Where Online and Real Life Meet: Grow Bemidji and the Virtual Garden Fair

Aug 12, 2020

The first Grow Bemidji Virtual Garden Fair starts next week. Everyone is welcome.

Organizer Vivienne Morgan, musician Kristi Miller, parent/grower/maker Shannon Westrum, and artist/homesteader Marilyn Lee met together over Zoom to speak with Maggie Montgomery about the fair and the Grow Bemidji Facebook page on KAXE/KBXE (you can listen to the conversation below).

Grow Bemidji is not only a virtual community where gardeners can gather and get advice, but its members are making things happen in the real world. They exchange veggies, trade containers, share resources, sourdough starters, and more. This relatively new group already has members from Africa to Minnesota.

The Virtual Garden Fair itself comes with a heaping helping of humor and creativity. It features demos and performances by musicians and writers. Kids are welcome and pets play a role. It all takes place online, but the gardens are real. Get your entries ready now!

The following is from the Grow Bemidji Facebook page (go there to sign up for the group and find information about how to enter):

The fair is August 19-21 for fruit, veg, anything from your garden that you can find a category for, or you know, just make your own category. August 22 will be voting and demos, August 23 will be voting and recorded and LIVE MUSIC! And there will be prizes. We will show them by the weekend as more come in.

Anyone, from anywhere in the world can enter.

Please join the fair, it’s not about winning, it’s about being happy and hopeful.

Vegetable categories

  1. Biggest Vegetable. Requires a tape measure to document
  2. Biggest vegetable compared to a baby/child/dog/cat/or other pet of any kind
  3. WHOA! What is that? This category is open to interpretation but must be vegetable based.
  4. This Vegetable Looks Most Like... Another creative category. No political content please, we don’t need a food fight
  5. Biggest Zucchini. The category you have always waited for
  6. Best thing to do with a Zucchini, accepting photos, videos, narratives, short stories, songs poems. (PG 13 please)
  7. Best recipe for any vegetable, documented from plant to table. Must include recipe.
  8. Fruit! Any fruit you grow, let it show.

Flower Categories

  1. Best floral arrangement. No need to explain that.
  2. Most beautiful single flower. Ohhh yeah.
  3. Most beautiful flower garden. Can include photos or videos.
  4. Biggest flower compared to a baby/child/dog/cat/other pet

General categories

  1. Pride Goeth Before the Fall of 2020. The thing you grew this year that you are most proud of. Most memorable this year, must provide an explanation
  2. Pity Party. This special category is a visual narrative, a sob story for anything lost to deer, gophers, bear, any sort of varmint, or really, anything that ruined your garden. Should offer before and after photos, and may be substantiated with a written or video narrative. Excessive Complaining is expected. ** Songs are requested and do not need visual proof of the pain, just the song will do.