Inside The 21st London Harvest Festival

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The 21st London Harvest Festival will be held at Woodlands Farm in Greenwich on Saturday 28th September 2019, 10am – 5pm.

London has an amazing outdoor heritage with 17 farms and over 2,000 community gardens delivering services and community development to hundreds of thousands in London and the surrounding areas. The London Harvest Festival celebrates this work and honours the volunteers (including many children and young adults) of London’s community gardens, city farms and care farms. The festival is organised by a long-standing partnership between London’s farms and community gardens, this year celebrating 21 years of voluntary effort and community engagement.

Woodlands Farm will be hosting the festival for the second time amidst its 89 acres of farmland, enabling an even wider audience to experience the beautiful, welcoming community gardens and farms, and the valuable work that happens within them.

Over 30 city farms and community gardens will participate in the festival, which features everything from awards for best cow, horse, donkey, duck and small furry animals, to hand-forged medals for young volunteer farmers, prizes for London-grown displays, delicious local food, and ‘have a go’ activities from pottery to spinning and blacksmithing to willow weaving.

London’s farms and community gardens are important for biodiversity and air quality and make our city beautiful. They are also vital to volunteering and the well-being of Londoners, providing services such as play centres, training and apprenticeships, ‘care’ and recovery provided by care farms, cultural and arts events, alongside practical farming and gardening opportunities that broaden people’s horizons and bring communities together.

Jenny Bettenson, the farmyard coordinator for Spitalfields City Farm, said: “I grew up in London and volunteered at Freightliners City Farm as a young teen, and during that time the London Harvest Festival was launched; I have great memories of attending the 1st and 2nd festivals: camping, showing animals and meeting other farms. Now I work for Spitalfields Farm and get to enjoy the show through the next generation of young farmers and volunteers. Having an opportunity to showcase their farming skills really builds their confidence that what they have learnt at the farm is respected and recognised by their peers and the judges.”

The London Harvest Festival is organised by a longstanding partnership of city farms and community gardens including St Mary’s Secret Garden in Hackney, Mudlarks Garden in Hertfordshire, Hammersmith Community Garden Association, Lambourne End Adventure Centre in Essex, Hackney City Farm, Freightliners Farm in Islington, Kentish Town City Farm in Camden, Mudchute City Farm on the Isle of Dogs and Spitalfields City Farm in Tower Hamlets, William Hobbayne Community Gardens, as well as Social Farms & Gardens, a national charity whose membership includes city farms, care farms and community gardens throughout the UK.

The London Harvest Festival will also be a part of the 2019 Urban Food Fortnight. Sustain’s London Food Link has put on the Urban Food Fortnight since 2012 to celebrate London’s gastronomic talent and to connect restaurants and retailers with hundreds of London’s small farms, gardens, growers and producers. The Urban Food Fortnight is Friday September 20th through Sunday October 6th.

We are extremely pleased to announce a new partnership between Woodlands Farm and Creative Nature HQ. Creative Nature HQ will be providing three activities teaching various hands-on skills at the festival.

This year’s festival is generously sponsored by The National Lottery Community Fund’s Awards for All England Grant Programme, The City Bridge Trust, Waitrose & Partners, The Metropolitan Public Gardens Association and Social Farms & Gardens.

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