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Heirloom Varieties for the Home & Market Garden

Saturday, January 26, 2019 - 9:00 am to 10:00 am

A variety of vegetables

Workshop Description

This workshop will explore what the words “heirloom” or “heritage” mean, the pros and cons of growing heirloom varieties, and how growing heirloom produce can fit into a home or market garden growing plan.

The main section of the workshop will be introducing the audience to a range of Hanna and Victoria’s most recommended heirloom varieties to start growing. These will be introduced as themes such as what to grow for a home garden, a market garden, or to interest kids in gardening.

This workshop will allow the audience to engage with growers who have a depth of experience in heirloom varieties. This experience includes successes and failures, and results in the ability to help people determine their requirements of a plant. Currently heirloom plants are a hot topic, and this workshop will dispel some misconceptions, offer a balanced opinion on where heirlooms can fit into a garden plan, and get people excited to experiment with and help preserve our agricultural heritage.

Topics covered will include:

  • Brief introduction to what constitutes an heirloom, and how they have been maintained over the years
  • Pros and cons of heirlooms, including
    • consumer concerns – such as taste, colour, and variety
    • growing concerns – such as disease and pest resistance, ripening time, and
    • environmental concerns – such as biodiversity in food crops as insurance for climate change.
  • The cool stuff – our recommendations for the best things to try based on different themes
Colourful Peppers
Carrots harvested at Dundurn Castle
Heirloom Tomatoes with one cut open

Speakers: Victoria Bick & Hanna Jacobs

Victoria has 10 years of small-scale growing experience heavily influenced by organic standards.

She is currently the Historic Garden Coordinator for the Dundurn National Historic Site in Hamilton, Ontario.

Victoria Bick

Hanna is the owner/operator of Matchbox Garden & Seed Company in Caledonia, Ontario.

She has 13 years of small scale growing experience.  She is knowledgeable in seed production, bedding platforms and marketing via farmers markets, CSA’s and wholesale to restaurants.

Her farm has been Certified Organic by Ecocert since 2014.

Hanna Jacobs of Matchbox Gardens