Food and festivals

At GPG we love to celebrate local food, and encourage people to think about where their food comes from.

The last decade has seen a growing interest and concern amongst people as to where and how their food is produced. This is reflected in the increasing numbers ‘growing their own’ and more and more shoppers making the effort to seek out fairtrade and organic products.
Another important aspect of a sustainable food agenda is where our food comes from, and in many ways the nearer to home our food is produced the better.

If, as a community, we can source our food locally, as often as possible, there are benefits on several fronts.

Firstly, buying local keeps money and jobs in the local economy (one of the reasons for the ongoing popularity of the Shop in Penarth scheme).

Secondly, trust in the quality and provenance of produce is higher when the consumer has a relationship with the producer.

Equally important is the reduction of food miles – at present the mass transportation of food accounts for 25% of all Heavy Goods Traffic on UK roads. Also, increasing our use of local suppliers helps build community resilience and makes us less susceptible to the vagaries of the global food and oil supply chains.

To help raise awareness of these issues, and the wonderful array of local producers in the Vale, GPG organised the first Penarth Local Food Festival in July 2011 and also held Penarth’s first Apple Day in October 2011. Planning and preparations are now well under way for  the 2012 Penarth Local Food Festival.

GPG Penarth Local Food Festival 2012 

This years Festival will take place on Sunday 15th July, 11am – 4pm at The Kymin House and grounds, Beach Road with a fantastic array of local treats on offer.

Penarth Local Food Festival 2011

Penarth’s first local food festival at the Kymin, July 2011

Penarth’s first Local Food Festival, organised by GPG as part of the 2011 Penarth Summer Festival was a resounding success.

Held in the Kymin grounds on Penarth seafront, with over 30 stalls offering local produce, the event attracted over a thousand visitors throughout a bustling day.

As well as the stalls selling local food there were information stands with details of various GPG projects, Fairtrade Wales and permaculture.

Many visitors and stallholders commented favourably on the ‘village fair’ feel of the day and the strong sense of community in contrast to some of the more commercially run food festivals.

GPG hope to build on the success of the event and planning is already underway for a 2012 event which will take place on July 15th.

Photos from the Food festival from Penarth View magazine, and a foodie’s review from the day.

Penarth Apple Day

‘a celebration of the seasonal and the local’

Identifying apple varieties at the 2011 Penarth Apple Day.

In October 2011 GPG, with the support of  The Friends of Belle Vue Parkheld Penarth’s first Apple Day in the Park.

Apple Day was first launched by the environmental charity Common Ground in 1990 and the idea has spread rapidly with communities and groups across the country holding Apple Day events throughout October.
The aim of these events is to bring communities together to celebrate the variety and richness of local produce and their importance to local distinctiveness.

Central to the Penarth event was an apple press for juicing apples and a display of varieties grown in the town and surrounding area. Many visitors brought along apples from their own gardens to be identified, juiced and tasted. There was also cider and juice tasting and stalls offering homemade chutneys and jams.

The Apple Day event is also linked to the GPG Harvest Penarth project. Throughout the season GPG volunteers harvested unwanted apples from gardens across Penarth. The bulk of these apples were then distributed amongst various care homes in the town while some were used to make chutneys and preserves for Apple Day.

GPG plan to make the Apple Day an annual event and also hope to run Harvest Penarth each year. We have made contact with FairShare Cymru who will help distribute future surpluses.

You can view more Penarth Apple Day 2011 pics on our facebook page.