My contributions to the event were two 30 minute presentations that I called "Heirloom Tomatoes 101" - preparing people for a tomato tasting, covering some of the more interesting stories behind a few of the varieties to be tasted, and taking as many questions as the attendees could come up with. I also helped Shannon (the event organizer) set up for the tasting - which gave me an opportunity to check out the tomatoes un-cut. Just as at Tomatopalooza, a few varieties didn't quite look like they were supposed to (and I used my typical "not" terminology!). That is grist for future discussions with the SSE Seed folks.
The weather was pretty stormy throughout my visit here to Decorah - I arrived just after a big Thunderstorm on Friday afternoon, and rain continued on and off.....until the event began at noon on Saturday. Then the clouds parted, the sun came out and this all contributed to what we guessed to be around 800 or so people attending from locations that were beyond expectations - people will get into a car and drive a long way to taste heirloom tomatoes! The tasting was held in the loft of the barn, while a band played wonderful old timey music. A Salsa competition was also available to sample nearby, with numerous inventive entries. I brought 60 packets of seed to share - Green Giant, Cherokee Chocolate, and Lucky Cross - and they were gone in no time!
Heritage Farm is a very special place, and I feel fortunate indeed to have experienced this latest opportunity for a visit and contribution to their great cause. Some pictures that I snapped between the raindrops and throughout the event can be found below.