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The scoop on 'Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.'

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  Company Profile  
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co.

Green Star: Good Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. is a Watchdog 30 company. Green Star: Good

Mailing Address:
2278 Baker Creek Rd
Mansfield, Missouri 65704 (United States)

Phone: (417) 924-8917

Catalog Order Page: Hyperlink
Paper Catalog Cost: Free

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This company is affiliated with 3 companies:This company offers a variety of seeds.

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  Company Comment, posted on October 21, 2002:  
It all started in 1998 with Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, the company that now offers one of the largest selections of heirloom seeds in the U.S. with over 1,300 varieties of tasty vegetables, fragrant flowers, and spicy herbs. Groovy seeds for all your home and market garden needs. Jere collects many ethnic varieties each year through his extensive travels. We offer the most unique, colorful and flavorful varieties. Our varieties have been grown in many major gardens, including Disney World, the U.S. National, Chicago, New York, St. Louis Botanic Gardens, Monticello, Living History Farms, and Colonial Williamsburg, to name a few.

Baker Creek carries one of the largest selections of seeds from the 19th century, including many Asian and European varieties. Jere Gettle founded the company in 1998 as a tool to promote and preserve our agricultural and culinary heritage. Our varieties have been featured in Organic Gardening, Mother Earth News, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, O Magazine, Martha Stewart, and many others. Gardeners can request a free 124-page color catalog that now mails to over 250,000 gardeners nationally.

Over the past dozen or so years, Baker Creek has branched out into other related projects as well, including The Heirloom Gardener magazine, which is now in its seventh year of publication. The Gettle family has also expanded to a location in Sonoma County, California, in the beautiful town of Petaluma. In June 2010 they expanded to Connecticut, buying and preserving the near 200 old Comstock, Ferre & Co. One of America's first seed companies.

We started hosting festivals in 2000 as an idea to bring gardeners, homesteaders and natural food enthusiasts together to exchange thoughts, seeds, listen to speakers and 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, seed collecting expeditions, our popular online forums at idigmygarden.com, and educational produce exhibits.

We also work extensively to supply free seeds to many of the worlds poorest countries, as well as here at home in school gardens and other educational projects. It is our goal to educate everyone about a better, safer food supply and fight gene-altered Frankenfood and the companies that support it.

Thank you so much for your interest,
Jere, Emilee & Sasha Gettle
http://www.rareseeds.com

  Feedback History and Summary  
1101 positives
28 neutrals
47 negatives

Comments:

Displaying the 50 most recent comments:

RatingAuthorContent
Positive DrTW
Conroe, TX
(4 reviews)
May 11, 2020
I placed my first order this year. I received it promptly even while others were suffering unannounced shipping delays. First set of seeds are starting to sprout. So far, very pleased with my first order.
Negative Lorenzo99
Winchester, KY
(5 reviews)
May 10, 2020
I've ordered seed multiple times from this company, with mixed results. The heirloom varieties tend to be interesting, but in some cases they're over-hyped and do not perform as well as claimed in the catalog copy. Baker Creek has also cut back on some of its vegetable lines, including eggplant.

More disturbingly, Baker Creek has tried to give a platform to people with dubious agendas. They've invited Cliven Bundy and RFK Jr. to speak at their spring festival. RFK Jr. has compared vaccination to the Holocaust and is prominent in antivax circles. Apparently his fervent and misguided opposition to GMOs was enough for Baker Creek to overlook his dangerous antivaccine advocacy, and Bundy's actions were approved of (or ignored) because he grows heirloom melons (!).

There are plenty of other sources of heirloom seed (like J.L. Hudson Seeds) that I will be using in the future instead of Baker Creek.
Company representative comment on May 11, 2020:
On May 11, 2020 7:51 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:

We're sorry to hear you feel that way. We always germ test our seeds before offering them for sale, and we offer a 2 year satisfaction guaranteed on all of our products. We did offer a bit of a smaller variety of seeds this year for several reasons, including eggplant, though we do still carry 24 varieties. As for speakers invited to speak at our events, we try to look for information that would help our customers with gardening, and that is what we ask them to speak on.

