Cover Question


When I was writing romance novels, they loved to put babies on a book cover. Babies sell!!!! Cute ones. Or older kids. OR a really hunky guy. Preferably mostly naked. If he’s a Viking, even better.


At this point, I have approximately 6,592 seed catalogs and the covers look like this:

Cute kids! No nearly naked Vikings, but okay. There’s only so much you can expect from seed catalogs.

Then I got this seed catalog:


I can’t decide what to think about this seed catalog. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a seed catalog with a cover quite so…..questionable. This is the cover of the 2011 Comstock Seeds catalog. Comstock Seeds is now owned by the same people who own Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, which puts out a quite gorgeous catalog. Comstock Seeds is celebrating 200 years. Is the cover model 200 years old, too? Was he there when the company started? Does he make us believe we can grow vegetables as wonderful as his, or do we never want to see a vegetable again after looking at him?

I need to know what you think.

[poll id=”22″]


  1. skippymom says:

    Shouldn’t there be an option for “How does he eat vegetables because I don’t think he has teeth?” That isn’t to be mean, but you can tell by the concave part of his mouth, behind his beard, that he isn’t wearing his dentures. Honest. I had a relative that looked just like that, sans beard.

    Nice squash tho’. I am assuming those are squash.

  2. Michelle says:

    Option C – Steal his fancy pink shirt! πŸ˜‰

  3. Mountain Blessings says:

    Maybe he was the winner of a seed spitting contest so he got the cover! πŸ˜†

  4. Tracey In Paradise Pa. says:

    :shimmy: :shimmy: I WANNA GROW GIANT VEGGIES JUST LIKE HIM! :shimmy: :shimmy:

  5. lauren says:

    LOL he looks like he has some secret special ways to grow veggies πŸ™‚ and he reminds me of the guy with the beard from Little House on the Prairie cant remember his name πŸ™‚

  6. Carol Langille says:

    Nothing wrong with this old guy that a pair of hedge clippers for his beard won’t fix! I think he might be one of the early contributors to Mother Earth News…you know, a hippie throwback gone to seed!

  7. wmk says:

    Where is the LMAO choice? What’s he doing with those? Corn will work better in the still.

  8. Erin S. says:

    I’m sure this will be deleted, but I felt you should know why I’m no longer following your blog. One would think that a woman who is old enough to have a son in the armed services would have grown out of mocking people because of their looks.

    Apparently not.

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Erin, my intention isn’t to mock him, and I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m bemused by the marketing behind this cover. It’s very different from all the other seed catalog covers I have (or have ever seen in the past, too). I’m curious how other people respond to the cover. I’m not sure how =I= feel about the cover. I’m not sure if it’s appealing, or unappealing. It’s certainly odd! And I bet Comstock is just glad people are talking about their cover, so maybe that is the marketing genius behind it….. I think it’s perfectly fine to discuss the marketing appeal of a published cover and not consider it a personal slam against the company or the model on the cover.

  9. gail says:

    I love it !!!Maybe I am imagining things but I think I can see teeth in that mystical grin. Something about his eyes that says yeah I’m havin fun, are you ? haha. Now you have gone and made me want to send for yet another seed catalog !

  10. Bev in CA says:

    I fell in love with him. He has been gardening for a long time. I bet he has more knowledge in his little finger on how to grow a great garden than most of us do. I would love to sit a spell and talk with him. I have never heard of the catalog but I am ordering one.

  11. Wendy says:

    He looks like Mr. Edwards. Maybe Comstock wants us to grow crops like little house on the prairie?

  12. Diane says:

    I think its great. The guy is charming I think. There are many guys who look like that who take great pride in their gardens. Often they make the best gardners too. I know a guy who owns a junk yard, walks around with a stub of a cigar in his mouth all the time. He loves to garden. To look at him you would never think that. But its true.

    I think that they are targeting a market of older people with this guy. He is charming I think. Somones grandpap most likely. Since the baby boomers are older now he would be more appealing to them then young kids in the garden. I am sure the company did a survey to see who buys their seeds and thus the reason this furry guy is on the cover. Personally I love it.

  13. patty shawver says:

    I Love it!! Erin S…. lighten up girl. dont you think the seed company knew that by putting him on the cover he it would get people talking… even smiling??? Its completly set up….there is food in his beard.

  14. Tina says:

    I think Diane and Bev have hit it on the nail head !


  15. CindyP says:

    Old Pappie from the Prairie. I do think that is an angle they were going for. Look–he looks like Mr. Edwards! We can grow vegetables just like they did in Walnut Grove!

  16. Journey11 says:

    I think he’s adorable! He looks like a very pleasant fellow to me. My FIL would grow his beard out like that and shave it every Christmas just to please his 80-year-old mother. He was quite the stinker, a wild mountain man and a green-thumb also. This fella reminds me of him.

  17. Lisa says:

    I agree with Erin. This post was immature and cruel. Whether you intended to or not, you opened up a forum for others to laugh at someone based on the way that they look, which evidently was not up to your standards. I won’t be back either.

  18. Jen in VA says:

    I completely see your point Suzanne. Cute and sexy sells most of the time. I have to say though, I agree with most of the comments here. It certainly has all of us talking! Wouldn’t you just love to hear some of his stories? And get some of his gardening tips? Wonder if he has a cute log cabin somewhere with a story behind everything in it?

  19. Rachell says:

    Won’t you be my neighbor?? Really- he looks like some of my neighbors. Got to love living in WV- I know I do!

  20. Kirsten says:

    I got this seed catalog and laughed hard! Really hard! Then I got excited when I found out Comstock Seeds is in my neck of the woods. I can’t wait to go and check the place out, and I hope I meet this guy. He looks like the happiest person in the world!

  21. J Leu says:

    He has character… He looks like someone that actually gardens. The cute kids are just cute, but if they were really gardening they would not be smiling so much.
    This is a man that has seen all kinds of times and things. I would take him much more seriously than cutesy covers.
    He is the neighbor we all ask for advice…the crazy-never sounds like it would work, but always does advice.
    Yes…I would buy seeds from them. It is closer to reality.

  22. Jan Derksen says:

    LOL!!! This cover makes me wonder where he left his corncob pipe!!! It’s kinda cute, really…

  23. Susan says:

    What a coincidence..I just received my very first Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog and read it cover to cover!!! The Gettles bought the Comstock Seed company, and I fgured out the Amish are very hands on in their businesses. While that guy is a true character, he is probably one of the Amish and I love their enthusiasm for what they love! Gardening with seeds that are not altered..I hope to locate a farm in the Dallas area that uses their seeds for truly good greens and vegetables.

  24. Denise says:

    I thought he looked familiar! He’s in this year’s Baker Seed catalog. Maybe they wanted to save money on photo shoots?

  25. Crystal says:

    I got the same catalog. I didn’t think a whole lot of it, actually. But I like it!

  26. brookdale says:

    Love it! He looks like an “old Mainah” that would live just up the road from you and have lots of good garden tips, and probably would share his extra zucchini or whatever that is he’s holding.

  27. Gem says:

    I LIKE him! I think he gives off a calming influence. One that says; “Go forth and grow veggies!”

  28. Sandra daniels says:

    I love it. Those kids arent out working in the garden every day. This guy might be. Yes I’d like to ‘set a spell’ with him, too. This is the best. No more cheesy grandkids in overalls with baskets. Be different! Thank you and I want a Comstock catalog now.

  29. J Leu says:

    Wow….this may be deleted too….If you read several of the posts before Erin…..they all follow right along with the negative comments…..
    Once Erin posts suddenly he is ok…
    Suzanne has more sheep than just the ehearing variety

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      I don’t know why people keep asking if their comments are going to be deleted. It is very rare for me to delete a comment, and on the rare occasions that I do, it’s not because the commenter disagreed with my post but because of longstanding issues such as people who regularly attack other commenters or comment regularly to attack me. And in those cases, only after a longstanding pattern has developed.

  30. townie farm girl says:

    I rather like the old guy with joy in his smile! What’s the problem????

  31. jeanette says:

    I love your blog! So entertaining, informative and everything else!! Been going though a few of your posts and can’t wait to come back for more. I’m glad you emailed me for the nutmeg photos. Or, I may not have discovered you.

  32. Alyce Shane says:

    I like it! It made me laugh! I would certainly pick it up because it made me notice it, where the others just make me wonder if its one I’ve seen already.

  33. Journey11 says:

    I know I already commented once, but I was still thinking about it as I was doing my morning chores and I got to wondering if this was less likely to be a marketing ploy than it was the possibility that this man is a friend or relative of the company? I looked up their website: There is a video interview with Jere Gettle on the homepage talking about Baker Creek’s acquistion and preservation of Comstock, Ferre and Co. I believe this same man shows up very briefly on there in the first minute or so! The BC website ( talks about taking Comstock back to it’s roots. If this cover is majorly different from the ones they’ve had out in previous years, it would be because of BC’s purchase of the company in 2010 and their goal of returning it to an heirloom seed company.

  34. Window On The Prairie says:

    AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! He could be used as a scarecrow.

  35. susan arkles says:

    I love that guy!He looks like he really grew those veggies. I’m ordering that catalog right now. It was a great cover and I’m sure that they realized that I would make their catalog stand out. Good Marketing!

  36. Andrea McCardle says:

    That guy’s the real deal!! That’s why he’s the cover model!

  37. Alyce Shane says:

    I just read some of the other posts. I think the old guy must have a great sense of humor (he looks like my Uncle Steve)and wanted to be on the cover to get a little banter and attention going, just like Uncle Steve would! He probably lived off the land all his life, or gives the impression that he has, and what other reason would anyone want to buy seeds but to do the same? I love him! I think its obvious that anyone giggling along with him would love him too.

  38. hershiesgirl says:

    While he may not be the “cover guy” we are used to — ripped abs, and ruggedly handsome looks that make you ‘swoon’…..I think that to the serious gardening / farming population it is likely that he represents knows what he’s doing, been farming forever, live off of the land, rugged know-how.

    I’m with the others that would love to ‘set a spell’ with him. I’d imagine a large part of his knowledge is self-taught, self-learned with a large dose of common sense and lots of understanding….. I’m sure he would put me to shame!

  39. Miss Judy says:

    I like the cover!It brought a smile to my face and a chuckle to my memory. And I’ll bet the model knows he’s a “character” that people adore!

  40. Denise says:

    This man looks just like my ex father in law and several of his brothers. And for the record, they are all great gardeners πŸ˜€ I like the different angle of this seed company with their catalog cover – not the cute kids but someone that might actually be growing some veggies.

  41. Alyce Shane says:

    I just got on the site and tried to order one of these and they are OUT OF THE HEIRLOOM CATALOGS! LOL! Great marketing job!

  42. holstein woman says:

    If you could listen to the man you would hear him say he doesn’t care what people think, he just wants to do his job ‘THE BEST’. My husband looks alot like him and is very ‘FUSSY’ about how things are done.
    I’m sure the company wanted to market profection in their seeds. They did a wonderful job of getting that done. They got all of our attention.
    Never mind the negatives!

  43. Pete says:

    Well, laughing at ourselves and with those we love is a tremendous gift. Thank you Comstock Seeds for sharing a great laugh with us this morning, and to you, Suzanne, for passing it along.

    Brilliant marketing!

  44. Camille says:

    I agree…Comstock knew exactly what they were doing when they put him on the cover. It certainly grabs your attention. But I must say I find it off putting. In fact, it makes me want to go buy additional locks for my doors. Is that a pink ladies blouse he’s wearing and food in his beard? Thanks to Journey11 for giving us the back-story, it makes more sense now. But initially not knowing, I have to say I found him disturbing looking. Betcha Comstock is overwhelmed with comments!

  45. J Leu says:

    If I offended anyone… I am sorry

  46. leavesofthefall says:

    He looks like a well-seasoned farmer. One who is: self-sufficient, reliable, living off the land, homesteader, who would know what works and what doesn’t… by simply having roots in this country and generations of hand-me-down knowledge. The question may be more of who would you believe when it comes to YOUR survival / garden, this man or the sexy young thing who obviously has more than baby carrots on his mind.

    He brings hard work, honesty, down-to-earth living, a sense of history and a trust of time to the cover. Almost looks like he’s straight off the Appalachian Trail (Oh wait! This seed company is from Connecticut, yes? πŸ™‚ ) … and those folks have been surviving on knowledge passed down for hundreds years… the point, I suppose of this seed company.

    I’ve buy from him over a fancy air-brushed looking veggie any old day. πŸ™‚ (And no, I don’t own stock in the company! lol)

  47. Jenn says:

    Personally, I love this. I would love to get advice from him about gardening as he looks like he knows what he is doing! As to the issue of judgement based on looks:
    1. There was no malice in the post, just curiosity about the marketing.
    2. No one has yet posted a rude comment. Marketing is all about how people in the “real world” perceive something.
    3. I have not seen a single person change their mind, so how are they being sheep?

    If you don’t want people to judge, you should not judge them. Everything in life is not THAT serious.

    Suzanne: I absolutely love your blog! You come off as sweet and engaging. Most of all, you come off as a real person. Good for you!

  48. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    I love it! But then again I am from Kentucky…… πŸ˜†

  49. Carmen at Old House Kitchen says:

    It’s Mr. Comstock himself! JK πŸ˜‰ I think it’s an interesting cover. I’m not a huge fan of it, but I’m more interested in the seeds that are for sale inside.

  50. Andrea Pierce says:

    I loved Mr. Edwards, and this gent certainly reminds me of him. He even has the twinkling, crinkled eyes! I think it’s better to use a picture of a “real” person rather than a model in these catalogues. I want to have faith that I’m buying seeds from real people, not some big corporation – I get my seeds from Baker Creek, also. When I see a picture like this, it makes me want to be out in the garden, under the sun, with my hands in the dirt. So I guess I would say that I find this picture appealing.

  51. texwisgirl says:

    Oh I think he’s a charming fellow! What a character!!! God bless him and that seed company too!

  52. Jen says:

    I think they’re saying they have 200 years of wisdom in seeds. :o)

  53. mmhoney says:

    My Dad had a great set of teeth and he kept them safe in a coffee mug. As for appearance, some of the most spiritual little men I have known – came to church in bib overalls. I am shocked at all of the neg. attitudes. Have you looked in the mirror lately????. Your day is coming.. Chin up. mmhoney

  54. Dorothy says:

    :shocked: I have a favorite saying: Normal is a very big place. I have a dear friend, my former math teacher, who looks just like this guy. He has a Doctorate in Theoretical Physics and another in Robotics. He digs in the dirt because that is his reward, and looks like that because he is unique. The pink satin shirt IS disconcerting; take a deep breath, smile graciously, and look beyond the physical. He’s beautiful.

  55. prayingpup says:

    I couldn’t have said it better than eavesofthefall. Well said!

  56. J Leu says:

    Suzanne, Your site is much loved and there are very special, skilled, marvelous people here. It is a source of inspiration to many and makes people want to learn and try things that are very grounded and fulfilling.

    I guess I was just a little put off by some of the comments made about the man on the cover. When you questioned the decision to put him on the cover, so did several of the subsequent posters…
    Once Erin questioned it…The following posts were in his favor.
    That was my point…. Again I apologize if anyone was hurt.

    His face says VERY loudly that he is the grower of things. He is the very essence of what CITR is. It doesn’t matter what he looks like. I would rather ask him how to do things than ‘Barbie or Ken’.
    Whoe cares if he has teeth or if his beard is enthusiastic.

    ok, now I will go away

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      J Leu, please don’t be upset. I’m surprised that some people take it personally, but everyone is different. The cover is the company’s marketing tool, not a personal photograph. And discussing it in a lighthearted way is probably exactly what would please Comstock the most. I think the comments have been mostly quite lighthearted and in the spirit of enjoying discussing the decision to use a very non-typical model. The type of readers who come here =are= Comstock’s audience, so they would probably enjoy the comments very much since most of them are positive toward the marketing.

      • Suzanne McMinn says:

        Oh–and to take it a little further, re the comments about the teeth and beard and shirt etc. When I look at the catalogs with the smiling, bright-eyed children with the wheelbarrow, I think of the family fantasy of how much your children will LOVE working in the garden! Beaming with pride over what they grew. Etc. (Instead of whining, LOL.) That is a “garden fantasy” in the marketing of the catalog. That’s what’s so interesting about this cover by Comstock. They are saying something, too, in the atypical model, from his shirt to his teeth to his beard. Look at the comments of people who said he reminded them of this or that person they have known. That’s what marketing tries to do–inspire their customers in some way. If he was an older man but clean cut with no beard and no pink shirt, the cover would say something different. So I don’t think the talk about his teeth etc is malicious–it’s part of the marketing picture Comstock is presenting. Based on the responses (which I was curious about), I think they were pretty smart!

  57. Daria says:

    I work at a seed company, and a lot of my coworkers, some of whom also farm, sport big bushy beards, as well as large squash. πŸ™‚ Good for them for putting the real deal on the catalog cover.

  58. drucillajoy says:

    WoW…he’s got a big one!!!!….SQUASH, that is…get your minds outta the gutter!
    I like looking at him on a seed catalogue way better than some things…he looks like an heirloom himself & I TOTALLY agree with mmhoney!!!

  59. wmk says:

    @ Alyce Shane They are out of the Baker seed Catalogs but I
    requested one here

  60. drucillajoy says:

    The cruel one here is NOT is the the ones giving the remarks about teeth & beards & clothes…and no, I don’t think that’s a womans seems to button the right way, I think it’s one of those men’s fancy pearl-snap western shirts.
    To me, this cover is what CITR is all about – just regular people…if you’re laughing at him & his supposed lifestyle, why are you even reading what Suzanne writes about?
    It’s a very judgemental world out there :yes:

  61. Denise says:

    I love it!!!! People who take their blogging comments sooooo seriously really need to turn off their computers and go outside for a while. I think this was a genius marketing plan and I’m sure you, Suzanne, have known many such characters as this man portrays. And you know them to often be a treasure trove of experiences that can make us all better farmers in whatever capacity we choose. I believe that’s the thinking behind this, showing that the seed company has the same wealth of knowledge as this farmer.

  62. Suz in the Tules says:

    Pop some corn, sit on the couch in my sweats and watch DELIVERANCE.

  63. Nancy Stickler says:

    The reason I don’t like the cover is he reminds me of someone I don’t particularly like, can’t stand actually. Although I’m sure this man ACTUALLY WORKS, doesn’t smell like a dirty ashtray and isn’t prejudice! Can you feel the love??!! :dancingmonster:

  64. emily says:

    My mom had open heart surgery this week. I got home late last night after a very long interstate drive with her still in much pain hundreds of miles away. I stopped at the mail box before coming in and this catalog was waiting for me. It made me smile. It made me dream. It’s perfect in it’s imperfection.

  65. Tina says:

    Well my goodness! Such a barrage of comments; lots of noise-good and bad. Here’s my two cents: I’m OVER cute-sy kids…all smiles and triumph with the huge veggies that someone else probably grew. Cute kids DON’T inspire me…
    However, this guy is compelling. I LOVE the looks of him. I’d like to imagine that he’s a great guy that would be a good neighbor and friend. More power to the Comstock Seed Co. for thinking outside the marketing box! I love it! ….and I want a catalog too!

  66. Jane says:

    I love him! I watched the video another poster linked to, and he is there, so he maybe a customer of this company? I like it because it’s down home and rural looking. I find there is way too much of the obvious in marketing today, and a repeat of the same-old, same-old is so boring. Well done Comstock:)

  67. Jennifer Robin says:

    Personally, I find the covers with the pictures of the little kids trite and unappealing. The old coot pictured is a carbon copy of my neighbor, and he is one of the most fascinating people I have ever met. This cover might not influence my seed choices, but I’d frame it!

  68. Sunny Days says:

    If you look real closely, it appears he has an full open-mouth smile going on. And, there is even a row of pearly whites beneath the mustache. I like the picture. Brilliant marketing.

  69. Cindy O. says:

    My mom spoke with some of the people who started Baker Creek Heritage Seeds, when she and my dad would make their trips around Missouri. I don’t garden, and so I have no idea who she spoke with, but I’d like to imagine she met this guy, and they talked together about the cool names heritage vegetables have, or how their grandfathers would save seeds throughout the years so they do that now, too.

    She was the kind of person who didn’t see the outsides of people. She saw the insides, and she was amazing that way. I wish I were more like her. She passed away 2 years ago in February, and because I miss her, I still keep her little bottles of saved pills labeled, “Baker Creek Kale, Red Russian”, in her neat handwriting.

  70. Cindy O. says:

    ROFL, uh, she didn’t save pills, dang it, she saved seeds in pill bottles! Remind me to edit my writing next time, would you? πŸ™‚

  71. TinaG says:

    Mr. Edwards. Yep. Please let me grown veges like his! :hissyfit:

  72. Rosemeri says:

    I have a number of seed catalogs and to me there is a sameness about most of them that, except for the name of the company, I can hardly tell them apart. The exceptions that I have are The Cooks Garden catalog and the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog. Both are beautiful and eye catching. Those are the two that I pick up first. So I think that Comstock hit the nail on the head with their cover. That’s the one I would pick up before most other catalogs. I love it and wish I had one.

  73. drucillajoy says:

    I followed the link posted & requested a copy of the catalog & then downloaded the pdf version…the picture of him on there is much more clear….not that it matters, but for those making negative remarks…he does have teeth…he looks like a farmer to me, ya’know…somebody that’s been growing vegetables for awhile.
    I think the cover is wonderful!

  74. Ulrike says:

    :pirate: That ol’ Viking turned his sword into a ploughshare. :yes:

    Isn’t it funny how people assume that those who run a website are out to get them? I help moderate a web forum, and we get comments like, “This will probably get me banned,” all the time, and it’s always :bugeyed: ???? We’ve banned a grand total of something like 6 people in the past decade. What makes them think they’re so special? LOL

    Also, if you think what you’re posting deserves a slap on the wrist? Maybe you should just not post it. πŸ˜‰

  75. langela says:

    I have always thought the glossy pictures of smiling kids in a garden as fake. This cover makes me smile. Can’t you just see him out in the garden with a hoe, sweaty and slow-going, but steadily working? Love it!

  76. Angela Billings says:

    That old fella is, or should be, the essence of what we are all about. He is homesteading personified. He represents the fellow who knows how to make a living from the land, and if Comstock (now owned by Baker) is trying to reach the homesteading crowd, the cover is genius.

  77. langela says:

    Btw, to the few commenting on how cruel or sheep-like we are, If you look at the poll results you can see what we really thought before we even commented.

  78. Bev in CA says:

    What a morning. I checked back in and read all the comments. I now find myself with an irresistable urge to contact the company and find out all about their country gentleman Right now they are wondering what the heck is going on with all the requests for catalogs. Thank you Suzanne for such a great morning…and the urge is really getting stronger.

  79. KathyG says:

    Interesting comments about Little House on the Prairie. I never watched the tv show, partly because I knew it would be a dumbing-down of the wonderful books. How did I know this? Because a) it was commercial television, and b) they had cast Michael Landon as Pa. What a joke? Anyone who has seen a photograph of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s actual father can verify that the guy on this catalog cover could be his double! LOL

    As for the cover itself, I too was taken aback by the photo of the apparently toothless ‘old geezer’. My mother grew up dirt-poor in the mountains of North Carolina, and all the old family photos, most showing log cabins in the background, show men of all ages sporting beards like this. She hated her childhood memories of poverty and ignorance, and I grew up hearing disparaging remarks about ‘hillbillies’. So I have mixed feelings about this photo and all it might imply. Crazy. Interesting.

  80. Kat says:

    I SUPERLOVE it!!!!
    Kids in clean dresses and cutesy clothes, in my mind at least, equals a total delusional garden experience. And if the actors are so staged, then how do I have any faith that the veggies aren’t some fantasy as well? I’m not looking for a pretend garden, I’m looking for real food.
    This guy looks like the neighbor I WISH I had to help me with my own garden.

