Plant Festival focuses on sustainability

Image of Shawna O'Neill
By Shawna O'Neill
Plant Festival focuses on sustainability
Niruuja Jeyachandran and Kiera Allen having fun at the Plant Festival on Saturday, May 25. Shawna ONeill, Seaway News photo.

CORNWALL, Ontario – The seventh annual Incredible Edible Plant Festival found a new home this year, attracting locals to the Cornwall Bandshell to receive a free vegetable plant and learn about agricultural sustainability on Saturday, May 25.

“We looked at the fact that the Edible Cities Project is going to be planted at the East and West side of the Bandshell at 1 p.m., so we partnered with them to have everything here today. I mean, the whole idea of edible cities and vegetable gardening just goes together,” said Elaine Kennedy, volunteer of Transition Cornwall+.

This year’s Plant Festival offered live entertainment, nature inspired arts and crafts for children, information about local organizations that focus on food and sustainable agriculture, as well as growing and gardening tips for settings, like balconies. Kennedy said about 50 volunteers made the event possible this year.

“What we do here is hopefully start a program people will want to continue themselves,” said Kennedy. “We are helping people be flexible about their food security. If you grow your own, you know where it’s coming from, you know whether or not there’s pesticides on it and you can enjoy the flavour.”

“With the various stores where you can buy food, it is so convenient. There is so much packaged food that I think people forget in some ways where the food comes from. Therefore the more we serve with an event like this, people will say ‘oh yeah, it can grow in a pot or in my garden.’ People will maybe be a little more aware, and perhaps check how far the food has come.”

Kennedy said that she strives to shop and grow local because she knows where the food comes from, what is on it and she enjoys supporting local people.

“The support of the volunteers, the City, and our other partners help put this on,” said Kennedy about the festival.

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