After a couple of summer months off from speaking at events, I am gearing up for the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, near Charlottesville. This two day festival has a day of ticketed workshops on Friday September 8 and a field day on Saturday September 9. Saturday workshops, demonstrations, tours and kids events are all included with the price of admission.
Never been to Monticello’s annual Heritage Harvest Festival? What exactly is it? Get your tickets now to join in 9/8-9/9. You’ll find a variety of interesting events and workshops focused on all things related to gardening, cooking and food. You can learn everything from how to make cider, how to keep your garden alive throughout the winter, or even how to become a chicken whisperer. There is something for everyone! See the schedule of events here.
This year I am presenting my workshop Growing Sweet Potatoes on Friday at 3.30 pm, followed by book-signing at the Bookshop at 4.45 pm. Bring your grubby well-thumbed old copy of Sustainable Market Farming for me to sign, or buy a fresh new one for yourself, or as a gift, at the Bookshop.
Come and participate in the 11th Annual Old Timey Seed Swap at Monticello’s Heritage
Harvest Festival and learn more from Ira Wallace, one of the founders of HHF and worker/owner of the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Seed savers of all levels are welcome! #HHF2017.
Tour Monticello’s 1,000-foot-long vegetable garden: an “Ellis Island of edible curiosities” at this year’s Heritage Harvest Festival .
Come and sample more than 100 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, heirloom peppers and melons in the Tasting Tent.
My next event after that will be the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Sustainable Agriculture Conference. November 3-5, 2017 in Durham, NC. I will be talking about hoophouse growing, both in the Friday morning pre-conference and on Sunday. See my Events page (tab) for more.
I’m doing fewer speaking events this fall/winter/spring season. I’m writing my second book, on year round vegetable production in hoophouses. I need to stay home and write, take photos, write some more, edit, draw diagrams, write more, make charts, etc.
In June, at the Vermont Mother Earth News Fair in Burlington, I took part in a podcast on Succession Planting. I thought I could embed it right here, but the closest I can manage today is this link: https://www.podbean.com/media/player/9s7a3-6cafa3?from=yiiadmin&vjs=1&skin=1&fonts=Helvetica&auto=1&download=1&rtl=0
Debbie Roos of Chatham County, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, steward of the very useful Growing Small Farms website, sent a heads up about a special feature of this week:
The week of August 6-12 has been declared National Farmers’ Market Week by the Farmers’ Market Coalition. It’s a great time to reflect on the importance of farmers’ markets to our communities and pledge to support our local markets, farmers, and vendors.
As demand for local food continues to grow, so too have the opportunities for America’s farmers to market fresh food directly to the consumer. The number of markets listed in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farmers’ Market Directory has grown from 2,863 in 2000 to 8,675 in 2016.
According to statistics recently released by the USDA, farmers’ markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on direct-to-consumer farm product sales. This revenue, in turn, supports the livelihoods of more than 165,000 mostly small and mid-sized farms and ranches.
Farmers’ markets strengthen rural economies. According to the Farmers’ Market Coalition, farmers selling locally create 13 full-time jobs per $1 million in revenue earned, compared to three jobs created by farmers who don’t sell locally. Farmers’ markets provide a low-barrier entry point for farmers and food entrepreneurs who are just starting out and/or want to test new products by getting feedback directly from customers.
Farmers’ markets support healthy communities by increasing access to fresh, nutritious, and flavorful food. Markets also provide important opportunities for social interactions and vendors help educate the non-farming public about agriculture and local foods.
So, support your local Farmers Market, unless you grow all your own food! You can probably find something to buy, or some way to offer help. Or buy a farmer a cup of tea!