717: Hassena Kassim on Seed Saving


Our Guest:

Hassena Kassim is a mother and a newish farmer in Hot Springs NC.  She works the land with honeybees, chickens, dairy goats, gardens and several composting methods.  Hassena is a grower of seeds for Sow True Seed in Asheville, North Carolina and has recently completed the Organic Seed Alliance seed school.

Listen in and learn about:

    • Trying to grow seeds with a greater purpose led her to Seed School
    • 8-month program:  Organic Seed Alliance seed school, guest speakers from the US, Africa, Canada
    • Enterprise budget or Seed Historian Project – she chose Seed Historian Project, researching a crop, learning the history
    • Sow True Seeds – based in Asheville, supporting local seed growers, online seed catalog
    • She is growing two seeds for Sow True Seeds:  Pink Balsam (an impatien) and Old Joe Clark (a red peanut bean)
    • A large percentage of our seeds are controlled by 3 or 4 companies – it shouldn’t be that way.
    • What is a half runner bean – a combination of a pole bean and a bush bean
    • Old Joe Clark beans – harvested about a pound of seed, really pretty plants, 6-7” long pods started out green then turned magenta as they became ripe.
    • Using Old Joe Clark beans – cook, can, or freeze them
    • Fava beans and Northern Israel beans date back to about 14,000 years ago
    • How beans and corn complement each other
    • Runner beans came from central America, half runners from West VA.  Popular because of their growing climate and more compact size. 
    • Old Joe Clark was a comedian who loved to grow beans
    • Russ Crow – abeancollectorswindow.com
    • Bill Best – heirlooms.org
    • How seed school has impacted her life:  Raising chickens for eggs feels good, but saving seeds is a bit bigger.
    • Her farm:  about 5 acres – bees, chickens, dairy goats (more mischief!), about a ¼ to ½ acre garden
    • She will always have worms! But they are more personal in NC than they were in Phoenix.
    • Why farming?

– She enjoys being outside

– Take vitamins because the food isn’t as healthy as it used to be? Fix the soil instead.

– Why pay to go to the gym when you can farm?

– A way to leave a legacy behind.

    • rainlog.org
    • Rainwater harvesting is different in NC than it was in Phoenix
    • Gardening discoveries – potatoes have a smell!
    • Growing beans has inspired her to want to try eating more types of beans.

As well as:

Her childhood memory – Her mother’s side of the family had farms in KY with a pottery barn, cow pasture, smokehouse.


How to Reach Hassena:

Facebook: Hassena Kassim

Instagrarm: WormWhisperer



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