The Chat Podcast, Cornwall, Ontario

Incredible Edibles Festival returns this weekend

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
Incredible Edibles Festival returns this weekend
Karen Carriere of Transition Cornwall+ at her South Stormont farm. In recent years, she and her husband Bill have invited the public to an annual festival on their farm. Just one example of agritourism. Submitted photo.

CORNWALL, Ontario – For the past seven years, Transition Cornwall + has held the Incredible Edibles Plant Festival to giveaway edible plants to everyone from those with a green thumb to aspiring gardeners.

This year, the festival will be different that any before because of the need to social distance. This year, from Friday, May 29 to Saturday, May 30 the Incredible Edible Plant Fesitval will be at 10 different locations across Cornwall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.

“At this point, TC+ has over 1500 plants and 1000 seed packets to give-away,” explained Penny Bateman, TC+ Food Action Group Chair. “With the pandemic, there has been a growing interest in home gardening, and we think it makes sense to give these seedlings away to help newer gardeners get started.”

To ensure that all festival goers and volunteers are safely distanced to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Transition Cornwall+ submitted their plan for this year’s festival to the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) who approved of the initiative.

“It was critical to have everyone on board from the start,” said Bateman.  “The last thing we wanted was to put people in our community at risk.  We have a clear plan for safely giving away the free seedlings and seeds.”

Each guest of the festival will be asked to line-up at each location, and then a volunteer will get them their plant or seed packet. There will be a limit of two plants and two seed packets per person.

Surfaces will regularly be disinfected by volunteers at all sites.

Some examples of some of the plants and seeds that will be available at one of the locations, No Frills, will be tomatoes, char, lettuce, basil, and cucumbers.

“Local businesses have been very supportive, and we are really grateful to them all for letting us setup in their parking lots,” Bateman said.  “We couldn’t do this with out them.”

The following locations will act as hosts for this year’s Incredible Edibles Plant Festival:

May 29, 2020: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Locations:

  • West parking lot at Pitt Street and First Street
  • Food Basics (West): 960 Brookdale Avenue
  • Home Hardware: 10 Thirteenth Street East
  • Food Basics (East): 1315 Second Street East
  • No Frills: 1390 Second Street East

May 30, 2020: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Locations:

  • Short Line Convenience: 1300 Second Street West
  • Food Basics (West): 960 Brookdale Avenue
  • The Local Fill: 1515 Pitt Street
  • Food Basics (East): 1315 Second Street East
  • No Frills: 1390 Second Street East

In addition to the support received from the businesses listed above, the Incredible Edibles Plant Festival has also received in-kind support from the Social Development Council of Cornwall and Area, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, the City of Cornwall Recreation and Municipal Works departments, the Cornwall Kinsmen Farmers Market, and the Downtown BIA.

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Jenni MacDonald, Dominion Lending, Cornwall, Ontario