Festival of food and farming

Scenic Rim food producers are preparing for a week-long celebration of farming, food and eating local.

Scenic Rim Eat Local Week, from June 28 to July 6, is a showcase of the people who produce food and wine in the region, which is emerging as a food bowl to south-east Queensland and beyond.

Scenic Rim Eat Local Week, is held in the first week of the June-July School holidays, encourages consumers of all ages to think about the food they eat and the journey it has made to their plate.

The event features a series of free and low-cost activities, including farm tours, producer dinners, cooking classes, cheese-making workshops, a carrot field day and an authentic Winter Harvest Festival and a tractor pulling competition.

The Scenic Rim, located an hour south-west of Brisbane, boasts valleys of fertile alluvial soil which produces a bounty of fruit and vegetables, wine and gourmet products such as olives, cheeses, jams and relishes.

Now in its fourth year, Scenic Rim Eat Local Week, was created by the Scenic Rim Regional Council to better connect consumers with the people who grow and produce their food.

Mayor Cr John Brent, who is a fourth generation vegetable farmer, says as well as raising awareness of how fresh food is produced the week is about highlighting the benefits of sourcing in-season food close to the source.

“Agriculture and tourism contribute $402-million to the regional economy and Eat Local Week is a celebration of the people whose hard work makes that possible,” says Cr Brent.

“Eat Local Week asks visitors and Scenic Rim locals to consider their food and wine choices and recognise the vast array of products available on their doorstep.

“We talk a lot of about food miles and promote the health and financial benefits of sourcing food direct from the farm.

“The Scenic Rim is a region which has been built on the back of rural industry and to this day boasts a thriving agricultural sector. Between June and December each year many of the vegetables consumed along the eastern seaboard of Australia are grown in the Scenic Rim.

“As well as vegetable crops, the region also produces milk, chicken, pork, beef and a burgeoning range of gourmet lines, including olives, oils, finger limes, dragonfruit, wine, coffee, tea, liqueurs made from native ingredients, jams, relishes, vegetarian, vegan and organic products.

“Eat Local Week is a chance to meet the farmers, taste the food, and feast from the Scenic Rim’s smorgasbord of fresh produce.”

Eat Local Week kicks off on Saturday June 28 with the Lost World Farm Gate Festival, where producers in the beautiful Lost World Valley will offer produce for sale, farm tours, cooking classes and workshops.

A bumper schedule of events is offered during the week, including bush tucker demonstrations; a carrot field day where visitors can pick their own carrots and see how the carrots are washed and packed for market; dairy tours, cheese making workshops, and a macadamia farm tour; producer dinners created using Scenic Rim ingredients; and a literary tasting event featuring Brenda Fawson of Mondo Organics.

Eat Local Week’s signature event is the Winter Harvest Festival on Saturday July 5. It’s a celebration of food, wine and farming. There’s live music, fresh produce, cooking demonstrations by TV chef Alastair McLeod, a tractor pulling competition and plenty of good old-fashioned country hospitality.

Eat Local Week and the Winter Harvest Festival are supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events throughout the state.

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