679-1003.

The building's lower floor contains their climate-controlled seed vault that stores over 300 varieties of culinary and medicinal plant seeds. One of the special ladies that keep this very worthwhile organization in operation is shown in this photo, holding her container of seedy treasure! I am very thankful that organizations like the Ozark Seed Bank and Baker Creek Seed Company are out there with the mission of not only preserving heirloom seeds, but also educating folks on their importance. There is such a disconnect today between the food one buys at the megamart, and the seed from which it came. This is significant not only for education about the physical environment, but also, education about the spiritual realm, as well. There are so many references to seed in the Bible, that are absolutely meaningless to many of today's younger generation, because they have never grown anything from seed, and were not really even aware that food comes from seed! The Parable of the Sower that Jesus told in Matthew 13:3-9 is an excellent example. Having an understanding of the principles of sowing seed will help us see the importance of understanding what Jesus meant when He said "Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop---a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. " SOOoooooo, if you would like for your annual leaf-peeping drive to have a "destination" this year, meander your way through the Ozarks, and go on a "seedy" expedition!! Miles of smiles! Tricia

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