My favorite place to take my coffee is in the garden.
Any garden will do, for the most part. I like to sit myself in the sun, eyes half closed, looking into it a bit. Waking up. A Chemex carafe of coffee, a great companion. I can spend hours doing just that.
I’ve been gardening for just over 10 years in Texas and a bit in Louisiana, and I love a cool season garden. Lush, carpeted beds of leafy greens of all hues. Some chartreuse, some deep sea or icey blue, some with red and purple tips. Fresh, succulent herbs… A reprieve from our beloved, yet unrelenting summers.
GARDENER’S GIFT BUNDLE
2020 is the year where we all got into the garden. Some of us for the first time, some of us returned to the dirt after a long while, some of us never really stopped, and some of us still need that final nudge. This gift bundle is a great pick for anyone you know (yourself included) who fits into any of the above categories.
- Ira Wallaces book, Southeastern Vegetable Gardening
- Cool Season seeds packets from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:
- Thai Oakleaf Lettuce
- Ruby Red Rhubarb Chard
- Cherry Belle Radishes
- Chantenay Red Core Carrots
- Hand Hoe by Barebones Living (the all-purpose gardener’s helper, really don’t need much else)
- Chemex Filters
- 1 x 12oz bag of Petunias, our house blend coffee
THE CHEMEX - Designed in 1941, tried and true for 80 years. Makes delicious coffee (our chosen in house brew method for manual drip). Easy to use, and serving size ability is pretty versatile.
Here’s a quick and easy Chemex coffee recipe
I love how Ira walks you throughout the entire year, month by month, as well as her geographic approach to splitting the southeast into the Upper and Lower South. For those new to gardening, Ira lays things out very simply for beginners. For more experienced gardeners, I have found that the southern specific calendar and southern specific weather/phenological cues to when to plant, harvest, prune, etc tips to be insightful, especially in the face of a changing climate. Also love the seed saving tips, and shout outs to our region’s tried and true heirloom varieties. Great guide to starting and managing compost as well.
IRA WALLACE, THE AUTHOR
Ira Wallace is a celebrated farmer, renowned seedkeeper, educator, and author. She is a worker/owner of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (more below).
Wallace also serves on the boards of the Organic Seed Alliance, who does amazing work cultivating the “heirlooms of the future,” the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming. Ira is a cultural gem, and holder of profound traditional farming knowledge with an innovative perspective.
Wallace was raised by her grandma in Tampa, who endowed her with her traditional farming knowledge and fanned her love of gardening. Together, in Florida, they raised chickens, tended mango, avocado, soursop and other fruit trees, as well as tended a grand garden. In the 60s, Wallace went on to study at New College in Sarasota, where she created her own major, an interdisciplinary study of the philosophy and practice of cooperative education and living. In the 80s, she joined the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia, a living cooperative community founded on the principles of sharing, nonviolence, equality, and ecology.
In the 90s, she cofounded Acorn Farms, in her own words “an experiment in economic justice.” Acorn is an anarchist, egalitarian community, and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange is Acorn’s sustaining enterprise.
Wallace has spent her life traveling the world, and continues to collect and share knowledge, collaborating with farmers and gardeners from around the globe.
We’ve included cool season seeds, crowd pleaser staples, ones all gardeners love. They can also handle a heat wave here and there for the sometimes unpredictable warmer days we get over winter into early spring in the south.
Sourced from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, a worker owned and operated cooperative seed bank which cultivates and stewards open-pollinated heirloom, and landrace seeds selected for old time flavor, with a focus on southern heritage. Seeds can be planted in any garden design whether it be in ground beds, raised beds, and even pots! Growing food from seed will do more for you than I can elaborate on in a few sentences. It is a deeply human experience. Keeps you tuned in, will teach you more than you know, and if you pay attention it’s likely to bring you back to some things you didn’t know you forgot.
THE HAND HOE
The Hand Hoe, made by Barebones Living, is truly an all purpose garden tool for any garden style, whether you are planting directly in the ground, or even in raised beds or pots. Use it to weed, transplant, sow seed, shape beds, blend soil, or practically anything else you can need to do. I don’t use much else myself. Even comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. Rust-resistant, heat-treated stainless steel curved blade. Walnut handle provides a comfortable grip. Blade can be resharpened as needed
IRA FEATURED ON SOUTHERN FOODWAY SHORT DOC: https://www.southernfoodways.org/film/ira-wallace-a-seed-with-a-story/
IRA SEEDS AND THEIR PEOPLE PODCAST: https://trueloveseeds.com/blogs/satpradio/ep-3-ira-wallace-and-southern-exposure-seed-exchange
Have Questions? Feel free to email me directly. Happy to walk you through a coffee recipe, or even discuss your garden ideas or questions. Emma@revelatorcoffee.com