Positive Sunnymead
Windsor,
Canada
(1 review)
May 2, 2020
I have ordered 3 times from Baker Heirloom and have been thoroughly impressed each time. Great variety of interesting heirloom seeds with speedy delivery!
Positive Gerkhin
Davison, MI
(1 review)
April 27, 2020
Most of my garden seed was ordered back in January, but, I forgot a few things, figuring that Id pick them up at my local garden supply. Now that we are deep into the Covid19 pandemic that isnt a choice for me. Six days ago I placed a seed order from Baker Creek, expecting it to arrive too late for spring planting. Low and behold my spinach and snap peas came today and included a pack of free cosmos. Under extremely difficult circumstances Baker Creek came through with flying colors! Thank you
Positive larkandmet
(1 review)
March 26, 2020
Baker Creek was the first seed specialty company I ever bought from 9 years ago. Normally it was Wal-Mart. I was at first upset because there wasn't many seeds for the price I paid in my opinion. I grumbled and planted like I normally would, several seeds per hole. Not long after I was shocked. Almost every single seed sprouted. I had 5 or more corn stalks coming out of every spot! They were gingerly spread out and most survived but it was like that through my whole garden! I saved seeds from everything that grew. The only things that didn't was from my own ignorance of the growing needs. I haven't ordered in a couple years and decided I wanted to add to my varieties this year. Right before corona was here I placed my order. Kept waiting, was getting garden itchy waiting to get my hands on shiny new seed packs. Then learned they were down on staffing, too. Ok, I can wait. Got them today! And because of the wonderful, committed to customer service company they are, they sent me several packs of free seeds! For MY inconvenience. It didn't inconvenience me at all. So, thank you for the beautiful extra seeds, and thank you for your commitment to heirloom varieties, that's how you got me the first time. Would highly encourage everyone to buy from them
Positive BinaryHoneymoon
Madrid,
Spain
(1 review)
March 13, 2020
I've bought quite a big variety of Baker Creek's seeds. I have to say it's truly amazing. Quality, speed, customer service... You can't go wrong buying heirloom seeds from them; from tomates to beans it all meets the expected standard.

I strongly recommend going though their extensive and rich catalogue, you'll be amazed.
Positive boettler
Virginia Beach, VA
(1 review)
March 2, 2020
Fast delivery. Great germination rates. Wide variety of unusual plants. Amount of seeds (and consequently the overall price) is less than some other seed categories -- which makes it a good source for buying seeds to test and to give as presents.
Positive jessewoodson2
Stroudsburg, PA (Zone 5b)
(6 reviews)
February 10, 2020
Woo Hoo! Seeds came today! This is only my second year ordering from them, but most did well last year & those that didn't did do well for a friend I shared with, so I think I may not have planted them in the best location-my mistake! Haven't planted the seeds that I saved from last year yet, so I can't comment on that yet. Love the catalog-My camera fed me for a few years & I know you're not buying pretty pictures, but I love the pics of the veggies. Someone has a good eye! Free shipping-Thank You! I wanted to place my major spring order, but I know I'll need something later & won't hesitate to place another order since I won't have to spend $4 shipping for a $3 package of seeds! Customer service-I asked for gift certificates for the holidays & receieved WAY more than my garden can grow in one season (such a problem-right?) so I called to see if they are good for more than a year (answer-yes!) I spoke to a very helpful person. Trying really different stuff this year-we're experimenting with more oriental veggies. So far a positive experience!
Positive duschdr
Walkerton, IN
(1 review)
February 6, 2020
I was very impressed with the amazing variety of seeds in The Whole Seed Catalog which my wife gave me for Christmas. I always like trying something different in my garden and found many interesting new seeds to order and am looking forward to ordering others in the future. I've been buying all my garden seeds at a farm store for years and have only ordered any seeds once before (sweet corn from a company that shall remain nameless) and was very disappointed that it took a month for the seeds to arrive, putting me 2 weeks behind in planting. I was extremely pleased that my seeds from Baker Creek arrived less than a week after I ordered! Not only that, but the prices are lower than the other company I ordered from, there is no charge for shipping, they came in attractive packets with descriptions and instructions on the back, and I received a few packets of free seeds as a thank-you! I am anxious to see how the seeds will grow. I am starting a couple types inside, but the rest I'll have to wait about 3 months when I plant them directly in the garden to find out.
Neutral Momofseven
Saint Charles, MO
(1 review)
January 29, 2020
I recently read that although this company makes grandiose claims of working with small farmers all around the world, it is fair to assume that most of their seed is sourced from China. I read this on a blog, the blogger stating that she called Baker Creek and this statement was made by a representative of the company.

Does anyone else seem to think that is misleading, based on how they market their seed?
Company representative comment on February 7, 2020:
On Feb 7, 2020 4:53 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:

We're sorry to hear that someone said this, as it is completely untrue. There are a couple of reputable companies in China that we deal with, but we also deal with companies all over the world. We do have a network of small growers that we contract to grow seed for us, and we get a great number of our varieties from them.

