Article and photos by Mai-Liis Renaud
The weather was sunny and I felt like Spring had finally arrived when I attended the “From Seeds to Gardens” event, presented by the Agapè Centre , Transitions Cornwall+ and All Things Food, last Sunday at the Agapè Centre here in Cornwall.
The organizer of the event, who did an amazing job was Kat Rendek , Coordinator of All Things Food Bouffe 360° (photo left) and I had the honour of having our 5 questions interview with her. Here are the questions and answers.
1. I know this is the second year for this event. How did it actually originate?
“Seedy Saturdays/Sundays” happen in communities across Canadain through partnership with Seeds of Diversity, a national non-for-profit looking to preserve and promote heritage and heirloom seed and food production. After learning about these events early last year, staff at the Agape Centre decided to host one in Cornwall as a way of promoting their “Grow a Row” fresh food donation program. This year, we decided to expand the event to include 5 skill-building workshops, children’s activities, and more diverse local vendors. We really wanted the event to be welcoming to all types of gardeners in our community.
2. Who are the groups directly involved in this event?
- The Agape Centre
- Transition Cornwall + Food Action Group
- All Things Food Community Food Network
3. What kinds of activities did you have going on?
We had a main vendor and exhibitor room with several local seed growers and garden vendors, in addition to community groups who promote gardening.
We had 5 skill building workshops that included beginner gardening and seed starting skills, perennial planting, bee and pollinators, and heritage seed growing.
We also had a great variety of children’s activities to keep them entertained as parents shopped for seeds. These activities were organized by Kozroots Community Empowerment Projects.
Hot lunch, homemade by Transition Cornwall + A free screening of Seeds of Time
4. How many people do you think visited the event?
Over 300 and most people stayed for over 2 hours (many people stayed for over 3 hours and attended all of the workshops). We decided to kept the vendor and exhibit area open for an extra 1.5 hours because we still had people arriving after the scheduled close. We were most excited to see a high number of families with young children.
5. What can we expect to see next year?
More hands-on workshops, more seed vendors, more activities for children (including workshops), and perhaps a longer day (>5 hours) Kat added, “Atf (All Things Food) is incredibly grateful to all of our network members who helped make this day a success. This event is a perfect example of our collaborative work and we are excited to see the community responding so positively to our efforts.”
“Gardening is a great way of growing family and community, as well as healthy and affordable food. Atf is excited to see so many members of the community taking an interest in gardening and we look forward to seeing this event expand over the coming years.”
Thank you Kat for taking the time to answer our questions and I certainly am looking forward to your next event and to the start of the Gardening Season!
for more info go to www.allthingsfoodbouffe360.ca