Appalachian Seed Swap

rodger(8SC)October 6, 2008

I wanted to let everyone know that I had an outstanding day this past Saturday in Berea Kentucky at the home of Bill Best of the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture center( ), along with numerous other people, Brook elliot ( Gardenlad) Tony West, Cherokee Heirloom extrodinare, John Coykendal the Butter bean man and heirloom gardener/ preservationist at BlackBerry farm in Tenn and Jim Veteto former Manager of the Southern Legacy Seeds at the Univ of Georgia who is know working on his Doctorate and catologing Appalachian crops, along with many other appalachian seedsmen, growers and enthusiests.

There were hundreds of varieties of beans alone available for sell or trade plus hundreds of others seeds including corn, tomatoes, peas and Limas. I had to restrain myself and only brought home 8 new geasy beans and 1 regular bean and 12 new appalachian tomatoes to try. Plus John Coykendal is sending me some South Carolina peas he has that I don't. I have to check to see if I can rent my neighbors field for next year. I brought 56 varieties of Legumes mostly field peas to swap.

In all the years the AHSC was running I believe this was the biggest turnout of pure appalcahian seed enthusiast ever. I wanted to thank Tony West (BlueFlint) for getting it going and Bill Best for hosting and the plan is to continue the seed swap on the first Saturday in October of each year. So everyone needs to start making plans now for next year. Rodger

P.S John Coykendal made a comment to me later that evening as we were talking and admiring all of our new aquistions, that he has always enjoyed looking at seeds especially legumes during the cold days of winter anticipating spring, and especially new varieties recieved. And I thought I was the only one who did that.

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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Glad to hear it went well, Rodger. I remember your photos of a previous AHSC get together. Wish I could make it, I know I would really enjoy meeting all of you... but unfortunately, this time of year is always hectic at my job, it's hard to get away even for a weekend. :-(

But then, my first frost is generally around October 5th anyway, so it's pretty hectic in my garden too. This year, we had a hard frost on the 4th. Got plenty of bean seed in before that, and a lot of shellies.

Your annual gathering is definitely on my "to do" list for the future. I think you all would be great company, and I would remember the experience as fondly as you do.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 7:01PM
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It sounds like fun Roger. I pull my seeds out In the wintertime too.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 7:42PM
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I used to carry a few beans around in my pocket, just to look at, and sometimes tried to pull them out and talk about them with others. Well, after some strange looks, and ruining some seed, I stopped. But it is fun to look at them!

It would be so fun to go to such a gathering!

Rodger, This year I grew out a sample of Greasy bean seed, which I received from a fellow near Ashville, NC. I found that the sample is quite varied in pod size, shape & width. There is one variation which I very much like, being extra shiny, wide and long. I'm considering selecting for that. But I do have a doubt about losing the other genes. They're all good, though one or two are not very "greasy looking" to me.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 11:32AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Of course I look over my bean seeds! Again and again. Especially at this time as I am harvesting, sorting and drying them. Beans are great to look at and they have nice tactile qualities. Tomato seeds are less interesting. :-)

I'll keep George's story in mind and not try to interest others in my bean seeds. I want to avoid giving the impression I am nuts, although it may be too late.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 1:01PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"I want to avoid giving the impression I am nuts, although it may be too late."

Ouch, I just bit my tongue. ;-) Sure you're nuts, Jimster... but look around, you're in good company. Legumaniacs one & all.

Long after the killing frost of October, I'm hand-shelling the beans of September. Then I leave them in open trays until December or January, until they are fully dry, at which time I clean & store them. Plenty of time to admire their beauty. Hey, I even found a way to polish them... now that's nuts!

I use clear ziplock bags for legumes; many others use glass jars. Why? Given that seeds should be stored in the dark, an opaque container would seem to be the logical choice. But then you would be unable to look at them... and in the dead of Winter, those bright colors embody the promise of Spring.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 11:31PM
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