By Deanna Boettcher
Originally posted on September 15, 2017
An excerpt from The Heirloom Expo event description:
The Heirloom Expo - “World’s Pure Food Fair!”, an event for pure food enthusiasts, the national press, home growers across the country, farmers, school groups and the general public. The Expo is now dubbed the “World’s Fair” of the heirloom industry! This is a “non-profit” event, and any funds above cost will be donated to school gardens and food programs.
Each day includes a host of speakers on topics ranging from organic farming methods to food justice and the most exciting new seeds varieties for the year. There is also a vendor hall/expo, an expanded kids area, local food vendors, and opportunities for networking with other like-minded folks in the industry.
Highlights from the Speaker Series:
Sustainable Organic Farming for the Future & Now
Mr Jeavons is President and Director of Ecology Action, with 43 years of biologically intensive farming experience
John spoke a lot about his bio-intensive farming methods he started over four decades ago and the impactful difference in makes in farming - greater yields, water conservation, healthier soil, and more nutritious plants. His focus is now on “closed loop farming bio-intensive”
The focus is on consistently putting the nutrients back into the soil with what you are growing. Not bringing resources in to do the work for you.
*Fun Fact: Carrot roots grow 8’ deep
The Most Exciting Vegetables to Grow in Your Garden. Alice owns Log House Plants of Oregon, one of the nation’s foremost providers of rare bedding plants.
Alice talked about the latest new plants that Log house is offering - from wasabi tasting arugula to “kallettes” - which is a cross between brussel sprouts and kale. So you can harvest the leaves of the brussels plant (kale) and the get the sprouts from the stem. Patti picked up a “kallette” plant to experiment with for Farm to Lunch
We left with an extensive list of new varieties of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. LogHouse is wholesale plants only, but they do sell to some California retailers. Mostly it is a good indication of some new varieties we may start seeing more of.
Another Highlight of our day was meeting Makeda ‘Dread’ Cheatom
Makeda is the Founder/Executive Director of the Worldbeat Cultural Center in San Diego.
The Worldbeat organization is a non-profit multi-cultural arts organization dedicated to promoting, presenting and preserving the African Diaspora and Indigenous cultures of the world through Music, Art, Dance, Education, Sustainability, and Technology. The focus at that expo was to talk about their EthoBotany Children's Peace Garden.
The EthnoBotany Children’s Peace Garden collaborates with community organizations and brings gardening and nutrition education to San Diego students. They also have a big collaboration with the Cornell Lab or Ornithology which supports their outdoor classroom. Their programming has a large emphasis on food security, nutrition, and educating a deep respect for the earth.
Makeda was also there talking about the Moringa plant/tree. This tree has been used for centuries in many parts of Africa, and we were told about some of its many benefits: including the edible seeds which we tasted and not only were yummy - but Makeda told us they also purify water. After the fun discussion, she graces us with her last Moringa tree to plant for Living Classroom. Patti has already re-potted it in a larger pot at Theuerkauf where she can keep a close eye on it. Additionally she will work with the after school kids to teach them about it and they will also help take care of it. We also went home with some seeds so we can plant them in some of our other Living Classroom gardens. It was a real treat to meet this amazing woman and hear about the organization she founded. We would love to partner with this organization in the future…
Check out their website to learn more about Makeda and the organization.