For 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 Energy 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 your hand at growing natural colored cotton or peanuts, Southern Exposure is your seed company.
Interesting 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 family favorite, yellow crookneck. We 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.
Last year we started talking about seed companies and their catalogs. This year we continue, starting with Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (SESE).
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.