Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Missouri Trip: Bakersville

Blogging trips is so hard to do - we do so many things I want to write about, and take hundreds of pictures, and sorting through it all and finding the words to describe it all can be a daunting task. But I'm at least going to try, for posterity's sake, you know.


In the beginning of October, the girls and I set off on an adventure. And adventure without The Daddy (gasp!) that included driving 20 hours east. There were many stops along the way, all of which I'll eventually blog about, and ending in a little town called Mountain View, Missouri, deep in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks.

One of the stops we made was Mansfield, Missouri. Our main reason for stopping was to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum there, but discovered another little gem close by: the little town of Bakersville, familiar to anyone who orders heirloom seeds from Baker Creek. We've ordered our seeds from them for years, and I'd always wanted to visit their little town. I had no idea driving through that we'd be right there, but plenty of signs led us right to them. And it was such a treat to visit this place (especially for this avid heirloom gardener.)

The gardens were utterly fantastic, and this was in early October, when they were long past their peak. But still there were bright colors in every shade of red and purple and orange and pink tucked away here and there, and flower gardens still bursting with color. I'm not a flower gardener, but this may have inspired me to become one!

We visited on a Wednesday afternoon. It was super quiet, hardly a soul to be seen, but I think that added a bit to the overall effect of the town. The shops were all void of people, meaning we could walk and look and talk to our heart's content without feeling rushed at all. The folks that worked there were sweet as could be.

There were shelves of jams and jellies for sale, handmade crafty bits of all kinds, an apothecary with jars and jars of dried herbs, books on every subject interesting to folks like me, and of course, seeds. Row upon row of heirloom, antique-variety seeds for purchase. It was a gardener's dream come true.

Not only do they grow heirloom seeds at Bakersville, but they grow heirloom chickens. All shapes and sizes and manner of fowl, really. You'd think, seeing as we have chickens in our own back yard, that coop after coop of chickens would get boring fast to Two Little Girls, but no!

I had to drag Chloe away from them. The kind folks at Bakersville were trying to close up for the day, and my daughter was still cooing softly to a cage of banties, telling them how pretty they were. She left that day utterly smitten, determined to own at least one pair of banties next spring.

Upstairs in one of the shops is a Seed Museum.

Seed catalogs, packets, advertisements and other memorabilia from years gone by. Truly, the folks at Bakersville possess an extreme love not just for gardening, but for the history of it. The girls dragged me through faster than I'd have liked, but it was fun to see all this history collected into one place - and there couldn't be a more fitting place for it.

I am so glad we had the time to stop at Bakersville. It was a lovely surprise to find it so close to our planned route. Some day we'll have to make it back and visit during one of their festivals, and see everything in action, but spending a quiet afternoon just exploring was a great experience in itself!

If you garden - or need inspiration to start - check our their website and ask for a catalog. It's the prettiest garden catalog you've ever seen, and you won't be able to stop yourself from ordering at least a few packets of something interesting to try.

More to come on the rest of our trip as soon as I make it through more pictures. :-)

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