If you live within striking distance of the Bay Area and love the farm to table scene, you won't want to miss this coming week's 2nd Annual National Heirloom Exhibition at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa from Sept. 11-13.
The National Heirloom Exhibition, a nonprofit event celebrating the pure food and sustainable farming movement, drew more than 10,000 people from around the country and beyond at its inaugural event last year.
Touted as the "World's Fair of the Pure Food Movement," the exhibition promises to be even bigger and better this year, with more than 70 speakers and 250 natural food vendors.
Those attending will be treated to dozens of garden and agricultural exhibits showcasing thousands of heirloom produce varieties in massive displays. The Great Pumpkin Patch and Homestead Seeds will be on hand again this year, bringing exhibition goers incredible displays of pumpkins, squash and gourds, while the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth will proudly host a Giant Pumpkin Contest. With last year's pumpkins approaching 1,400 pounds in the weigh-off, there's sure to be some spectacular giants in this year's competition.
The California Rare Fruit Growers will also be there with a variety of rare fruits on display.
In addition to produce, hundreds of historic, heritage, and pure breed livestock and poultry exhibits will be on display, as well as Kitchen Arts categories including honey, maple syrup, eggs, jams and jellies, preserves, olive oil, baked goods and more! Daily chef demonstrations and music provided by various groups will round out the exhibition.
More than 75 speakers who are noted authorities in their areas of food expertise will offer educational talks during the event, including:
- Slow Food Movement founder Carlo Petrini
- Ronnie Cummins, founder and director of the Organic Consumers Association
- Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety
- Renowned Bay Area chef and author Alice Waters, and
- Jeffrey Smith, the nation's top authority on non-GMO issues.
The National Heirloom Exposition encourages school groups to attend their "Kids' Day At The Expo" event on Wednesday, Sept. 12, where kindergarten through high school students will be admitted for free, with a host of fun educational activities, presentations, contests, and exhibits on the schedule to choose from.
Early entry at 10 a.m. will be available to all school groups, home school groups, and children accompanied by a parent. No pre-registration required! General admission for the public will begin at 11 a.m. More than 800 students took advantage of this special opportunity last year, and attendance is expected to increase at this year's Kids' Day.
Admission to the expo is $10 for adults, or $25 for a three-day pass, with free passes for kids 17 and under every day. Tickets may be purchased in advance by visiting www.theheirloomexpo.com. Daily hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.,with early entry at 10 a.m. for Kid's Day on Wednesday only.
See you there!