Local Food & Farm Festival offers family fun and education, and gives a boost to landless beginning farmers (10/21/12)
Are you a fan of local food and local farms? Are you looking for some fun and educational outdoor activities for the family? Want to support beginning farmers in our community? Then come and spend a fabulous afternoon with the Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming, Sunday, Oct 21, from noon to 4PM.
The first-ever Groundswell Local Food & Farm Festival will take place at Groundswell's new "Incubator Farm" located at EcoVillage in Ithaca. Just take Route 79 West a mile up the hill from the inlet and turn left on Rachel Carson Way.
Kids of all ages can visit with farm animals, card some wool, dig a soil sample, churn up some butter, and take a tour of West Haven Farm. For the homesteader or the simply curious, hands-on demos will show you how to use a scythe, control livestock with portable electric fence, build your own aquaponics system and produce storage unit, compost with worms, and more. Visitors will also have a chance to enjoy some wonderful food provided by our local vendors including La Paladar Cuban Cuisine, Crooked Carrot Community Supported Kitchen, Cayuga Creamery and The Piggery.
In the Mini-Famers Market you can shop and chat with local farmers including Groundswell's Mentor Farmers and beginning farmers.
Proceeds from the Local Food & Farm Festival will support Groundswell's new Farm Enterprise Incubator Program, which provides access to land, agricultural infrastructure, equipment, and mentoring support for beginning producers who otherwise may not have the opportunity to farm. Tickets are available at the gate and online at www.groundswellcenter.org. Suggested minimum donation is $10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 5-12, but all are welcome regardless of ability to pay.
Along with the Festival, Groundswell is also hosting "FarmHack Ithaca" the same weekend. This two-day event brings together farmers, tinkerers, engineers and designers to discuss, design and construct innovative new farm technologies. Some of these inventions will be featured at the public festival on Sunday.
The Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming is an initiative of the EcoVillage Center for Sustainability Education/Center for Transformative Action. Support for Groundswell comes from individuals and businesses who believe in the importance of strong local food systems, and from the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture-USDA, Grant #2010-49400-21799, Park Foundation, and Appalachian Regional Commission's New Americans Initiative. For more information, visit www.groundswellcenter.org.