First, Monticello....it was so gratifying to have been able to share my tomato experiences in 2 workshops chock full of attentive, interested attendees; my sessions were Friday late afternoon, and first thing Saturday morning. It is a very interesting experience to climb the emotional mountain twice, in such close proximity; I always have a bit of an emotional "crash" after giving a seminar, but I found it really easy to get recharged quickly for the morning following the evening session. It didn't hurt to have the opportunity to speak in such a wonderful setting as the Woodland Pavilion (see pics below).
After my talk, the rest of the day was spent shuttling between the event seed swap (so ably hosted by Rodger Winn and his wife, Karen) and the tomato tasting tent. It was really fun helping Ira Wallace sort out which tomatoes were which from the boxes of mixed heirlooms donated by various farms and growers for the event. At one point, I channeled our Tomatopalooza events and donned gloves and sliced and sliced and sliced. Judging from the long lines at the tasting tent that persisted throughout the day, the interest in heirloom tomatoes has yet to peak, and is sky high at this point in time.
I've got to gather my thoughts following Sunday's first Southeast regional gathering of Seed Savers and SSE members. The ideas were flying around the room at the speed of light. The event took place at Louisa House, about 40 minutes from Monticello, and was attended by up to 100 people, which far exceeded our expectations. Ira Wallace, Grant Olson (from the SSE) and I led the group through the day...more on that in my next blog.
But as promised, some pics from Monticello - there are never enough, but I actually had little time to use my camera!
second row - another garden view, Love Lies Bleeding, and Monticello
third row - vineyard below the garden, my lecture prep spot in the Woodland Pavilion, and view from the back well before the event (I just kind of sat and relaxed for an hour before people arrived to gather my thoughts)
Last row - Peter Hatch giving the Jefferson Garden lecture, and Woodland Pavilion exterior, my Sat AM talk location