Bring on another festival!
In January, CATALYST put on the Clean Air Solutions Fair, with assistance from a crackerjack team of excellent volunteers. While it was lots of work that challenged our existing skillset, we had a blast. And soon afterward we got to thinking, “What’s next?”
A Dandelion Festival, we decided, to celebrate the ubiquitous harbinger of Spring. Something simple, small, maybe in a park somewhere. We were inspired by Katrina Blair’s book, The Wild Wisdom of Weeds (Chelsea Green: 2014) and her Durango, Colorado festival, ongoing since 2008. “The golden plant shares so much generosity in beauty, health and happiness, year after year,” she writes. That’s worth celebrating!
Then, last month, I went to lunch with Gwen Crist and Kim Angeli of Slow Food Utah, a local chapter of the national convivium. Their motto is “Good, Clean, Fair Food.” For the past seven years they’ve held a Honey Bee Festival, extolling the benefits of honey bees and other pollinators.
At lunch, Gwen and Kim said the project’s main organizer had retired from the group. As it is all volunteer-run, they wondered if CATALYST would like to take over the festival.
I mentioned the pending dandelion festival.
“The dandelion is the first food of the bee,” Gwen pointed out, with a twinkle in her eye.
Long story short: Thanks to the wonderful catalyst provided by Slow Food Utah, our humble dandelion idea has mushroomed into the full-fledged Bee Fest: A Celebration of Pollination!
Please join us on June 16, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Wasatch Community Gardens’ Green Team Farm, located just west of the Gateway. It’s a beautiful, inspiring garden managed by James Loomis, our “Garden Like a Boss” writer. Already lovely with pollinator plants, on that day the garden will also host an abundance of pollinator-related projects, products and people.
This year we’re celebrating all manner of pollinators—honey bees, native bees, bats, birds, butterflies, moths and more. And the plants they love!
We’re looking for exhibitors—both nonprofit educational groups and vendors. Do you have special pollinator-related skills, knowledge or products you’d like to share? Sign up here!
We’re also looking for volunteers! Maybe we’ll have a honey-based bake sale and a honey tasting. We’ll need a plant sale coordinator. And does anyone know of someone who does bee beards? (Yes, it’s a thing.)
We’ll have more specifics next month. For now, mark your June calendar. June 16.
As if this gift from Slow Food weren’t serendipity enough, when we approached Governor Herbert’s office re. declaring a week in June Pollinator Week, we received the delightful news that he had actually just done so! June 18-24 is now officially Pollinator Week in the State of Utah.
In the meantime, please help us spread the buzz!