Today we went to the Third Annual Tree Festival in Leslie Grove Park. We played some music, and people were not very interested. That’s OK. We were really there about the trees. There were some very cool dispays by a large variety of tree groups in the city, as well as some great crafts. What bothered me was the food area. We thought we would be able to grab some delicious enviro-snacks but mostly it was non-organic meat on a bun packed in Styrofoam! It always shocks me when there is Styrofoam at environmental festivals, and also when you can’t get anything vegetarian. I guess I always thought tree hugger plus vegetarian were a pretty common item. I saw a stand serving yummy looking smoothies but they only came in plastic (not even the recyclable kind, let alone compostable or reusable). I was thoroughly disappointed, which is probably OK because I think they were thoroughly disappointed in our musical performance. We are not really crowd rousing. We’re sort of soft and airy and not really interactive (except when we have dance contests and give away cookies but we didn’t this time). Oh well, you win some, you lose some, I suppose.
After the festival we ate at PULP KITCHEN, which made it all worth it! They are vegan and trash-free friendly. They also have the best atmosphere ever, just greasy diner enough for me to feel at home. I discovered that since being pregnant I can eat many of the things I am usually allergic too, so I’m trying to eat at lots of vegan restaurants and enjoy all the soy I can before I have the baby and get my own immune system back.
Oh, since this blog is supposed to be positive and focus on solutions, here are my solutions for feeding crowds at festivals:
1. Have reuseable plates and a deposit system. If you want to make money, make special plates with the festival logo on them and give people the choice to buy them for a few dollars more than the rental fee. The plate I carry around with me (but not today because I assumed I wouldn’t need it) is from the Jasper folk festival where they did exactly as I am suggesting.
2. Have the vendors make all their packaging edible or at least compostable, like they do at Feast of Fields.
3. Try to get at least a few organic and vegetarian vendors at an environmental festival. Chances are there will be a market for them.