The National Heirloom Exposition

Yesterday I went to The National Heirloom Exposition: the World’s Pure Food Fair held at the Sonoma CountyFairgrounds for the first time. It is a three day event (so you still have time to go – it ends on Thursday, Sept. 15) offering inspiring speakers, seeds, plants and other garden-related items for sale. If you are a gardener, this is a fantastic opportunity to learn and collect heirlooms.The displays are phenomenal. Our tour started with outside displays with educational features like the tomato booth shown here, the possible ways of designing your garden with vegetables and flowers. A Master Gardener booth was there to answer questions about mulching. Friendly, knowledgeable people!

Flower display

Then, we went inside to a building to see the produce displays and oh, my! how beautiful they are! Filled with amazing varieties of food. There must have been twenty types of garlic at one table.

One of the exhibitors, Mac Condill of the Great Pumpkin Patch and Homestead Seeds did a marvelous pumpkin hill.

 

 

As we wandered around it was quite apparent the immense creativity that the farmer’s have! At one booth, they had gorgeous flower bouquets made with artichokes!

Artichoke Bouquet

One of the vendors was devoted to experimenting with heirloom plants that have the highest density of nutritional value. It was quite interesting to read about the benefits of these plants, like quinoa. The entrance to their booth said,

“Plants from the Past, Food for the Future.” A valuable sentiment.

I had the opportunity to buy some unusual seeds from the Synergy Seed Exchange. The owner is a friendly, interesting man who focuses on collecting and selling heirloom seeds. He has some very unusual items at great prices. I love to plant in my garden the flowers that I use in my Flower Essence Therapy as it adds a quality of sacredness and healing to the garden. So, I was thrilled to find Agrimony, Self-Heal and Centaury – three frequently used flower essences. (I’ll tell you more on Flower Essences in another post.) He also had a Chaste Tree bush which is a wonderful herb for women’s health.

Chef Duey's display

Chef Duey carving

carving closeup

watermelon carving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some photos of Award Winning Chef Ray L. Duey doing his carvings. What unique creations he does! He was carving leaves to add to the flower bouquet he was carving out of a huge winter squash. Beautiful‼

Some of you know that I am involved with a new non-profit, Healthy Food in Schools. So I was quite thrilled to see the  booths demonstrating the gardening education programs at the local schools. These programs were sponsored by Project Eat. One of the vendor booths was a group called Dirt Diva Royal Horticultural Society. Their inspiration comes from a book I dearly love, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. I spoke to them at length and they are a group of devoted local moms (in Santa Rosa area) getting schools to add gardens onsite.

Some of the displays were just plain pretty. If you ever had a doubt about the inherent beauty of food, these displays will teach you otherwise. Just take a look and drool!