Case Study Otterbourn Harvest Festival
Otterbourne Village came together over the weekend of 2,3 & 4 October this year for a colourful, cracking celebration of British Food and Drink.
On Friday the School held a Harvest Festival Service with all food donations going to the Winchester Basics Bank. St Matthews Church (next door) had the community Harvest Festival on Sunday.
Our main celebration was held on Saturday in the grounds of the school with an Autumn Food & Drink Festival, sponsored by our local Estate Agent, Pub and Canteen. We were blessed with glorious weather and held our event outside, serenaded by Otterbourne Brass Band playing a selection of food and drink themed music.
Visitors could sample fresh BBQ'd sausages from our local butcher, or a vegetarian feast cooked up by a local family with a pop up café serving fresh produce in aid of the Syrian Crisis Humanitarian appeal. The Head Chef of River Cottage Canteen, Winchester (Mark Price) came with manager Phil and judged our very own Bake Off - cake, preserves, "an apple anything" for the adults and fruit/veg sculptures, a herb garden and decorated cupcakes for the children.
They then got busy with the fruit and veg and gave hands on cooking demos (and the recipes!) in the school hall, together with information on growing our own veg! Samples went down very quickly! Local fruit and veg supplier Market Fresh came with their pop up market so we could buy the fruit and veg to try the recipes for ourselves. They are also now offering a home delivery service of local produce.
We are in a great area for apples and we collected apples from families and the local special school, Shepherd's Down - we had a scratter and apple press, so children could make and try their own juice - delicious! We now have lots of requests to borrow the scratter and press, so families can use their own apples at home. Highbridge Community Farm came with a wonderful display of what goes on and a fabulous matching seed to veg competition - lots of seeds were won for the children to try growing their own.
"It's been great to see the whole community come together - we've had toddlers and grannies all trying to match our seeds to our produce!" Mrs C Board, Highbridge Community Farm .
Our stalls all had a fruit and veg flavour - for eg, rather than sweets in a jar, we had beans in a basket! We had great fun with the Human Fruit (& veg) Machine, Welly Wanging and Tin Can Alley.
Our local pub, The White Horse, offered a special menu that evening- all based on locally sourced fruit and vegetables to finish off the day. "It was like a big fruit party!" Theo, age 6, pupil
Headteacher, Mrs Alison Langrish wrote in the school newsletter, when thanking helpers "What a lovely event the Autumn Festival was.... It had a very traditional village feel to it"