The Richmond Register

January 22, 2014

Dream of sunshine through the polar vortex

By Jessa Turner
Berea College Farm Store

BEREA — These cold, dark days often send gardeners into daydreams about what plants they want to grow and eat for the upcoming season.

Soon, the Berea College Farm Store will be home to a wide array of seeds from our good friends at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (www.SouthernExposure.com).

This name might ring a bell for those of you who recall one of our newsletters about the Berea College Farm becoming one of the seed suppliers for this worker-owned cooperative.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange specializes in certified organic, non-GMO, open-pollinated and heirloom seed varieties.

We are thrilled to supply them with Amish Paste and Ozark Pink tomato seed, Napoleon Sweet Bell and Jupiter Bell peppers, Black Turtle beans, Big Red Ripper and Calico Crowder cowpeas and Picotee Cosmos and Mayo Indian Amaranth flower seeds.

If you lack the time, space or patience to start your own seeds, you can be on the look-out for Berea College Farm plant sales beginning in March.

For the time being, if you need a fresh greens fix, we are pleased to report that although the plants are struggling in these frigid temps, they are still alive and the store will have a small quantity of lettuce and kale this week.

If we can convince the polar vortex to reprieve us with a bit of warmth, we may even get lucky enough to get a few leaves of spinach.

I’d like to give a big “thank you” to Justin Dean (relishrestaurantgroup.com) for trekking through the snow down to Berea to share his expertise at Saturday’s hog butchering demo.

We had a full house of farmers, chefs and fellow butchers take part and I think it’s safe to say, that everyone left inspired by new ideas. Even as the token vegetarian in the room, I couldn’t help being impressed with the knowledge and skill that goes into each and every slice of the knife. It was fascinating to watch and learn from one the best and it is truly an art form when done properly.

Keep your eyes peeled for future workshops and demos from other skilled craftsfolk, and maybe we’ll even be lucky enough to invite Justin back for a reprise for those of you that missed it.

Until next time, eat well!