Volunteers work the fermentation station at the Harvest Moon Local Food Festival at Soldotna Creek Park on Sept. 14, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)

Volunteers work the fermentation station at the Harvest Moon Local Food Festival at Soldotna Creek Park on Sept. 14, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)

Serving up a passion for wellness, local foods

8th annual Harvest Moon Festival focuses on sustainability, locally sourced foods and food security.

Sustainability, locally sourced products and food security will be focuses of the Harvest Moon Festival, which returns this Saturday after nearly two years.

Jeanette Pedginski is a “connector” at the Kenai Local Food Connection, which is one of the Harvest Moon partners. She is helping organize Saturday’s event.

“It’s very exciting to all of us,” Pedginski said about the festival. “We’re all very passionate about local foods.”

This is the eighth annual Harvest Moon event, and the third year the festival has been a single-day affair. Last year organizers cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This year the event will include local Alaska vendors selling homegrown food and wellness products, live music, cooking demonstrations, educational talks, a fermentation station, a pie-baking contest and a petting zoo. The festival has many local sponsors, including different nonprofits, outdoor recreation agencies and local farmers markets.

Pedginski said one of the main focuses of the festival is addressing local residents who don’t have enough to eat.

“We (Kenai Local Food Connection) are one of many local nonprofits that are concerned about food security,” she said.

The Kenai Local Food Connection often addresses food insecurity by hosting free outdoor walks with wild edible experts, according to a press release from the organization.

The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank is also a partner of the Harvest Moon Festival.

There will also be walks to learn about naturally grown edible food at Saturday’s event.

One of the events Pedginski said she thinks will get a lot of attention is the pie-making contest.

“The essential fun factor in life comes from pie, I think,” she said.

Ultimately, Pedginski said the festival is meant to promote local, sustainably sourced food. She said when people eat Alaska grown it doesn’t just contribute to physical health, but also social and mental well-being.

Pedginski said if it’s clear, festivalgoers may even see a (near) full moon Saturday evening.

The Harvest Moon Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Soldotna Creek Park on Sept. 18.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Candidate Bill Elam waves signs on election day on Tuesday, Oct 3, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voters take to the polls during Tuesday municipal election

Poll workers report low turnout across the central peninsula

Some of the pumpkins submitted to the pumpkin-decorating contest are seen here during the 5th annual Kenai Fall Pumpkin Festival in Kenai, Alaska, on Oct. 10, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)
Kenai’s Fall Pumpkin Fest set for Saturday

The fun actually starts early, as a central element of the festival is a pumpkin decorating contest already underway

Aurora Borealis Charter School Art and Music Teacher Eleanor Van Sickle leads students in a performance of "Autumn Canon," a Hungarian song at a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meeting on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Student serenade

Aurora Borealis Charter School students sing at the assembly during the regular school board meeting on Monday

Bear 747, defending Fat Bear Week Champion, stands on the bank of the Brooks River in Katmai National Park, Alaska. The winner of a Thursday matchup between Bear 128 Grazer and Bear 151 Walker will meet 747 in Fat Bear Week competition on Saturday. (Photo courtesy C. Cravatta/National Park Service)
Survival of the fattest

Paunchy ursine competitors go head-to-head in annual Fat Bear Week

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson walks amid natural gas pipes anchored to the outside of school on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
High costs stall work on school bond

A cost estimate for the reconstruction of Soldotna Elementary School came back $13.5 million over budget

(City of Seward)
Police standoff closes Seward Highway

Police say standoff was with ‘barricaded individual,’ not escaped inmate

Mount Redoubt can be seen across Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska not included in feds’ proposed 5-year oil and gas program

The plan includes a historically low number of proposed sales

A copy of "People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska" stands in sunlight in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Moose Pass to receive award for community historical effort

“People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska” was a collaboration among community members

Most Read