10 REASONS TO ATTEND THE FOURTH ANNUAL ‘FELTON FOOD FESTIVAL’!

10 REASONS TO ATTEND THE FOURTH ANNUAL ‘FELTON FOOD FESTIVAL’!

1.  Meet the local Felton farmers and food producers

2.  Taste the incredible array of local food

3.  Listen to celebrities Alastair McLeod, Costa Georgiadis, Matt Golinski, Jerry Coleby Williams and Alison Alexander share their passion for food and gardening

4.  Learn how to be a beer connoisseur in appreciation courses run by brew master extraordinaire, Brennan Fielding, of the Burleigh Brewing Company; and a coffee connoisseur with fanatic, Michael Oo, of Two Moo’s Coffee

5.  Hear some incredible local music

6.  Win a major prize in the raffle

7.  Relax under a tree and enjoy the incredible view from the Festival site

8.  Play – let the children get their hands dirty in our special kids’ activity tent

9.  Laugh with Alastair and Costa as they try to out-compete one another

10. Stock up on incredible produce from some of the region’s best food producers.

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ON OUR SELECTION NEWS’ CAPTURES THE ETHOS OF THE ‘FELTON FOOD FESTIVAL

ON OUR SELECTION NEWS’ CAPTURES THE ETHOS OF THE ‘FELTON FOOD FESTIVAL

Felton Food Festival organisers adamant that festival will get better, not bigger

After being blown away by the success of the Felton Food Festival last month, organisers are determined not to milk the popularity of the festival for all it’s worth and stick to the original goals.

The event’s popularity could provide a platform to expand the festival to reap a larger profit, however organisers are focusing on quality, not quantity in next year’s festival.

Organiser Sally McCreath said that focus will remain on local produce.

“We don’t want it to get bigger, we want it to get better,” Mrs McCreath said.  ”It’s not going to turn into a craft fair – it will always be about food and farming and showing people where their food comes from.”

“We want to link producers directly with consumers, and the main aim is for consumers to learn where their food comes from.  We want to get outsiders from the region to come and see how their food is grown.”

Mrs McCreath said that a focus on farming gives festival goers valuable insight into the world of agriculture, with grain workshops being particularly interesting for festival goers.

“We have samples of crops and we show what that produce can be turned into,” she said.

“Some people don’t know what goes into their cornflakes or what certain grains are used for.  The children can learn where their food comes from, and what puts value in the produce that people work to grow.  It is good for the younger generation in that it shows that there are great futures in agriculture and horticulture.”

With around 10,000 guests and 60 stall holders coming to Felton on Sunday, April 27, the festival is a mecca for business opportunities.

Mrs McCreath said the hope was to foster business relationships to allow farmers to connect with customers.  “There is a big market for fresh produce,” she said.

“While much of their produce is sold to large contactors, a small portion could be sold directly to consumers.  Because that means that the product might be harvested one day and is in customers’ cupboards the next day.  There’s no sitting on the supermarket shelves.  It may cost a little more, but they end up with a better product that lasts longer and tastes better.  It will encourage visitors to source their food locally.”

New producers are welcome to become involved with the festival next year, with a generous limit of a 200Km radius of Felton imposed on producers to be considered “local”.

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ACCOLADES FOR THE ‘FELTON FOOD FESTIVAL

ACCOLADES FOR THE ‘FELTON FOOD FESTIVAL

Celebrating the “paddock to plate” concept has never been more heartfelt than what I saw last Sunday at Felton Food Festival.

For those who haven’t been, you can banish thoughts of a quaint main street lined with food stalls. There are marquees and food stalls for sure, but this festival happens in a paddock, one overlooking the surrounding patchwork farmlands of Felton Valley.

It’s a particularly poignant view when you consider the community here had to fight in recent years to keep mining companies out and continue their farming tradition.

The ensuing coming together of the community has cemented Felton’s proud history and shed fresh light on the food produced here. Which is the heart and soul of this festival. Well, it certainly won my heart, and a few thousand others. Organiser Sally McCreath estimated more than 10,000 visitors had attended – double last year’s figure.

Local farmers wore lanyards so interested people could find them in the crowd and have a chat. So pencil in next years event on your calendar – it’ll be in April, at a date to be confirmed; if you care about real food and things worth fighting for, it’s a journey worth making-See feltonfoodfestival.org.au.

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WHAT A GREAT DAY WE HAD!

WHAT A GREAT DAY WE HAD!

What a great day we had! The third ‘Felton Food Festival’ held on Sunday, April 27th, was a great success with over 10,000 people attending throughout the day.

The weather was kind; the venue under the gum trees, a treat; and the food varied and delicious.  The combined efforts of more than 130 volunteers meant the day’s events ran smoothly.  Even the long burger queues dissipated quickly!  So a very big thank you to all those involved.

The day was a time to soak up the country atmosphere and enjoy a lunch with family and friends.  The entertainment was great.  Singer Dana Hassall is a rising star with the crowd showing a lot of appreciation for her music. The Pirate Brides, Barefoot orchestra and Escapades also did a great job entertaining the crowd.  And there’s always something to learn about food and farming.  Young children were kept busy painting and planting garden pots, playing in the sand pit and having their faces painted.  Chickens roamed the site and there were goats and calves to pat.  Wendy Hughes, the Sunday Mail’s food writer (U ON SUNDAY) certainly enjoyed her day out. Click here to find out what she said.

The event was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the produce generated by agricultural enterprises in and around the Felton Valley.  There were over 50 stalls offering a huge array of foodstuffs.

As in previous years, Alastair McLeod and Costa Georgiadis continued to delight with their antics in the kitchen and garden.  They have tremendous rapport.  The committee surprised them with cows to milk this year rather than just providing carton milk (homogenised and pasteurised) for their ‘cook-off’.  Alastair didn’t quite know where to begin and had the crowd ‘in stitches’ as he tried to coax his prize jersey cow ‘Pamela’ to release her milk.  Costa had more luck with his cow ‘Beauty’ and won the ‘milk-off’.  However, Alastair took the honours in the mystery box ‘cook-off’ for his flair with quail and other things. Click here for some of Alastair’s recipes.

Other highlights during the day included the mung bean harvest demonstration held in an adjoining paddock.  Some of the mung beans were used as ingredients by our celebrity cooks in a unique ‘paddock to plate’ experience!  Also the first tractor ever used for farming in the Felton district (a Rumely) was on display and ‘kicked over’ for those interested.

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