Sunday, 17 July 2011

Penarth Food Festival

The first Penarth Local Food Festival, held today at The Kymin, was a great success. Despite the changeable weather there was a big turnout, which suggests this could become an annual event.

I started with an oyster from The Fig Tree stall, with a dash of their shallot vinegar. Watching the effort that went into opening it reminded me of why I don't have many at home. They were also selling grilled fish. During the summer, The Fig Tree grill food from a BBQ on the roof terrace of their seafront restaurant, just around the corner from the Kymin.

This was followed by a lamb burger from Glam Lamb, with the addition of their own minted mayonnaise (for sale in jars). They only had small brown rolls, so a large burger was manoeuvred into the two rolls. I am not complained though, as both the lamb and the bread were excellent. Glam Lamb are John and Fiona Davies of Wern Fawr Farm, near Cowbridge, in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The peddle-powered smoothie-maker was a hit with the kids. There were vegetables for sale from local gardens, while rival box vegetable schemes were keen to sign up customers. Other stalls included Brutons Bakery, Cogan Hall Farm, Edible Landscapes, Foxy’s Deli, Herbs in Wales and the Pierhead Café (selling ice creams). Nature’s Little Helpers were demonstrating how a bee hive is put together. There were also art and craft stalls within Kymin House.

I bought a Rye and Caraway loaf from the Lonely Planet co-op’s bakery stall and, before I left, a summer Vegetable Curry with Cumin Bread and a Beetroot leaf crème fraiche salad from The Parsnipship.

This is a great location for a festival: looking down toward Penarth Pier and the Esplanade. Maybe some live music next year?

The Penarth Local Food Festival was organized by Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG), who aim to make Penarth a more self-reliant place, by supporting local food initiatives. In addition to the food festival, GPG have been involved in setting up the local traders' Loyalty Card scheme (cost £1 and discounts in local businesses), a Plotshare scheme, and a Community Orchard.

GPG are inspired in part by The Transition Movement, whose aims are set out in Rob Hopkins’ The Transition Handbook, and communities such as Totnes, where measures to make the transition to greater self-reliance have already been put in place. This is seen as an essential step in the years to come, to counter the challenges of peak oil supplies and global climate change.

Further information:

Rob Hopkin (2008) ‘The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resilience’. Green Books, Totnes.

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