Eating Outside the Box is the theme of the third Traditional and Organic Food and Seed Festival, taking place at the Harare Botanical Gardens on Saturday, 17 October.
For the last two years, the Zimbabwe Traditional and Organic Food Forum has hosted the festival as part of an effort to improve what Zimbabweans eat. This year, in recognition of its vital role, festival organisers have added seed as a new dimension.
Celebrating diverse foods from all over the country, the festival is a chance for food lovers, farmers and food producers from around Zimbabwe to gather and interact with retailers and consumers. It’s also an opportunity to stay up-to-date with what is happening in the area of traditional and organic food.
More and more people are recognising how the Zimbabwean diet has lost its richness and diversity. This festival puts the spotlight on organic food and aims to engage Harare residents in the value of eating local, chemical-free food, food that isn’t so readily available in mainstream outlets
As in previous years, the festival will have exhibitors, a food court, a kids’ zone and other entertainment. Exhibitors will showcase their activities and sell fresh or processed produce. The food court stalls will have organic and traditional snacks for sale as well as full meals for lunch. The event will also celebrate foods from other parts of Africa.
This year, organisations working with farmers and farmers’ groups have been invited to bring seed displays. In this way the forum aims to display the great diversity of seed and food that still exists among smallholder farmers across Zimbabwe. The festival emphasises the link between seed diversity and nutrition, resilience to climate change and sustainability. It also gives farmers from different parts of the country an opportunity to meet and exchange seed.
Festival goers will be able to buy food vouchers that allow them to sample some of the products on sale. They can also buy seed vouchers which they can exchange for seed samples with exhibitors.
Image: Local foods on display at last year’s Organic and Traditional Food and Seed Festival