Archive for September, 2017

Conner family at table Easter 2014 - BLOGCome to the Newfound Gathering Place and Eatery in Ashland, VA on Wednesday, September 27 for a Farm-to-Table dinner and a talk on eating from your garden through the winter–all for $15!

The evening begins at 6 pm with dinner sourced from local farmers. The menu is:

Butternut Squash and Pine Nut Soup–Ashland Farmers Market
Microgreen Salad–Carrot Top Farm
Meatloaf (vegan and gluten-free option available)–Dragonfly Farms
Garlic Fingerling Potato Roast (vegan)–Delli Carpini Farm
Additional Vegetable–to be determined
Lemon Pound Cake with Raspberries (gluten-free)–Agriberry
Iced Tea or Fresh Citrus-Aide

carrots-collards-jerusalem artichokes-beetsAt 7 pm I, Cindy Conner, will present The Winter Garden: Grow to feed yourself and the soil through the winter. Learn about planting cover crops and garlic this fall and how to make a row cover to protect the greens and roots in your garden for winter harvest.low tunnel over fall greens

Okay, so the first photo is obviously not taken at the Newfound Gathering Place and Eatery, but is of my wonderful family having a meal in our home. Come to Newfound (formerly Ashland Coffee and Tea) at 100 N. Railroad Ave, Ashland VA on Wednesday and join other wonderful like-minded people for a great local dinner and learn how to eat from your garden through the winter. Call for reservations at 804-299-3604. Make sure to tell them if you prefer the gluten-free / vegan meatloaf option. I hope to see you there.      homeplace earth logo

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Heritage Harvest Festival 2017The Heritage Harvest Festival is coming up September 8 and 9. It is a huge deal held at Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, near Charlottesville, VA. This event is sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and Seed Savers Exchange. It celebrates food, sustainable agriculture, and the preservation of heritage plants.

Saturday, September 9 is the main event. Up on the mountain there will be booths with vendors, demonstrations on all sorts of stuff, and tents where talks will be held. For one admission price of $28 (children 5-11 $9, under 5 FREE) you have access to all the speakers that day. In years past, some of the talks were premium talks that required signing up ahead and paying a separate fee. Many of the premium talks were held at the visitor center. This year on Saturday there will be no talks at the visitor center.

flax to linen--retted sraw-strick-spun

Homegrown Flax–retted straw, processed fiber, spun flax (now called linen)

There will be premium talks at the visitor center on Friday, September 8 and that is where you will find me.  This is the 11th year for the festival and the 10th year that I will be speaking there. The Heritage Harvest Festival celebrates local food and gardening and usually my talks reflect that. I have given talks on cover crops, growing sustainable diets, garden planning, seed libraries, and how to transition from a home gardener to a market gardener. This year my talk is From Seed to Garment: Cotton and Flax/Linen in Your Garden. I am looking forward to sharing my work with fiber. Monticello is working on a textile exhibit that will open in 2018 to showcase the spinning and weaving that was done at the plantation, primarily to clothe the slaves. I am happy to bring a bit of textile production to the place ahead of that.

homegrwon handspun cotton shirt 2016

Homegrown, handspun, naturally colored cotton shirt.

I will still be around on Saturday and you will find me in the Homeplace Earth booth, #RR7 on Retailer Row. If you can’t make it to the talk on Friday and really want to take a closer look at my homegrown clothes, come and find me Saturday. I will have them in the booth, along with my DVDs and books that I have for sale. I won’t be selling any homegrown clothes, though.

This is a unique event. You get to hang around Thomas Jefferson’s backyard and enjoy so many things besides the great view. My friends Kim and Jimbo Cary will be playing music under the trees. They will have some gourds, washboards, and tamborines for you to use if you want to join in. They are great with the kids. When you are not taking in a lecture you can stop by the Seed Tent and do some seed swapping. Southern Exposure Seed Exchange will have their tomato tasting, as always. You can wander through their tent and try varieties of tomatoes that you probably never knew existed. I’m sure Thomas Jefferson is in his glory, having all of this at his home. He so much enjoyed experimenting with new crops at Monticello. When I am there I take the time to stop, look around, and marvel at what is going on. All of this celebration of agriculture and food in this particular place! Fantastic!

The Heritage Harvest Festival will expose you to many new and not-so-new projects around the region that promote sustainable agriculture. A word of warning to those like me who carry a pocket knife–this year they will be screening for things like that, so leave your knife in the car. Come for a day on the mountain, make new friends, and be sure to come by and see me!homeplace earth logo

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