Nearly 900 people gathered at Marley Farm in the Mount Newton Valley for FarmFolk CityFolk's 14th annual Feast of Fields on Vancouver Island. The wandering gourmet harvest, with its emphasis on local, seasonal and organic, is considered by many to the best festival of the year.
As people arrive at the farm, they line up to get their wine glass and napkin, check out the menu, and get ready to spend the next four hours strolling a country farm and enjoying some of the best food and drink Vancouver Island has to offer.
Every year, there's always were a few local bands that play throughout the day to- help set the mood and provide a little foot stomping music. On the farm this year were The Sweet Low Down and Jane's Way (pictured below).
With a guest list of nearly 900 people, chefs are busy long before the gates open preparing enough samples for everyone. The chefs from the Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort had their hands full preparing their offerings: savoury cones with hand peeled shrimp, basil pesto and Natural Pastures Camembert Cheese, and sweet cones with white chocolate mousse with Nanoose Edibles marionberries and dark chocolate walnut bark.
Vin Coco Patisserie, a locally owned chocolate and pastry shop in Victoria, upstaged everyone as they showed off just how fun, sweet (and rock and roll) food can be.
There were a number of new participants at this year's Feast of Fields including The Oak Bay Bistro. Serving up Driftwood Wort and molasses cured wild salmon, dill seed buttermilk cracker and candied apple relish, the bistro offered delicious bite-sized finger food rivaled only by its presentation.
One reason Feast of Fields is so much fun is because it draws people of all ages. To help make it affordable for families, there's a discounted ticket price for kids under 12. Although a word of warning, your kids may be more interested in what's in the swamp than on their plate.
Feast of Fields is a annual fundraiser for FarmFolk CityFolk, a non-profit society that works year-around to cultivate a local, sustainable food system. During the festival, executive director Nicholas Scapillati (second from right) shared a few moments with Bev Marley (far right), the host of this year's festival, and Ryan Vantreight (second from left) who first introduced Bev to the festival's organizers so many months ago.
Of course, Feast of Fields wouldn't be possible without the many volunteers and people behind the scenes. Friendly, helpful and always smiling!