2017 Seed Catalog Reviews – Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

southern exposure seed exchange 2017 catalogFor you local Virginians who want to support Virginia businesses, Southern Exposure is for you.

They are a great source of varieties that grow well in the mid-Atlantic and Southern states, including some local heirloom varieties. Popular examples include Old Virginia tomato, an heirloom of the famous VA Ginter family, Anne Arundel melon, grown in Maryland since 1731, Mountain Princess tomato from the Monongahela National Forest area of West Virginia, and Seminole pumpkin, cultivated in Florida by Native American Indians since the 1500s and now grown by Living old virginia tomatoEnergy Farm in Virginia.

Even if you are in another area of the country, they are a wonderful resource. They have a larger than usual selection of collards, okra, southern (or cow, or blackeye) peas, and tomatillos. If you want to try tenn red valencia peanuts your hand at growing natural colored cotton or peanuts, Southern Exposure is your seed company.

Interestinwinthers white pole beang new selections for 2017 include Withner White Cornfield bean, an Indiana heirloom for growing up corn stalks, and Geranium Kiss, a red dwarf determinate tomato for containers.

Early White Bush Scallop patty pan squash has been a family favorite of ours since the 1960s and these folks have it along with our other famoon and stars yellow fleshed watermelonmily favorite, yellow crookneck. We crimson sweet watermelon also like Sweet Valentine romaine lettuce which we have not found elsewhere in recent years.

I like their selection of watermelons which include red, yellow and orange fleshed varieties.

Southern Exposure has a good selection of seed saving equipment. We always enjoy their selections for hot humid climates like ours, hope you do too.

Southern Exposure 2014 Seed Catalog

Last year we started talking about seed companies and their catalogs.  This year we continue, starting with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SESE).

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange 2014 Cover
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange 2014 Cover

Beyond having a beautiful and whimsical cover, SESE specialized in varieties that grow well in mid-east and southern United States, AKA, hot humid summers. Historically, they have ties with Seed Saver’s Exchange, so they have a similar ethic of persevering heirloom varieties and encouraging people to save their own seed.

They have an outstanding variety and draw from small regional farms, some of whom are featured in their catalog.  They have taken the Safe Seed Pledge, and are one of the 73 plaintiffs continuing their lawsuit against Monsanto, in OSGATA et al v. Monsanto.

Because they specialize in varieties for the south, you’ll find a larger selection of southern favorites including black-eyed peas (or cowpeas as they call them), okra, collards, peanuts and cotton (in various natural colors), than other catalogs. They have a pictorial designation for varieties well-suited to the southeast to help you find these quickly. They have many organic selections.

Here are 9  + varieties to try:

Rosella Purple Tomatos
Rosella Purple tomato gives you full sized slicer taste on a determinate plant that can be grown in containers – yummy
White Bush Scallop Summer Squash Harvest
We love Early White Bush Scallop summer squash. It is very productive all summer and seems to resist squash beetle attack longer than some other varieties.
Sweet Valentine Lettuce
A must have for the lettuce bed is Sweet Valentine. We used to get this years ago from another company and loved it, so we are happy SESE has it. Sweet Valentine is a great all season variety that does well in summer’s heat when shaded, and also in a hoop house from fall into the winter.
Neptune Red Tomato
Neptune & Old Virginia red tomatoes are noted to produce well in hot humid summers. Neptune is pictured.
Dakota Black Popcorn
SESE has an excellent section of popcorn. There is nothing like inviting friends over for a movie and serving home grown popcorn. We love Dakota Black (which pops white and is more like food than just a snack), but try more than one variety and compare.
Sierra Crisphead Lettuce
We have enjoyed two of their crisphead lettuces that are very different are from each other in look, but, both held up great in the fall garden, even with light frost. Try both Loma & Sierra. This is Sierra.
Loma Chrisphead Lettuce
Loma Chrisphead Lettuce
Sweet potatoes of various colors
Like sweet potatoes ? They have a good selection of orange, white and purple fleshed varieties. They carry Bunch Porto Rico for those with smaller gardens because of its shorter more compact vines.
Stone Mountain Watermelon
Southern selections would have to include watermelon, and they have white, yellow, orange and red fleshed varieties. If you have the space, try Stone Mountain for old fashioned 30 pound melons.
Ashe County Pimento Sweet Pepper
Ashe County Pimento sweet peppers are thick, juicy and delicious and can be grown in containers.