After 20 years of Carrot Fest, the not-for-profit groups Everdale Organic Farm and the SEED have teamed up to found Carrot Stock Music Festival.
Carrot Fest, which was once an open house to visit the Everdale farm in Erin – normally a teaching farm and a kids’ camp in the summer – has been upgraded to a music festival this year with the goal to raise $30,000 in funds to support the Good Food Project.
“In Guelph and Wellington, almost 20,000 people are experiencing some form of food insecurity which means they are going without food for days, and in milder cases there are people who are chronically worried about having enough money to buy food,” said Gavin Dandy, Everdale’s executive director.
“Not only is that happening in Guelph and Wellington, that’s happening all over Canada. So we got together with the SEED and a few other organizations and said, ‘You know what? We’re going to change that and we’re not going to wait for the government to make policies, we’re going to make a home-grown solution to this problem.’”
“Everyone should have enough food to eat – no questions asked. And what better community to be one of the first to solve that problem than Guelph/Wellington?” said Dandy.
Activities at the festival included pick your own carrots, bread making, painting chicken portraits, carrot pickling, eating the world’s largest carrot cake and, of course, great live music.
Carrot Stock boasted a lineup of local musicians from Guelph and the Kitchener/Waterloo area such as Alysha Brilla & the Brilltones, Gary Farmer & the Troublemakers, Annie Sumi, Royal Castles, Nicolette & the Nobodies, The Lofters, Funky Mamas, as well as Duncan Ivany and the North Coast Band.
Brothers Connor and Duncan Ivany of Duncan Ivany and the North Coast Band have been living and working at Everdale farm for 14 months and were happy to have been invited to be a part of the festival lineup after mentioning to festival organizers that they have a band.
“We want to get everyone out to listen to music and learn about farming,” said Connor Ivany. “Building up this festival and making it awesome and having the word of mouth go out to eventually expand this into a huge fundraiser for the Good Food Project. We want to continue to make it sustainable and family-friendly.”
“Other festivals like Hillside and Riverfest – they all started somewhere and it could’ve looked like a small get-together just like this,” said Duncan Ivany.