Billed as the world’s only pure food fair, the National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rose is a perfect opportunity to get involved and learn about what it really takes to get food from farm to the table. The California Rare Fruit Growers annual Festival of Fruit will be also integrated into the expo, offering an opportunity to learn about some rare and close-to-extinction fruits. This event will include vendors selling heirloom seeds, artists, music, and a giant pumpkin contest.
The non-profit fair is expected to attract both home gardeners and activists hoping to use the event as a platform for the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act initiative, otherwise known as Prop 37. If passed in November, it would require food companies to label genetically modified foods – those that have been altered in the laboratory to boost resistance to weed killers and pests; increase yield per acre; and reduce the need for fertilizer. While the expo will naturally have some focus on Prop 37, the main event is the heirloom seeds. My grandmother still plants heirloom tomatoes from seeds that can be traced back in her family to more that 4 generations. I still contend that my Grandmother’s tomatoes are the tastiest, juiciest, reddest tomatoes you’ll ever eat. Heirloom seeds can be be saved and replanted year after year.
Take your kids on a field trip to the Heirloom Expo. You just might find some new roots to plant in your own family.
The Heirloom Expo runs from Tuesday, September 11 to Thursday, September 13 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa. Single-day ticket, $10; multi-day ticket, $25. Children 17 and under are FREE. www.theheirloomexpo.com.