Burgerville has always been beloved by parents for offering vegetable and flower seeds instead of plastic toys in its kids’ meal bags. They have now unveiled Seedlings, a new program in partnership with the Culinary Breeding Network, to make Northwest-grown and bred seeds available to customers, teach kids and adults about growing plants, and inspire gardeners to grow locally grown and bred seeds at home.
The Seedlings program includes newly designed envelopes for the seeds, new bags for the kids’ meals, the introduction of the Seed Wizard to excite kids about seeds and gardening, and stories from the Northwest farmers who grow the seeds.
Michelle Battista, Burgerville Senior Vice President of Brand and Marketing and co-founder of Seedlings, said, “Burgerville has always been proud of offering seeds in our kids’ meals. We love sharing with children and their families the joys of gardening and showing how to care for the land. The Seedlings program is going to take us to the next step because it’s supporting Northwest seed growers and breeders, who are really the unsung heroes of local agriculture.
Seedlings seed varieties will rotate seasonally. The current lineup includes:
‘Outredgeous’ Lettuce – Bred by Frank Morton at Wild Garden Seed in Philomath, Oregon, this lettuce was actually grown in outer space and was planted in the White House Garden by former First Lady Michelle Obama.
‘Cascadia’ Snap Pea – Calvin Lamborn, the father of snap peas, created an entirely new category of vegetable through decades of breeding, trials and selections. The ‘Cascadia’ Snap Pea is a variety bred at Oregon State University (OSU) by Jim Baggett.
‘Purple Karma’ Barley – This barley is an heirloom variety that is hulless, so it can be easily cooked and eaten like rice, but also beautiful as an ornamental decoration in any garden. The variety was brought to the U.S. in 1924 from Tibet but spent decades tucked away in the USDA seed repository until OSU researcher Brigid Meints began breeding new organic barley with it.
“The Pacific Northwest is one of the best areas in the world to grow seed. There is an unknown community of individuals here growing seeds and breeding new varieties of the food we eat. It is the mission of the Culinary Breeding Network to raise awareness of the importance of seed and the impact it has on our food system. Burgerville will be an excellent partner in educating kids and adults on the power of the tiny seed and sharing stories of our regional seed heroes,” said Lane Selman, director of the Culinary Breeding Network and assistant professor at OSU.
This year Burgerville has also unveiled a new app, available from the App Store and Google Play, as well as a brand-new loyalty program called LocalVille, which rewards customers for purchases. First time users who download the app will be rewarded with a free cheeseburger.