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Ken B May 26, 2017 03:17 PM

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, central VA, summer
Sometime in August we'll have a tomato tasting (maybe even two) on our own farm here in central Virginia (Mineral, about halfway between Charlottesville and Richmond).

We'll have tastings for tomatoes, peppers, some melons, interesting greens and herbs, and tours of our seed crops + trial crops + seed business.

It'll probably be a Saturday, but just which one will depend on the weather and how fast our tomatoes ripen up! Since we do a couple big tomato tastings in September (Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, and Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania), we do our main tomato planting later than usual, and so we won't be getting seedlings into the ground til next week... so, yeah, if hot summer, then earlier in August, and if cooler summer, then later in the month.

Once we figure out the date, we'll send out an email announcement to local customers a week or two ahead, and I'll post a note here, and give an update about what varieties we'll have and what sort of crops we'll have for folks to look at!

jtjmartin May 26, 2017 05:21 PM


Thanks for the post - we'll be there this year unless out-of-town!


Ken B July 5, 2017 06:17 PM

Milder summer so far, so I'll guess late August... will update this next month!

Ken B August 7, 2017 11:26 PM

Set for Sat, Aug 26th, 1-4 PM! PM me for address/directions.

We'll have maybe 30-50 tomatoes and some peppers and watermelons for tasting. Mild weather's slowing down the crops some, but we'll have a good amount of stuff for folks to try.

Interesting trial crops to look at = sesame, rice, amaranth, peanuts, roselle, winter squash, cowpeas, asparagus (yardlong) beans, tomatoes, variegated striped peppers, other peppers, melons, and flowers (cosmos, marigolds, zinnias, others).

There's a bunch of seed crops, probably the most interesting/unusual = Geranium Kiss tomato, Jasmyn Rissie spice pepper, Silverleaf sunflower, Carolina African Runner peanut, Job's Tears, and Erlene's Green cotton.

And: for any folks wanting to get some, it's a good chance to buy garlic, cover crops, etc. since you don't have to pay shipping!

Ken B August 19, 2017 01:06 AM

Slight correction: 2-4 PM, not 1-4 PM. (Since some folks will show up an hour early, and if we say we start at 1 PM, then we get some folks showing up at noon while we're still eating lunch...)

jtjmartin August 20, 2017 11:32 AM

We will be there! I'll save all my tomato questions for the poor person who gives the tour! :twisted:


Ken B August 20, 2017 12:23 PM

Yep, good chance that'll be me (or Irena) -- ask away!

jtjmartin August 25, 2017 01:58 PM

Looks like great weather!

(And wanted to give you a bump for tomorrow!)

Ken B August 27, 2017 11:14 PM

JT -- did you make it out for? (If you did, guessing you went on one of Irena's tours!)

Anyway, yeah, nice weather for! Once we had the usual hustle and bustle of being all ready out of the way, it was a pretty good time, I had a nice mellow time giving tours and enjoying talking to folks.

jtjmartin August 28, 2017 07:14 PM


I did make it! We ended up in Irena's tour which we really enjoyed.

Everyone was wonderful at the farm - old and young. The tomato tasting was great with a good number of "new to me" tomatoes I tried. The watermelon was really good too. Best of all, I knew if the plants grew well for you - that they should grow in Williamsburg too.

I think I heard the angels sing when I entered into the seed room!!! I picked up some Appalachian Red garlic and a bunch of seeds.

It looked like you had a great turn out. Thanks for opening your farm up to us.


FigPig September 3, 2017 10:38 AM

I was there too, but just noticed this thread now. Irena's tour was really interesting, and the tasting was so much fun. There was a tiny red cherry tomato that was out of this world, but I forgot the name. It definitely wasn't Matt's Wild Cherry. Any chance someone remembers? I brought a friend along, and we both want to grow it next year.

jtjmartin September 3, 2017 10:50 AM

Hopefully Ken B will jump on to confirm but I think it was Riesentraube.


Ken B September 3, 2017 11:53 AM

Maybe Everglades? That was the other small one we had at the tasting, it's one we're trialing, it's been doing pretty well so far (interested to see how it holds up in the cool fall weather) -- a Florida grower shared seed with us -- I can ask her where the seed came from.

Other possibilities (which we do carry) = Red Cherry (1"), Riesentraube (1.5" -- has pointy end), Red Pisa Date (1" or so, elongated shape).

Glad y'all liked Irena's tour! She's my sweetie, very proud of her.

Ken B September 5, 2017 06:46 AM

... and our Florida grower said the online folks that she'd originally gotten Everglades from seem to no longer be active. So, no easy way to tell if that strain is different from other Everglades strains offered online.

(But, if it does well in our trials, chances are good we'll have it in the SESE catalog in a few years!)

FigPig September 16, 2017 01:27 PM

Thanks, it was definitely Everglades. I'll keep an eye on the catalogue. Plenty of others to keep us busy in the meantime...

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