Last Friday I was invited to Burpee’s Fordhook Farm to participate in an Early Season Garden Writer’s Gathering. This event was an opportunity to tour the farm and trial gardens, explore an organic kitchen garden, attend gardening presentations, mingle with other garden writers and members of Burpee’s team, indulge in some great food, and other interesting activities.
Part of the day’s focus was on the state of insect pollinators and the things that can be done to encourage and protect these important garden allies. Burpee has partnered on a nationwide project with the White House and Departments of the Interior and Agriculture to donate one million seed packets to inspire planting flower gardens that will “keep bees, butterflies, and other pollinators happier and healthier.” Burpee’s Bee Garden seed packets contain a mix of 21 flowers including Coneflowers, Milkweeds, Bergamot, Phacelia, Asters, and more that are the favorites of pollinating insects.
During the gathering we also had the opportunity to learn about some new seed introductions that are in the works at Burpee. It was interesting to see and hear about what they are developing for the future. On the edible front they are ready to release “Jaws” a sweet corn with ears that really stand out from the rest, and then there is “Meatball” an eggplant that is expected to be a hit on Meatless Mondays!
Burpee offers heirlooms, open pollinated, and hybrid varieties, but one thing that I was happy to discover is that they don’t develop or sell GMO varieties and have no intentions to do so in the future either! It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to chat directly with George Ball the owner and CEO of Burpee, as well as Christos Romas the President and COO about their company, the seed industry, and other topics of interest.
The Fordhook Farm Manager; Sharon Kaszan, and Burpee Product Managers; Chelsey Fields and Venelin Dimitrov provided tours of the grounds and presentations related to the farm and seed operations. Other activities of the day included a honey tasting featuring a variety of honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, and even propolis for our sampling. We also enjoyed delicious food and great conversations over lunch and an incredible desert table later in the afternoon.
Here are some additional photos from the Burpee’s Early Season Garden Writer’s Gathering that took place at Fordhook Farm in Doylestown, PA:
Perennial garden behind the restored farmhouse.
Example of a Burpee Bee Garden for pollinators.
Fordhook Farm grounds with trial gardens in background.
Taking a break to enjoy a delicious lunch.
Honey sampling session in a perennial garden.
The Kitchen Garden is a great spot to socialize.
Dessert spread of fresh fruits and pastries.
An awesome herbal container garden.
I was glad that I took advantage of the opportunity to spend a day at Burpee’s Fordhook Farm and participate in the pollinator’s workshop and garden writer’s gathering. If you live nearby or plan to visit the Doylestown, PA area check the Burpee website for dates and events when the farm will be open to the public for tours and educational programs.
Other Related Vegetable Gardening Posts: