Comstock, Ferre Hosts 3rd Annual Heirloom Festival

By Analiese Paik

This pre-World War II photo shows just a few of the 11 historic buildings and barns that date back to the 1700s when Comstock was founded. Amish crews from parent company Baker Creek have begun to restore the buildings and preserve the antique equipment, transforming the campus into a living agricultural history museum. Photo c/o Comstock, Ferre & Co

Comstock Ferre & Co. is the oldest continually operating seed company in the Northeast and a big defender of heirloom seeds. Each year they host an Heirloom Festival at their retail seed store in Wethersfield, CT where buildings dating back to the 1700s are being carefully restored. Bring the whole family on Sunday, May 26, from 10 to 5 pm, to enjoy live music, workshops, presentations, activities, and exhibitors, plus shop for heirloom vegetable and flower plants. Guests can visit the historic Seed Museum, browse the collection of hundreds of heirloom seed varieties, and meet vendors from near and far showcasing their natural products, special food items, and much more. Food will be available for sale all day.

Please join me from 2:50-3:25 in the barn for a presentation and Q&A about GMOs in our food supply and how to avoid them. I’ll also give an update on labeling bills, bans and private labeling initiatives. Click here for a complete schedule of the day’s events.

The festival will feature great musicians, including Poor Old Shine, The Please and Thank You String Band, ShoreGrass, Cece Borjeson and Ruth George, Melodye Whately and the Silas Deane Middle School Chorale. Children may enjoy vegetable-themed stories by story teller Jackson Gilman. Puppeteer Grian MacGregor will entertain the kids. The festival will feature old-time crafters and wood carvers, along with vendors, food, and films.

An heirloom seed is one that is at least 50 years old and has been selected to be saved and passed down from generation to generation because it grows well and tastes good. Heirloom seeds, unlike hybrids or GMOs (genetically modified seeds) will reproduce true to the parent strain. Rewarded with the same excellent vegetable they remember from past years, gardeners would again save seeds for the next season’s planting. You can save seeds too! The Comstock Heirloom Seeds catalog offers over 250 seed varieties, all of which were part of their original 1820-1950 heirloom seed collection.

Comstock, Ferre & Co., located in historic Wethersfield, CT, is  committed to restoring the seed company to its original state, including choosing historic art work originally commissioned by Comstock from local artists to grace the covers of their seed packets.

How to Purchase Comstock Heirloom Seeds:

Seed packets are available for purchase at the retail store in Wethersfield, CT, just 5 minutes south of downtown Hartford. Comstock, Ferre & Co. is located at 263 Main Street in Old Wethersfield, and is open Sunday through Friday from 9-4. Closed Saturday. Phone: 860-571-6590 or visit them online at to order a catalog or place an online seed order.

2 thoughts on “Comstock, Ferre Hosts 3rd Annual Heirloom Festival”

  1. Hybrids may not breed true, but GMOs in general do breed true. That is why you are asked to agree not to save seed. And of course, all science says they are harmless.

    • James, I respectfully disagree with your comment about all science saying GMOs are harmless. I’m certain there’s something you’ve overlooked, like super weeds, increased use of pesticides, and obliteration of the milkweed, which has led to a precipitous drop in Monarch butterfly populations.

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