Pictorial Guide to Heirloom Expo

For weeks now I’ve been excited that Baker Creek Seed Bank was sponsoring the National Heirloom Expo in Sonoma County. Today was the day I elected to go, primarily because a lot of bee folk were on the agenda. Upon arriving at Sonoma County Fairgrounds, however, it took only a few minutes for me to ascertain that the place for me to be was among the vendors in the main hall armed with my camera. I also realized quickly that to do justice to sharing the experience was going to be primarily a visual record, so I set myself the task of primarily recording those images that I was most drawn to and that had the greatest impact on me. So this post is visually informative, rather than pragmatically informative, a kaleidoscopic walk through the Heirloom Expo. I hope you enjoy!

What I had been expecting was lots of fruits and vegetables, of the heirloom varieties. I was not disappointed!

lovely organic apples

heirloom tomatoes and peppers

organic raw olives

These olives are prepared by soaking in salt water for 8-12 months. I commented that this must be a very old practice. I was delighted when I was told that, indeed, sailors used to drag bags of olives off the back of their boats and the sea water cured them! What a marvelous image! I love it!

dried corn

The woman at this corn booth let me know that this corn is all the same kind, but displays in varied colors, called Rainbow Indian corn. This is the kind of corn I would love using in displays in the upcoming Halloween and Thanksgiving seasons.


Crafts were also a part of the expo. Need something in which to carry home your wares? Planty of choices! I love these African baskets. I bought one years ago as a kitty basket for my Maine Coon, Luna, and she sleeps in it to this day.

corn doll

A sweet addition to any room in your home–a corn doll! This would be a lovely project to create with your children at home, particularly handy if you grew corn this year!

handmade quilt
What an ambitious quilt the above, a true treat for the eyes.


The ribbon on this unusual birdhouse indicates it was honored at the Sonoma Co. Harvest Fair. The little sign above the door says “CHURCH OF ONE TREE“.

Plant Whatever Brings You Joy

It is always gratifying to see my book for sale among other gardening titles, I must admit. ๐Ÿ™‚

Turning the corner I was suddenly among plants of many descriptions. These orchids were an education in themselves, as I personally had never seen these varieties. I was told you would have to travel far and wide to see them–or go to an orchid show, which apparently I will do in February. On the list!

These orchids all had a kind of spidery quality combined with the illusion of each having a face. It is most obvious this is no accident, rather a measure of protection insured against all who pass by. Fascinating, and a bit unnerving! ๐Ÿ™‚


This pic I took for one reason and one reason only–when I saw this plant I immediately thought of Pam of Digging. Pam, this pic is for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Suddenly I found myself among these very large dahlias! What a burst of color!

And, now dear readers, I invite you into an (unattended) booth that, upon entering, I immediately teared up. I guess I found my heart and home at Heirloom Expo. I was immediately very powerfully impacted by the large photographs lining the sides of the booth space. I know you would be, too.

Honestly? I knew the booth was to honor bees and beekeeping, but it was a combination of pics, a medley for bees, and no one was there. I stood and soaked up whatever was present in that booth and moved on. I later returned and, as fate would have it, the woman who had taken the photos that had so moved me, was in the booth. Her name is Amanda Lane, a very talented and lovely Dutch-Brit. Here’s one more of her pics:

As I was speaking with Amanda a young girl appeared, Amanda’s daughter, Sophia, who explained to me that the pic above was her hand, and that, “It’s a drone. He had left the hive. I found him. The warmth of my hand and my breath brought him back to life.”

And that is the task at hand: to bring the bees back to their lives. And so it is. And so it will be. Must be.

Love and blessings from Heirloom Expo,
Kathryn xoxo
Footnote: It is two days since I posted this and this morning I very unexpectedly and synchronistically discovered that Church of One Tree is a very old church made from a single redwood in Santa Rosa. I have added link.

Book News:

*Many thanks to Ode Magazine for translating one of the stories from Plant Whatever Brings You Joy, “Rotate Your Crops,” into Dutch and publishing in their September issue in Holland! Intro here! The English version will be published in an upcoming issue in the States.

*A book review of Plant Whatever Brings You Joy and an interview with me will very soon appear in Dig-It Magazine. I will post the link here!

*Western North Carolina Woman is selecting several stories from my book to excerpt in upcoming issues!

6 Responses to “Pictorial Guide to Heirloom Expo”

  1. I really enjoyed this event too and I look forward to seeing it grow year after year. I have to say it was the crunchiest event I think I’ve ever been to, and as a lifelong Bay Area resident, that’s saying something!

  2. Hi, Claire, sorry to miss you yesterday! Glad you had fun! I also look forward to its growing each year! Kathryn xoox

  3. Very pretty pics, mom! Love the orchids! Wonderful to see your book (and, lucky potential buyers/readers to find it on hand!). The bee photos are awe inspiring! Wow! Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love you,

  4. Thanks, Antonia! Glad you enjoyed! Love you, Mom xoxo

  5. Thank you for thinking of me, Kathryn! I’m touched. The succulent is as ruffly and colorful as the dahlias pictured in the next photo — and the “bloom time” just doesn’t stop. Hee hee! Love the sights you showed us here, and those bee photos are lovely.

  6. Hi, Pam, Only YOU would see the connection between the lacy succulent and the dahlias that follow, but YOU DO HAVE A POINT! ๐Ÿ™‚ Admiring your passion from afar… Kathryn xoxo

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