1 September 2008
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Charlottesville/Albemarle County Office
460 Stagecoach Road, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
phone: 434.872.4580 fax: 434.872.4578
While we have been enjoying the harvest of our gardens and others throughout the year, fall is the time of year when we go to the trouble to celebrate the harvest. Two events that bear mentioning this fall are the Heritage Harvest Festival at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants at Tufton Farm (Saturday September 6 from 10-4) and the Vintage Virginia Apples Harvest Festival at Rural Ridge Farm (Saturday November 1 from 10-5).
If the idea of saving seeds and heritage plants, tasting a variety of local produce, or learning more about plants and how to grow them is of interest to you, plan to attend the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticellos Tufton Farm Saturday September 6 from 10am 4pm. General admission is free and there are many interesting activities for the whole family. The possibilities include learning how to grow heirloom varieties, save your own seeds, and control pests without chemicals, tasting dozens of varieties of tomatoes, apples, garlic, and other fruits and vegetables, touring the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants gardens and nursery at Monticellos Tufton Farm, entering the heritage produce growing contest, learning from national experts and local natural/organic growers who will join non-profits promoting sustainable agriculture and heirloom seed-saving to educate and inform gardeners from around the region, and taking home seeds, plants, garlic, apples and other produce from local growers and the extensive collection of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants. For more information call (540)894-9480 (M-F 11am-5pm) or send an email to [email protected] or try their web site (http://www.southernexposure.com/HHF/index.html).
The Vintage Virginia Apples Harvest Festival is a day-long festival for the entire family, co-sponsored by the CoveGarden Ruritan Club. This annual event celebrates the heritage of Southern Albemarle County apple orchards and features an exhibit of North Garden and southern Albemarle history crafted by local historians. Families are invited to take a pictorial tour of North Garden history, through pictures and descriptions of the area in earlier times.
Throughout the day there will be demonstrations of skills of yesteryear along with things to eat. Events include an apple pie contest, workshops on horticultural topics, apple butter making, cider pressing, handcrafting wooden tools and implements, milling, and Brunswick stew made over an open fire.
Orchard consultant Tom Burford will offer an orchard clinic featuring tips on growing fruit.
Herbalist Margaret Shelton will offer a short clinic on growing a winter salad garden.
Participants can taste dozens of varieties of apples, and watch cider being pressed in hand operated mills. Apples, fresh cider, apple trees and orchard items will be offered for sale.
Hayrides carry guests over the ridge above the orchards for a spectacular view in the scenic autumn landscape. Games and prizes are a popular attraction for the children.
Rowena Morrell, editor and publisher of In The Kitchen has organized an apple pie contest. Entries must be made by 11 a.m. on the day of the event. Judges will evaluate each entry and award a $50 prize to the first place winner. After judging, the pies will be sold by the slice. Proceeds will go to the CoveGarden Ruritan Club.
CoveGarden Ruritans will sponsor a bake sale and offer a lunch grill for those who want to buy a light lunch.
Questions about the Apple Harvest Festival can be sent to [email protected] or (434)297-2326.
For more information about this and other landscape topics contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office. The local Virginia Cooperative Extension office numbers are Albemarle 872-4580, Fluvanna 591-1950, Greene 985-5236, Louisa 540-967-3422, and Nelson 263-4035.