A variety of garlic from the 2019 event.
Photos courtesy Rae Jampole
Garlic Festival returns to Richmond
Published 2:38 PDT, Tue August 2, 2022
The popular Sharing Farm Garlic Festival is returning to Richmond this year.
Held at the Sharing Farm in Terra Nova Rural Park, the event will take place on Aug. 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the first in-person event since 2019.
Prior to the pandemic, the event attracted many people from around the Lower Mainland, with thousands of attendees each year. But when in-person events were shut down, the Sharing Farm had hundreds of pounds of garlic left untouched. Like many other festival organizers, the Sharing Farm team took a virtual approach and shared garlic with community members through online sales as well as a subscription-based program.
“We continued to share our garlic with the community through online sales and our (community-supported agriculture) harvest basket program, where members subscribe to 17 weeks of fresh, local, sustainably grown vegetables,” says Rae Jampole, events coordinator at the Sharing Farm.
The Sharing Farm was started in the 1990s, when there was a scarce amount of fresh produce for food banks. Founder Mary Gazetas and her friends decided to help and provide those in need with fresh healthy food.
Thirty years later, that idea has blossomed into an organization that ensures low-income residents have access to local produce. The Sharing Farm also donates thousands of pounds of fresh produce every year, and sells it online through their website as well as the weekly subscription program.
The Garlic Festival is the Sharing Farm’s signature event. It started more than 15 years ago when staff discovered the farm’s growing conditions produced high-quality, flavourful garlic. The festival became an opportunity to teach the community about food security, the mission of the Sharing Farm, and more.
“We want people to come and experience this beautiful rural park where the farm is located. We also want to inform community members of the opportunities to purchase and enjoy local food grown in their neighbourhood,” says Jampole.
Newcomers to the event will be able to enjoy live music, an expanded farmers’ market where over 1,000 pounds of garlic of different varieties will be sold, live birds of prey flying demonstrations, food trucks with garlic-inspired dishes, freshly roasted Sharing Farm garlic and salad, and the unique garlic ice cream.
There will also be a wide variety of educational workshops that will take people through the process of growing garlic, the equipment used for farming, a bee safari, and a native plant walk.
School of Rock Vancouver will perform at the event and will also have a booth offering children the opportunity to try playing instruments like guitars, keyboards, and drums. Children will also have their own area, where they can participate in nature inspired arts and crafts or play with the cardboard castles and water wall.
Visit sharingfarm.ca/garlicfest for more information.
Garlic Festival volunteers at the 2019 event.