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Community info session on local food production
CONTRIBUTION · 23rd September 2011
Diana Penner
Despite the weather and a short timeline to prepare, organizers were delighted with the response to Harvest Fest. The weekend festival, celebrating the local harvest, was a twist to what last year, was termed Apple Fest. Organized by the Northern Fresh Food and Hungry Kids Projects, the events intention was to raise awareness of local food production and to share the vision that this community has the ability to be self-sustaining.

The weekend saw full use of the Arena Banquet room as four unique events showcased our country roots. To start the weekend, and to compliment the Saturday Farmers Market routine of many residents, we hosted a community interaction session to brainstorm ways to expand local production.

The Hungry Kids group is developing a local good food box for $10 or $20.00 to be delivered weekly to participating residents during the growing season. The intention is to support and encourage growers by providing an additional sale base outside of the Saturday market. This will encourage more production and avoid waste in gardens by allowing for ongoing harvesting that follow crop maturity.
Contact Agatha to sign up agathajed,,,gmail.com 250 641 food (3663).

Following this interactive session a harvest potluck was held; food was identified, labelled and enjoyed. The menu included basic and exotic dishes that included; local moose, beef, eggs, pork, chicken, kale, kohlrabi, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onions, cabbage, lettuce, beans, pickles, cucumbers, zucchini, herbs, rhubarb, apples, plums, pears, and grains. Following this a rhubarb punch was prepared for the next event and local veggies cut up for finger snacks. Music was provided by Cabin Fever who played an array of toe stumping tunes for a family dance that delighted both kids and adults alike.

Sunday September 18 saw the region engulfed in a fierce morning storm with horrific blustery winds and a pour down of rain. As a result several outside events sent last minute regrets. The animals scheduled to come for the petting zoo cancelled for safety reasons and outside food vendors cancelled for the same reason. Two additional inside groups were unable to come due to travel complications. The event went on anyways and for the almost 300 who came to Harvest Fest (from 11am to 3pm) there was enough to see and do to make the event a success.

At the entrance, boxes of local fruit sat in $5.00 boxes for local sale. Inside the banquet room demonstrations were ongoing and included; sauerkraut making, juicing, drying, canning, and, sprouting, Information booths provided insight on lasagne gardening, birch sapping, making medication & health remedies with local products and gardening for fun and therapy.

In addition kids learned to make a jumping origami frog, made colourful putty fruit trees, played puzzles and games, had their faces painted and dug through a stack of hay for candy’s. Those who wanted to sit and watch could share in a home cooked dessert made with local apples, plums, zucchini, or cherries. Overall the 2-day event was a great success despite the weather, cancelations and the short time to advertise.

Many thanks to all those who helped and attended.
Norm, Helen, Jim and John of Cabin Fever serenade the crowd
Norm, Helen, Jim and John of Cabin Fever serenade the crowd
Good food good company
Good food good company
Potluck choices Yummmm
Potluck choices Yummmm
Agatha!
Comment by Janice P. Robinson on 25th September 2011
I didn't know the Good Food Box Program was available to everybody. I used to drive into town, and pick up boxes, from you, and deliver them to on-reserve welfare recipients and Elders. Once in awhile they'd have a spare box, and we'd split it up.

I used to like Good Food Box Days. Your people get together with representatives from local Nations, etc........and.....in a flurry of boxes, veggies, totes, fruits, sometimes crankiness, logistics and respectful direction.....the food is moved while still fresh and crunchy. I will come and get a box.

Keep up the good work.