Stone Soup Festival 2009
The Stone Soup Festival at Britannia on Commercial Drive, Vancouver BC fell on Mother’s Day weekend this year. We arrived at the festival just as the jolly Carnival Band was rambling around the park and were soon planting pumpkin and sunflower seeds, feeding the chickens at the Backyard Chicken information desk and munching on a bowl of hearty FREE stone soup.
This was my first time at the festival and I was really impressed and surprised that although there were a few vendors selling honey, dehydrated vegetable crackers, pottery, gourmet foods and plants, the main content of the festival was information.
I stopped at a mason bee exhibition and was impressed to discover that even though I could buy a very affordable bee home and bees, I could actually make the same thing myself from bamboo and just put it in a sunny spot and let some prayers drift on the wind in hopes that some mason bees will make it their home. I felt no pressure to spend money, but I did get a great mug for my mother while there.
We also stopped and got some delicious food in the large hall and sat down to listen to a tiny old lady sing and dance in Spanish. As we were leaving we caught the encore from the group of kids who were providing the music for a happy throng of dancing bodies.
There was a lot of stuff going on at the festival including talks in the library, we were unable to do everything and so I don’t have a comprehensive list of participants but a look through the information pamphlets that I brought home cover a wide cross-section of the grass-roots movements and culture that has built up in the area:
- Youth and Urban Agriculture from the Environmental Youth Alliance
- Community Computer Day – Reboot offers refurbished computers for $45
- Maison Cote a Gourmet Store specializing in vanilla beans from Papua New Guinea among many other things.
- A page of very helpful backyard chicken resources from the folks who are pushing through getting chickens back into the city.
- A cool flier about the unconference called The Great Turning, which looked like a really great meeting of minds, organized by Be The Change Earth Alliance.
- Pure Honey
- Vancouver Farmers Market
- DOXA Documentary Film Festival