Heritage Harvest Festival 2011

Saturday, September 17th, join us at Monticello
for the 5th Annual Heritage Harvest Festival

Heritage Harvest Festival

We are still seeking volunteers sign up for a shift to get free admission, a festival t-shirt, and our eternal gratitude!


Seed Swap
Brings seeds to share or come to learn at the Seed Swap, with legendary seed savers

Chef Demos
Chef demonstrations from Charlottesville’s booming local foods scene

Tomato Tasting
Tomato, pepper, and melon tastings from local farmers at the Tasting Tent

Kids Activities
Kids activities at the
Master Gardeners’
Roots & Shoots Tent

P. Allen SmithBrian WelchJeanine Davis
Pre-Festival Activities, Friday September 16th, including: Premium Workshops, Special Guest Presentation with Bryan Welch, editor of Mother Earth News, and Grand Preview Dinner & Evening with P. Allen Smith

Tours of Monticello
Tours of the vegetable gardens, flower gardens, and grounds of Monticello

Backyard Revolution
Getting back to our agrarian roots with the Backyard Revolution

Center for Historic Plants
Book signings and plants sales with the Center for Historic Plants

Vendor Demos
Ongoing workshops and demos

Music at the Festival
Local musicians at the 91.1 FM WTJU Music Stage and Rhythms ‘Round Virginia with Kim & Jimbo Cary

Sandor KatzRead about all the free workshops and ongoing activities,
and don’t forget to sign up for premium workshops in advance.

This year we’re lucky to have Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation, giving three premium workshops at the festival. Get tickets in advance for a workshop – Friday beginners, Friday advanced, or Saturday all levels – in making your own naturally fermented pickles, sauerkraut, and more!


$8 in advance; children 5 and under admitted free.
$10 day-of-event tickets available at Piedmont Virginia Community College and Monticello High School.


Piedmont Virginia Community College and Monticello High School

Earthquake at our Farm – at the Epicenter!

Our seed farm and office are located just outside the town of Mineral, Virginia, the epicenter of today’s earthquake! One map we’ve seen places the epicenter just 1.5 miles away from us.

No one’s hurt and all our buildings appear to be fine, except for some possible minor damage to chimneys.
A few broken jars is the extent of the damage to our inventory, and there’s a fair amount of clutter from things falling in the office.

The North Anna nuclear power plant (less than 10 miles away) shut down automatically, and they say there is no damage. We’re watching for updates as it’s inspected!

The phone lines have been in and out, but during the aftershocks, most of us didn’t want to be inside, even to answer the phone. And we felt quite a few aftershocks! Some of us, after coming back inside (to call relatives, clean up, etc.) ran out a couple of times again with the aftershocks.

We’ve been putting things back in place, such as scattered seed packets, and getting back to life as usual – while bracing for the hurricane that’s supposed to hit our region on Saturday.

Thanks to all who have e-mailed and called to check on how we’re doing. We enjoyed seeing everyone at our farm for last Saturday’s tomato tasting, and we’re glad that wasn’t when the earthquake hit!

Take action against genetic modification.

Here are some steps you can take against genetic modification:

Boycott GMO crops – don’t buy products containing corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar or alfalfa, unless you know these ingredients are non-GMO. This is a huge step! It means boycotting most non-organic, mass-produced, processed foods. If that’s too daunting, try taking small steps. For example, eliminate foods that are high in GMO oils, such as cottonseed and vegetable oils. Boycotting GMOs will likely lead you to buy fresher food and eat a healthier diet.

Call food manufacturers and ask if ingredients in their products are GMO. Let them know you care! Some large chains’ phone numbers are listed on http://www.nwrage.org/content/contact-company

Bring the GMO issue up in supermarkets, cafeterias, and restaurants. When an employee you talk to in person can’t answer your questions, you can write them down and request that they be passed on to management.

Many of the organizations we link to have political action updates related to various GMO battles. Check these websites for the latest campaigns – write to your politicians and spread the word.

Tell your friends, co-workers, and family about the lawsuit against Monsanto, the risks of GMOs, and what you’re doing to avoid GMOs.

Write a letter to the editor or an op-ed for your local paper or an agricultural publication.


You might also be able to contribute in one or more of the following ways.

If you work in a food co-op, restaurant, school, or any institution that has a cafeteria, see what you can do to reduce or eliminate GMOs from the food that is sold there. Then tell your customers what progress you’ve made, and why you chose to do this.

If you teach on a related subject, let your classes know about the risks of GMOs and the current lawsuit, Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association vs. Monsanto.

If you are a farmer or a market gardener, tell your customers, extension agents, and other farmers and gardeners why you don’t grow GMOs.

Offer to volunteer with an organization addressing GMO concerns. You might be able to contribute to with research, website development, community organizing and outreach, or events. The possibilities are endless.

If GMO crops have made your life harder, we want to know! Your story could be useful in showing that GMOs are harmful to society. Write to Don Patterson at paedc@aol.com with your experiences.

If you or an organization you work for has information relevant to this case, look into the possibility of filing an Amicus brief, a.k.a. a “Friend of the Court” brief. We don’t want to inundate the court with them, but quality points in Amicus briefs can be very valuable. You can contact Sabrina Hassan at Hassan@PubPat.org for further information.

If you know of an event where a speaker on the topic of this suit would be welcomed, pass the information on to Don Patterson at paedc@aol.com