Submitted Article. Photo courtesy of Choose Cornwall.
Cornwall Ontario — The First Annual Eastern Ontario Garlic Festival is coming to Cornwall this summer. On Sunday, August 30th from 9 am to 5 pm, local garlic producers, farmers, artisans, and community organizations will unite in Lamoureux Park to celebrate everything in the region that helps people and communities grow.
This ground-breaking event is organized by Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects (KCEP), a non-profit organization working on several projects for the common good of the community.
“This event represents the heart and soul of what we are trying to do with KCEP.”, explained Brenda Norman, owner at Kozroots Garlic and Herb Farm and President of KCEP. “We are working collaboratively with members of our community to create an event that represents, attracts, and is accessible to everyone.”
Sponsored by Homestead Organics, the City of Cornwall, Prescott & Russell Counties, the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry, and several other community organizations, the Eastern Ontario Garlic Festival will feature a variety of garlic themed vendors, and activities the whole family can enjoy.
“Homestead Organics is pleased to support the Garlic Festival as an important effort to bring local producers and consumers together”, said Tom Manley. “We join them in celebrating a culture of delicious and creative local food, and goods that are good for the economy, the environment, and the community.”
Free family and community friendly activities will be plentiful, including garlic cooking and gardening demonstrations, Iron Man obstacle course for teams and families, an apple pie baking contest, a corn roast, face painting, artists’ corner, and live musical entertainment. Peter McClusky, author of the Ontario Garlic Book, will also make an exciting guest appearance to talk about the history of garlic in Ontario.
All proceeds from this festival will go towards Green Thumbs Project, a new initiative launching in the spring of 2016 for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
“Program participants will be invited to work their own plot at Kozroots Farm, a garlic and herb farm located north of Monkland, as a way of learning how to grow produce for themselves and for farmgate sale” said Brenda Norman. “All profit from farmgate sales will go right back into the hands of the Green Thumb farmers as income.”
Joseph Geneau, the Quality Assurance Manager at Open Hands and Vice President of KCEP shared “it’s exhilarating knowing that I can be a part of this wonderful program that aims to enrich the lives of the people we work with. We are confident that the Green Thumbs Project will allow participants to have more access, more involvement, and increased activity as members of the community.”
In addition to their jobs on the farm, the program’s participants will also create artwork and other upcycled goods to be presented for sale at the Garlic Festival.
To date, Cornwall and the surrounding communities have been very receptive to the overall goals of the festival.
“The mission of the Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network is to promote local food and our local producers,” says Sylvie Paquette, Coordinator of the Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network, “so we are thrilled to see locally grown garlic in the spotlight at the garlic festival!”
Eric Duncan, Warden for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry supports the event by saying “Our community is becoming more interested in buying local and supporting producers close to home, but they often don’t know all that is available to them. The Eastern Ontario Garlic Festival is a great way to promote and showcase the diversity and skills of our local producers, restaurants, entertainers, and community organizations.”
“This initiative has done an excellent job at bringing together like-minded organizations interested in transitioning towards a more resilient and inclusive food community” said Alain D’Aoust, Growing Up Organic Coordinator for Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry.
“Food and fun are fabulous avenues for uniting community” Kat Rendek, Coordinator of the All Things Food SDG Community Food Network. “We have no doubt that this festival will help local residents and visitors celebrate all that our part of Eastern Ontario has to offer”.
All interested vendors, artists, musicians, community partners, or general volunteers are invited to contact [email protected] or to visit www.easternontariogarlicfestival.com for more information. Also learn how your family, company, or organization can take part in the Iron Man Field Day and Obstacle Course Competition.
In the case of rain the event will be held in the Civic Center next to Lamoureux Park on Water Street. Rain or shine, come out and be part of the festivities.