Why a harvest show, festival or food fayre?
Harvest Shows are annual celebrations of harvests that taken place in villages and towns all over the country for generations. They can be very diverse - some more competitive than the Olympics, and others more silly and less serious.
Somerset is home to a harvest show with a difference. Glastonbury Harvest Show, that takes place every September, isn't designed to show off the longest cucumber or straightest carrot. It is designed to celebrate food growing locally and contribute to a more horticultural culture. Produce is judged on its ease for cooking and nutritional value. There are different categories to encourage all members of the community to participate, and the hall is filled with stalls from local community groups and campaigns, with a lot of workshops taking place through the day too.
Local Food Festivals & Fayres are also growing in popularity. These events, which bring together stalls of local producers, enable the general public to find out about local food and meet people locally. Once again, they are a celebration and can contribute to a sustainable food system by creating markets for small producers and generating public energy and support around local food.
Organising these events
To organise a harvest show, food festival or fayre, it is worth following the same steps to organise any event effectively.
If you are new to organising events, it may be worth volunteering with one of the community groups that make the events happen in Somerset, so that you can see all the planning that goes on behind the scenes.
Inspiring examples in Somerset
Burnham on Sea Food & Drink Festival
The Burnham on Sea Food & Drink Festival was started by hardworking volunteer organisers Sarah & Beverely Milner-Simmonds. They have brought together producers from across the west country organised bake-offs and cooking competitions, generated national media coverage and more. Their first festival attracted over 5,000 people. Read more about their work here: http://www.burnhamonseafoodfestival.org.uk/
Glastonbury Harvest Show
Glastonbury Harvest Show highlights the importance of local food & community, and celebrates the joy & benefits of growing your own produce. It is in its seventh year and takes place annually at Glastonbury Town Hall.
It was started by Transition Glastonbury. For more info visit: http://glastonburyharvestshow.wordpress.com/
Wedmore Produce Market
The Wedmore Produce Market was started in 2009 as part of Wedmore Green Group's campaign to encourage the community to eat and shop locally. More than 600 people turned up in 2013 and business was brisk amongst the 20+ stalls.
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