Heirloom Weekend

Date posted: 09 March 2016

Date: 9-10 April, 2016
Time: 10am to 3pm
Where: Main activities centred on lawn between Diggers Garden Shop (Schomburgk Pavilion) and First Creek, Adelaide Botanic Garden, North Terrace (download a map)
Cost: FREE (bookings/tickets only required for Masterclasses)

A free celebration of all things fresh, natural and homegrown will take place at Adelaide Botanic Garden on 9-10 April (Saturday and Sunday) for the inaugural Heirloom Weekend.

Presented by The Diggers Club and the Botanic Gardens of South Australia, the Heirloom Weekend – which includes free workshops, live music, Masterclasses, a pumpkin growing competition, children’s activities and more – will focus heavily on heirloom produce.

Heirloom means traditional varieties of plants or breeds of animals that aren’t associated with large-scale commercial agriculture.

Highlights of the all-ages weekend, which runs from 10am to 3pm each day, include:

  • Free workshops and information: Learn how to veggie garden in autumn (10:30am), grow garlic (12:30pm) and preserve your harvest (2pm) on the Schomburgk Pavilion, both days. There'll also be information on how to become an urban beekeeper and raise chickens at home.
  • Heirloom Masterclasses: Expand your mind with two fascinating ticketed masterclasses (must be pre-booked) – "Talking Heirlooms" on the history and importance of heirlooms (Saturday 9 April, 10am, $35 for club members, $45 for non members); and "Heritage Apples" on selection, growing and rootstock selection for heritage apples, pears, nashis and quinces (Sunday 10 April, 10am, $35 for club members, $45 for non members). For more information and to book visit the Diggers website or call (03) 5984 7900.
  • Produce sale: Take home locally-made goodies like jars of honey or preserves,  plus fresh fruit and veggies, for delicious additions to your meals at home.
  • Pumpkin competition: Bring in your favourite grown pumpkin on Sunday 10 April (take it to the information tent for your entry slip), with a prize on offer for the best in show!
  • Heirloom produce display: Marvel at the kinds of heirloom produce you can grow at home - the kinds of fruit and vegetables you won't see on the big supermarket shelves.
  • Live music: Soak up relaxed summer tunes with good friends and family.
  • Kids’ activities: Meet a real life cow, Winter, and feed her lucerne grown at the Garden’s City Crop. Plant a seed to take home at a gardening workshop at our Little Sprouts Kitchen Garden (Sunday only). Learn how to churn butter and experience Otanical, one of Australia's first 360-degree virtual reality productions at the Barber Shop Rotunda, Saturday only.
  • Lawn games: Reminisce and play old-school lawn games like badminton, croquet and quoits.
  • Guided walks: Take a one-off heirloom guided walk, discovering intriguing corners of Adelaide Botanic Garden. Departs from Schomburgk Pavilion, 11am and 2pm each day.

Botanic Gardens Interim Director, Greg Mackie, says the Heirloom Festival offers visitors the chance to not only experience a fun day out, but to learn how to enrich their lives through fresh produce and a DIY attitude.

“We’re passionate about kitchen gardening and good food and there’s no better place to experience both than the autumn magic of Adelaide Botanic Garden,” Mr Mackie says.

The Diggers Club Founder Clive Blazey says they’re delighted to bring an Heirloom Festival to the Garden.

“The Diggers Club introduced heirloom seeds to Australian gardeners and cooks in 1991 and we have promoted their use and preservation because they’re the best varieties to sow, save and share.”

Heirloom Festival coincides with the National Rose Garden People's Choice Weekend - make sure you stop by while you're in the Garden to cast your vote on your favourite new rose variety!