Positive alazon183
New Haven, VT
(1 review)
January 27, 2020
There is a wonderful selection of uncommon seeds as well as standard offerings, fair prices, more than fair shipping costs (free), free seeds included with every order, and fast answer time if one writes with a question or problem. Seed selection does change over time. Seeds from Baker Creek have a good germination rate, even after a few years, and the plants grow well in my zone 5 garden. Give these people a try if you have not done so already.
Positive jpjones76
(4 reviews)
January 20, 2020
I've ordered from them at least 10 times in the last 8 years, nearly all seeds but a few starts and slips. Shipping is fast, seed is productive, everything is high-quality. I've had only one dead seed packet in that time, and it was a real fluke (ordered 3 seed packets of a Peruvian chili; 2 had 75% germination; 1 had 0%). The only "negative" I can say about this company is that they describe everything they sell in very positive terms, and some of their descriptions turn out to be overly optimistic...some seeds are rare for a good reason.
Positive JacksonPC
Waxahachie, TX
(1 review)
January 17, 2020
My go to source for everything as long as they have it. I have spent hundreds on their seeds and have no complaints. They have great customer service, as you will see if you look at any negative reviews they get, they fix it.

I've rarely had issue with anything from them, and the one thing that didn't grow well was a difficult to germinate plant that I didn't baby enough. They also send out tones of freebies. In my most recent order they sent me more than they even listed, I was supposed to get 3 varieties and they sent 5!

Great company.
Positive ColinWright
Roseburg,
United States
(4 reviews)
January 12, 2020
I only started ordering from Baker Creek this winter, but they are fast becoming my favorite. 1. Their seeds seem to germinate faster and more completely than whatever else is starting alongside them. 2. The seed counts always seem to be ample.

3. Free shipping! Realize you forgot something? No problem -- even one packet ships free.
Positive PogosAunt
Mayflower, AR
(1 review)
December 30, 2019
This is my first experience with Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, but I am so ready to start them, both inside and also for direct sowing in the spring. Unfortunately, I will have to wait a month or two to do that. I asked for and received them as gifts from Santa. Since I have not had a chance to plant yet, I cannot give a review of germination and if the plants live up to their promise.

I am surprised at the prices of the seeds - very reasonable - and they arrived quickly and well-packaged in a beautiful padded bag.

Room for improvement: One thing was both a positive and a neutral: on the one hand, I received TWO free packets of seeds, which was a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, one of the packets was a duplicate of one in my order. I'm thrilled to try the free dark purple opal basil, but since I ordered cilantro, the free cilantro pack is a mixed blessing, especially since it requires cool conditions and I live in a hotter climate with brutal summer temperatures. It was free, so I can't really complain, but something different (like the basil) would have multiplied the excitement factor. If the free seeds are selected randomly, it's the luck of the draw; if they are chosen by someone filling the order, more care could be taken when including a free packet. Again, it is free, and I appreciate it. I will share with a friend. Also, I wish there were more information in the catalog and on the seed packages. This is not a huge deal because I can research planting specifics on the Internet. If most of the company's customers are experienced gardeners who already know this, I see why they might want to spend the limited space allotted to describe each plant, building up the wow factor.

If I have a good germination rate and at least 50% of my plants live and produce, I will be happy and a repeat customer. I am so excited about this purchase, it is all I can do to keep from ordering the 25 packet heirloom seed collection on page 145. I would have ordered it already but am afraid it might contain duplicates of the twelve packages I just received. The product description does not provide a list. Maybe the list is random or varies depending upon seeds in stock, so the selection varies?

I will not bore you by mentioning everything I ordered, but the SAXA 2 radishes (page 78) mature in 18 days! That is amazing. If all these heirloom seeds live up to their reputation, I will be asking for them for every birthday, anniversary, Christmas, and any other holiday that can conceivably elicit a gift from now until I am no longer able to tend a garden.

I almost forgot to mention: I totally appreciate that Baker Creek offers free shipping. That is value added to my already awesome purchase. That is the equivalent of another package of free seeds! Thank you Baker Creek.


Positive Ams329
Sebastian, FL (Zone 10a)
(3 reviews)
December 9, 2019
My only complaint about Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds (rareseeds.com) is that their catalog is too tempting. Every year I say I have enough and then I look in the catalog and I'm lost... So many new and unusual things to try. I can't just buy one, it's worse than Lay's potato chips.

