It’s national organic month, so in spirit of all things homegrown and harvesting we found a fantastic little festival honing in on just that; growing your own food.
Marking the main time of harvest in Britain, September, Harvest Festival is set in the allotments of Kensington Gardens; the most recent addition to the verdant hued perennials that have graced its 242 acre perimeters since the day of William III in 1689.
The gardens, one of eight Royal Parks in the capital not only render the city technically a ‘forest’ from when the royals wanted vast spaces to walk in (and why it’s legal for horses to be ridden on the road), but create a country playground for families and outdoorsy types to meander through the meadow-like grass until the cows (or city foxes, more fittingly) come home.
That’s why when we found out a family festival on harvesting was taking place, right in these very grounds, we could hardly keep the lids on our leek and potato soup.
Teaching the harvest process from start to finish, kids have the chance to roll up their sleeves and dig up potatoes in the allotment, which they can then transform into potato people in the nearby arts and craft tent. Awww. If that isn’t enough, a petting farm, face painters and storytellers are at hand, set to send kids’ energy levels through the e-number proportioned roof.
For the parents, or any fan of organic produce for that matter, experts from the Royal Parks Guild are at hand all day to provide any help needed for growing your own fruit and veg. Serving up the best of both worlds, visitors can learn how to grow whilst being able to buy local produce there and then from the allotment.
Colin Buttery, deputy chief executive for the Royal Parks, said: ‘Aside from being a great family day out, the Harvest festivals at the demonstration allotments provide the perfect opportunity to discover more about the excitement and enjoyment of growing your own food. I hope that people will be inspired to grow their own vegetables and herbs at home, whether that is in a garden, on a balcony or even in a window box. Wherever people can find space to grow, there will be lots of advice on hand on how to get started’.
A fantastic day out for families, farmers and fresh food fiends alike, Harvest fest offers something for everyone and, when you can buy seasonal vegetables, potted herbs, homemade jams and lavender bags right in the heart of the city, there’s nothing left to say but chuck me an onion and call me Henrietta; I’m now a converted country bumpkin.
Royal Parks Harvest festival day, Sunday 7th September, 11:00-16:00, The Allotment along Buckhill Walk, Kensington Gardens, W2 2UH, royalparks.org.uk/parks/kensington-gardens