An attempt to make fresh produce more available to Northland residents may lead to another festival.
At the May 16 meeting of Northland Partners for Opportunity, a group formed by Northland Alliance Chairwoman Jenny Lin, discussion shifted from community gardens and ways for people to sell vegetables they grow to holding a mid-summer event that would showcase the ethnic cooking of the immigrants and refugees who have settled in the area.
The meeting participants, which included representatives from Community Refugee and Immigration Services, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church and Unity of Northland -- a new ministry that meets at the North YMCA -- targeted Aug. 12 for the event and settled on the name Northland Bazaar.
Susan Mild, a member of St. Andrew Presbyterian, offered the church grounds on East Dublin-Granville Road as the location, pending approval from members of the church's session.
"I don't think a permit is required for that," said Chris Seul, the city's new liaison for the neighborhood.
Lin said she envisions the Northland Bazaar as being a forum for people to showcase their native cuisine, culture and costumes.
"It may take time to bring these people out," said Tara Dhungana, a program manager with CRIS, warning that getting the word out to ethnic groups won't be easy.
He said people in smaller immigrant communities tend to stay home because of the language barrier.
"Produce is a good idea," Dhungana said. "All we are trying to do is bring people together."
"Food is a great connector, but I like arts and crafts, too," said the Rev. Ted Schneider of Unity of Northland.
Jessica Elsayed, an AmeriCorps Volunteer with Community Refugee and Immigration Services, agreed that spreading the word about the proposed Northland Bazaar to ethnic communities won't be easy.
"For us, we all say 'farmers market' and it clicks, but for others, it might not," she said.
"It's a good idea to work toward," Lin said.