We were on a trip to Fiskars. They had a Slow Food festival there. It was held in an old but renovated barn. We spent afternoon there looking around and tasting foods. We kept our eye especially on activities and eating possibilities for children. We wanted to know if families and all aged children enjoyed the festival. We also went around the area to see how families were considered, like were they able to move around with babystroller and were wc-facilities suitable.
First in the area we saw directly a goat called Herodes. It was calm and friendly so children could go near and even pet or feed him. All children wanted to see it, some were a bit afraid but still excited. Next to a goat were a old-fashioned tractor on which children could sit on and imagine to drive. Expecially little boys found it fascinating.
In the yard was a man with buckets filled with different kinds of grains. Everyone could feel, smell or even taste the grains. Some children tried to guess which grains there were and that man told correct answers. Children liked that because they could feel those but chickens near the buckets were more interesting. We think that adults liked the grain quiz more.
We also interviewed some families. Some of the families told us that they had visited the festival many times. We asked them how they liked the festival overall. They said that food presentation were good because their children weren’t picky. They only had problem with eating because every place were full and hard to get to with strollers. They liked children’s concert which were held earlier on that day, but they would have hoped that playground would have been part of the festival area also this year. Luckily the playground weren’t that far away from the festival so that they could go there afterwards.
Later on the day we wanted to ask directly children’s opinions on festival. We interviewed few about nine-year-old girls who told us that they liked festival quite much. They liked to go around and see and taste new foods. Of course they mentioned funny animals interesting and overall they found the place a little bit like cute farm.
We ourselves found the festival interesting because there were so many people talking swedish and some english. Also everyone were served on their own language. It was different than in food festivals in central Finland. We appreciate how enthustiastic food producers were about organic and local food. You can serve that food to children knowing that its pure and clean. We would have hoped more activities for children and felt ourselves unlucky for not to see the childern’s festival. We liked the festival overall and would recommend it to people with a bit older children. What’s best, we had fun trying to look and try things on children’s perpective and way of doing things.
Text and pictures: Heini Kekäläinen and Essi Koski (Course Food Culture/Group Lapsukaiset )