To celebrate this year's food growing in the Royal Parks, free harvest festivals will be held in The Regent’s Park, Kensington Gardens and Greenwich Park.
A harvest festival is a global tradition that occurs around the time of the main harvest of a given region. In Britain this typically occurs in September, and the festival is usually held on a Sunday.
The Royal Parks has a number of demonstrations allotments, which aim to educate and inspire the public to grow their own food irrespective of whether they have a garden, balcony or simply a window box.
First up is The Regent’s Park Harvest Festival on Saturday 17 September which will be hosted at The Regent’s Park Allotment Garden. From 11am-5pm you can sample pizza, salads, cakes and freshly pressed apple juice, all made using produce from the allotment. Children will be able to embark on a garden hunt and make a paper plant pot. This year, for the first time ever, there will be a stall where unwanted t-shirts can be recycled into strong washable bags.
Sunday 25 September marks the return of the Kensington Gardens' Harvest Festival from 11am-4pm. Held at The Allotment in Kensington Gardens, highlights will include a visit from Millers Ark Petting Farm, the opportunity to meet the Shire Horses that work across the Royal Parks, and the chance to make some apple bird feeders with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Kids and adults alike will be able to roll their sleeves up and take part in the big dig of the potato crop.
Last but not least will be the Greenwich Park Harvest Festival on Sunday 2 October. The festival will be held in The Queen’s Orchard from 11am-4pm and visitors can enjoy talks from experts on bees – and get stuck in with some candle making and honey tasting. Children can participate in pond dipping led by experts from the Field Studies Council and get creative at the orchard themed arts and crafts stall.
On all three days experts from The Royal Parks Guild – The Royal Parks alumni society – will be on hand to answer any questions about food growing.