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ECHO to hold annual Global Food and Farm Festival Saturday
March 13, 2018

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Every year, thousands of people come to ECHO for the annual Global Food and Farm Festival and try out exotic and unique foods from around the world.

On Saturday, St. Patrick's Day, ECHO will hold its 27th annual festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its farm at 17391 Durrance Road.

What started as a "thank you" open house for sponsors and volunteers has grown to become Southwest Florida's premier festival focusing on sustainable living, agriculture, and food. Record crowds are expected for this year.

This one, though, will have a different feel due to Hurricane Irma, which battered the farm last September.

Danielle Flood, ECHO spokesperson, said many of their workshops and demonstrations will reflect what they went through.

"We lost a lot of our fruit-bearing trees, so the farm will look a little different, but everything we have learned we are sharing with the world so others who have had storm events can learn," Flood said.

Partnering with local organizations and businesses, this event has provided thousands the opportunity to taste exotic foods, experience what life is like in another country, and explore the Global Farm, learning about food and culture in a new way.

Guests will be able to see a tropical rainforest demonstration, the seed bank with more than 300 varieties, take a tour of the fruit tree arboretum and learn about alternative energies as they are demonstrated in the appropriate technology area.

Children have always played a big part in the festival, traditionally carrying passports they can get stamped at each location, where they can taste, touch, and experience their way around the world as they learn about world hunger and ways they can make an impact.

Babcock Neighborhood School is coming out to do presentations on what they have learned about fruits and vegetables and how to use them in your diet.

There will be an animal meet and greet, as well as cooking demonstrations with local chefs, including the head chef of Venue Naples, David Robbins.

The international food tasting will have coffee, tasty sweets and avocado cake, green papaya salad and many other things people can taste throughout the day.

"We make our own peanut butter, squeeze our own juice and crush sugar cane. We will also have a bamboo toy demonstration to show how to make toys, such as whistles and popguns," Flood said.

Tickets are $5 per person if purchased in advance. Tickets the day of the event are $7 per person. Children 8 and younger are free.

For more information, go to echonet.org/food-and-farm-festival.

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