Fall Harvest Festival

Vendors and displays around the room in the Fleet Club were available to military and civilian Base personnel who stopped in to the Fall Harvest Festival on October 20.
Photo: Ryan Melanson/Trident Staff

Fall Harvest Festival puts focus on fresh food, healthy lifestyles

By Ryan Melanson,
Trident Staff

CFB Halifax’s first Fall Harvest Festival was held on October 20 at Tribute Tower, featuring local farmers and gardeners, fresh food, educational presentations and live demos. The event was spearheaded by the Nutritional Wellness Working Group as part of the MARLANT Health and Wellness Strategy.

“One of the things we’ve talked about in recent years is trying to engage people in local food and fresh food,” said Kathleen Bayliss-Byrne, Base Dietician and co-chair of the working group. They’ve mainly done that by partnering up with other base groups or events, and decided to organize the Fall Harvest Festival as their first signature event.

“Last year is when we really made a commitment to do it and started working toward what we have today,” Bayliss-Byrne said.

The room was turned into a mini farmers market of vendors and exhibitors, with plants, herbs, fresh produce and other products on offer, and samples of fall soups available to try, along with fruit-infused water to drink.

And as attendees checked out the vendors, displays and snacks, presentations on the main stage covered topics like indoor herb and vegetable growing with the Atlantic Canada Master Gardener’s Associations, the benefits of honey bees with the Halifax Honey Bee Society, and the many uses for flax with Howard Selig of Valley Flaxflour, who also did a live cooking demonstration with some of his products.

Selig, whose flax pancake and cookie mix took Taste of Nova Scotia’s Product of the Year award in 2016, said he takes every opportunity to spread the word about his line of gluten-free products, and that it was encouraging to see the CAF making a push toward healthier and more sustainable lifestyles.

“We’re having a good day and meeting a lot of people who are interested in making healthy choices.”