Ready, Steady, Grow!

4 October 2013

RHS Garden to celebrate the season with home-grown festival.

After a late-arriving, but glorious summer, many are finding it hard to face the fact that the balmy season is now over. However, one Yorkshire garden is rejoicing at the news and will be sharing the gifts of autumn with its harvest celebration; the Grow Your Own Autumn Festival (12 – 13 October).

The annual event ran by Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) most northerly garden, Harlow Carr in Harrogate, North Yorkshire is always popular with foodies, promising a taste of the season with expert growing advice, demonstrations and tastings.

Liz Thwaite, Head of Site at RHS Garden Harlow Carr, says:

The festival is the highlight of the season at Harlow Carr. A time when we not only reap what we have sown, but also celebrate local producers who keep the region’s food scene alive.

This year, in applause for the bumper crop of apples seen across the county the garden has joined forces with the Northern Fruit Group to share its passion for the humble fruit. With a large display of different cultivars and the opportunity to taste, this is the perfect chance to pick the ‘perfect’ apple for the garden at home.

The main highlight of the festival, however, is the outdoor cookery demonstrations hosted by award-winning French chef, Lionel Strub. Lionel is the head chef and owner of the Mirabelle in Harrogate, a restaurant which fuses classic French culinary with the very best regional produce. Lionel’s story from how he journeyed from his hometown in Alsace to Harrogate, Yorkshire is an interesting one and he tells all in his delectable recipe book ‘From Alsace to Yorkshire’, which is launching for the first time in the garden’s shop.

Wrapped up with inspirational recipes, which fuse together the different cultures he’s lived and worked, the book is a little known culinary treasure. As part of an exclusive event for the garden, Lionel will be doing a book signing in the RHS Shop & Plant Centre at Harlow Carr from 3.30pm on both Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October 2013.

From Fungus Forays to juicing your own smoothie on a pedal bike and learning how to grow a cut flower garden, the weekend is jam-packed with a range of horticultural and inspirational foodie delights.

A pop-up autumn food market will also give guests plenty to sink their teeth into, with local artisan producers selling their tasty wares. Local jazz group ‘Swingplicity’ will be adding to the festive atmosphere with live music and the RHS Advisory Service will also be on hand, ready to answer any and all horticultural questions.

Liz said:

There’s nothing like feeding family and friends with food you’ve seen from plot to plateAnd the festival aims to inspire more people to do so – from green-fingered experts, children, beginners and those that just love to eat!

Whether you have a windowbox, a front lawn, a smallholding, an allotment or just a vase that needs filling – there’s something that everyone one will be able to take home as inspiration.

Picture shows: Lionel Strub hosting outdoor cookery demonstrations at RHS Garden Harlow Carr

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