Monday, October 29, 2012

Seedsavers, Decorah Iowa

Last month we went with friends to Decorah, Iowa. Since their daughter had attended Luther College in Decorah, they were very familiar with the area and what there is to see and do. Seedsavers was our main destination. I'd heard so much about it.

The trip down and back was beautiful, although at that time we weren't yet at the peak of color. Still, the roads and countryside made it a fun trip, and Seedsavers was spectacular. Because there had been a few frosts, the plants were no longer blooming, but that didn't really seem to matter. I know what they look like. It was still fascinating to walk among the rows and rows of various vegetables and flowers (weed-free, I might add) and to tour the barnyard, seeing the white cows and the chickens.

 White Park Cow - What a beautiful animal!


"Ancient White Park Cattle 

These cattle roamed the British Isles before the time of Christ, and are described exactly in ancient Celtic lore. Today only about 800 of these extremely rare, wild cattle survive worldwide, including slightly more than 200 in the U.S. (and about 80 of those reside at Heritage Farm). These distinctive cattle have white coats, lyre-shaped horns with black tips, and black ears, noses, eyes, teats and hooves (and sometimes black is splashed from the hooves up the front shins toward the knees). The cows are intelligent, alert, quite hardy, healthy, and are aggressive grazers that favor brush."

Feeling a bit Thirsty

Inside the Shop

"Seed Savers Exchange has been promoting the preservation and utilization of heirloom varieties for 37 years. Working with our members--farmers and gardeners--to ensure that these unique varieties are not lost forever, SSE encourages "participatory preservation" through membership in the Seed Savers Exchange. Each year thousands of seed varieties are exchanged among backyard preservationists through the Seed Savers Exchange Yearbook for diverse reasons such as connecting to our garden heritage, finding varieties suited to a particular region, enjoying the diversity of heirloom varieties, and sourcing material to use in localized breeding projects.

These preservation methods keep many open-pollinated and heirloom varieties circulating in the hands of gardeners and farmers, making them available to everyone."

Seedsavers was a fabulous place, and I'd love to visit again in August of 2013.

I could hardly come away empty handed, could I.

Among the seeds I purchased were calendula (for my Sweet Baby! Calendula soap) and Stevia. My daughter-in-law just sent me an interesting video about Stevia. One Stevia fan has discovered a way to eliminate the aftertaste that is a common complaint about Stevia. 

It will be nice to have some of the beautiful seed packets from Seedsavers to look at during the long winter ahead. In this climate, there's plenty of time to plan a garden.


'Sweet Baby! Calendula'
Natural, Gentle Soap for Baby

...and more! Check out all our handcrafted soaps at


Trace4J said...

Morning Friend
What a beautiful trip.
And wonderful seeds.

P.s whats weed free? :)

MadSnapper said...

beautiful cow, love it. and that barn is magnificent, with all the dryed things hanging on it. it is great they are saving the heirloom seeds.

Unknown said...

Good morning Judy,
Wow - this barn is gorgeous...I do like Iowa a lot, have a family that I know there and went to visit them once and had a great time.
I like that light coloured cow!
Hope you have a lovely day, it's a bank holiday monday here so I am off work yeyyy!


Suzan said...

Beautiful Barn and a wonderful adventure! Thank you for sharing information about Seedsavers and telling about the white cows!

Anonymous said...

such beautiful photos! Love the name of your soap and I really find the info on Stevia interesting, I dislike the after taste as well!

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my goodness that seed store! And the barn was exquisite!! So what do the white cows give - milk or meat?

Eileen H said...

Pleased you enjoyed your trip. I'm sure your calendula soap is wonderful. Interesting to learn about the rare breed white cow too.

Carla from The River said...

Sounds like a great place to visit...I will put it on our list.

Bossy Betty said...

Love these pictures! It seems like the perfect place to visit, especially in the fall. Love the picture of the seed display!

RURAL said...

What a treasure that farm is...those cows are beautiful also.

I love going through the seed brochures, planning, dreaming....

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

Carolyn ♥ said...

Ahh... how I love the countryside. In my dreams I live there.

Joyce said...

I just love a big red barn!

Chenille Cottage said...

What a beautiful outing you and your husband enjoyed! And, who would have known there was a storm coming. It loos so peaceful, so inviting.
Heirloom seeds are such a treasure. I have an heirloom rose that was taken from a cutting off the rose bush that is on my GGrandmother's grave. she is buried in a little pioneer cemetery in Oregon. It is growing nicely...still quite small, but such a sweet reminder of my godly GGrandma.
Blessings this day,
Thank you for your thoughtful comment and visit to my blog. I appreciate it so much!

Terri D said...

Very interesting!! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!!

Olive said...

What a lovely store and seed saving philosophy. Wishing you a bright week. We are not in the path of the storm but are getting high winds. xo, olive

20 North Ora said...

What an interesting and informative post. I've never heard of Seedsaver but it sounds fantastic. And the cattle - they are beautiful. Thanks for taking us along on the trip with you.


Judy S. said...

Fascinating post, Judy. I'm just now catching up on blog reading after a time away to your part of the country. I figure we got kind of close en route back to Chicago as we went through Turtle Lake? At any rate, I thought of you both going and coming back from MPLS. Sounds like you're keeping very busy!

Yenta Mary said...

Oh, what fun! And what a fabulous project!

Denise said...

Everything is so awesome.

Elizabeth Edwards said...

oh, i'm so glad you linked up for Barn Charm ... it's such a gorgeous barn. beautiful cow too. lovely indeed. i'm going to look around your blog more. have a great day. big hugs. (:

Rose said...

This is a beautiful place!

Robyn said...

Great barn find, Judy. Looks like a fun place to visit.

Mari said...

This is a gorgeous barn on it's own, love the addition of the vines.

Pat said...

That looks like a great place to visit. The white cows are beautiful and have an interesting history.

Jori said...

That bright red barn with the vines is making my heart go pitty pat. Can't wait to visit your etsy shop!

Candace said...

Beautiful photos! What a fun trip. I would love to visit there. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Judy!


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