Deeply Rooted

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.

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.