Saving the Seeds: The Story of America's Greatest Seedhouses
By Post Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 11:58 AM EDT
The Garden Club of Harrington Park is pleased to present guest lecturer Barbara Plantholt Melera, President and CEO of The D. Landreth Seed Company, at their meeting on Thursday, November 7th, at 7:30 P.M., in the Harrington Park Library, 10 Herring Street.
Did you know that in 1798 the first zinnia seeds were sold in America; that the spinach you eat today was developed in 1826; that the information contained in seed catalogs taught generations of Americans how to farm and live off the land? Barbara will trace the history of seed trade in America from 1784 when the first seedhouse establishment was opened through the 20th century. She will discuss the founding of Breck, Buist, Ferry Morse, Burpee, Park, Henderson, C. H. Lippincott and Bodger as well as Landreth and relate the story of some of the seed trade’s greatest traditions - including the development of seed catalogs, and why they were established, and how the men who lead this industry helped to build a nation.
Landreth is the oldest seedhouse in America, established in 1784, and the fourth oldest US corporation. In September, 2003, Barbara purchased Landreth from the then owners and proceeded to restore the company. Today Landreth is recognized as one of the leading providers of heirloom vegetable, flower and herb seed and ships its product worldwide.
Prior to purchasing Landreth, Ms. Melera was the Managing Partner of Tritech Partners, LLP, a seed stage venture capital partnership which invested in early stage technology enterprises in the Mid-Atlantic region. During her years as a venture capitalist she helped to found more than 30 companies and was a Director of more than 20 firms in the software, computer, telecommunication, environmental, healthcare, biotech and agri-science industries. Throughout her career as an investment professional, she has been privileged to be involved with some of the most interesting, innovative technologies and entrepreneurs of the 20th century.
Ms. Melera has dedicated time as a community volunteer holding the positions of trustee/director/officer of The Greater Baltimore Committee, The Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Committee, The Maryland Science Center, The Baltimore Development Corporation, The University of Maryland Baltimore County Board of Advisors and The Maryland Bioprocessing Center.
Ms. Melera has an S.B. in Mathematics and Soviet Studies from MIT. In 1980, she was accepted into the Accelerated Masters’ Program (AMP) of The Sloan School of Management at MIT. She successfully completed the program and was awarded an S.M. in Finance and the Management of Technology in 1981. Ms. Melera also has an M.Ed. with a Reading Specialist’s Certification from Northeastern University
All gardeners, active and armchair, from any town, are invited to attendthis program. For more details or directions, log on to: http://www.gardenclubofharringtonpark.com/or phone Garden Club President Gerri Gibney at 201-768-2615.