On September 8th I attended (with partner Jan, sister Pam and cousin BJ) the Third Annual Farm To Table Feast on Gabriola. I’d heard rave reviews of the first two, so decided to take in this year’s festivities.
If you know me, you know I’m not much for socializing and am usually in my pj’s by 4:30pm. I worked the afternoon shift for a decade and am a bit of a night owl. But having moved here I’m up @6am and have to take a local bus and ferry before getting to town. My whole time clock has shifted – I still like being up at night – but I start winding down by late afternoon.
I made the exception to get out to support the hard work of so many people who volunteered to make the dinner happen. It’s no mean feat throwing a garden party for well over 300 people.
Founder/organizer Lynn Bowerman came up with the idea to host an event that brings people together to celebrate and promote local food, food security, supports the local economy and cultivates community building. It was also a fundraiser towards the building of a local skate park. (The previous two gave funds to the Agricultural Association Co-op).
I rustled up all my birds, put them to bed early and then off we went. The feast has been held at The Commons every year. It must have taken an army to set up the grounds – tents, tables, chairs, stage, bar and community kitchen. It had rained all day and was still sprinkling as we arrived. No matter, we were all well protected under the tents (that is until the occasional deluge poured off the canopy).
There were rows of tables all decorated and each setting had vintage salt & peppers, appys and tea lights. We all brought our own dishes, stem ware and cutlery to minimize creating waste. Of course, there was a station to separate the compost, garbage and recyclables.
The dinner was great: roast chicken (sorry, girls), potatoes, roasted veggies and dessert. The entire dinner came from locally sourced produce and was prepared by a team in the community kitchen building. Volunteer servers appeared at just the right time. There was a cash bar (look at that beautiful bar) in the timber frame building, with a variety of local drinks, including Gabbie’s Cider. Just as the rain was clearing The Boom Booms, a band from Vancouver played and got people up to dance.
Everything seemed to run like clockwork. The food and service were great, the tables and tents were beautiful, the music got people up off their feet. I think a good time was had by all, and $9500 was raised for the skate park. Kudos to everyone involved.