Heirloom Vegetables and Gardening

Friends Drift Inn Farm – Gardening

Diversity in heirloom tomatoes

Rambling through the garden, I have expectations. Biting into a tomato, I anticipate a taste explosion. It should rock my senses like a new pair of red high heels! 

Why I Grow Open Pollinated Vegetables

Show me tomatoes with an acidic bite! Give me beans speaking with wisdom of the ages.

Vegetables should taste good. It’s a simple thing.

We had a seven year hiatus from gardening.Life was hectic and food was cardboard.

We had family obligations and a business to run. Still have – but I wanted to garden again. The problem was the world had changed.

Flipping through seed catalogs, I could not find my favorite vegetable varieties.

How could they be gone?

Green Striped Cushaws on the vine

By chance, I stumbled across Slow Foods Ark of Taste. ENDANGERED vegetables, fruits and nuts…are you kidding me? Green Striped Cushaw was on that list!

My mind flashed back to Grandpa’s Friends Drift Inn surrounded by hundreds of Cushaws, like an army of sassy pinstriped geese.

Two Friends Drift Inn Favorites Cushaw and Musquee de Provence

Had I lost my food heritage?

My heart grieved. My taste buds pouted.

I wished I had never stopped raising a garden – never stopped saving seeds.

Oh Misery!

Heirloom Vegetable Seed Sources

I have better red high heels than Scarlet

That year, I searched for heirloom seeds. I started with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and the Kentucky Bean Guy, Bill Best.

The next year, I found Baker Creek Seeds and Sandhill Preservation Farm.

This spring will be our third year growing heirloom produce.

I reclaim my right to tasty produce – the same vegetables that nurtured my ancestors and will nurture our future generations. I will grow my garden with diversity and culinary appeal.

I am not compensated by any seed company at time of this writing. Friends Drift Inn receives a small commission from affiliate links.


Friends Drift Inn Gardening
Zucchini and Summer Squash 2011 Garden Picks
Return of the Green-Striped Cushaw

About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.