  81. BuckeyeGirl says:

    Oh my! No one who looks like this fellow in RL is the least worried about what other people think! If he’s a real person instead of someone who’s dressed up (or down) a bit and scuffed up for the photo shoot, is worried about what other people think. I’ve known plenty of folks who are pleased to be comfortable in their own skin that way. Ya’ll are taking things WAY too serious!

    I’m now inspired to look through every seed catalog I have for more examples of this guy, and probably order others to find him! I guess the marketing is pretty smart! :snuggle:

  82. Flatlander says:

    I LOVE A MAGAZINE WITH A FRONT LIKE THAT and if I could pick and chose out 20 with little children and happy families with their clean clothes and perfect little dresses….OR this one.
    I would pick the old man on the cover.

    Looks more “back to nature” to me then all other ones.

  83. Leesa says:

    Maybe people assume you will delete their critical post because that’s what happens at another well known country blog .. if it’s not praisworthy of the author then no one ever sees it. πŸ™‚

    About the cover.. that type of man isn’t personally appealing to me, but it wouldn’t have any effect on my buying seeds from that company, just like I don’t care how many kids are on the others. I am all about the seeds and plants inside.

    I also didnt think this post was anything but in good fun, I certainly didn’t see it as critizing the model. Some people just look for the negative if I were you I’d ignore them. :happyflower:

  84. B. Ruth says:

    There are a whole lot of bushy headed and bushy faced farmers out there…Is there a rule one has to be meticulous to garden…I think NOT..Those little 2 and 3 year old curtain climbers certainly do more stomping the veggie plants than working in the garden!….In most of my old childrens books, from the 30’s and 40’s, the farmers look like this guy in drawings and pictures some with overhauls and some with galuses and a straw hat with a straw sticking out the side of his mouth!…
    He does have teeth..he is just thin and healthy looking and we are not used to seeing that…Mostly fat and bulging!
    PS….Suzanne could you ask him when is the best time to side dress green beans for best growth in the spring…Thanks

  85. Joy (from Illinois) says:

    I am really, really interested in this company now. Heritage vegetables can be lumpy, bumpy, small, strangely colored but the ones I’ve eaten have TASTE. (ah, the tomatoes, the tomatoes. Sigh! Want me some right now.) That’s why folks saved their seeds. Heritage apples sure beat the tasteless red delicious ones in the store six ways to Sunday. I made apple sauce one time from a mix of golden delicious and King David apples. It was a beautiful pink color with a really complex sweet-tart taste. Served next to pork chops, YUMMM. If you can grow them at home, great. If not, hunt around for a pick-your-own or a farm stand that carries them….and tell NO ONE WHERE YOU FOUND THEM (except maybe me cause I promise not to buy them ALL).

  86. Martha in KS says:

    He’s the “seediest” guy I’ve seen in a long time. I think his name is probably Festus. Bet he could teach us all about gardening.

  87. whaledancer says:

    I like it. He looks like someone who has spent most of his life outdoors. His overalls look like they’ve really been worn, not purchased for a photo-shoot. His expression is friendly, pleased and maybe a bit smug, like he’s justifiably proud of the squash he’s grown. He’s the guy I want to turn to with my gardening questions, because he’d know what he was talking about.

    From a marketing standpoint, I think it makes sense for a company that sells heirloom seeds. It says “Our product is real, not gussied up and airbrushed.” Most of pictures in seed catalogs are eye candy, and you know that your produce seldom looks as pretty. It’s like comparing yourself to the models in a fashion magazine. I think this cover says “We’re going to show you what our product really looks like.” Like they’re selling heritage and wisdom, not shallow beauty. Plus, it sure made their catalog stand out from the others.

    BTW, they had a similar picture of a bearded, overall clad man with squash as the cover of the fall issue of “The Heirloom Gardener” magazine, which is published by Baker Seeds.

  88. Joy says:

    I love it! I am curious though….what’s in his beard….. :eating:

  89. judyh says:

    Looks like just another happy, contented farmer from my neck of the woods (in West Virginia). And bib overalls–I love them. My Dad and Grandpa wore them often when I was young. Reminds me that I need to get some.

