Sixth annual Appalachian Seed Swap attracts hundreds

Published: Apr. 7, 2018 at 3:14 PM EDT
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The sixth annual Appalachian Seed Swap took place Saturday at Pike Central High School. Hundreds came to purchase and learn about heirloom seeds.

"Oh heavens, it is just a treasure trove of wonderful finds," John Coykendall, Master Gardener at Blackberry Farm and attendee, said.

Coykendall traveled more than 200 hundred miles to collect seeds and share some of his own.

"There are so many things to be discovered, handed down and preserved for future generations," Coykendall said.

Farming and gardening also come second nature to Bill Best. His mother began teaching him the tricks of the trade when he was a young boy.

"We didn't buy seeds from anywhere, we saved everything," Best said.

Best came to sell more than 1,200 heirloom varieties of beans and around 100 varieties of tomatoes.

There were also cooking classes and instructional sessions for farmers.

Both Best and Coykendall say seed swaps are important to keep different specialty foods alive.

Organizers say they will now begin preparing for the Pikeville Farmer's Market in May.