Heritage Harvest Festival (2 of 2)

This is a continuation of yesterday’s post detailing my adventures at the Heritage Harvest Festival at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. If you missed part one, please check it out.

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This is probably my favorite photo out of them all.
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TJ and I

For lunch, I ate at Gryffon’s Aerie (grass fed beef burger with aioli, arugula, local tomato) while my mom ate at Bada Bing (philly cheesesteak). My burger was absolutely delicious while mom’s cheesesteak had a nice heat to it. For dessert, we shared a refreshing popsicle from King of Pops (lemon basil). It was delicious (which I’ve had their popsicles a couple of times before in Atlanta).

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That afternoon, after leaving mom in a nice breezy spot, I went to watch Jeanine Davis’ presentation on Unusual Edible Plants & Fungi for Home Gardens. Fun fact: Jeanine is a horticulture extension specialist with North Carolina State University (my alma mater). Listening to her presentation made me want to try growing wasabi again and is making me very curious about the status of the ginseng I planted last fall. It was a great presentation and she brought lots of goodies – grey griselle shallots and Japanese hull less popcorn seeds for us to plant and a dried ramp spice rub (which smells delicious). I haven’t had the opportunity to try ramps before and am delighted experience them.

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We walked around, checking out some of the other sights – such as the farm animals. I love goats and cannot wait until I can have a goat of my own!

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Before we left, I made it a point to stop back by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and take advantage of their 3 for $5 seed packet special (and no shipping!). SESE is one of my favorite companies to order from every year, right next to Baker Creek. I went with some seeds that were on my wish list (White Sage, Tulsi Kapoor Holy Basil, German Chamomile, Resina Calendula, Carolina Gold Rice), a few that sounded interesting (Seminole Pumpkin – which Jeanine discussed in her workshop, Rouge d’Hiver Romaine, Monticello White Sesame), and one “practical” seed packet (Georgia Green Collards).

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My goodies.

Thank you to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation for making this a great weekend for my mother and I! I hope to come back again next year and encourage everyone to go at least once in their lifetime.

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For a review of several of the places I ate and stayed at – Virginia Diner, The Fitzroy, and the KOA Charlottesville – please check out The Edible Coast. My post on the KOA Charlottesville is currently up and the others will be added soon.

Heritage Harvest Festival! (1 of 2)

I finally made it to Monticello! I have been wanting to visit Monticello for years now and ended up going this weekend for the 10th Annual Heritage Harvest Festival. The Heritage Harvest Festival is this huge even

The first thing that you will notice when you arrive at the top of the mountain is the view. The view is gorgeous.

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The garden at Monticello is amazing. It is basically my dream garden. There were so many varieties of plants (many, like fish peppers, I identified by sight) that I could probably have simply explored the garden all day. I want to go back on a non-festival day and really browse the garden.I’m also jealous at the large amount of fig trees and the size of the orchard! One day…~!

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I’ve been wanting to grow these little peppers for a while now.
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This was such a neat idea for growing beans that I snapped a photo to share the idea with my boyfriend.

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The Tasting Tent seems to be the highlight of the event. We made our way around the tables for the Tomato, Melon, and Pepper tasting. There were so many different varieties that neither of us tasted every single product. We did have our favorites though – the main one being a tomato by the name of Nepal. I MUST have seeds for this one next growing season – it tasted like sugared tomatoes, that delicious touch of sweetness.

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The first cider we tried from Castle Hill Cider was a bit to dry for our taste (Levity), but the Serendipity was perfection. We both ended up purchasing a bottle of it. Back Pocket Provisions was at the top of my list of vendors that I wanted to check out. We tried all three of their Bloody Mary mixes (Bloody Brilliant, Bloody Bangkok, Bloody Baja) and decided that Bloody Brilliant was our favorite. We purchased 3 jars of it. I’m not a big Bloody Mary fan but I loved the taste of their mixes and even more so, I love that they use local farms for their tomatoes.

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American Heritage Chocolate

Barefoot Bucha was a bit hit with my mother and I as well. I love Kombucha but she has never tried it. We both tried the ginger kombucha, which we preferred over the Elderflower Sunrise. I ended up buying a 1/2 gallon of ginger. What is neat is that the container is refillable!

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I had been curious about Falling Bark Farm’s Hickory Syrup since I had heard about it. It is an interesting taste and though I didn’t buy any then, I later purchased a small jar from the shop at Carter’s Mountain Orchard. I have followed Farmstead Ferments on social media for a while and was thrilled to see them there. My mom and I tried the strawberry mint water kefir. It was both of our first times trying water kefir and we enjoyed how refreshing it tasted. When we went back to buy some later that day, they were out. :-/ What was really neat is that they had kombucha scoby’s for sale as well. I purchased a small jar of hand-harvested salt from J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works. There were several other food vendors we tasted – they were all delicious. The Peppermint Dark Chocolate Sauce from Willie Byrd was delicious and the sage vodka (?) was quite an interesting experience.

Part two will be posted tomorrow! 

For a review of the places I ate and stayed at – Virginia Diner, The Fitzroy, and the KOA Charlottesville – please check out The Edible Coast. The KOA Charlottesville is up and the other two will be up soon!

July Catch-Up

Here I am, a week or so into August already, finally getting around to writing an entry for July. July was a crazy month between work, side jobs, and just general life. So I’ll do a photo post.

