Chris and I recently took a quick trip through Decorah, Iowa which is one of our favorite spots in the state. If you remember this was where I had my first trout fishing experience last year and we have been to the town several times and enjoyed all that it has to offer. It is an amazing place and we enjoyed a lot of different things this time on our brief trip.
We really wanted to go to the Seed Savers Exchange to see what it was all about as we had heard about it and thought it would be a beautiful place to while away a couple of hours. Well…the day we went it was raining and sloppy and messy. Not exactly the best day for a hike around the grounds so we did what we could and started out in the shop where they have hundreds and hundreds of heirloom seeds. Of course I did not even take one picture of those displays so you will have to imagine them
Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. Since 1975, our members have been passing on our garden heritage by collecting and distributing thousands of samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners.
While we couldn’t hike like we wanted to because of the muddy conditions we did see some beautiful scenery.
What I was most excited about was being able to see the Ancient White Park Cattle that live on Heritage Farm. The info below is taken from the Seed Savers website :
The ancestors of our herds of Ancient White Park cattle date back to the pre-Christian era where they roamed the British isles, and descriptions of their distinct white coats and U-shaped horns crop up periodically in historical documents. Their island-based origin isolated this breed from other breeds, therefore making them much more genetically distinct and valuable. But how did they get to Seed Savers Exchange, you ask? Well, it’s kind of a complicated story.
The breed of Ancient White Park cattle we preserve came to North America from England during World War II for safekeeping from the threat of a Nazi invasion. A few cattle were sent to the Toronto Zoo, and the calves born there were moved to the Bronx Zoo. But lack of space dictated that they be moved to the King Ranch in Texas. From Texas they were moved to Polk City, Iowa and finally here to Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa in 1988.
You can see why I wanted to see these historic animals. I am a sucker for all cows and I was thrilled that we were able to see a couple of mommas with their babies the day we stopped by. Enjoy the pictures below and tell me if you love them as much as I do.
Don’t miss a stop at Seed Savers if you are even in Decorah. Definitely worth a trip even if you aren’t a gardener.