Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

Ugh I have tweaked my foot!  A plantar fasciitis flare-up on my left foot.  So while I’m propping my foot up, here’s a post.


In the Seed Palace.

My daughter Enigma moved to a farm a couple of years ago.  She’s taken to it like a duck to water.  Their business is Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, with all kinds of heirloom product.  We went and visited recently.   The smells were so interesting!  They use vinegar a lot for germ control (and I like the smell of vinegar) so that was fine.  The room I was staying in had no plumbing, like a lot of community.  I used the Party Pooper (the community compost four-holer… hence the name, lol) and I want you to know it did not smell AT ALL.  It smelled like nothing.

There’s a sharpness to the smell of community.  I think it’s wood smoke, vinegar and a little body odor.  I danced around on their stage like I haven’t done in 20 years and it was a blast.  There were goats and chickens and communards and long walks and music.  Pretty fantastic.  They served pulled pork they’d made after butchering their own mangalitsa hogs.

The Seed Palace (where they keep all the seeds) had its own special smell.  Hard to describe.  It’s also sharp and vinegar-ish and mustard-y.  But it seems to be connected to the seeds themselves.  I would love to know what’s in that smell.

The smell of the whole place surprises me.  I let go of my hippie stereotypes and accept the cool things around every corner.  It works for them because they make it work.  I’m so proud of and happy for my daughter.  Life’s a lot of twists and turns, isn’t it?  Their seeds are amazing.  Ask Evil Auntie Anita if you don’t believe me.



  1. Ach, sorry about your foot, March. Hope you get to feeling better soon! Your daughter’s (and her community’s) enterprise sounds fascinating. I will check out the seed exchange. Best wishes XO

      • E, I urge you: DO NOT DO EEET! You will lose your MIIIIND! Just like I did!

        Okay – DO EET! It’s pretty fabulous!


  2. Hope your foot is better soon. How did your daughter end up living on the farm? Do they sell the seeds themselves or through other conduits? Here, it’s silage time. Very smelly indeed. But at least the woodsmoke tempers things a bit.

    • She went for an internship in her gap year and never left 😀 They grow, pack and sell the seeds themselves. They’re quite well regarded. There was even an article in the Washington Post about them.

  3. Plantar fasciitis is a beast, hope your foot feels better soon. I grew up in a rural community (although a townie) and I sometimes miss the smells.

    • Thanks! Rural smells generally delight me, with the exception of the chicken-poop fertilizer they spray all over crops on the Eastern Shore. You can smell it for miles and boy is it wretched.

  4. I hope it’s feeling better today, hon. I swear, between you and me we are BUSTED! But we will prevail.

    I love everything about Southern Exposure, from their focus on heirloom varieties to their in-depth germination and planting instructions. I’m just getting ready to germinate some of those Alabama Blues! And the lima beans are getting ready to laugh and laugh!


  5. Your daughter’s name is Enigma?? I LOVE IT!
    Organic non GMO seeds nowadays are a real treasure. I think the business is just right for the New World and I appreciate it very much. I have absolutely no idea how the Seed Palace smells but I bet it’s unique.

  6. Drooling over the seed catalogue. So cool how you just slide your finger up or down and it becomes like an old fashioned flip book.
    Hope your foot heals quickly.

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