Aside from the Garden of Eden, man's first great temptation came when he received his first seed catalog...........Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I find it amazing that so many of our historical figures, such as Longfellow (poet), loved to garden. I guess it was good therapy for them, too, in their busy, creative lives. I find it even more amazing that they received seed catalogs. I wonder what seed companies existed as far back as the early 1800's and issued catalogs of their products. I wonder if any of these companies still exist.........
I was reading something a few months ago about what some think was the beginning of writing. It was based on tablets and stamps that were thought to date back to something like 10000 B.C., and thought to be records of grain being stored.
I expect the grain was also used as a means of exchange for goods and services.
Of course this is not back to BC, but Revelation 6:6 mentions both wheat and barley. Barley was considered the grain of the poor, but I think when it is used right, it is pretty good, but of course I like wheat better.
You can tell we are gardeners since we can easily go from words to food in one thread.
I don't know about all of the seed catalogs, Jeanie, but Landreth's is very old, back to the 1700's, as well as Livingston's, approximately the same. I don't think Livingston's exists any longer (Dawn?), but Landreth's is still selling seeds to this day.
Reading further articles and discussions regarding Landreth, I found that they are suffering a financial disaster and asking people to purchase a catalog. The request was made publicly on or about September 1, 2011. I'm attaching a link to info about it. I, for one, am concerned about the potential demise of the "oldest seed company in America" despite the fact that I have never ordered from them. I am more than willing to help subsidize history, though, when it is "in need" of saving. Looks like a beautiful catalog, and for $5, I'm sure it's worth every penny. Count me in!
While Landreth is no longer owned by Landreth or progeny, Barbara Melera and her husband, Peter, purchased the company 8 years ago, and are attempting to restore it to its original, historical importance. As they state, they wanted to protect the future of this historic, American company, and even hired an American company to produce their catalog, at a much higher cost than it would have been had they chosen to produce it overseas. I like that, too! Also, I like the fact that it is one of the few woman-owned seed companies currently in operation. I like that even more!
Their seeds are non-GMO products, too! Yeah! I'm now jumping up and down! I hope I get a lot of you doing that, too, cuz I really dislike jumping by myself!
If you're interested in the story behind the debt issue, read the link attached, then go to the Landreth website to look at their beautiful catalog, if nothing else, just for the experience. I can't wait until I actually have a catalog in my hands - Jiminy Cricket!
Here is a link that might be useful: Help The Oldest Seed Company in America
Who knows? Maybe Longfellow ordered from this seed company?! According to their website, they received enough support to issue a catalog at the end of November. They still aren't "out of the woods" and ask for continued catalog orders. This is incredibly interesting and, since I am into all things "HEIRLOOM", echo your request to help save this company! Thanks for your info!
Jere and Emily Gettle of Baker Creek (www.rareseeds.com) just bought this company that has been in business since 1811.
Here is a link that might be useful: Comstock
This is all so interesting! Probably 20 yrs. ago, one of the big seed companies (can't recall which one, maybe Burpee) sent me an heirloom seed catalog, and I remember that the Brandywine tomato was included in it. Don't know if they still mail out this catalog or not, as I only received the one. I used to get many catalogs, when I was active in ordering lots of seeds and bedding plants.