Community groups, gardens, neighbourhoods, markets and social enterprises are coming together this month to create a new covid-safe festival of food and growing.
The Good Food Cardiff Autumn Festival will be a month-long programme of physically-distanced and virtual events which is aiming to involve thousands of people in growing, cooking and sharing food throughout the city. The Festival runs from 12 September to 18 October, culminating in celebrations around World Food Day on 16 October.
Food Cardiff has launched the festival to build on the success of this summer’s Cardiff Growing Together programme which saw more than 14,000 plants, seeds and growing kits being distributed during lockdown to encourage people to grow their own vegetables.
Pearl Costello is the festival organiser and Sustainable Food Cities co-ordinator at Food Cardiff. She explained:
“The problems of food insecurity, loneliness and isolation have been exacerbated by Covid-19 so we are continuing our work to bring communities together around growing, cooking and sharing food.
“Too many people in Cardiff are struggling to get access to the food they need. Growing your own food at home is a great way to inspire an interest in cooking, to encourage families to be more adventurous in what they eat and, of course, to provide low cost produce to supplement the weekly shop.
“The Festival is also aiming to tackle the problems of loneliness and isolation. Community growing is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills and make lasting friendships in the local area,” she said.
From food festivals to virtual grow-alongs
The Festival kicked off with the St Fagans Food Festival on 12-13 September. Other local food festivals happening as part of the programme include the Dusty Forge Centre in Ely in partnership with Grow Cardiff.
Online events are a significant part of the programme with Green Squirrel hosting a virtual grow-along on 14 October on the theme of harvest.
Taking part are organisations across the city, including ACE in Caerau & Ely, Global Gardens in Cathays, Cardiff Salad Garden in Bute Park, Riverside farmers’ markets in Rhiwbina, Roath and Riverside, The Boneyard in Canton, Edible Cardiff, EggSeeds and Cardiff Council
The month culminates with the international World Food Day celebrations. Food Cardiff is encouraging groups to celebrate World Food Day by supporting the Soil Association’s Food For Life Get Togethers - a national campaign to bring people together through the power of good food.
How you can get involved
Anyone in the city can host their own event as part of the festival and a free Food Cardiff toolkit is available to help with event planning, promotion and covid safety measures. Events are listed at www.foodcardiff.com and on social media with #goodfoodcardiff.
Groups organising their own events can complete an online registration form.
Sustain are encouraging more areas to launch Veg Cities campaigns and get local businesses and organisations making veg pledges. Veg Cities is a feature campaign of Sustainable Food Places and is run in partnership with Peas Please.
Veg Cities: Veg Cities is a feature campaign of the Sustainable Food Cities led by food and farming charity Sustain in partnership with the wider Peas Please initiative led by the Food Foundation, Nourish Scotland, Food Cardiff and WWF.
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