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Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: Food Movement Icons Bring Back Pioneer Chic

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Emilee and Jere Gettle are an unlikely power couple. Dubbed "The Evangelists for Heirloom Vegetables" by The New York Times, the Gettles run the largest mail-order heritage seed business in the U.S. Their empire includes seed banks in California and Connecticut, Heirloom Gardener magazine, and a pioneer village on their Missouri farm. They host trade fairs and heritage festivals, write vegan cookbooks, and homeschool their 5-year-old daughter, Sasha.

Their lives sound like something from a different era. Raised by homesteading parents, Jere started gardening at 3 and opened Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds at age 17. He met Emilee in 2006, when she interviewed him over the phone about homeschooled kids starting their own businesses - then stopped by a few months later for a visit.  "When she walked into the seed store   my heart stood still," Jere writes of their first meeting. "She was beautiful and elegant, and I knew right away that I wanted to marry her." And he did - a few months later.

If you don't already have a lump the size of a Tennessee Dancing gourd in your throat, the family dresses like they're straight out of a Laura Ingalls Wilder novel. In photos, the whole family can be seen posing in farm fields and seed shops wearing carefully selected, brightly colored vintage clothing. While the look undoubtedly endears them to the press and makes their pioneer village feel authentic, Emilee says the aesthetic is sincere: "I just think older clothes are prettier than some of the modern fashion that's out there."


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