In my previous post I shared 5 Great Reasons to Attend Monticello’s Heritage Harvest Festival, but that didn’t begin to cover what we experienced there. So here are 5 more reasons to schedule a trip there in September.
- One group of note was the Monticello Woodturners. These men are from Central Virginia and have been given special permission to repurpose designated fallen trees from Monticello, Montpelier and other significant sites to transform them into marvelous artistic and practical wood products.
- Other vendors included custom artisan jewelry from Saverine Creek Heirlooms, beautiful and useful textiles from LFN Textiles, as well as lovely home and garden décor from Down the Garden Path.
In addition to the constant exchange of information, farmers of all shapes and sizes met well-known and everyday seed savers at the Old Timey Seed Swap. Seed savers of all levels were welcome to share their seeds, knowledge and enthusiasm. It was an informal, relaxed event on Saturday morning. Later in the day, the Seed Swap Tent hosted demonstrations by Roger Winn, Bill Best, Debbie Donley and Pat Brodowski on everything from a history of seed saving to present day harvesting and seed storing techniques.
Did I hear you say you’d rather be shopping? Well, there was plenty of that to go around as well! In addition to the Tasting Tent Purveyors, Food and Beverage Vendors and the Craftspeople, The Shop at Monticello was buzzing all weekend with book signings by dozens of authors. Take a look at this list!
Thankfully you won’t find touristy junk at The Shop. It’s filled with tastefully crafted items to take home for yourself or give to the friends that you left behind, including a small garden area selling live plants and heirloom seeds. We bought several packs of seeds when we visited last year and our harvest of tomatoes was exceptional! If you run out of time, you can always visit their online shop here.
This event is all about connecting. Whether it’s enjoying nature, learning how we relate to our planet, networking with other people, discovering the links from farm-to-table or how invasive species are impacting the environment, you’ll find a multitude of ways to bond with your surroundings.
- Organizations such as the Monticello Bird Club, Piedmont Environmental Council and Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards were represented at the Discovery Tent.
- We were also privileged to connect with some practical history in viewing one of the largest privately owned collections of early American cider presses, mills and apple peelers, displayed courtesy of The Richard D. and Carolyn W. Jacques Foundation. American resourcefulness and ingenuity, just like Thomas Jefferson had, was clearly evident in the development of these vital everyday tools. Mr. Jacques even allowed guests to try working antique apple peelers from as far back as the 1800’s. If you find these tools fascinating, you may want to visit The Virtual Apple Parer Museum to learn more about their evolution.
Until now, we’ve been focused on the receiving end of the festival, but did you know that you can give back as well? As is the case with nearly every non-profit organization, help is always a welcome sight. In 2016, volunteers who were 16 or older could commit to a minimum of 4 hours of service in a wide variety of areas. As a bonus for paying it forward, workers received a glimpse behind the scenes, free admission to the festival, and a free t-shirt. After reading about all that’s happening throughout the weekend, I’m sure most people can find an area where they’d enjoy helping this excellent organization. For more information visit the Heritage Harvest Festival Volunteer page.
If you have friends or family whom you think would be interested in the Heritage Harvest Festival, but sure to share this post!
Have you volunteered at events like this before? I’d love to hear about your experiences and tips.
Good news! There are still more posts about the festival coming, so be sure to sign up in the sidebar to receive the latest ones.
Category: 1 - 9 Days, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Arts & Crafts, Culinary Arts, Fall, Gardening, Health & Wellness, History, Learning Travel, Natural History, North America, Regions, Service-Oriented Travel, Uncategorized, United States, Virginia, Volunteering