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I was finally able to make it down to the Outer Banks to stay for a night in my grandparent’s timeshare. Its been years since I have been able to get down there.
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This was the first big harvest out of the garden at my boyfriend’s house – corn, cabbage, squash, lots of various tomatoes, eggplants, carrots, peppers, and more!
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The majority of our tomatoes, we stew down and can to use over winter – look at how gorgeous this mixture is!
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I was able to spend some time with my mom in July, so what did we do? Grill out of course.
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Near the end of July, I was a vendor at Scares That Care Weekend in Williamsburg. I had a great time and met some fabulous people.
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My swag. I added Seth Gilliam’s (Father Gabriel) signature to my poster from The Walking Dead.
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The newest addition to our family – Cody (mom’s dog). He’s a golden retriever/lab mix and is absolutely adorable. Belle (my dog) is still a little hesitant about him but I know that she will grow to love him.

Garden Update 6/2/15

I’ve been slacking off about keeping garden notes this year. It’s okay. I’ve still been taking pictures on a regular basis (even though I haven’t been posting them on the blog). Both gardens are looking really good. I’ve discovered that the Amish Paste do not grow well for us – they are plagued by blossom end rot. Worms are getting in to my tomatillos, so I’m having to pick those shortly before they are ready. Mom’s Bloody Butcher corn has started tasseling out this week (I was worried until I remembered that it needed a longer growing period than Robb’s sweet corn).

Here are some cell phone photos from yesterday.

My photo: Harvest from mom's garden (excluding a zucchini from the boyfriend's); what isn't shown is a handful of tomatillos, ground cherries, and some wonder berries.
My photo: Harvest from mom’s garden (excluding a zucchini from the boyfriend’s); what isn’t shown is a handful of tomatillos, ground cherries, and some wonder berries. We’ve grown more tomato varieties this year than we ever had before. I have all the varieties that are being grown written down somewhere. I think it ended up being close to 10 (maybe more) different types of tomatoes.
From my boyfriend: His harvest yesterday:
From my boyfriend: His harvest yesterday: sweet corn, the last of the onions, the last of the beans, jalapenos, crookneck squash, carrots, lots of Black Vernissage tomatoes among other tomatoes, and one single zucchini – I had stopped by his house on my way home from work to get an egg and took the other zucchini.
From my boyfriend: He picked the first peach off of our peach tree yesterday. This one was newly planted this Spring and had about 4 peaches total (something smoked both peach trees in mom's yard - I think that when they sprayed the crops on the other side of the woods, some hit our trees).
From my boyfriend: He picked the first peach off of our peach tree yesterday. This one was newly planted this Spring and had about 4 peaches total (something smoked both peach trees in mom’s yard – I think that when they sprayed the crops on the other side of the woods, some hit our trees).
From my boyfriend: He sprinkled some chicken coop shavings on top of the mounds of newly planted melons, pumpkins, and squash (we planted the seeds on Monday).
From my boyfriend: He sprinkled some chicken coop shavings on top of the mounds of newly planted melons, pumpkins, and squash (we planted the seeds on Monday). 6 Mounds – 3 Varieties of Pumpkins, 1 Melon, 1 Watermelon, and 1 Winter Squash (only because he wouldn’t let me plant more). The row nearest the tomatoes has another line of snap beans planted, the next row will have Brussels Sprouts planted today (Catskill variety from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds – the packet is on my desk since he is stopping by to get them) and the rest of the space next to the mounds will be okra, I think?

Two Week Photo Dump [Photo Heavy]

I have some zoo pictures to upload, but thought I would post these updates on my garden and my boyfriend’s garden.

A delicious plate of food with a salad comprised of local greens and broccoli from the backyard.
A delicious plate of food with a salad comprised of local greens and broccoli from the backyard.
Boyfriend's garden
Boyfriend’s garden
We've harvested two zucchini already from the boyfriend's garden.
We’ve harvested two zucchini already from the boyfriend’s garden.
Tiny tomato on a rainy day (boyfriend's garden)
Tiny tomato on a rainy day (boyfriend’s garden)
Overview of boyfriend's garden - he has green beans, broccoli, tomatillos, several kinds of tomatoes, onions, sweet corn, jalapenos, and several squash and zucchini plants.
Overview of boyfriend’s garden – he has green beans, broccoli, tomatillos, several kinds of tomatoes, onions, sweet corn, jalapenos, and several squash and zucchini plants.
The chickens are enjoying the rain (boyfriend's garden).
The chickens are enjoying the rain (boyfriend’s garden).
The first round of green beans that we picked this past Saturday - my back was fried!
The first round of green beans that we picked this past Saturday – my back was fried!
Monday night's dinner - deer burger with sweet corn and vegetables from the boyfriend's garden.
Monday night’s dinner – deer burger with sweet corn and vegetables from the boyfriend’s garden.
Belle and I at the Heritage Farm Festival on Saturday.
Belle and I at the Heritage Farm Festival on Saturday.
Half of my/my mom's garden - showing the herbs we have planted and the various plants on that side (garlic, squash, tomatoes, asparagus - which have gone to fern, tomatillos, wonderberry, ground cherry, onions, shallots).
Half of my/my mom’s garden – showing the herbs we have planted and the various plants on that side (garlic, squash, tomatoes, asparagus – which have gone to fern, tomatillos, wonderberry, ground cherry, onions, shallots).
A close up of one of the gorgeous tomatillo hulls growing in mom's garden.
A close up of one of the gorgeous tomatillo hulls growing in mom’s garden.