RIPE! Food & Garden Festival
Coming to Cleveland Botanical Garden September 24 – 26
Special “Harvest Moon” Preview Dinner Thursday, September 23
Cleveland, OH – Ohio locavores should bring their appetites to Cleveland Botanical Garden’s new RIPE! Food & Garden Festival, which celebrates both the edible gardening revolution and Northeast Ohio’s thriving commitment to local food, from Friday, September 24 through Sunday, September 26, 2010. The 3-day festival will kick off with a special Harvest Moon Preview Dinner on the evening of Thursday, September 23 on Wade Oval in University Circle; the dinner will feature cuisine by chefs Douglas Katz of fire food & drink, Ben Bebenroth of Spice of Life Catering Co., and Tony Smoody of Bon Appétit, the Garden’s catering partner.
Says Garden Executive Director Natalie Ronayne: “With the edible gardening and local food revolution now a way of life for so many people, and with local food playing such an increasingly fundamental role in how the Garden serves its mission, RIPE! is an idea whose time has come. The Garden in fall will be the festive setting for a three-day celebration of our region’s diverse and thriving local food community. With nature’s bounty at its peak, the Garden is assembling many of the region’s most prominent local food proponents and purveyors along with the farmers and gardeners who are bringing fresh food to our back yards.”
Fire executive chef and Cleveland Independents president Douglas Katz and FarmShare Ohio founder and Slow Food Northern Ohio leader Kari Moore, the co-chairs of the RIPE! committee, add that “RIPE! will be a one-of-a-kind event offering one-stop appreciation and awareness for a wide range of rewarding and exemplary local and sustainable food and garden initiatives. Visitors will both immerse themselves in and become a new part of our region’s local food and garden culture.”
RIPE! visitors will choose among 3 tracks of programs: culinary, gardening, and children’s. Each track includes comparative tastings, demonstrations and appearances by gardening and local food experts. An onsite farmers market and garden marketplace will offer visitors an opportunity to take home garden-related products as well as local treats, including produce, cheeses, honeys, apples and other seasonal delights. Local restaurants will also be on hand selling harvest-inspired, ready-to-eat dishes. Children will sample local offerings and gain appreciation for the benefits of healthy eating at special programs designed for them taking place in Hershey Children’s Garden.
RIPE! visitor hours are from 10:00 a.m. to sunset each day, and the Garden is located at 11030 East Boulevard in University Cleveland. Advance, discounted tickets go on sale Wednesday, June 30 at the Garden, through the Garden’s website (cbgarden.org), and at all Heinen’s locations. Advance ticket prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children 3-12; door prices are $12 for adults and $6 for children 3-12.
RIPE! is supported in part by the contributions of The Cleveland Clinic, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, The George Gund Foundation, and Heinen’s.