As you can tell from the growth in the pics below, it's been a busy summer since June, when we announced our new addition to the website! Those bean plants are well on their way towards a wonderful harvest this year. In the meantime, we've been setting goals for our social media and blog. Our goal for the blog will be two posts a month. Do you follow us on social media yet? If not, check us out and give us a follow--we'll be sharing some beansTALKS and some stories from the "field". To get our blog off and more than "half"-running, what better topic than to answer than that of the ten questions most asked since our move to North Carolina!
The top ten most asked questions since July 2022.
10. I've got this bean I've had in my family for years, would you like a sample of it?
Yes, we would! Send your sample and the history of it to
Sustainable Mountain Ag Center
131 Main Street
Gatesville, NC 27938
9. How will I know when you have seeds available?
You can keep checking our website for updates, but you can also join our mailing list (fill out the popup on the website). We will send out short updates when seeds are back in stock and available for ordering!
8. Are you all still doing the seed swap?
Yes! We are very excited to announce that it is officially back in Berea and has found a new home at Churchill's, a local Berea landmark. We are happy to say it will always be the first weekend in November and will be at Churchill's (100 Churchill Dr, Berea, KY 40403) each year.
7. What is your favorite bean to grow?
Shew! (or should we say, shucks?)...that's a hard question to answer! We enjoy all of our varieties and our customers....so our favorite bean is the bean that makes you happy! Our favorite beans are actually the ones we help our customers find...so many of you are looking for a bean that is a family bean and you've lost track of it or want something similar to what you grew up with. We love it when we can connect the dots and the stories for you!
6. How long does it take to get the seeds shipped?
As soon as possible! Typically, we are able to ship them within in 1-2 days of ordering. During the busy spring season though, we ship as soon as we can turn the orders around...sometimes the turnaround can be up to 7-10 days. So order early!
5. How far apart do you plant your seeds?
Our bean seeds are typically directly planted into the ground 12"-18" apart. We plant two seeds to a hole. This helps with the success rate of the growth of the bean.
4. How deep do you plant your seeds?
We plant them less than 1/2" deep.
3. Where are you all located?
At the end of June 2022, we moved our fulfillment center (which houses our inventory) to Gatesville, NC (a small town in Northeast North Carolina). We are in an old mercantile store (circa 1890) on Main Street. We are primarily an online business, but we love to meet our customers in person at seed swaps!
2. Who grows the tomatoes and beans and where are they grown?
Our beans and tomatoes are grown in Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina under close supervision of the Best Family. Michael is often on the road between farms. Stay tuned for another blog post to meet all the others who are working behind the scenes at the farms and the center!
1. And the number one question asked this year! Are you all still affiliated with Bill Best? I met him (insert years)_______and I would love to talk with him again!
Yes! Bill Best (our dad) is still going strong with the Sustainable Mountain Ag Center! He is continuing to grow beans and tomatoes, still loves discussing heirloom seed saving and of course, he enjoys going to the markets. He is our resident expert on all things seed saving and seed growing! We are glad he can answer all of our questions! He's seen pictured below with the next generation of bean growers!