Ky. seed swap and get together...

blueflint(z6a OH)September 20, 2010


Seed Swap and General Get Together


Saturday October 2, 2010


Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center

1033 Pilot Knob Cemetery Road

Berea, Kentucky 40403


This is a great time every year. Last year there were about 50 people from 5 states attending.

Come and enjoy!

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I'm going to see if I can make it. Can bring a LOT of seed this year.


    Bookmark   September 22, 2010 at 3:23PM
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Here are a couple of photos from the meeting. The first is of some of the people who attended.

Left to right, Bill Best, Rodger Winn, unknown, Ira (of SESE), unknown, Brook Elliott, Tom West (blueflint), guy with SESE, unknown, unknown, unknown, Darrel Jones (thats me folks).

This photo is of the table with my seed. I had started putting things back into the large cooler you see on the right so a few beans were already gone. Still, you get the idea that there was a lot of seed free for the trading. I estimate there were at least 800 varieties of tomatoes, well over 200 beans and peas, and lots of other goodies.

I had a fantastic trip and got to finally match faces to online personalities and phone voices I've heard.


    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 11:12AM
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It was a much smaller crowd this year but as always a great time. I was glad to see you come Dar. To fill in the gaps as best as possible I will start from the left.

Bill Best the home we meet at and founder of SMAC(Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center ) Bill is the absoltely the authority, in my book, when it comes to appalachian beans. He has a couple of books due out in the next year on Appalachia and its vegetable diversity,history and stories.
Next is myself. Rodger Winn

Behind me is Maria of Blue Ribbon Tomatoes. She is a tomato seed grower for Southern Exposure Seeds and runs her own tomato seed buisiness on line at ebay.
Next to her in the back is a friend of Marias But I don't remember her name.

Next to me is Ira Wallace- Manager of Southern Exposure Seeds and an authority in Alliums. Ira is one of those persons that you instantly fall in love with she is sincere and down to earth. A great person to know and work with.

To the Right of Ira is Brook Elliot ( Gardenlad). Brook was a starter of many of the earlier posts here on GW, especially in the bean forum and founder of the Appalchian Heirloom Seed Conservancy, which is how this group in the picture first came together. Brook is another Authority on a wide array of Garden topics. He has written many articles for Mother earth news and other publications.

Next in the rust colored shirt is Tony West (Bluefint)
Tony's forte is Cherokee heirlooms especially corns. He and his wife live in South central Ohio. My Wife and I look forward to meeting everyone each year but especially Tony and his wife Mary.

In front of Tony is another member of the Southern Exposure Seeds Team (SESE) Ken Bezilia. Ken is the seed inventory guy and my liason as a seed grower. Ken is a resident expert in leafy greens and fall/winter crops. He grows specialty greens for market and high end resturants in Va.
Behind Ken is John Woodworth. John is a full time farmer and runs a local CSA and farmers market in Virginia. He is also a grower for SESE. John raises Dairy goats and makes specialty cheeses. We can talk for hours on growing for market.

Next to John in the Green pants I can not remember his name, but he is there each year. He is local to Berea Ky and a grower and friend of Bill Best and the next gentleman Frank Barnett

Frank Barnett is another person like many of use who enjoy growing as a hobby and preserving and passing along seeds. I beleieve I remembered reading a post on Tenn Cutshorts that Mentioned growing the Frank Barnett bean.

And finally Darjons (fussionpower). He stole the show with all the varieties of tomatoes corn and beans. I kept having flashes of buying more land to plant all the varieties Dar brought. Dar is another person I could spend hours talking to and I have enjoyed visiting with him at his home in Ala the past two summers.

There were many longtime members who were not in attendance and I would like to mention two of them in particular.

Gary Millwood a good friend and retired Minister from Louisville KY and originally from down my way in Spartanburg SC. Gary has been having health issues and was not able to attend but he is diffently an authority when it comes to Tomatoes and especially Kentucky heirloom tomatoes. He passes his finds of great Kentucky tomatoes to people like Maria of Blue Ribbon Tomatoes and myself to grow out so that those great varieties can be enjoyed by all thru seed companies like Blue Ribbon Tomatoes, SESE and Baker Creek Heirloom Seed.

Last to mention is John Coykendal. John is a Life long seed saver and member of SSE. To me he is the Butterbean man he has a collection of Butterbeans and seeds that would make any gardener envious and he will gladly share anything he has to a total stranger. He works for Blackberry farms outside Knoxville Tn he is their Heirloom Gardener and consultant for heirloom vegetables. Do a search for Blackberry farms and you can find some you tube videos made this past spring featuring John. John was unable to attend because he is in Eastern Europe on a seed finding vacation but he can always be found each spring at the Southern Legacy Seed swap in Crawford Ga. This seed swap is sponsered by the Univ of Ga heirloom seed program PASS (Pass along southern seeds). John is a person that can tell a story of a seed and how it was grown and used that can captivate any audience. I hope he writes a book. It would be ashame to lose at that information he has collected in his life on Southern Vegetable varieties and peopole.

It was a great day as always and I look forward to next year and everyone is invited so mark your calenders for the first saturday in Oct. Rodger

    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 8:43AM
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Gary M. sent me a link to this thread check it out.

Thanks for posting the pics Darrel! What a great group of seed savers.

Thanks for writing about everyone, I do hope I can make it next year! This also reminds me I need to send you a note about the bean seeds.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 8:55PM
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This is great! It's really nice to connect faces and names. If it wasn't so far, I'd love to attend sometime.

I've mentioned Frank Barnett Cutshort a couple of times on GW, now. It's a VERY nice bean, having all the qualities which my wife and I consider to make for a first rate bean, one which conceivably, a person could be content, without growing any other.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 12:55PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I'd planned to attend, but business picked up at my job, and it was impossible to get away - for the second year in a row. I had expressed my disappointment to management, and they assured me that next year they would give me the time off. As soon as I know the date of the next gathering, I'll put in my vacation request.

Ditto on George's comments. Nice to see the faces of some of those I've met here on GW. Hopefully you'll see my mug up there next year. ;-)

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 3:01AM
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