Featured Photo: A photo of the Reaping the Harvest Festival downloaded from the WeGrowTogether Facebook page for promotional purposes.
Reaping the Harvest, an annual celebration hosted by the Red River Coalition of Community Gardeners, has all of the elements of a hip food event. There are popular local chefs serving delicious food made using locally sourced ingredients. There are cooking demos and casual garden tours. What Reaping the Harvest doesn’t have is an admission fee. But it’d be really cool of you to consider making a donation (see the official Facebook event for details) just the same.
The event – which will be held for the fourth time, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 at 1613 Martha Street in Shreveport – will feature food from Eleazar and Rodrigo Mondragon of Ki’ Mexico, Chef Hardette Harris of Pure Louisiana Soul, Libby Patterson Smith of Go Greenly, Melissa Brannan Stewart of Now You’re Cooking, and Andrew Parsons of Lagniappe Foods. Guests can also take part in health screenings, children’s activities and tours of the raised bed gardens that dot the campus of WeGrowTogether.
During the 2015 and 2016 events, I ate the equivalent of two really great meals at this casual gathering. Chef Hardette Harris’s Louisiana caviar (pictured) knocked my socks off in 2015. Andrew Parsons’s delicious homemade fig cake – which I believe he brings each year – is quickly becoming a legendary dessert among local food lovers. Libby from Go Greenly, who’s been encouraging Shreveport-Bossier to eat vegan goodies longer than anyone, always has a delicious cold gazpacho or something along those lines.
There’s also something to be said for just how laid-back the event is. Folks wander through the WeGrowTogether garden beds as students of the program point out the vegetables that they’ve grown. This year, attendees will be able to tour the new WeGrowTogether Education Center for the first time. This re-purposed historic home is currently being outfitted to become a unique educational facility that.
Here’s a wonderful preview of what the WeGrowTogether Education Center will do for the community courtesy of Slow Food North Louisiana: