Jere Gettle always had a passion for growing things, and at age 3 he planted his first garden. Ever since, he wanted to be involved in the seed industry. So in 1998, at the age of 17, he printed the first Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog. The company has grown to offer nearly 2,000 varieties of vegetables, flowers and herbs—the largest selection of heirloom varieties in the USA. Baker Creek carries one of the largest selections of seeds from the 19th century, including many Asian and European varieties. The company has become a tool to promote and preserve our agricultural and culinary heritage. Our company and seeds have been featured in The New York Times, The Associated Press, Oprah Magazine, NPR, Martha Stewart, The Wall Street Journal, and many others. Gardeners can request a free color catalog. Our catalogs now distribute to over 700,000 gardeners nationally. Baker Creek started hosting festivals in 2000 as a way to bring gardeners, homesteaders and natural food enthusiasts together to exchange ideas and seeds, to listen to speakers and to enjoy vendors, old-time music and much more. These festivals gave birth to the idea for our pioneer village, Bakersville. Other projects include our trial gardens that we grow each year, seed collecting expeditions, and educational produce exhibits.
Over the last several years, Jere Gettle and his wife Emilee have branched out into other related projects, as well. They have also expanded into a location in Sonoma County, CA, in the beautiful town of Petaluma and are continuing with the restoration and preservation of the landmark Wethersfield, CT, Comstock, Ferre & Company, the oldest continuously operating seed company in New England. The Gettles have published two books with Hyperion. These books feature heirloom vegetables and their work with seeds and food. After publishing The Heirloom Life Gardener in 2011, they released The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook in 2012. Jere and Emilee also work extensively to supply free seeds to many of the world’s poorest countries, as well as here at home in school gardens and other educational projects. It is their goal to educate everyone about a better, safer food supply and fight gene-altered frankenfood and the companies that support it.