John Forti, the Heirloom Gardener

Thursday, October 14, 2021

7 p.m.

These days, we all need some good news and a way to participate in meaningful change. The Heirloom Gardener: Traditional Plants and Skills for the Modern World provides gardeners an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and improve the lives of their families, pollinators, and wildlife in their backyards. The book unearths old ways, storied plants, and artisanal life-skills such as seed-saving, herbalism, foraging, distillation, ethnobotany, and organics, which all contribute to a new 21st century arts and crafts movement.

John Forti presents a richly illustrated talk using period and contemporary woodcuts by Caldecott Medal artist Mary Azarian. He shares the long history of heirloom preservation that inspires us all in our garden craft and homestead life-ways. He discusses artisanal lifestyles that are helping us to rebuild vibrant, local agricultural economies, and he celebrates sustainable cottage industries, which are contributing to a new, homegrown American arts & crafts movement and backyard environmentalism. A love poem to the earth, The Heirloom Gardener offers a dose of wild hope for a weary nation. At a time when we could all use a little good news, we hope you will join us for a refreshing look at how you can make a difference in your backyard and community.


John Forti is a garden historian and ethnobotanist who has directed gardens for Plimoth Plantation Museum, Strawbery Banke Museum, Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and Bedrock Gardens. As a Slow Food USA regional governor and biodiversity specialist, John has helped to restore countless native and heirloom plants, and he’s brought traditional artisanal practices to modern thinking. He has won numerous awards for historic garden preservation, children’s garden design, herbal and historical education, and the 2021 Award of Excellence from the National Garden Clubs. John drew inspiration for his book through his Facebook posts as The Heirloom Gardener. He lives along the banks of the Piscataqua River in Maine. You can learn more at www.jforti.com.


To register for this FREE virtual event, please email info@portsmouthathenaeum.org.