Plant the Seed & Leave a Legacy: Why Heirloom Breeds Matter *THIS CLASS IS NOW FULL*
9 am - The Great Room at TOPO
Heirloom tomatoes have made their way to the foodie forefront thanks to their vibrant colors and juicy flavors. But don’t forget about the rest of the garden — melons, collards, eggplant, fruits and even herbs! Whether you’re an avid gardener, an avid cook, or dabbling in both, understanding heritage produce will elevate the dishes coming from your kitchen. More importantly, heirloom breeds are a critical part of maintaining biodiversity.
In this class, we’ll dig a little deeper and talk about why all this matters. Take apples for example. In the 19th century there were hundreds of varieties, but after 1900, growers mostly cloned the sweetest apples by grafting them. Pretty soon only a handful of varieties of apples were being produced in monoculture orchards. Stripped of the genetic diversity, these apples have become increasingly vulnerable to insects, bacteria and viruses. This panel of growers, cultivators, and cooks will discuss what exactly heirloom varieties are, why they are important to preserve, and offer a glimpse of the challenges we face without them. In addition, simple chef-prepared bites will showcase the incomparable yummy flavors of some favorite in-season edibles!
Participants: Vivian Howard, Frank Lee, Alex Hitt, Craig LeHoullier & Jim Romanoff