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St. Norbert farm to host new summer festival
A St. Norbert farm will host an emerging Manitoba summer festival beginning later this month.
Aurora Farm, located on Waverley Street, three miles south of the Perimeter Highway, will host the third annual Manitoba Goddess Festival, a nonprofit arts and cultural celebration which begins Fri., Aug. 31.
Louise May, who owns the crop and livestock farm with her 21-year-old daughter, Zona, said hosting the festival at their family farm is exciting.
"It’s going to be a nice celebration for us at the end of a busy summer," she said.
"We’ve really tried to open our farm to others who want to learn and share the farming experience. We’ve been really overwhelmed with the response — people who want to learn and be connected to the earth and the animals."
May bought the farm eight years ago in hopes of becoming more self-sufficient and provide an income for her family. In the process, she realized her lifestyle was one that many other people were interested in.
Three years ago she started hosting a few workshops at the farm. Interest in the workshops has grown so much that since then she now offers a full fall program including sessions on bread-making, yarn-dying using wool harvested from her herd of 18 alpacas, goat-milk cheese making, goat-milk soap making (she owns a herd of 50 dairy goats) and horseback riding.
This year, May said she was contacted by organizers to host the Goddess Festival at her farm site.
"It’s great because (those attending the festival) are a community of people who will be very interested and supportive of what we’re doing here, and to have them here for a whole weekend will really help us grow," she said.
May said in addition to the vendors, performers, and workshops, she was able to integrate her farm and animals into this year’s festival, which will include pony rides and a petting zoo for children.
"We’re also supplying and co-ordinating some of the food," she said, noting festival organizers are trying to keep the food as local and organic as possible, and she plans to install an outdoor bread oven to allow her to bake outside.
May said that she’s expecting 200 visitors to her 150-acre farm during the festival, many of whom will be able to camp on her property for the weekend-long event taking place Aug. 31 to Sept. 3.
"The festival celebrates the feminine divine — the female essence that’s found in all life," said festival director, Kirsten Brooks, noting the event aims to promote academic, artistic and spiritual learning surrounding different female goddesses.
This year’s festival will celebrate Russian goddess, Baba Yaga.
Brooks said she sought out May and her farm for this year’s festival because of their similar values.
"Aurora Farm is really community-based and their values and our values really overlap," Brooks said.
"Their values have to do with sustainability, creativity, environmentalism, and that’s very much in line with a lot of our values."
For more information on the Manitoba Goddess Festival visit manitobagoddessfestival.com. For more information on Aurora Farm and May’s fall programs visit aurorafarm.ca.
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(1 of 12 articles for this week)05/22/2013 1:00 AM 0
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