Meet Ira Wallace


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“Twelve hundred came that first year…the sun shone, the community came out and made the festival its own.”

Photo by Jen Fariello

Ira Wallace, co-manager of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, first got the idea for Monticello’s Heritage Harvest Festival during a conversation about getting the word out about heirloom varieties and sustainable agriculture. Six years later, the festival is still going strong, with this year’s event set for Sept. 14-15, offering heirloom vegetable and fruit tastings, chef demonstrations, a seed swap and more. “I love the opportunity to network and meet so many of the people who are on the ground working to promote heirloom varieties, preserve genetic diversity and generally working to build a more sustainable local food system,” she says. Supporting the local economy and eating locally requires a shift in not only our buying but our eating habits, according to Wallace.  “We are fortunate in the Charlottesville area to have lots of restaurants…serving local seasonal menus to help us with tasty choices even when we can’t eat at home,” Wallace says. heritageharvestfestival.com

From Ivy Publications, publishers of: Locally Charlottesville, a Charlottesville guide to shopping, local dining and arts; CharlottesvilleFamily, a monthly parenting magazine with a calendar of Charlottesville festivals and events plus stories on education, health and family fun; the Charlottesville Welcome Book, a guide to attractions like Monticello, vineyards, University of Virginia and sports as well as a relocation handbook; and the Charlottesville Welcome Book Wedding Directory, a multimedia planning tool of wedding venues, cakes, favors and more for planning the perfect Charlottesville wedding.