The four-hour afternoon event kicked off with a Zumba class with more than 80 participants to raise money for the United Way. The crowd was high-energy before transitioning to the lower level of the Grand Haven library for some hands-on, kid-friendly learning.
Gardenfest was the brainchild of "Bod-E-Nomics" authors Wendy Schweifler and Viki Goldberg. Participants ranged from Juice Plus and Tower Gardens to The Village Baker, Blueberry Haven, Health Hutt, Grand Haven Community Gardens, The City Farmer to the Tri-Cities Garden Club.
To see more photos from the event, click here.
Every business was excited to get the kids interacting with them, whether it was helping them build terrariums to tasting what real carrot juice was to playing with worms in a compost pile. The businesses may have been of a wide range, but they all had one goal: to teach kids about healthy growing and eating.
“We really wanted to help children understand how important it is to eat their fruits and veggies, along with how they start and end with compost,” said Steve Reimink of Reimink’s Family Farm.
Kathy Smith, manager of the garden center at The City Farmer, had similar reasons for being there.
“We wanted to show people that organics are more popular, to get the kids out and planting, to showcase our perennials and to engage in the community,” she said.
Schweifler, who prided herself on being the Gardenfest prize patrol, said she was ecstatic about the overall turnout, and enjoyed spreading her and Goldberg’s reason behind the operation.
“It was an awesome day. Everyone said they had fun, and the kids seemed to learn a lot,” Schweifler said. “We just wanted everyone — not just the kids — to realize that the closer to home your vegetables and fruits are grown and harvested, the more nutritious they are for you.”
— By Kelsey Turek/Special to the Tribune