© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
Lori Hovington shows a pumpkin to her 19-month-old nephew Josh Overby with her granddaughter Violet Cornelson (right) standing by at Yara Community Gardens' first annual Pumpkin Harvest Festival on Saturday.
The pumpkins are harvested and Yara Community Gardens is celebrating.
The second annual Pumpkin Harvest Festival will take place on Sept. 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1000 Grey Ave.
“It’s kind of a casual family event to celebrate the fall season and to celebrate another successful harvest,” said community gardens co-ordinator Sarah Varey. “We’re just so pleased to welcome the community and the neighbourhood over.”
The day will include a free lunch with pulled pork on homemade buns, coleslaw, vegetarian chili and hot drinks like apple cider, hot chocolate and coffee. There will also be kids’ crafts and games and a playground is on site.
“We have local musicians to give it a festive atmosphere and, of course, we sell pumpkins,” said Varey. “It’s a pumpkin fundraiser for us and we’ve been growing the pumpkins all summer long and now they’re ready to harvest.”
She estimated there would be 150 large pumpkins at the festival.
“The pumpkins are really big this year, which is kind of exciting. I think that basically we just put on a fall festival and anyone can come, especially kids. It’s kind of designed for that,” said Varey. “It’s a come and go thing but last year people stayed for the whole time, brought their whole family and just kind of enjoyed the space.”
She added it’s also a chance for people to see what the community gardens do and to ask any questions about the program.
“The event itself is free. The only thing that costs money is the pumpkins,” said Varey. “It’s basically just a way for us to give back to the community and also kind of do a little bit of a fundraiser for us.”
Last year she said they gave away 400 servings of chili.
“We ended up giving away all the chili we had,” said Varey. “We think about 400 people came. It was a huge success and it’s something really fun too that we can kind of give back to the community and gardeners are really excited about that idea too.”
She added high school students and volunteers have been taking care of the growing pumpkins in the summer.
“They’re a long-seasoned kind of crop. So volunteers got together and we planted them,” said Varey. “Our summer students have been watering them and weeding them all summer long and now they’re ready … It’s a community endeavour that everyone lends a hand to grow these pumpkins.”
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