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Digging Our Roots

Digging Our Roots

What was I thinking? I chose Napa, Calif., for our most recent vacation: Napa lies near the epicenter of a shake-up in the culinary landscape that put sustainably grown, seasonal cuisine on foodies’ maps. Not a getaway in the strictest sense for an editor at VT.

I did try. I vowed to avoid wineries and restaurants with menus that change daily. I planned exclusively nonfoodie day trips, such as to the city of Petaluma to see where George Lucas filmed American Graffiti. And it was my husband who pointed out the sign on the stately old building in downtown Petaluma (I was lost in reminiscing about the movie’s wacky romanticism). The sign said, “Seed Bank.”

Reader, I investigated.

The building turned out to be the West Coast location of the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. The historic building once housed the Sonoma Country National Bank. Makes sense: a bank, ideally anyway, is about investing in the future.

Heirloom seeds may be our best defense against future food insecurity. They allow for a diversity of edible plants that could help us survive global climate change and related crises.

Glancing at the sign, I brightened at the pun on “bank.” Maybe I couldn’t totally escape the gravitational pull of food issues. But I could at least thank the folks at Baker Creek for lightening up about such a weighty matter.

Your turn: Have you eaten any heirloom fruits or veggies lately? Please comment below.