Baker Creek Spring Garden Festival

One tiny corner of the Seed Store.

It's always fun to go to the Baker Creek Festivals but it's the spring festival I look forward to the most. Lots of plant vendors have great varieties of vegetables, herbs, berries and fruit plants for sale. This year I took my Red Flyer wagon so I didn't have to carry everything. Unfortunately, it rained and was chilly both days, which made it pretty miserable for the people with booths.

Booths cover the hillside leading up to Bakerville.
They were expecting about 25,000 people but the days and days of constant rains kept the numbers lower. Still, people came, they shopped and had fun.

Across from the Seed Store is the garden in the center, and the restaurant, apothecary and store.
It's actually pretty amazing that this town, Bakerville, didn't exist just 5 years ago. If you could see to the left of the photo, pretty far to the left, is the old farmhouse where Jere and his wife, Emilee, live. The town square is built in what would have been their front yard, or front field.
This is Jere Gettle, whose vision it is to create an old-time country town. One of the requirements for being a vendor, or a speaker at the festivals, is to be in period costume. Jere's outfit is always interesting, often bizarre, but always fun.
I don't know this character's name, but he's always a fixture of the festivals. He's a good musician, and changes costumes, and characters, about every 2 hours. He keeps everyone laughing.
The Tomato Meter offers a comparison for tomato sizes.
One of the interesting things I saw at the festival was this Tomato Meter. Dan, the inventor, said people used to give him a blank stare when he'd say that a black cherry tomato was the size of a large marble. Or that a patio tomato was the size of a golf ball. So he put together this Tomato Meter, so people can actually visualize the sizes of the tomatoes they will produce on the plants he sells them.
I don't know the number of booths, but several large tents were filled, as well as rows and rows of vendors in tents. I didn't see everything, somehow I missed an entire tent.
Hank Will and Karen Keb
This is Hank Will, editor of Grit magazine, and his wife, Karen Keb, editor of The Heirloom Gardener magazine (you'll find my regular columns there, under the name of The Heirloom Herbalist; you can get a sample issue here). They were giving a program on the many varieties of corn. You can see one of my bentwood trellises in the background. I'd given my program just before theirs.
There are lots of music groups playing in various parts of the festival. Jerry Van Dyke played and sang on Sunday. Every hour of the festival you could sit and listen to several groups playing in several locations.
This young fellow was tuning up his washboard, getting ready to go on stage.
I don't know how you tune up a washboard, but this fellow seemed to know exactly what he was doing.
People who attend the festival, get into costuming, as well.
Our friend Robbins, who sells plants. She came from Osceola, Mo, near where I grew up.
People come from pretty much the entire U.S. You'll find vendors and customers, too, from every state.
The groups that perform at the festival are very talented and fun to listen to.
Baker Creek Seed is helping organize the National Heirloom Exposition, to be held at the Sonoma, CA County Fairgrounds, Sept. 13-15. It's shaping up to be a pretty amazing event, combining seed companies, chefs, organic organizations and lots more. I'm pleased to be one of the speakers!
This young fellow's job seemed to be guarding the wagon, which he was doing very well.
So I'm off to Mississippi for the Mississippi State Master Gardeners Festival. My programs are, "Eat Your Landscape" and "Make a Bentwood Trellis for Your Garden." Here's a plug for my book, in case you want one.
Happy gardening!

1 comment:

Carolee said...

Thanks for the report! I visited the farm last summer..loved the gardens & shops and had hoped to be a vendor at the spring festival. But, rain, rain,rain kept me from going. Maybe next year. Great photos!