Last week for three days the 2017 National Heirloom Exposition took place in Santa Rosa, California. The Expo features heirloom produce, seeds, flowers, animals, and numerous products made by and for small sustainable farms. There were over 100 speakers from all over the world speaking about subjects like beekeeping, raising chickens, seed freedom activism, composting, and everything else you could imagine along those lines.
This picture shows one of the four aisles of vendors in the Vendor Hall. Everything was there from tools and seeds to books and chocolate. I walked through here five or six times over three days of attendance to really see everything and talk to most of the representatives. And I didn’t escape without buying some seeds. My most exciting acquisition was Melothria scabra (Cucumber Mexican Sour Gherkin) which are “incredible, small cucumber-like fruits shaped like baby watermelons”. I’ve been wanting to add these for a long time and I recommend them to everybody. Reportedly easy to grow and prolific … and tasty.
The local beekeepers association is full of the friendliest people you could ever hope to meet. The message was to get some bees and come to their meetings and eat some honey. Woo-hoo!
This banner is huge and was hanging in the hall that contained all the heirloom produce, seeds, flowers, art, etc … There will be a post on these later. For now let’s have a look at some of the signage from the vendors.
Their logo is a beautiful summation of what the Expo is all about. This organization is a great resource for first generation farmers and farms wanting to transition to sustainable organic farming.
Farm Trails is a yearly event where small farms all over the county have open farms with demos, tours, and very kid friendly events. They publish a map of all the participating farms and visitors are treated to a look at life on the farms. There is a huge variety of animals, eggs, cheese, wool, produce, fruit, wine, and more that they produce.
Humboldt County is kind of famous and this company makes the ultimate potting soils for what they are famous for. I really love their logo and they are very serious about potting soil blends. It comes in bags with a flat bottom so that you don’t absolutely need a container. You can just open the top of the bags and plant directly into them and discard no plastic. The soil blends range from soils for starts to soils for growing plants to maturity.
Native bees are apparently in trouble. Several North American species of native bees have been placed on the endangered species list; and yet, if you look them up for identification purposes on the internet the first sites you’ll see are things like “How to get rid of carpenter bees”. That’s just wrong. These guys want you to go to www.pollinator.org to learn how to help native pollinators thrive. I concur.
A banner of the sponsors of the exposition. All these companies deserve support for a nicer world perhaps and products to buy without feeling like you are supporting mega-death corporations who haven’t done our “food” any favors. Was that a bit harsh? Maybe, but you can bet that I’m not very contrite.