Press Release: Bring Home the Harvest with British Food Fortnight 2013, A modern day Harvest Festival and you are all invited!
British Food Fortnight is the biggest patriotic showcase of food on the national calendar. Running from 21st September to 6th October, the national food promotion celebrates its twelfth year with a campaign to reinvigorate the tradition of celebrating the harvest.
WHAT’S HAPPENING? AHarvest Lottery for schools; a challenge to find the community organising the most imaginative harvest celebration; a call to the young to create a new harvest anthem; and culminating in a huge British Food Fortnight ‘Celebration of the Harvest’ in Westminster Abbey, the first harvest service to be held there since 1966. Plus hundreds of patriotic food promotions in shops, pubs and restaurants and foodie events around the country. Highlights to look forward to include:
Bringing Home the Harvest in communities across the land: communities across the country, from tiny villages to inner city schools are hoping to be crowned the community that organises the most imaginative harvest celebration during British Food Fortnight. Masses of fun activities are being organised to get everyone involved: harvest suppers; swap-shops of home-produced food; harvest services on the farm; home-brew-offs; tractor rides through cider orchards; foodie film festivals; scarecrow displays throughout towns; slow food breakfasts; corn dolly workshops; apple pressing; pumpkin championships; historical harvest re-enactments. Raymond Blanc and Alan Titchmarsh are joining The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Philip Clark, the CEO of Tesco, to judge the competition which is being run in association with The Telegraph. Entries close Thursday 10th October and the winner will be announced at the end of October.
Sing for your supper: the search is onfor a modern day harvest anthem to give ‘We plough the fields and scatter’ the X Factor treatment. The competition is being run in association with the Farmers Guardian and a £500 prize pot is up for grabs. So get rapping, writing and singing and create a harvest anthem for today: a new harvest number one to inspire a new generation. The competition is being judged by Professor Paul Mealor who wrote The Military Wives Choir and Gareth Malone's, ‘Wherever You Are’ and whose music was performed at the Wedding Ceremony of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Details of how to enter are on www.lovebritishfood.co.uk, Search for a Harvest Tune.
Schools pack their boxes for the first Harvest service at Westminster Abbey since 1966: 500 children from schools, scout groups and girl guides are attending a special Celebration of the Harvest service at Westminster Abbey, the first to be held there since 1966. The children have won their places at the service through a ‘Harvest Lottery for Schools’ that was launched by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall at the beginning of the summer term. They will be presenting harvest boxes of goodies they have grown and cooked themselves and will be joined by well-known personalities from the world of food and farming. The Bishop of London is giving a special address and a new harvest poem has been written especially for the service by the BBC and Channel 4 sports poet, Henry Birtles. All the produce will be collected from the Abbey by the Fullers dray horses and distributed to those in need by the Royal Voluntary Service.
Buy British promotions around the country: BritishFood Fortnight menus and promotions in shops, pubs and restaurants; food festivals in more than half the English counties; special meals in care homes for the elderly organised by Hallmark Care Homes; and at St Pancras station a giant cake, in the shape of England, with edible features pointing travellers to all the food festivals taking place during British Food Fortnight. From major food service organisations like Aramark, Brakes, Harrison Catering and E-Foods to small pub groups like Whiting and Hammond, retailers and caterers are putting British first for the Fortnight.
The first digital harvest festival: everyone is invited to join in the harvest celebrations by sharing their photos and activities on social media. Show your support by downloading the Bring Home the Harvest twibbon (visit: http://twibbon.com/support/bring-home-the-harvest) and use #bringhometheharvest when you tweet. Follow us @lovebritishfood and like us at Love British Food on Facebook.
Why is now the time to rekindle the celebration of the harvest? Commentingon the event’s harvest celebrations, organiser Alexia Robinson says: “Harvest festivals have long played a role in bringing communities together and reminding us how lucky we are to have food in abundance from Britain’s beautiful countryside. It is a tradition that continues to flourish in other countries but in the UK is no longer an established part of our national calendar.”
She continues: “We want to bring Harvest Festival into the 21st century and make it relevant and fun in the modern day. This year’s British Food Fortnight is all about showing that everyone can get involved in celebrating the harvest: at home or at work, in your local pub, on your street, out shopping, in your children's school or online. After all, we’re all but a few generations removed from the land. Let’s give the French and German wine and beer festivals a run for their money!”
WHAT RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE TO HELP PEOPLE TAKE PART? www.lovebritishfood.co.uk for downloadable ‘Bring Home the Harvest’ posters, bunting, stickers and shelf-barkers. The website also has a section dedicated to the history of Harvest Festival and how to celebrate it: details of all the competitions, lots of ideas for taking part and 14 things people can do - one for each day of British Food Fortnight - to join in the fun and bring the harvest alive in their home.
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