Grow, Gather and Enjoy is exactly what The Felton Food Festival is all about. This is the 4th year of what is a truly local food and farming community event put on to celebrate the value of the farming landscapes and the determination of the locals to celebrate their connection to the land that is their collective livelihoods. And so the festival has grown from 1500 people in the first year to 10000 + last year and I can’t wait for next Sunday 12th April when it is all going to happen again with the same fun and friendly hospitality that the Felton locals lavish on all visitors.
There is so much happening on the day from talks, workshops, walks around the farm and most of all the opportunity to learn about the harvest and how it is transformed into the signature produce of the region. When I asked ahead of the first festival if a patch of the local crops could be grown as a demonstration garden for me to illustrate the plants, in true Felton style, two acres of different crops were grown for me to lead my walks and talks through. I think this says it all about this festival full stop.
And when Brisbane based celebrity Chef Alastair Macleod and I were set against each other in a mystery box cook off, the seeds of legend were sown and the ledger currently stands at the Irish 2- Greeks 1. Needless to say there is a lot on the line at this Fourth Felton Festival and it will be a no holds barred battle to the final plate up in the 2015 Mystery Box Cook off.
And to give you an idea of the total gee up with which the locals drive this event along, the scene was set last year as we were all ready to go with the cook off, 400+ people in the marquis but no cook tops and ingredients to be seen. At that point Alastair and I turn around to see two milking cows, stools and buckets being led in to the the roar of the crowd and a milk off was underway. Suffice to say I wiped the Irishman off the stool and won the milk off, which sadly doesn’t count in the overall cook off score that remains 2-1… note scar tissue still tender there but bring on next weekend.
This year there will be even more cooking challenges and demonstrations with the welcome visit of Matt Golinski and Alison Alexander adding their skills and entertainment to the days proceedings . And on the gardening front Gardening Australia’s Jerry Coleby Williams will be sharing his extensive experience and entertaining with talks and workshops .
And of course there is heaps for the kids to do from planting out seedlings to take home, use microscopes to learn about soil, make some art, a children’s photographic competition and of course run through the sunflower and sorghum fields . I’ll be having fun with the kids activities too throughout the day. Follow the banter and build up this week on Felton Food Festival’s Facebook Page. It is only a gold coin donation which is a real bonus for people making the trip out from Brisbane, the Gold Coast or Toowoomba for the day. With 70+ stalls, fresh produce, farmer and chef talks and demonstrations there is something to capture all ages on the day. And I need some support to knock Alastair off his perch too.
Check out the poster below for a few further details: