Burpee Festival 2015

I just got back from Burpee Fest 2015–and it was awesome. I was invited as part of a group of garden writers, photographers, and chefs who toured Burpee’s historic Fordhook Farm, in Doyleston, PA.

One of the highlights of the visit was getting to sample Burpee’s fresh fruits and veggies. George Ball, Burpee’s owner and CEO, told us about a new eggplant, ‘Meatball,’ that’s coming out in 2016. (You heard it here first–it’s not even on their website yet.) He says it’s going to revolutionize the way we eat, because it’s a delicious, nutritious substitute for meats.

After the tour, we sat down to a lunch prepared with foods harvested from the farm. Take a look at my plate, below, and you’ll see ‘Meatball’ made into a meatloaf/meatball dish topped with marinara sauce. I will definitely make this at home, once I get my hands on the seeds.


The other delish foods on my plate were fresh from Burpee’s organic gardens, too. You’ll see stuffed yellow peppers, sliced orange tomatoes, and a tasty relish made with purple onions. Later, we snacked on slices of cold watermelon, cantaloupe, and the biggest, sweetest blackberries I’ve ever eaten.

That afternoon, we had time to roam around Burpee’s flower gardens. Check out these rudbeckias:


Butterflies and bees floated around Burpee’s “Happiness Garden” (the bees didn’t bother us at all. They were too busy enjoying the flowers.) Bees and other pollinators are disappearing at an alarming rate, putting our food supply in jeopardy and upsetting the delicate environmental balance. To help reverse this scary trend, Burpee partnered with the White House to give away over a million packets of butterfly and bee-friendly seeds. You can help spread the buzz, too, by planting flowers like the ones below:





And of course, a butterfly garden needs butterfly bushes.

butterfly bush

Butterfly Bush

Moving along to the kitchen garden at Fordhook, here’s a sneak-peek of a new tomato that Burpee hasn’t named yet. Watch for it in 2016, too.


Don’t forget to order your seeds for next spring early, as soon as seed catalogs start arriving in the mail. Popular varieties sell out fast!