We were invited to go to Monticello’s 9th Annual Heritage Harvest Festival this weekend. I’ve been invited several times in the past but have always had a scheduling conflict, so I was thrilled to go for the first time!
Friday night there was an opening keynote and reception at the Paramount Theater downtown. The speakers were the Beekman Boys, famous for leaving their jobs in NYC and heading to upstate New York to start a farm and a new kind of life. Furthermore they have had a TV show, several books and founded the lifestyle brand Beekman 1802, which has everything from goat milk beauty products to 48 new products debuting in Target this fall! Their talk was outstanding, and they shared a lot about what they are calling the “Farm to Shelf Revolution.” In a nutshell, they’re trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between small farms’ limitations and the huge convenience of the grocery store. They are doing it – little by little.
After the talk we had the chance to taste small plates from many of Cville’s restaurants and visit exhibits related to the next day’s festival. Unfortunately I had a major technology fail on my phone and my food photos were eaten themselves!
Saturday was quite rainy, so we waited until the afternoon to venture up to Monticello, rainboots and all. It ended up being a nice afternoon because it wasn’t hot at all!
The festival includes a little bit of everything: heirloom tomato tastings, craftsman demonstrations, gardening exhibits, games for kids, food and wine sampling, music and interesting speakers. And of course you get the chance to explore the Monticello grounds and Jefferson’s garden.
A whole lotta tomatoes!!
American Heritage chocolate in the making
Llama llama red pajama
A sheep’s kiss
I listened to a bit about fermentation from Sandor Katz, author of several fermentation books.
I also just had to buy some of the Beekman 1802 products because they smell SO GOOD!!! Look for them at Williams Sonoma and Anthropologie. Almost as much as the smells I am obsessed with the packaging and branding – the products are gorgeous.
M loved the animals and general running around! Plus the fermented “bubble juice” from Farmstead Ferments!
We had a great time celebrating the heritage of Jefferson and Monticello! It is always a treat to spend time in such a special place.
Our tickets to the festival were given to us by Monticello in exchange for this blog post.