  90. kdubbs says:

    I had never received this catalog in my life, but I chuckled over Suzanne’s post this a.m. Went out to get the mail, and there was the bearded farmer, looking back at me. I busted up laughing. What are the odds??

  91. GrammieEarth says:

    “Curtain climbers” πŸ˜† πŸ˜† Little ones are the worst ‘helpers’ to have in a garden!
    This guy looks like “the real McCoy”. Lots of interesting tales and lessons…usually told whilst picking peas or clearing out the rasberry patch.
    Great marketing job! I smiled the minute I saw him!


  92. BeverlyC says:

    I did not read all the previous posts but my opinion is this:
    teeth, no teeth, women’s shirt, men’s shirt, stink, no stink… doesn’t matter! I look at him & think, “If these seeds are good enough for him, they must be good”. Why, looks can be deceiving but…..he looks like a good ‘ol country boy, growing food the way it should be. He does not give the impression that his gardening/farming ways have been viloated by modern day CRAP…..GMO’s, etc. I would be honored to sit at his dinner table any day. Now, if this were the cover for personal hygiene products…..I just might have to pass…….. πŸ™‚

  93. Linnie Joy says:

    my husband thinks he’s awesome!!
    now he’s aspiring to grow a beard like his, thank god he is in the air force and its against regulations!!
    (oh and he said your animal icons are cool) :sheepjump:

  94. Joell says:

    I think he is sayin “Got squash?”
    I think he is a happy looking fella, if I could grow squash like that, I would be happy.
    We live in a rural area and I have seen countless real life Gentleman that look quite simular to this man, so he doesnt look strange to me at all.
    Wouldnt it be fun if we all had to post a picture of ourself and let everyone leave a comment?
    I like folkys folks and their ways, what you see is what you get–I like this “old fella” LOL

  95. Tink says:

    He just smiled and waved as they drove away…….sittin’ thar on that sack of seeds

  96. EightPondFarm says:

    Great commentary! I used to live in Connecticut (home of Comstock, Ferre) before I moved to Missouri (home of Baker Seeds) and for years, have bought from both. Comstock is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year as the oldest seed supplier in the country, and it is so wonderful that such incredible tradition can be continued. Comstock’s store in CT is like Williamsburg with staff in 18th century clothing — the more authentic the better. He might look like my neighbors here in the Ozarks, but I bet he is a Yankee at heart!! The pink shirt is a clear giveaway.

  97. Cindy Scollard says:

    Hey, Suzanne–I like it. I haven’t received this catalog yet, but its quirky cover is appealing. Besides, I love character faces. He looks happy with his produce, which is much more interesting than a couple of kids on the cover. The only time those kids will be in the garden is when they’re posing for catalog covers! :bugeyed:

  98. Ruthmarie says:

    Oh my goodness! what a wild ride for a posting and I just skimmed the wealth of responses. Considering that each of us are hard-wired to react according to life experience, every comment has its own validity. Shoot, my first reaction to the cover was = Ack! MOONSHINE! = until I absorbed the pink satin shirt and started laughing. The cover certainly provokes thought, digs at your curiosity and was downright genius in decidedly tongue-in-cheek humor.

    I’m now looking for the company to order a catalog … wonder if the company is puzzling over the surge of requests, lol!!

  99. VaGirl2 says:

    I smiled all the way back from the mailbox. I LOVE it!!!

  100. Ramona says:

    Well it makes you remember the cover anyway….

  101. krisl says:

    When I look at him, I see a bit of a nut. But he is a nut that has a better looking garden than me. He is the guy taking the prize at the state fair. I better take notice and ntoes in case he decides to pass on some pearls of wisdom.

  102. Joyce says:

    I am not sure but this gentleman looks like a man who has been pictured over the years in the Seeds of Change Catalog and I think the Nicols Garden Catalog. If it is the same one he has done some wonderful work developing and improving heirloom seeds. Anyway knowing how much hard work gardening is who needs a Ken doll.

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