Making soap and paper, dying with indigo and a lesson in seed-saving highlight the Heritage Days Fall Festival at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

The fifth annual event, previously called the Fall Festival, has been expanded to include a focus on the Heritage Garden. The event will take place on Nov. 11, 2017 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

“The Heritage Garden is rich in stories that need to be told,” said Gareth Crosby, Heritage Garden curator. “It is history that cannot be forgotten.”

The Heritage Garden traces the development of Georgia agriculture from the colonial ere to the 20th century. A part of the Heritage Garden, called the Trustees’ Terrace, reflects the spirit of James Oglethorpe’s Trustees Garden of Savannah in 1733, considered the first experiment station for agriculture in colonial America. Crops there have included corn, cotton, peanuts, tobacco, collards and onions.

To embrace the theme of the festival, the State Botanical Garden education department will offer attendees the opportunity to use an apple cider press to taste different apple varieties, to make seed balls, to learn how plants at the garden can be used in everyday life and to do a fall-related craft.

Paula Runyon, a PSO graduate assistant at the State Botanical Garden, will teach the paper-making class.

“My research tries to impress upon people how intimately our lives are entwined with and dependent upon nature,” said Runyon. “We will learn how to make paper from cotton, historically one of Georgia’s most influential agricultural resources.”

A Seed Saving for the Backyard Gardener Workshop, led by Northeast Georgia Cooperative Extension Agent Amanda Tedrow, includes an educational presentation and a hands-on demonstration of the reasons to save seeds, and how to do it.

“Seed saving has been used to preserve open pollinated varieties over the generations,” Tedrow said. Open pollinated plants are varieties that will breed true to type, as long as both parent plants are of the same variety.

Tropical Indigo (Indigofera suffruticosa) grown in the Heritage Garden over the summer has been processed into indigo dye and will be used for the dyeing activity.

Other workshops are more centered around the Fall season and will provide an opportunity for participants to make holiday gifts.

More information on the Heritage Days Fall Festival Activities

By Naomi Thomas