Seed exchange helps gardener enthusiasts grow their green thumbs

Staria Vanderpool, biology professor at William Woods University and master gardener, gives a talk on plant reproduction to about 36 people Saturday at the Callaway County Extension. Her lecture was a part of the second annual seed exchange event.

Staria Vanderpool, biology professor at William Woods University and master gardener, gives a talk on plant reproduction to about 36 people Saturday at the Callaway County Extension. Her lecture was a part of the second annual seed exchange event. Photo by Brittany Ruess.

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Dennis Whyte of Fulton answers questions about his green bean seeds Saturday inside the Callaway County Extension Center during the second annual seed exchange event. The seeds have been in Whyte’s family for five generations and he said he’s careful to keep them away from other seeds to prevent cross breeding.

Garden enthusiasts were given the opportunity to grow their plant knowledge Saturday during the second annual seed exchange held at the Callaway County Extension Center.

Cindy Baker, president of the Fulton Garden Club and event organizer, said she loved the fact that gardeners are able to network, share ideas and seeds — all “designed” for Callaway County. She also took advantage of the seed exchange, grabbing soft wheat seeds, 50-year-old Concord grape seeds and 100-year-old bush beans — a family heirloom for a Callaway County family.

“It doesn’t get much cooler than that,” Baker said.

Dennis Whyte of Fulton shared his green bean seeds that have been in his family for, he believes, five generations. His family brought the seeds with them from Kentucky when they settled in Callaway and Montgomery counties many years ago. Whyte said he maintains the pure breed beans because of the family heritage they represent.

“It’s been in the family for so long,” Whyte said. “I’d hate to lose it.”

Last year, his seeds produced about 70-80 quarts of green beans for he and his wife, his daughter, granddaughter and mother-in-law.

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