Are you ready to party in the Garden!?!
This Harvest Party grew from the BearPower organization. White Bear Lake is lucky to have the efforts and talents of this group of dedicated people. They’re working to bring healthy living to our community in so many different ways.
I’ve been digging into coordinating this BearPower Harvest Party with the BearPower team and loving finding the best of the best to help celebrate community grown food. We’ve brought together the cream of the crop local chefs to prepare all that lovingly grown food. Add to that a great mix of activities to take over our White Bear Area YMCA gardens for the day and you’ve got a can’t miss event! We’ve got FREE food, games, information, samples and activities to get you growing your love of good food!
More Information by clicking on the -> Facebook Event Page
Sunday Sept 23rd @12:00-3:00PM
White Bear Area YMCA Community Garden
2100 Orchard Lane, White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Indoors @ the YMCA if raining
Harvest Party Food
All the food at the harvest Party was grown in local community gardens, including WBL district schools, HealthPartners White Bear Lake Clinic, Tamarack Nature Center, and the YMCA community gardens! 5 of the beds growing food for the event are part of the awesome local initiative, “Giving Gardens“. Making sure we have enough food to fill in the gaps, All Good Organics local farm has pledged to donate from their recent harvests as well!
A chef challenge meal, created from all the locally grown food will be served starting at noon. We’ll keep serving until every last veggie has been eaten. If there’s simply too much food, extras will go the White Bear Area Food Shelf.
The food service will include some freshly made soups and grilled veggies. Huge thanks to local chefs, Ben Pratt of Ingredients Café + The Burger Bar and Matt Ellison of Bonfire Restaurants, who will be creating tasty creations with all the veggies we throw at them! I can’t wait to see what they come up with 🙂
Vote for your favorite food on your way out!
Bread baked by White Bear Lake United Methodist Church in their Community Bread Oven during a community bread bake on Saturday will also be donated. Ciabatta and Focaccia were mentioned when I was talking with one of the bakers! Our garden-grown herbs and potatoes will be used in making the breads.
Pine Tree Apple Orchard is donating crates of freshly picked apples for the event as well. The apples will be handed out by volunteers from the White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf. Please think about making a monetary donation to the food shelf to help make sure all our neighbors have access to good food!
It is so amazing to be able to say that ALL the veggies were grown and/or donated by community members!
Harvest Party Activities
We’ve got a little something for everyone during the Harvest Party!
BearPower ‘larger than life’ games and the famous carrot mascot, “Chomp” will be perusing the party ready for photos.
Insect Hotel We will be group building a “beneficial bug hotel” Stop by to add your mark and help pollinate our YMCA gardens!
White Bear Lake Schools will have a table, highlighting the gardens and gardeners (mostly kids) that grew food for the event!
The YMCA will have information on renting a garden bed in the gardens next season. We will also be handing out a limited number of strawberry plants that YMCA Summer Power kids helped propagate!
White Bear Lake Seed Library will be doing Seed Saving Demos with plants growing in the gardens. Take home Seeds to get your garden growing next year! We’ll be working with sunflower and marigold seeds to name a few!
Ramsey County Master Gardeners will be onsite ready for your questions, and info on getting the most out of your Fall garden, and how to prepare it for Winter.
Health Partners Health Club will be onsite with info on eating healthy and demos.
All Good Organics farmer will be onsite with info on growing organic and a few surprises. This farm has dedicated to fill in produce that we need to round out the harvest party meal.
Keeping it Local
As YMCA Community Garden coordinator, I’m wearing a few hats during this event, I’ll be onsite with a Forks in the Dirt information table about the impact of eating local and samples to share!
I LOVE how this whole event began; a well-loved local doctor, Elsa Keeler, had a vision to bring families together over locally grown healthy food. Just look what that one well rooted idea has become!
Staying True to Doing Good
One of the reasons I started blogging was to highlight all the good that is happening around us.
Forks in the Dirt’s motto is “Crossing paths with Farmers, Food and Doing Good”
And with this event, I got to be part of making that good happen. I have learned so much about our community and how strongly we believe in AND follow through with showing up for one another. It makes me proud to be part of this community 🙂
The amount and diversity of Community Gardens in our area truly amazes me. It really is a testament to people wanting to be more connected to the food they eat, and the land they inhabit. If you are interested in joining any of the local community gardens, read my earlier blog post all about our local gardens!
Can’t wait to Dig into some good food and good conversations- hope to see you there!