Sunday, September 18, 2011

Heritage Harvest Festival Fun

As expected, the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello was glorious fun.  I wished that it was not so chilly and overcast but fortunately the rain held off. 

I arrived at 10 am and stayed until 3 pm.  There was so much to see and do. 

Beautiful vintage jars holding Bean seeds!
My first stop was at the Southern Exposure Seed Swap.  I used to collect hundreds of seed from my first garden back in Southwest Virginia so discovering that there are other people in the world that far surpass my seed collecting ability was quite exciting.  I was stunned at the number of seeds available for trading.  Hundreds, some neatly packaged and carefully labeled, others in jars ready for you to scoop.  The swap was quite organized, providing free seed packets and lots of pens for you to label your little treasures.  If you are a serious plant aficionado, you always want to know exactly what you are growing.  I noticed that first and foremost all seed was exactly identified.  I took a few packets of seeds to the swap but some people had bizillions of seed for trade - AMAZING.

A few of the Tomatoes to taste!
My next stop was the Tasting Tent.  It was great fun tasting TONS of heirloom Tomatoes, Watermelon, and even a Corn Bread made from ground Gourd seed (it was actually GOOD).  Herbal Teas made from Hibiscus and Holy Basil were quite unusual.  Homemade Marshmallows, and Dark Chocolate covered Candy Apples provided by Boars Head Inn, hit the spot.

What's prettier, the VIEW or the Artichoke plants?
After nibbling my way around the festival, I took my time strolling through Thomas Jefferson's vegetable garden.  Smelling herbs along the way such as Lavender, Rosemary, and Horehound while examining unusual climbing Beans, enormous Okra, and pretty Gourds.  Such a beautiful vista on top of the mountain looking out over the fairly undeveloped valley below.  Peaceful, relaxing, and oh so GREEN.  A gardeners paradise up in the clouds.

There was music, great food, free stuff, plants for sale, beautiful hand crafts, Children's Projects, Sheep Shearing, Bee Keeping, and the list goes on and on.  I did attend one serious lecture about GMO's (Genetically Modified Organism's) in our food.  It's quite worrisome to think that our food is forever altered by greed.  I was happy to discover that one of the speakers is the farm owner that supplies my Chicken Feed.  My chickens eat safer food than we do! 

An outstanding way to spend a Saturday among fellow gardeners.


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