Today I spent some quality time sorting seed and plant catalogs. Two grocery bags full will be recycled one way or another and the rest will be saved (much too long but with good intentions).
In my system, the 2011 catalogs replace the older versions and if I didn't receive a new one, I keep the old ones of interest. The Comstock Seeds catalog stuck out as one I hadn't seen before.
A little Internet research reveals that Missouri's Baker Creek Seeds bought the 200 year old Comstock in June 2010 (Ferre & Co - Wethersfield CN Seed Gardens). And, so far the recent reviews are good. (The reviews from 2002 through the buyout are pretty bad overall since the business was languishing.)
blog is here and they are posting photos of their progress toward restoring the buildings.
At the store itself, Baker Creek owners have plans to restore the building to its 1820 glory with costumed clerks.
Mother Earth News has the story.
"Preserving the historic flavor of the seed company, Comstock, Ferre will serve as a real-life museum of seed business in the old days. And in a time when Connecticut is losing about 7,000 acres of land per year to development, Comstock, Ferre aspires to develop a farm educational center and garden on the 2 acres of land surrounding the store. Thus, the company hopes their presence and educational potential will help reverse this trend.
Comstock, Ferre offers traditional brands of heirloom garden seeds through their store and, now, through their website. In addition to selling the store’s namebrand heirloom garden seeds, they also offer Baker Creek heirloom seeds, which are open-pollinated, pure and natural, and non-GMO. We support the efforts of Comstock, Ferre and Baker’s Creek to preserve and spread heirloom seed varieties, which maintains genetic diversity for generations to come."
Jodi Torpey wrote on the Vegetable Gardener
"The catalog proves everything old is new again. Its pages are filled with beautiful colorized photos dating from the 1920s and the old-fashioned seed illustrations are from the company’s archived antique seed packets. The growing instructions, from the 1933 Comstock, Ferre & Co. catalog, add a lovely bit of horticultural history."
The online catalog is at http://comstockferre.com/shop/ or call to request a paper catalog 860-571-6590.