August 21-22, 2004

COPIA Edible Gardens Festival 2004

What it was:

Wine and Food purveyors that you could buy samples from using your “tickets” that came with your entry. When you ran out of tickets you could purchase more. A hamburger from Niman Ranch was 6 tickets. Premium wine was 3 tickets.

Booths showing and selling art, gourmet food and drink, seeds.

Guest Lecturers on food, gardening, wine. I attended the famous Bob Cannard’s talk. He is a supplier of Chez Panisse and considered a local authority on Sustainable gardening techniques. I had attended a gardening class taught by Anne Hudgins in the spring and she considers him a mentor.

The talk covered organic gardening techniques including composting, use of rock phosphate and Oyster Shell Dust as fertilizer, interplanting rows with cover crops – even weeds!

The new gem of the talk was to take all of your daily compost at the end of the day, add it to a big stockpot with some water and simmer it down overnight. The next day pour your compost “tea” off directly around your plants and put the sludge in the compost pile. The sludge helps bring earthworms to the pile and the tea is an energy boost for your plants.

Class attendees received free seeds from Renee’s Garden. I chose Carrots.

I missed the next presenter who wrote Seed to Seed which is the foremost book on seed saving. I have the book and have used it, so I’m not sure how much more I could learn. It appeared the class was going to have a hands on experience in seed saving.

The gardens at COPIA are really lovely. Many of the garden beds are raised. Among the finds in the garden were the Japanese Variegated Corn and the Pole Bean Teepee. For our son Trent, the hits of the children’s garden were the cages of bunnies and chicken… oh and the chocolate Ice Cream from Ben and Jerrys.

We had a great time but the event was really pricey unless you had the leisure to stay all day and the interest to attend seminars. What really surprised us was how nice the gardens were and at our next COPIA visit we will definitely return to the gardens.
Gardens Bean teepee
The COPIA Gardens Bean teepee

Bob Cannard
Speaker Bob Cannard

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