National Heirloom Exposition: 10 Things to Do

Monday, September 10th, 2012

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.

[sh-slideshow-post id=”25463″]


– 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



Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

Share This Post On


  1. Flat-earthers notwithstanding, we had a fantastic time at the Heirloom Expo. Baker Creek Seed Company went above and beyond. The organization and execution was brilliant. The guest speakers were renowned and thought provoking, irrespective of your position on GMO and the slow food movement. The vendors offered fantastic foods… not a hot dog on a stick stand in sight. The music and entertainment was top shelf. Our heartfelt congratulations to those who contributed to this success. You can count us absolutely in for next year’s expo.

    Post a Reply
  2. Nice to see you and I was overwhelmed with the amazing talent, eduction, farmers, vegetables, organizations attending and so much! Thank you Heirloom Expo for hosting your amazing event in Sonoma County and Thank you Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds for organizing this truly groundbreaking event!

    Post a Reply
  3. It would be good if people actually informed themselves on the topic of heirloom produce and agriculture before they spout nonsensical verbal diarrhea.

    Before the onset of commercial agriculture, the varieties of foods our world contained were incredible diverse. In the 1800’s we had nearly 7,000 varieties of apples and today we have fewer than a hundred. This is mirrored in every type of agriculture, from potatoes, wheat and corn to melons, tomatoes and livestock. Many food varieties have become extinct and many more would if places like Baker Creek didn’t dedicate themselves to the continuation and preservation of Heirloom (or historic) food varieties.

    It’s true that in our past industrial monocropping has helped save billions from starvation, but it comes at a cost to our futures. Industrialized and genetically uniform crops produce higher yields, but are fundamentally less hearty and require expensive chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides to thrive, while local varieties have been selected over thousands of years to grow well in specific climates. What this does is create situations like the Irish Potato famine. You have one pest come in and wipe out your entire monocrop and millions starve and are displaced because of it. This is something that could happen anywhere, including America, and food shortages in the future are a very real threat.

    And as far as GMO goes, no long term studies were done before it’s introduction to our diets. Scientific advancement is one thing, but this was done with no regards to proper scientific study. No one has any idea of it’s long term effects on humans, our environment or our food supply. Scientific research paid for by the company that produces these products is NOT the same as sound scientific research, as much as those companies would like you believe otherwise. And to say no one can PROVE it’s harmful doesn’t mean it’s safe either. It’s entirely misinformed as well to say it helps end starvation. In fact, most GMO crops will not ever make it to the dinner table, they are not suitable to eat fresh. Most GMO corn goes into heavily processed foods, to making HF corn syrup and feeding livestock. And don’t get me started on why feeding livestock an entirely corn based diet is horrible, look into it. Same goes with GMO wheat and now alfalfa. Now the harmful effects that many scientists predicted are in fact already coming to fruition. Pests are becoming resistant to the genetically spliced GMO crops, GMO crops are pollinating with regular crops and destroying non GMO farmer’s crops. Once a GMO crop has cross pollinated with a non GMO crop, the farmer will not get seeds for future propagation and the company that owns those GMO strains can in fact seize that farmer’s entire livelihood. I really have a hard time understanding why people are for GMO, aside from being terribly misinformed on the subject.

    Anyway, I could go on, but I’d recommend doing your own research, it’s quite an interesting topic.

    Post a Reply
    • It’s easier to display stupidity than actually take the time to make a cogent argument. thank you for sharing your insights with us. People need to take the time to read, think, assess and discuss to form intelligent opinions, and this one requires a lot of diligence to understand.

      It is a fascinating topic and experiencing the Heirloom Expo is like nothing else. Whether you want to learn about GMO’s and “pure food” or just wonder at the hundreds of heirloom vegetables from Baker Creek and other seed savers, i highly recommend it.

      Those who get it will get it. Those who want to get it will have that “aha” moment when they eat a perfect heirloom tomato. The rest can continue eating their Cheetos and pretending the earth is flat.

  4. I wish it were held on a weekend. I’m very glad to have a job but can’t take time off during the day, due to various circumstances, to go to this. I’m going to try to go one of the evenings.

    Post a Reply
    • Has to do with the organizers’ religious beliefs. You’ll also notice a lot of Amish folks at the event. They come from far and wide to help out with the project.

    • Well, that’s interesting.

  5. just propagating the baseless fear of scientific advancement in agriculture. NO harmful effects have ever been proven to be caused by “gmo” products. In fact they are very beneficial in reducing world hunger (just to mention one very important issue). If gmos must be labeled, why not label the deadly chemical dihydrogen monoxide. Dhmo has killed millions more than gmo ever will.

    Post a Reply
    • realize that there are two positions to this argument. the anti gmo people have had their say. It is time for the other side to be heard respectfully. Pro/anti gmo people are not evil because of their position. Let’s stamp out stereotyping so we can have an adult conversation.

    • It’s about much more than the effects of GMO. Even assuming that GMO food were totally safe for humans, it’s about the control of our food supply by large corporations, who want us to be 100% totally dependent on them.

    • There are two sides, and frankly, like the whole “organics” movement, i think there is room for discussion and education. Both sides have vehement arguments.

      In the end, though, we do need to consider where our food is really coming from and who stands to profit. There are fear mongers on the GMO side and there are baseless “scientific” studies backed by industry that don’t tell the truth about food.

      The whole “corn syrup is just sugar” thing was horrifying to me. Sorry, but when you’re loading up baby formula with corn syrup, it’s time to say, wait a minute. Corn syrup is a kind of sugar, and it may be fine in moderation, but loading it into pretty much everything we eat doesn’t make it okay.

  6. heirloom produce, like it states.

    Post a Reply
  7. You stupid people…..heirloom……what kind of heirloom?….what are you f..kin talking about……old rings, tables, jewels…..and what the hell are those wortlike orbs….is this a parallel universe……

    Post a Reply
    • Spend a little more time reading the article. A little less time spouting nonsense.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *