HARWICH — There seems to be a greater interest in knowing where our food comes from and placing locally grown “farm fresh” products on the table. On Saturday, residents have an opportunity to learn more about locally grown products at the ninth annual “Meet Your Local Farmers” at the community center.
The event will provide the public with the opportunity to meet and discuss farming techniques and tips with local farmers from Sandwich to Provincetown, just as local gardeners begin to prepare for the upcoming growing season.
“It's a great way to shake off cabin fever and get excited about the upcoming growing season,” Harwich Conservation Trust Executive Director Michael Lach said of the event.
The event is co-sponsored by the Trust and the Cape and Islands Farm Bureau. Lach said the collaborative effort began nine years ago with a little more than a dozen participants and has quadrupled over the years, with at least 50 exhibitors from farms and farm supporting organizations committed to this year's event. It started in the multi-purpose room at the center and has expanded to the gymnasium.
It's become a great success with people of all ages enjoying it, he said. It's free and open to the public.
It is often said you plant your snow peas on St. Paddy's Day, and Lach cites this event as a kick-off of the growing season. This is the largest local farmer gathering on Cape Cod, Lach said.
The HCT and the Farm Bureau “recognize the common ground of land and water resources,” Lach said. “We are sensitive stewards of the Cape Cod environment.”
The event provides the opportunity for people to talk with farmers and learn more about locally grown products as well as farm-related activities. Farmers will also be selling farm-related products, Lach said. There will be locally grown greens, dried cranberries, strawberries, beef, pork, eggs, flowers, jams and jellies, lavender, herbs, and organic products.
New this year, Lach said, is Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters from Brewster. The Chatham Oyster Co. will also provide an opportunity to learn more about aquaculture. There will also be music with fiddler and tin whistle player Denya LeVine strolling about the farmers.
“Learning about the local farms, tips and techniques will enhance your own gardening adventure,” Lach said. “It's a great time of year to be mindful of garden preparations.”
The event also provides information about local farmers' markets on the Cape, which allow people to “taste good, fresh food,” he said.
The gymnasium is set up with the help of AmeriCorps of Cape Cod to provide a sense of a barnyard. There will be different animals, including Scottish Highland cattle from Seawind Meadows Farm. Lach said he anticipates a herd of goats, poultry and there is rumor of a llama showing up.
The “Meet Your Local Farmers” event will run from noon to 3 p.m. this Saturday at the community center on Oak Street.