Heirloom Lovers Unite!

comments (9) September 25th, 2011

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WesternGardener Jodi Torpey, contributor
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This tall tower of pumpkins, squash and gourds was one of the featured exhibits in the Hall of Flowers. Mac Condill of The Great Pumpkin Patch and Homestead Seeds, brought this jaw-dropping collection all the way from Illinois. It took a full day to create this incredible exhibit.
A demonstration garden showed off the many varieties of vegetables offered by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Baker Creek’s founder, Jere Gettle, was a driving force behind the National Heirloom Expo.
Soda Rock Farm’s tomato display was an award-winning exhibit that included hundreds of heirloom tomatoes of every size, shape and color.
The winner of the Giant Pumpkin contest weighed in at 1051 pounds. Other awards went to the prettiest giant pumpkin, largest tomato and biggest watermelon.
In the Gallery of Ancient Heirlooms, unusual crops were on display like this Pepino dulce (Solanum muricatum). This rare plant is grown like tomatoes in the Andes and features beautiful fruit with yellow skin and mottled purple stripes.
The Heirloom Expo also featured food tastings and demonstrations. Award-winning Chef Ray L. Duey turned fruits and vegetables into works of art.
This tall tower of pumpkins, squash and gourds was one of the featured exhibits in the Hall of Flowers. Mac Condill of The Great Pumpkin Patch and Homestead Seeds, brought this jaw-dropping collection all the way from Illinois. It took a full day to create this incredible exhibit.Click To Enlarge

This tall tower of pumpkins, squash and gourds was one of the featured exhibits in the Hall of Flowers. Mac Condill of The Great Pumpkin Patch and Homestead Seeds, brought this jaw-dropping collection all the way from Illinois. It took a full day to create this incredible exhibit.

Photo: John Pendleton

The National Heirloom Expo, held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California, was billed as the World’s Fair of the heirloom and local food movements. It certainly lived up to its billing.

Heirloom vegetable lovers from across the country gathered to celebrate pure food and enjoy educational workshops, amazing displays of heirloom produce, toe-tapping entertainment, and internationally-known keynote speakers.

One of the goals of the Expo was to create awareness on issues related to genetically modified crops. Another was to educate the next generation of gardeners by emphasizing the importance of school gardens and seed saving.

The non-profit event was organized by the Petaluma Seed Bank. Proceeds from the Expo will be used to fund school gardens and food programs.

Growers from across the country trucked in thousands of pounds of heirloom produce for the largest display of its kind. In addition to the displays of about 2,000 varieties of heirloom fruits and vegetables, there were produce competitions, a flower show, antique farm equipment exhibits, a poultry contest, exhibits of heritage livestock, artwork, films, music, and much more.


posted in: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, heirlooms, national heirloom expo

Comments (9)

AlexVardy writes: OMG....The big mountain of vegetables
Posted: 9:07 am on August 14th
cavanilyn writes: i love this post
Posted: 2:58 am on June 25th
toriwilson writes: superbbb
Posted: 1:40 am on June 25th
Andylee2 writes: gud one
Posted: 10:40 am on June 23rd
machirano writes: awesome post
Posted: 7:03 am on June 22nd
RaulBurke writes: Wonderful work!
Posted: 3:13 am on March 7th
perryjames writes: nice
Posted: 12:43 am on February 2nd
WesternGardener writes: I wish you could've been there, too! I'm hoping this becomes an annual event...so maybe you can start saving your euros for next year :)

--Jodi
Posted: 8:51 am on October 4th
sanni2701 writes: I wish I could have been there. Had I had the money I' d have been making all the way from Germany. I also like the school-garden movement, it's big here, too.
Posted: 11:06 am on September 29th
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