A little over a year ago, a group of us started talking about what could be done with the excess of backyard apples that go to waste every year.
As it happens, the questions expanded exponentially until the idea of a Home Grown Festival was born. Question: Do you know what usually comes after a good idea? Answer: A lot of hard work. Councilor Michael Rendon ran the meetings and anyone who left the meeting was assigned more tasks. But it worked out, and turned into a very popular event, so the second annual Home Grown Festival will happen Oct. 18 at Buckley Park in downtown. Plan to attend or you’ll be assigned a task for next year.
Already, the Home Grown has grown. The festival is a combination of free Living Local Workshops, a Family Celebration of Harvest and our original idea, an opportunity to Share Our Fruitful Abundance.
The workshops are a hit with experienced home-growers and wannabes. Sessions are offered about food preservation, urban beekeeping, mushrooms, beer brewing, selecting fruit trees and preparing local wild foods. Workshops will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The Family Celebration is presented as a true festival of the fall harvest. A good selection of live music plays all day, as pie-eaters compete for bragging rights and a front page “photo-op.” Don’t miss the
2 p.m. gypsy music and the A-Bun-Dance.
Share The Abundance activities go on all day and are the centerpiece of the Homegrown Festival.
This is hands-on, roll-up-the-sleeves kind of family fun that features apple pressing, fruit-pie sales, bountiful baskets, apple dunking, pumpkin painting, the outrageous apple slingshot and a fall brews beer garden with local foods from Sunnyside Meats, Turtle Lake Refuge and Zia Taqueria.
So, save those backyard apples (and other locally grown fruit) and bring them down to Buckley Park on Oct 18. They’ll be put to good use and offered free to anyone who needs them. Arrangements can even be made to pick up your unsprayed fruit. Call 382-6463.
Also don’t miss Harvest Week, Saturday through Oct. 17, when participating downtown restaurants feature specials that include three locally sourced ingredients.
The event is enthusiastically sponsored by the city of Durango and La Plata County, with the help of many community organizations that support local growers and sustainable living.
For more information, call the Colorado State University Extension Office at 382-6463 or visit HomeGrownFestival.
Didn’t some other great event start with a young couple in a garden and an apple?
Bob Kunkel is special events and business coordinator for Durango’s Central Business District.