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On the Bright Side

April 19, 2014

Oldest seed company in U.S. sets roots in Sharon Springs


“The Easter Lily that we know today is not from the Holy Land. It is actually native to Japan,” one passage noted. “This lily was brought to the United States by a World War I soldier, Louis Houghton, who introduced it to the southern coast of Oregon in 1919. Its popularity exploded as a war weary and flu devastated nation searched for a symbol of peace, purity and health.”

Landreth has set up shop in a building off Route 10 that housed the former motorcycle shop, Thunder Customs. From a compact retail shop measuring 18 feet by 25 feet, customers can see into a section of the building where seeds are packed.

Heidi Meka, formerly employed at the American Hotel in the village, manages the on-site business.

Landreth offers 900 varieties of seed for flowers, vegetables and herbs, Barbara Melera said.

All of the seed sold by Landreth are of the “open pollination” type — meaning the plants that produced them were naturally pollinated in an open setting, by way of natural mechanisms, wind, birds and insects.

“We have no genetically modified seed,” Barbara Melera said.

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