Harvest Palooza was a comfortably home-spun celebration

By David F. Rooney

The North Columbia Environmental Society’s first annual Harvest Palooza proved to be a comfortably home-spun community harvest celebration.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said NCES President Hailey Ross. “I think it was very successful… this is, I think, just the start and we’ll do it again next year.”

About 100 people attended the event in the basement of the United Church. It was originally planned for the green space between the church and the Village Idiot but the cold, grey weather prompted organizers to hold it indoors. That certainly didn’t interfere with people’s enjoyment of the event, of course, or the sense that the NCES is reaching a broad spectrum within the Revelstoke community.

“I don’t see a lot of people from my generation here,” said 58-year-old Michael Morris. “But there are certainly a lot of the younger people here.”

That’s not to say that only young people attended. The age range covered the gamut from 20-somethings to 70-somethings and they shared a passion for gardens and gardening. The pot luck was excellent and the music was terrific. There were activities for kids from colouring to bobbing for apples, a pie contest, a seed exchange run by Revelstoke Current Food Editor Leslie Savage, a wild food display put up by Pat Wells and, of course, a Biggest and Smallest Vegetable Contest judged by Michael Morris.

If you missed the Harvest Palooza, I’m afraid you missed a wonderfully low-key and friendly event. Ideally, the NCES will be able to replicate that same sense of communal fun next year.

In the meantime, here are some photos from the event:

Pie judges Olivier Dutil of Woolsey Creek and La Baguette, Cynthia Gingras of the Modern and Kendra Powell of Mountain Meals were the distinguished judges in the Pie Contest. Here they chat with NCES President Hailey Johnson after determining that Pat Wells' huckleberry pie was the first prize winner. Donna Peterson won second place with her apple pie and Mailys Formaggio took third with a pear-chocolate pie. David F. Rooney photo
About 100 people attended the NCES first harvest festival. David F. Rooney photo
David Savage peruses the potluck offerings at the NCES's first Harvest Palooza on Saturday. David F. Rooney photo
Matt Potter, Giles Shearing and Gabe Taylor were among the first-rate local musicians who performed at the event. David F. Rooney photo
Farming in yester-year was the theme of a display from the Revelstoke Museum & Archives, Do you know what all these instruments are? David F. Rooney photo
Giles Shearing chats with Hailey Johnson of the Revelstoke Museum & Archives. David F. Rooney photo
Revelstoke Current Food editor Leslie Savage ran the Seed Echange table during Harvest Palooza. David F. Rooney photo
Jane McNabb helped keep some of the young children occupied making drawings on the theme, Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From? David F. Rooney photo
John Pool of Banff bobs for apples. David F. Rooney photo
And he snags one, too! David F. Rooney photo
What's a Harvest Palooza without some monster vegetables. Rory Luxmoore's and Sara Newton's 55.5-poung pumpkin easily overshadowed its rivals in the Biggest and Smallest Vegetable Contest. Here, they humbly accept their ribbon from judge Michael Morris. David F. Rooney photo
Pat Wells accepts second prize from Judge Michael Morris on behalf of Mike Bell who grew this rather large zucchini. "He didn't even plant it," Wells said. "The plant was a volunteer and before he knew Mike had a zucchini patch in his yard. That's where this came from." David F. Rooney photo
This pod of scarlet runner beans was easily big enough to win Antoinette Halberstadt Third Place in the vegetable contest. David F. Rooney photo
Turtle Mountain's performers (from left to right): Steve Kent, Frank Derosiers, Dave Marfleet and Debbie Long fascinated their fans. David F. Rooney photo
Josie Woodman stirs a pot of plums she was turning into jelly. David F. Rooney photo
Michael Morris and Herman Bruns of Wildflight Farms share a few words. David F. Rooney photo
Luc Savigne of Cochrane, Alta., was the last performer at the Harvest Palooza. David F. Rooney photo