A festival celebrating farm-to-table initiatives is set to graze the grounds of Brooklyn's Prospect Park this weekend. Rachel Wharton of Edible Manhattan magazine filed the following report.
The Great Googa Mooga, a two-day music and food fest produced by Superfly Presents starts Saturday. It'll feature more than 70 city food vendors, 20 live acts and a big red building called the UrBARN. It's being built by Just Food, a city non profit that supports urban agriculture and access to farm-fresh food.
"It's where the farm meets the city. That's what it's all about, that's why we're very excited to be part of this incredible structure, you can see in the foreground it looks like a barn, and as you walk through it, it turns into the New York City skyline," said Just Food Executive Director Jacquie Berger.
The idea for the UrBARN itself came from Pratt University, where students entered a design contest run by Just Food and GoogaMooga visual designer Russ Bennett.
"The group that did this one really listened carefully to everything that we said, which was local food, farming, the urban environment, and hence the idea for the UrBARN, which is what it's now called," Bennett said.
This weekend their vision will host cooking demos and Iron Chef-style contests. It'll also be a real live greenhouse.
"Just Food does a lot to support people who are growing food in New York City," Berger said. "So here in the UrBARN there are cold frames, or basically raised beds that are gonna be throughout the UrBARN area with seedlings that are grown on farms throughout the city."
Why have a barn at this bash? Because good food is just as important as good bands, says festival co-organizer Kerry Black.
"For us it's like, 'Why do you have to go to a concert and there's hamburgers that taste like cardboard,' you know? And why do you have to go to the best restaurant and listen to Musak. Why can't we get all this good stuff together at once for the best of everything?" said Superfly Presents Co-Organizer Kerry Black.
To learn more about the good stuff, save the date for Edible Manhattan's Eat/Drink Local Week, which starts June 23.