It is snowing lightly as I write this.  It would be lovely if it weren’t for the cold wind that makes winter in Iowa such a trial some days.  Fortunately, I’m spending the day working on some beautiful seed catalogs for Special Collections.

The work is quite simple – staple removal and page repair, followed by a pamphlet stitch to keep everything together in the envelopes we’ve made for them.  Conceivably the work could get boring, but I’m quite enjoying it.

The images are lovely and serve as a nice reminder that spring always follows winter.

I am also enjoying the sales techniques used during the mail order catalog era.  The John A. Salzer Seed Company of La Crosse, Wisconsin claimed that planting 160 acres of their Red Cross Winter Wheat would yield a minimum of 8000 bushels.  They offered a $150 prize to the farmer who achieved the highest yield per acre in 1908.

My favorite is the the Stark Brother’s bear with the tag line of Stark Trees Bear Fruit.

The catalog includes several testimonials from growers who increased their fortunes by planting fruit orchards.

I think one of the great things about conservation is that not only is the work itself interesting, but the items we work on change constantly and are almost always interesting as well.