Forth Valley Food Festival to Showcase Local Larder

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Photo: Anrprior Pumpkins offers pick your own pumpkin activities alongside on-site food trucks, kale maze, and bale mountain!

#FORTHVALLEYFOODFEST

Forth Valley Food Festival (12 – 21 October) kicks off, celebrating the best of the local larder. 

The festival will highlight over 20 of the regions local food producers and providers, from Arnprior Pumpkins to Stirling’s new online food market, NeighbourFood.   

There’ll also be a programme of local food activities and farm experiences for the whole family get involved in during the school October break, from picking your own pumpkins to farm tours.

The event is supported by Stirling Council and Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER, amongst other partners.

Local Food and Drink Co-ordinator, Ashley Robinson said: “The aim of the festival is to shine a spotlight on the people who grow and rear our local food, and the places that serve and sell local produce. Forth Valley’s larder is bursting with fantastic local food and drink. We want to help local people discover the exceptional array of produce available on their doorstep and learn more about how their food is grown, reared and created.”

Ashley added: “We hope the festival will be the start of something much bigger. We’d love to see a series of food events, food trails and farm tours throughout the coming year to encourage local people to explore our flourishing local food landscape. If you’re interested in taking part as a producer or participant please get in touch with us at Forth Valley Lomond and Leader.”

As part of the festival programme, Gartur Stitch Farm, Port of Menteith will be running farm tours. Owners Kat Goldin and Kevin Harrison described what locals can expect on their visit: “We’ll greet you with a homemade pastry or sourdough bread all made here in the farm kitchen, from local ingredients mostly grown or foraged here on the farm. Then we’ll head out to the barn, where you’ll learn how to hand milk our dairy goat, Dascha. You’ll also get the chance to hand feed our flock of Soay sheep. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a cuddle from our two smallest sheep - Hamish and Angus, twin lambs born in May this year. After feeding the sheep, we’ll head to the chicken coops where you can collect eggs from our small flock of chickens. Our rule is, if you collect it, you keep it, so you will get to take any eggs you find home with you!”

The full festival line-up includes:

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MEET THE GOATS: The festival will feature farm tours at Gartur Stitch Farm, Port of Menteith. Pictured are Kevin Harrison and his daughter Georgia. 

 

** Click on the name of each event for web link and more information **

12 – 21 October, Arnprior Pumpkins - 8.30am – 5.30pm (pre-booking required) 

  • Pick your own pumpkin, get lost in the kale maze, and climb bale mountain. Throughout the week there will be food trucks and coffee vans to keep you fuelled! Pumpkins from £5. Pre-booking of parking spots required (on the website), no entrance fee.

12 - 16 October - Stirling NeighbourFood, online local food market open for purchases

  • Buying local couldn't be easier! Try out the regions' new online ‘click and collect’ local food market, Neighbourfood, run by Forth Environment Link. Pre-order your locally produced staples - everything from bread, jam, cheese, dairy, eggs, meat and veg - online from Oct 12th - 16th, for pick-up at Stirling Highschool on October 18th (16:30 - 18:30). 

13 October, Stirling Farmers' Market - 10.00am - 4.00pm, Port street, Stirling 

  • Buy locally made produce from the Forth Valley. Some local vendors selling at the market include jams and chutneys from Perthshire Preserves (Stirling based), sourdough bread and pastry from Riverside Bakery CIC (Stirling based), and some sweet treats from Ochil Fudge (Alloa based), and Cupcake Heaven (Lochearnhead based). 

15 & 18 October – Gardening Session, Stirling University, 2.00pm - 4.00pm  

  • Did you know that the Green and Blue Space, part of the University of Stirlings' Students Union, has a beautiful organic community garden right on campus? Join co-ordinator Matt and other volunteers for a drop-in gardening session that is open to all. 

16, 17, & 18 October – Food Hive OPEN, Stirling University, 10.00am - 4.00pm  

  • Drop by the Green and Blue Space, part of the University of Stirlings' Students Union, to purchase some low-impact foodstuffs for the week ahead. With a sustainability & zero-waste focus, the Food Hive co-op's mission is to "improve access to food with a minimal environmental impact". Also available at the Food Hive on Oct 16th - pre-order local bread & veg bag for pick-up on the 18th. 

 

15 – 21 October - Meet the Goats, Gartur Stitch Farm, various times (pre-booking required)

  • Meet the Goats and the other animals of Gartur Stitch Farm in Port of Menteith. This farm tour begins with sampling pastry or sourdough bread, all made in the farm kitchen from local ingredients mostly grown or foraged on the farm. Participants then head to the barn, to hand milk Dascha - the farms' dairy goat - and hand feed the flock of rarebreed Soay sheep. Online booking required. Adults £15. Children under 12 are free. 

16 October - 'In Our Hands' film & panel discussion, Stirling University, 7.00pm - 9.00pm

  • Hosted by the Green and Blue Space, come to a film screening of “In Our Hands– a documentary that showcases food and farming pioneers across the UK who changing the food system for the better. Locally made sourdough bread and nibbles will be available, with a panel discussion to follow. Free with £2 suggested donation.

 

18 October - Stirling Neighbourfood collection, Stirling High School, 4.30 pm - 6.30pm 

  • Come pick up your pre-ordered local goodies at Stirling High school, 16:30pm - 6.30pm. Neighbourfood Stirling, the new online ‘click and collect’ local food market run by Forth Environment Link, is open every week. Purchase your local food - bread, jam, cheese, dairy, eggs, meat, veg and more - via this online market, open Thursdays - Tuesdays for following Thursday pick-up. 

For further details search for #ForthValleyFoodFest on social media, new events and producer profiles will be added throughout the festival week. 

 

Photo caption

MEET THE GOATS: The festival will feature farm tours at Gartur Stitch Farm, Port of Menteith. Pictured are Kevin Harrison and his daughter Georgia.