The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston doesn’t want you to leave New England to get your fill.
Instead, SBN hopes to feed 50,000 people from the New England area with locally grown and produced eats at Boston’s second annual Local Food Festival.
Dedicated to building a strong economy that is local, green and fair, SBN is promoting the festival with the slogan “healthy local food for all,” said Laury Hammel, executive director of SBN.
“The Boston Local Food Festival is one of our premiere programs,” Hammel said. “All of the participants are locally-owned independent businesses or farms. It’s a green event because local agriculture by definition helps the planet become more sustainable, and it’s fair because we’re really looking to increase accessibility and bring local food to all neighborhoods.”
Luckily for us, the festival isn’t strictly about food: Local craft beer, mead, cider and wine tastings will be available, too, along with music and interactive exhibits.
Though SBN obviously wants festival-goers to eat, they also want them to learn.
“We have a number of objectives [for the festival],” Hammel said
“We want to increase awareness of locally-grown food and we’re looking to connect grocery stores to outlets for local food so they can do more business together and help strengthen local food systems.”
SBN is also looking to bridge local systems with cities and governments, encouraging the buying and reselling of local food.
To help facilitate learning, a new Do It Yourself component has been added to the festival this year. “There will be two DIY booths where people can learn skills from a number of professionals, like how to make Kombucha (a tea-based beverage) and how to make other things for themselves using local food,” said Nicola Williams, president of The Williams Agency, the agency producing and marketing the festival.
Novice local food enthusiasts are also invited to share their tips at the DIY booths, Williams said.
Another exciting demonstration and perhaps the most anticipated event at the festival is the noon-time Seafood Throwdown hosted by the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, featuring a cook-off between two master chefs, Derrick Prince and Christian Collins, both contestants on Fox’s competitive cooking reality show MasterChef.
While the festival is free, attendees are encouraged to participate in a Crop Share to benefit South Boston Grows, a non-profit organization that has helped to install of 100 raised beds in South Boston this year.
“We’re asking people to bring one item from their garden and drop it off at the Crop Share booth,” Williams said. “That will be redistributed to local food pantries to help people in need of fresh fruit and vegetables.”
“We want to encourage people to come out and celebrate the great work of local farmers in our state and region,” Hammel said. “Local agriculture is so important to our health and economy’s well-being, and we have so many great local farmers and food producers that really deserve a ‘thank you’ and celebration.”
BOSTON LOCAL FOOD FESTIVAL