Mom and Dad had told me that they had videoed a special on PBS about a guy who was saving seeds from Washington Parrish in Louisiana. I was blown away when I watched it with them. Not only was this an excellently prepared documentary, but the subject John Coykendall was fascinating.
Here is a link to the trailer. http://www.lpb.org/index.php/site/programs/deeply_rooted/
The documentary is called Deeply Rooted, and was put out by the Louisiana Public Broadcasting System. John Coykendall is a seed saver from Knoxville who is the master gardener for Blackberry Farms. Blackberry Farms is a luxury hotel and resort in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains near Townsend.
What I found fascinating was the approach – saving seeds, and stories. Mom, Dad and I had the best conversation about their experiences. Both of my parents grew up in Smith County Mississippi, which is well known for their watermelons and tomatoes. I had a particular fondness for purple hulls peas that grew in Smith County. Mom and Dad grew up with farming as a matter of survival – it wasn’t a choice.
That is the stories that John Coykendall was telling. One of the stories that I heard him tell was of the wash day pea, which is a small pea that cooks quickly, and was cooked on days when the women of the family were doing laundry. Its a small thing to think about not having the time to cook a larger pea, but when that is life, it is a big thing. The wash day pea was the forerunner to fast food.
Do yourself a favor, and call your local PBS affiliate to find out when they are going to show this documentary. You will not be disappointed.
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