Really no complaints here. Ease of ordering, shipping, communication are all good. Really wish I could get to one of the fairs they advertise.
Positive MooDoo
Dunnellon, FL
(1 review)
November 11, 2019
I do not place a lot of orders, as my garden is small and I save my own seed from year to year, but when I do get new seed Baker Creek is my first go-to. Great variety, very prompt service, and with free shipping they are competitive with better seed offered at retail garden shops. Their seeds have generally performed well, with robust plants and good harvest. Had poor germination once and e-mailed them about it with the thought they might like to check out the seed lot, not really expecting anything back, but lo and behold, they sent along with their apologies a duplicate order with a pack of free seeds to boot. That second lot exceeded all expectations. I also like their company story and progressive attitude.
Positive Dopingle
Elmont, NY
(1 review)
August 31, 2019
Very good seeds that grow into beautiful plants. Shipping and delivery is very prompt and typically earlier than estimated. They also include a free seed pack with every order, adding more the more seeds you buy. Affordable seeds that are great for sustainable farming/gardening because they're all open pollinated and the seeds are savable.
Positive DenaKotka
Golden Valley, AZ
(1 review)
August 11, 2019
Fast shipping A+++++
Positive Calcifer
Mountain View, CA (Zone 9b)
(4 reviews)
June 26, 2019
Very pleased with my purchase of tissue cultured fig plants from Baker Creek. The price is fantastic and each plant is actually bigger than I anticipated. While shipping takes 2 weeks to process, customer service was very helpful in answering my questions.

Free shipping for everything in 2019, woohoo!
Positive BostonPlanted
Boston, MA (Zone 5b)
(11 reviews)
May 3, 2019
Great selection, quality, germination, and shipment.
Positive purplethorns
Streetsboro, OH (Zone 5b)
(5 reviews)
April 30, 2019
4/30/19....received seed order after some delay...contacted baker creek about order not received...they found the shipping problem and fixed the mistake....this was done quickly...they have good seeds with a high germination rate,,,have ordered from them for many years...
Positive Scareduck
Little Rock, AR
(1 review)
March 27, 2019
Promptly sent the seeds I ordered. Hoping for good tomatoes this year!
Positive soundengineer
Flowery Branch, GA
(1 review)
March 22, 2019
Prompt service and quality seeds. My 3rd year ordering from them and I will continue to do so in the future.
Positive JanetNOLA
Slidell, LA
(1 review)
March 20, 2019
When I noticed that a successful YouTube gardener used Baker Creek "Giant of Italy" parsley, I ordered some, along with some tomato and pepper seeds. The parsley germinated well in the garden (on its own timetable, as is normal for parsley). I now have about 20 very healthy parsley plants.

I enjoy the "bonus" seeds that they send with each order. We had so many "Black Vernissage" tomatoes last year!

Baker Creek ships quickly, and their seeds germinate very well. I recommend them to everyone.
Positive Dalphond
Ypsilanti, MI
(1 review)
March 19, 2019
Wonderful seeds. Excellent variety (obviously). Super quick shipping.
Positive NKY
Yellville, AR (Zone 7a)
(1 review)
March 12, 2019
Love their catalogue, the wide selection of rare heirloom seeds, and the prices. The order I placed arrived promptly, so I didn't have to stress about having the seeds in time, and the customer service is great. I would definitely recommend this company and will be ordering from them again.
Positive Ladybug97031
Hood River, OR
(8 reviews)
February 8, 2019
Love the catalog, and the seeds. Fast service, and the free packages are a nice gift. I look forward to ordering again.
Positive JoyLaVie
Nampa, ID
(1 review)
February 7, 2019
My order arrived lightning fast, in perfect condition, and with a couple free seed packets of varieties Ill actually use. 100% satisfied with my purchase.
Positive DASouza
Tucson, AZ
(1 review)
February 2, 2019
I am always amazed at how fast my orders are processed. Everything is just great and my orders arrive in about one week. There are no additional shipping charges. The selection of seeds is amazing and at times overwhelming, but in a good way. love this company! Keep up the good work.
Positive Renegade66
Buffalo Valley,
United States
(1 review)
January 24, 2019
I have ordered from this company for several years and I love their products, their philosophy and their catalogs. This company also supports a very worthwhile non-profit organization in my area by providing free seeds to them each year to help people become more independent with growing their own food. I love Bakers Creek! I have never had a problem with the seeds I order and I enjoy reading the information in their catalog tremendously.
Positive Lchasecc
Fall River, MA
(1 review)
December 18, 2018
Good company. Always good seeds. Good plants as well. Will always buy from them. Crop failures happen but they always refund or give you another choice. You can always try next year. Yes that part stinks. But if theres a crop failure you probably cant get it anywhere else for that matter.
Positive dhoppy
Boise, ID
(1 review)
December 15, 2018
I have ordered from Baker Creek many times. They have always been fantastic.. What I like the most is the big variety of unusual seeds from all over the world. Many new ones this year from China and Japan. I always like how they put in a couple for free seed packets. Highly recommend them.
Positive Beltian1
Belt, MT
(1 review)
December 4, 2018
Some of the things I've ordered weren't adapted to my more northern climate, but most have done great. I wish they had a catalog just for the north. Really nice catalog, pretty decent prices, and great service. Free seed packets and quick shipping.
Negative johnlongard
Newport, KY
(1 review)
November 7, 2018
This was my first time purchasing from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co and I was very disappointed in the germination rates. While the mini pink popcorn was near 100%, the yellow corn was less than 50%. Cowpeas and okra were less than 50%. Telephone tall peas were around 30%. All of these had to be planted more than once to get anywhere near 80% germination.

