Earth Garden is on

Hello, hello – we are on our way to the Garden. Wanna tag along?

It is always gorgeous day to be in Ta Qali. Do we see a cat?

It is always gorgeous day to be in Ta Qali. Do we see a cat?

All right kids, the end of May is here. Do you know what time is it? Tents ready? Fancy summer outfits completed? Cameras charged to take tons of photos? Forget Coachella, we are going to Earth Garden!

This annual mid-summer event is one of our favourites in the whole calendar year. We will be taking part in it for the fourth year in a row. Isn’t it divine? Rita and I are truly excited to be doing another festival and you can expect some nice updates to follow.

We didn’t blog about last year’s edition due to rather particular family situation (Rita had to undergo an operation that was long overdue), so this year we will pull double duty in reporting – before and after the festival.

Ta`Qali National Garden panorama with a Cat guardian sculpture.  What did you expect? Flowers? We run a cat shop!

Ta`Qali National Garden panorama with a Cat guardian sculpture. What did you expect? Flowers? We run a cat shop!

You may ask what’s in store this time around. Like on previous editions of Earth Garden we will mostly concentrate on our stand in the Ethnic Market. Last year Rita did some amazing impromptu workshops for kids using balloons, markers and notebooks and this year we want to go in this direction. Since it will be just two of us, we will not join our creative friends at the Art Square. Not enough man power unfortunately! But it will be great fun as usual.

One of the coolest aspects of being part of Earth Garden is meeting so many incredible people. Amazing experience! Hand on the heart, we go back from the festival with sore throats because you literary speak to hundreds of visitors. We are also positively charged for weeks afterwards giving people bear hugs and smiling from ear to ear. So in case you meet us and we look like Cheshire Cat – it’s a sure sign we have been to Earth Garden.

We are slowly preparing for our stand - those arty papers will be turned into certificates and business cards for the day!

We are slowly preparing for our stand – those arty papers will be turned into certificates and business cards for the day!

Air pumps and balloons - kids will love that!

Air pumps and balloons – kids will love that!

We have enough balloons to decorate the whole ethnic market. Actually, we may just do that.

We have enough balloons to decorate the whole ethnic market. Actually, we may just do that.

Ethnic Market community at the festival is one of a kind and consists of creative, helpful and practical members. Over the years we have formed some solid friendships among exhibitors and this is another great feature of the festival. You spend two or three days in the company of fellow creative minds. You should really try it if you are into arts and crafts.

Reuben during the briefing

Reuben during the briefing

Mahii during the briefing

Mahii during the briefing

Of course market is still a market and every artist want to sell their works. It is a nice bonus to do so. Last year four of Rita paintings have been sold and it made us feel grateful. So here’s a short appeal. If you want to get yourself a unique hand made gift and you want to support local artists in the meantime, please put few Euros on the side. It is completely worth it. Local talent pool is nothing short of amazing and once you are on the market you are spoiled for choice.

Before the festival kicks off, there is always a brief meeting for the participants where you are informed about stand conditions, where you pay the fees and you meet your fellow exhibitors. We had our briefing this year on May 8th 2014. It is always a delight for us to meet up with Earth Garden organizers, especially Reuben and Mahii. They are not only good friends, but professional and detail orientated event managers. Without them, the local scene would be one festival less. Oh and Mahii, this time hot chocolate is on us!

Gaia Foundation members - the coolest kids in town!

Gaia Foundation members – the coolest kids in town!

Briefing in progress

Briefing in progress

Briefing in progress - just ignore that annoying girl with a camera :)

Briefing in progress – just ignore that annoying girl with a camera 🙂

In case you don’t know – last year’s edition of Earth Garden was knows as the “freeze edition” because of the rainy weather and cold wind. Mahii was making rounds talking to exhibitors and offering hot chocolate. Her contagious smile and hot beverages melted even the grumpiest exhibitors on the market. We tell ya, Mahii is an angel and her crowd control skills are legendary.

This is a screen grab from this year`s ethnic market booklet. The photo in the background is actually our stand from 2013 edition.  Yep, our very own cat shop. So nice!

This is a screen grab from this year`s ethnic market booklet. The photo in the background is actually our stand from 2013 edition. Yep, our very own cat shop. So nice!

During this year’s briefing we had a chance to reconnect with friends old and new. Beside Reuben and Mahii, we need to mention a fellow Earth Garden veteran and a healthy food guru Natalie Debono. We have met on our first edition of the festival in 2010 and since then, we run at each other at all possible events dedicated to fair trade and arts and crafts. Natalie is the creative genius behind Core Green Eco-Foods – a shop that brings ecological and fair trade products to Malta. Then we have met some fantastic people from Gaia Foundation – Sophie who is a fellow photographer and who was brave enough to travel all over the island on a bike and her friends who were just as incredibly sweet and friendly. We are thrilled to see them again on the festival grounds in Ta`Qali. We have been given a lift back home from Ruth who also runs her own business concentrating on fair trade products and who turned out to be a great person like five seconds into the conversation. So much to look forwards to this year.

 

Jana - newcomer to the ethnic market

Jana – newcomer to the ethnic market

We guess that will be all for the first of the posts about Earth Garden. But before we sign off we want to show you a new addition to the cat family. Meet Jana – our new painting that will be up for grabs (or for seeing) at our stand at the ethnic market.

Isn’t she just adorable? We definitely think so!
Mal+Rita

****** 05.06.2014******

Small update cause it was too late yesterday to make additional notes to the blog. We have finally set up an event page for The Cat Shop. You can access it via the link on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/247409178801082/

 We will be making regular posts to the event page in case you feel like following us and our company of crazy and colorful kittens.

 

Our event page.  Simple but very cute design.

Our event page. Simple but very cute design.

Also if this will be your first time to the festival, you can get easily lost or miss something. Ta`Qali National Park has many corners and magical spots. But fear not, we have got a map for you, with the Ethnic Market nicely marked on it! Now you can find your way to The Cat Shop in no time!

Map of the Festival grounds. You can see the Ethnic Market location in case you need to get to the Cat Shop!

Map of the Festival grounds. You can see the Ethnic Market location in case you need to get to the Cat Shop!

For those who want to follow Earth Garden on the internet, please click on the URLs below – they will take you to the Facebook page and to the official website. If you want to have the best experience of the festival, it’s better to plan in advance.

The official poster. It is happening this weekend.

The official poster. It is happening this weekend.

 

https://www.facebook.com/EarthGardenEvent
http://earthgarden.com.mt/

We told you Earth Garden is fun! Hope to see you there!

M/R

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