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ECHO cancels annual Food and Farm Fest

By CHUCK?BALLARO - | Mar 2, 2021

Last year, ECHO was able to hold its annual Global Food & Farm Festival just under the wire as the COVID pandemic began across the country.

However, there will be no such luck this year, as the 2021 edition of the event, which was set for March 11 through 13, has been cancelled over continuing COVID concerns.

Danielle Flood, ECHO spokesperson, said she was sad the event won’t happen this year, though the reasons are justified.

“It’s an event that relies on our wonderful volunteers and many of them are retired and of advanced age. We didn’t feel it was fair for them to interface with the public if there’s COVID,” Flood said. “We handled it last year, but we’re looking forward to do it again next year.”

The Global Food & Farm Festival is the biggest event ECHO does all year, and for the first time it was going to be held over three days. For much of its existence it was held just one day.

ECHO is not going to roll up its sidewalks and starfruit trees, though. ECHO is going to hold several workshops throughout the spring called the ECHO Discovery Series, to help people gain hands-on experience and be able to hold group activities in a safe environment.

“These workshops will be outdoors, spread out and in small groups and then learning and experiencing farm events,” Flood said. “We’ve proven with our tours that we can maintain a safe event program if they are small and people wear masks.”

The series will be held on Fridays and Saturdays, March 26 and 27, April 23 and 24, and May 21 and 22. The Friday workshops will be at 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Saturday workshops in March will be at 10:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. in April, and 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. in May.

Topics include fruit tree grafting, herbs, building with bamboo, composting, aquaponics and much more. There is a fee for each workshop, depending on the topic.

ECHO is at 17391 Durrance Road in North Fort Myers. For more information, visit echonet.org or call 543-3246.