A few years ago, one of my tomato customers, Jenna, talked to me about the South Durham Farmers Market, and the manager at the time, Ben Filippo (currently food systems coordinator at the Carolina Farms Stewardship Association), asked me to stop by and talk tomatoes with some of the vendors and customers some Saturday. My wife Susan and I had a nice few hours at the market and met a woman who specialized in bees - and she had a folder showing educational programs run by Jessica Leff at West Point on the Eno. I contacted Jessica and am delighted to provide a handful of gardening lectures each year there.
About a month ago, Alice, Joanne, Ben, and Hope Shand (board member of the Seed Savers Exchange) met in Durham with Frank Stasio, voice of WUNC's The State of Things to discuss an upcoming show around the Seed Library, growing heirlooms, and stories. Which happened today - the background of the show, including the audio archive, can be found here.
About a week ago, Anita from the show spent a few hours on the phone interviewing me in preparation for today's episode. This morning I gathered a few ripe cherry tomatoes to share with Frank and the staff (some of which had great stories, such as Mexico Midget and Coyote...and Sun Gold, not so much for its story but its flavor!) and Sue and I headed for the WUNC Studios near the Durham Bulls ballpark, next to Tyler's Taproom.
Alice, Ben, and my wife and I arrived at the studio just before noon, got sound-checked (not Sue - she got to watch from an adjoining studio), and spoke briefly with Frank. We also got to meet the Triangle Business Journal reporter that kicked off the show, Lauren Ohnesorge. (In another serendipitous connection, Lauren interviewed me for a TBJ article that was published in 2013). Before we knew it we were on the air - Frank Stasio is a really wonderful interviewer, asking great questions and leaving lots of room for ample responses. I felt at ease for the entire segment, and my wife tells me that it went well (I've not dared to listen to it yet...that's for tonight, perhaps after a beer!).