A green-fingered group of Beavers from Appleby rolled up their sleeves and dug in to help Eden Food and Farming Festival on Monday.
The seven young gardeners from 1st Appleby-in-Westmorland Scouts planted a range of vegetables in two wheelbarrows, which will be part of a display in Penrith town centre to promote the Penrith on a Plate food and fun day on 18 July and the wider week-long festival.
Their growing efforts were part of a visit to the Vista Veg polytunnel site in Crosby Ravensworth, where the co-operative team produce food for the 120 families across Eden who are members of their vegetable bag scheme. Lynn Barnes from Vista Veg has been nurturing five wheelbarrows full of crops for the festival.
“Growing food is one of the themes of this year’s events,” said Peter Ward, chair of Penrith Partnership, the civic committee organising the celebration of Eden’s food and farming heritage. “It’s great to see these young people learning about growing veg from such a young age and we’re certainly very grateful to them and Vista Veg for their help!”
There are lots of opportunities during festival week for people to find out more about how food is produced locally. There are two visits to farms, several chances to visit growers and vegetable gardens, and a talk centred around a well-known historical vegetarian by food historian Ivan Day.
The Beavers’ visit to Vista Veg carried on from their work on a new gardening badge introduced for the six to eight year olds.
“It’s great to see them picking and tasting the salad plants and experiencing how vegetables grow,” said Leader Sarah Hullock. “It’s something that many of them won’t have done before they’ve all learned something new, which will hopefully inspire their interest in growing in the future.”
The Scouts’ skills don’t end with growing food; they’re also talented at cooking it al fresco and will be demonstrating campfire cooking at Penrith on a Plate. They’re also hoping to cook up some donations, as they’ve just begun fundraising to refurbish their forty-year-old timber hut in Appleby. Anyone who’d like to help in the meantime should contact Caroline Gunning, Group Scout Leader, on 07791 977979.
Places at festival events are limited so book now online or call 017683 51699.
The festival is funded by Eden District Council, Penrith Business Improvement District (BID), Pride in Penrith Lottery, Newton Rigg College and North Lakes Glass, and is also supported by DiscoverPenrith.co.uk.