Beans of Appalachia with Bill Best
Bill Best is a Kentuckian farmer and seed conservationist that planted his first garden in 1963. His first garden used commercially ordered seeds that just didn’t have the same taste as the homegrown beans he was used to. It was only when his mother gave him her seeds from North Carolina that Best was able to taste the same delicious beans he remembered. Since then, Best has been learning everything he can about preserving and cultivating heirloom seeds.
It all takes place live at 7pm EDT on Thursday, September 24 on the Hindman Settlement School Facebook page. Can’t join us for the live discussion? Watch the playback anytime following the event on our YouTube channel.
Bill Best keeps almost 700 varieties of heirloom bean seeds at the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center, which is at his farm in the Knobs country of Madison County just outside of Berea. He’s also continuing a way of life Appalachian farmers have handed down for generations: cultivating an appreciation for the tenderness and fresh flavor of favorite home-grown fruits and vegetables, teaching the process of producing and saving seeds from one season to plant in the next, and engaging the support of a like-minded community. You might recognize him as a long-time grower of ripe, juicy heirloom tomatoes, which he sells at farmers markets in Lexington and Berea. Best is the author of “Saving Seeds, Preserving Taste: Heirloom Seed Savers in Appalachia”.