National Heirloom Exposition: 10 Things to Do

The National Heirloom Exposition brings together 15,000 farmers, gardeners, chefs and food enthusiasts to celebrate pure foods Sept. 11-13, 2012 in Santa Rosa, Ca.

The Second Annual National Heirloom Exposition is a ripe and juicy peach of an event that brings together anyone and everyone in the food world to celebrate farms, chefs, gardeners and heritage produce.

Held over three days at the Sonoma County Fairground (Sept. 11, 12 and 13, 2012), it’s an event so massive in scale that you’ll likely need the time just to get to all of the speakers, demonstrations and vendors.

Hosted by the “pure food” movement folks behind the Baker Creek Seed Company, you’ll find local chef and homestead demonstrations, dozens of local whole foods vendors, historic livestock breeds, 100 speakers (from anti-GMO speaker Jeffrey Smith to Greenstring Farms’ Bob Cannard and Rancho Gordo’s Steve Sando), music and family-friendly activities.

There’s a clear political overtone against genetically modified foods and sustainability throughout, but delicious food, giant pumpkin displays, friendly farm vendors and live musical entertainment help keep the vibe inclusive and engaging.

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– Head for the Double Decker BLT that’s about as perfect an end-of-summer sandwich as you can get at the Green Grocer stand. (Drooly pix below).

– Buy seeds. Lots of them.

– Take a picture in front of the giant pile of squashes and pumpkins

– Count how many different kinds of melons are there. Hint: It will keep the kids occupied for a LONG time.

– Watch a carving demonstration by Chef Ray Duey who makes incredible vegetable and fruit garnish art

– Get informed: The Expo has 100 speakers (!) throughout the two days. Learn about GMO’s, homesteading, whole foods, raising bees, composting or dozens of other topics. Full speaker list here: 

– Eat some popcorn at Comet Corn. They use real butter and natural flavors like coconut curry and Bloody Mary.

– Support a local. Among the sustainable Sonoma County businesses at the expo: Amy’s Kitchen, Bella Rosa Coffee, Backyard CSA, California Coops, Clover Stornetta, Cook’s Spices, Epicurean Connection, Felton Acres, Nana Mae Organics, SonomaValley Portworks, Sonoma Chocolatiers and many others.

– Learn to cook something yummy. Chef Jill Nussinow, Kendra Kolling, Sheana Davis and John Lyle will be doing demos in the Garrett Building

– Hear some music: Sourdough Slim, Beso Negro, Petaluma Pete and the Pickled Red Beets are among the entertainers.

Tickets are $10 per day, $25 for all three days, open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Tickets and info at