This charming book takes a true grass-roots approach despite being chock-full of vital information. Generous to a fault, it holds up and tells the stories of dozens of Kentucky seed-savers, rather than focusing on Billy Best, arguably the state’s quintessential practitioner! The reader here can learn everything needed to become a seed-saver. Both authors have distinguished themselves in other arenas as well as gardening. Bill Best, a native of Haywood County, North Carolina, with a long career as a teacher at Berea College, holds a PhD in Appalachian Studies and has written ten books. Dobree Adams is known as a fiber artist and photographer. "In the expanding contemporary world of heirloom seed savers, Bill Best is already legend with over 700 varieties of discrete beans and hundreds of tomatoes stockpiled and catalogued at his farm outside of Berea, Kentucky. Best is distinguished not only for his collection of seeds, but for his keen interest in the stories that accompany them and his ability to weave those stories into the history of a people and a region, the Appalachian South. At a time of growing attention to and focus on American foodways as history, Best's book is a valuable resource that will be used across the discipline."―Ronni Lundy. "Bill Best's language and tone of voice are elegant notes of calm discourse in a shrill world. Beneath the tackiness of American popular culture there is a depth of traditional culture that is invisible to the mass media. The book is a kind of seed itself, fecund, filled with life and potential."―Gurney Norman. “This book delves into how our ancestors saved seeds and gives tips on how you can save yours. Filled with interesting personal stories―from master gardeners to just home gardeners who saved seeds―it is an inspiring read."―Kentucky Monthly.
Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, a 2022 paperback edition of a 2017 hardback release. 269 pages with an Index, Resources, black & white and full-color photos, a Foreword by A. Gwynn Henderson and an Afterword by Brook Elliott.