The Seed Bank

Not this past weekend, but the weekend before was my birthday. Tom asked me what I wanted to do and the answer was simple, though kind of odd. I wanted to go to the 1 year anniversary celebration of the Seed Bank in Petaluma, CA. The Seed Bank is run by Baker Creek Heirlooms. It’s located on a prominant corner in Downtown Petaluma in the historic Sonoma County National Bank Building.

I love this store. Every time I’m in Petaluma or passing by I have to go in and see what goodies I can buy. Sometimes I just make trips specifically to go there. If I don’t need seeds I check out the other products they have and usually walk out with something. Why do I love it so much? Because it’s really the only place I know of that sells 100% heirloom/open pollinated seeds that are not sourced from a company that sells GMOs or is owned by Monsanto. And let us not forget that their catalog is PURE eye candy…or as we like to call it…seed porn. They by far have the most beautiful catalog that could qualify as a book.

I have a love affair with heirlooms. They come in so many different shapes, colors, sizes and flavors. For example, I’ve grown white and orange fleshed varieties of watermelons. Neither taste anything like the seedless balls of red sugar water you get from the grocery store. They actually have a distinct flavor – they taste like actual watermelons!

Ok, back to the Seed Bank. When we arrived we were greeted by Straus Family Creamery giving out samples of their now “GMO free” ice cream. Oh yum! They had a Dutch Chocolate and Coffee flavors. Of course I had to try both. Both were excellent! They had some vendors there along with authors. I got to briefly chat with Pam Peirce, author of  Golden Gate Gardening: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Food Gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area and Coastal California about my nemesis, Bindweed and perused her other book Wildly Successful Plants: Northern California. There was another woman there that was taking handmade bar soap and felting wool over them to create their own little “washcloth.” I thought this was a brilliant idea. She said that the soap actually lasts a lot longer this way too.

As for food…wow! Angelo of Angelo’s Meats was there sharing samples of his Italian Salsa, Italian Garlic Mustard, and Italian BBQ sauce, all served up with his homemade focaccia bread. We got to chat with the man himself, an Italian with a thick accent and a twinkle in his eye. Even after 30 years in Sonoma County he still has so much passion about what he does!  We took home a jar of his mustard (which Tom particularly likes because it doesn’t have horseradish in it).

To end our visit we saw a showing of “Nourish: Food + Community.” It was a rather short 30 min film narrated by Cameron Diaz. In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t watch it again. If you’ve seen any documentaries on food issues, this would be very redudant. It’s really too short to get into any depth either.

All in all it was a great time spent. And to keep up tradition I walked out with two books and two packets of seeds.

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