Sep 21 2010

Piedmont’s 12th Annual Harvest Festival

Sunday, September 26, 2010 ~ 11:30 –3:30, Piedmont Community Hall, Piedmont Main Park

On Sunday, September 26,  Piedmont will once again celebrate our edible gardens with growing and cooking contests, a farmers market, scarecrows, jazz festival and more. Under the leadership of co-founders Susan Hill and Bill Drum, a committee of 15 has organized an event that will showcase the huge range of food harvested and cooked in our city. Animal husbandry will be represented by local honey and eggs.

Every Piedmonter is encouraged to submit an entry as an individual, family or group. Produce must be grown within the borders of the city of Piedmont. Cooked or preserved harvest edibles are eligible for the culinary contest. Produce and culinary items for judging should be delivered to the Community Hall on September 26 before 10 am. (Participation forms are available at the Recreation Department or online on the City’s web site HERE.

Scarecrows, games and crafts for the children will benefit the three elementary schools. The traditional lemonade from Piedmont lemons will be available as well as other locally sourced foods. Village Market will provide the meats for the grilled sandwiches. There will be no art show this year because the Japanese Tea House is being renovated. In the early years the Tea House was the setting for lecture-demonstrations on techniques of fruit tree espalier, bee keeping, gray water recycling, composting, worm bins, urban soil amelioration, rain water harvesting, and low-water produce.  One year the art exhibit was held in the community room of the Police department , but seemed too removed from the festival so it was moved to the Tea House and the lectures ended. Methods of canning and preserving sweet and savory produce were demonstrated and then tasted in the kitchen.

Folk music on the plaza and a classical trio playing Mozart in the Community Hall have given way to jazz, which became the staple during the past decade. Drum noted that local performers appear gratis. The $3,000 cost of the stage, sound system and piano that was previously funded by the City will be paid out of Festival funds this year.

The idea of the celebration grew out of informal competitions between neighbors and friends. Hill and Drum had competed fiercely as to who could achieve the best crop and wanted to establish an event for the whole community inspired by county fairs. They hoped to launch it for the celebration of 2000 but the Festival came together so quickly, they put it on in 1999. With edible gardens so popular in Piedmont, the Festival was an immediate success. As more and more Piedmonters become involved, the Harvest Festival promises to continue to flourish.

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