These represent more than 2/3 of my garden. I'm very hesitant to use the seeds I've saved.

I'm debating on doing future business with this company.
Company representative comment on November 7, 2018:
On Nov 7, 2018 10:08 AM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:

We're sorry to hear you had trouble with your seed, though it sounds like you did achieve 80% germination on your second planting? We have a passing germ test on all lots of seed before we offer them for sale, but many things can happen to the seed after it leaves our warehouse that can affect germination, including irradiation by the postal service. This is one of the reasons we offer a 2 year germination guarantee on all of our seeds. We guarantee that our seeds will germinate to at least industry standards for that type, or we will send you replacement seed or issue you a refund. We have not heard from you on this issue other than here. Please email us at seeds@rareseeds.com with a list of varieties you had an issue with, and we'd be happy to work with you to resolve this.

Positive SanJoseFool
Canton, GA (Zone 7b)
(20 reviews)
October 25, 2018
Ordered three different types of watermelon seeds. All germinated and grew well. One never set fruit but the others did and were true to type. Will be ordering more plants for next season from the.
Positive Mizzle
Prescott, AZ
(1 review)
October 16, 2018
Baker Creek always ships my orders quickly and completely, and I admire the good works they do. They focus on saving and passing on heirloom seeds; they donate seeds to areas hit by disasters whose farms have been damaged; they donate seeds to children's and community gardens; they offer educational and recreational programs at their farm to teach the importance of knowing where our food comes from and how wonderful it can be for children to plant a few seeds too. I can recommend Baker's Creek Rare Seeds highly to everyone who gardens.
Negative MDFICA
Hermitage, TN
(2 reviews)
October 8, 2018
Ordered a bulk cacti mix just for fun. Planted according to instructions. After 2 months of no germination contacted the company and received a replacement pack. Now again, no germination. I have germinated other seeds from other source with great success. Some planted weeks after the replacement pack. Not really excited to have wasted money on seeds and shipping.

Positive note: the company was very quick to respond.
Company representative comment on October 8, 2018:
On Oct 8, 2018 2:39 PM, Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. responded with:

We're sorry to hear the seed did not do well for you! We always have a valid germ test before we offer any lot of seed for sale, but there are many things that can affect germination of the seeds after it leaves our warehouse, including irradiation of the package by a mail service. This is one of the reasons we offer a 2 year germination guarantee on our seeds. I have issued you a refund for the packet of seeds, and another refund for the shipping costs you paid.

Neutral Basil989
Pueblo, CO (Zone 5b)
(11 reviews)
June 18, 2018
I have no problems with the commerce part of this company. I think they have great photography, good prices, good shipping, and I have been at least somewhat successful with the seeds I have purchased. (Can't get the sweet peas to blossom . . .)

But I feel very, very uncomfortable with the bad science and fear-mongering they promote on their social media and I have noticed it cropping up in other inappropriate places as well, to the point where it appears that representatives of Baker Creek are actually promoting false scientific claims to their customer base.

By politicizing their company, Baker Creek is committing a cardinal sin in the business world- they are actively turning away customers who do not want to see a very complex topic turned into a selling tool used to pander to a group of under-informed consumers.

I cannot give my money to a company that attempts to grow its customer base by reeling in the gullible and ignorant. That does not sit right with my conscience.
Positive RobTHoll
Memphis, TN
(1 review)
June 11, 2018
So far everything seems just fine. Handling and shipping took 8 days which was expected so im happy with that.

Tons of seeds thats for sure pretty much every packet has a decent bit above the stated quantity so im happy about that especially the packets that were only supposed to contain a handful. Ill update my comment about germination success rate here before long.

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