The Brown Goose, the White Case Knife, Ora’s Speckled Bean, Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter — these are just a few of the heirloom fruits and vegetables you’ll encounter in Bill Best’s remarkable history of seed saving and the people who preserve both unique flavors and the Appalachian culture associated with them. As one of the people at the forefront of seed saving and trading for over 50 years, Best has helped preserve numerous varieties of beans, tomatoes, corn, squashes and other fruits and vegetables, along with the family stories and experiences that are a fundamental part of this world. While corporate agriculture privileges a few flavorless but hardy varieties of daily vegetables, seed savers have worked tirelessly to preserve genetic diversity and the flavors rooted in the Southern Appalachian Mountains — referred to by plant scientists as one of the vegetative wonders of the world.
Part flavor guide, part people’s history, Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste will introduce you to a world you’ve never known — or perhaps remind you of one you remember well from your childhood. Copyright 2013, softcover, 288 pages.