Harvest Festival boasts bumper schedule

Bite into the Scenic Rim on Saturday at the Winter Harvest Festival, Eat Local Week’s signature event.

The authentic festival of food and farming is on this Saturday, July 5 at the Aratula Community Sports Complex, and features food stalls, live music, children’s rides and the hotly contested Kalbar and District Community Bank Tractor Pulling Competition.

The Winter Harvest Festival returns for its second year and promises to be bigger than ever, with more than 30 stalls selling everything from hot food to fresh Scenic Rim produce, baked goods, jams, relishes, olives, cheese and local meat.

The Winter Harvest Festival is part of Scenic Rim Eat Local Week, which runs until July 6 and showcases the range of food, wine and beer produced in the fertile region.

As well as local food, wine and beer tastings, TV chef Alastair McLeod will lead cooking demonstrations, using some of his favourite Scenic Rim ingredients.

Local musicians Ross Weber and Matt Wright will play live and for the first time junior tractor pulling teams will muscle up against a 1.8 tonne mini Boomer Tractor.

That’s before the main event – the Kalbar & District Community Bank Tractor Pulling Competition, which pits teams of 12 against a 12-tonne John Deere tractor. The team to pull the tractor over 20m in the fastest time wins a share of $3000 for their favourite community club or sporting team.

Mayor John Brent says the event is highly competitive and some teams have been training for weeks.

“Make no mistake the tractor pulling event is serious business,” says Cr Brent.

“It’s a true test of man against machine and is a highlight of this fabulous food and farming festival.

“The Winter Harvest Festival really does serve up an authentic taste of all the wonderful produce this region produces. The festival has a relaxed family atmosphere and is a highlight of our Eat Local Week celebrations.”

The Winter Harvest Festival runs from 10am to 4pm at the Aratula Community Sports Complex accessed off Carter Road.

Chef Alastair McLeod, from Channel Seven’s Great South East show, will lead cooking demonstrations on the main stage at 11.30am and 2.30pm, utilising the smorgasbord of fresh ingredients sourced around the Scenic Rim.

“The opportunity to immerse myself as a chef in a food region such as the Scenic Rim is a wonderful experience,” says Alastair.

“I’m still mystified as to why Alan Cunningham wanted to know what was across that gap, my journey would have stopped here!”

The junior Tractor Pulling competition starts at 10.30am and the senior competition from 1pm. Prizes are on offer this year for the best-dressed team.

More than 30 Scenic Rim farmers, producers, chefs and wine and beer makers will be selling their wares throughout the day, including Bunjurgen Vineyard, Scenic Rim Brewery, Greenlee Farm, Scenic Rim Olives, Aratula Butchery, Aratula Bakery, Pamela’s Kitchen, Farmer’s Kitchen, Kent’s Produce, Fassifern Valley Produce and the Boonah Fruit Supply selling a mega showcase of fresh, local produce.

Some of the hot food available includes handcut chips featuring Scenic Rim potatoes and made by the Boonah Lions Club; garlic and lemon myrtle chicken cous cous salad from Kate at the Wild Lime Cooking School; Lilydale Farmstay’s Angus Beef casserole and rice; mini gourmet burgers and kebabs from the Aratula Butchery; and pies, pastries and sausage rolls from the Aratula Bakery.

There’s plenty to keep the kids amused, including a free super slide, jumping castle and giant games.

Tickets are $10 for adults and children under 12 are free. The first 500 bookings will receive a free Harvest Bag. Buy them online or at the gate.

Roscoe & Coach is offering a shuttle bus service with pick-ups from Canungra, Beaudesert and Boonah.

The Winter Harvest Festival is an all-weather event.

Find out more about the Harvest Festival and the entire Eat Local Week program at www.eatlocalweek.com.au

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