From rainbow bread making to picking giant pumpkins, Forth Valley Food Festival has a fun filled line-up for local foodies and families to enjoy over the October school break.

The annual festival, which is now in its third year, will take place 10th-25th October via a series of live social media cook-alongs, podcasts by local producers and socially distanced events.

PUMPKIN PATCH

Arnprior PumpkinsThe festival’s star attraction, Arnprior Pumpkins, has a bumper crop of 10,000 pumpkins to choose from this year (12th– 31st October).

Rebecca McEwen of Arnprior Farm said: “We’re looking forward to taking part in this year’s food festival and welcoming visitors back to the patch. With 12 acres to roam, there’s plenty of room to social distance and find your perfect pumpkin. Our pumpkins come in every shape and size you can imagine, and we’ll be encouraging everyone to put their pumpkin carvings to good use by whizzing up some pumpkin soup or pumpkin pie this Halloween.”

SEASONAL COOK-ALONGS

Kate White

As well as Arnprior’s sell-out pumpkin patch, the two-week food festival has attracted some newcomers this year.

Bannockburn House will team up with chef Sara MacMillan from The Kitchen at 44 King Street to deliver two family friendly cook-alongs live on Facebook on Monday 12th and Monday 19th October at 4pm.

Kate White, Head Gardener at Bannockburn House, said: “We’ll be broadcasting live from the gardens of Bannockburn House, showing you how to whip up two savoury recipes using some common store cupboard ingredients and fresh local veggies. We’ll also be showing you how the veggies are grown at Bannockburn House and talking about how using seasonal produce can help reduce your food miles.”

Thanks to funding from Stirling Council, the first 30 local participants to register for the cook-a-long events will receive a free veggie pack delivered to their door. To request a pack email: signup@bannockburnhouse.scot A recipe card will also be issued, detailing any utensils and store cupboard ingredients required.

SCOTLAND’S FOOD STORY

Documentary filmmaker Zev Robinson will also be showing three short films during the festival, exploring food production in Scotland, the environment and the economy. The screenings will be streamed online from 10-25th October, with a £3 fee towards future food film projects.

Zev said: “I’ve been working closely with communities and producers from the Scottish Islands to lowlands in recent years. These three films offer an insight into farming life, revealing the challenges and commitment it takes to produce good quality food for your table.”

GANDER AT THE GOATS

Meanwhile walkers and cyclists are encouraged to make a pitstop at Achray Farm, near Brig o’Turk and Three Lochs Forest Drive, during the first weekend of the festival (10-11th October); where they’ll be serving up farm fresh goat’s milk ice-cream, as well as a chance to see their young goats, from 11am-5pm.

Small holder Nicola Hornsby said: “To celebrate the 2020 Forth Valley Food Fest we’re offering an enhanced ice cream experience. Special seasonal flavours will be available, along with deliciously warm autumnal cakes and hot chocolate. And if it’s dry, you’ll be able to see our small goat herd and their young ones grazing nearby.”

Other festival participants include Camphill Blair Drummond (rainbow bread making), Forth Environment Link (podcasts with local producers), Allanwater Brewhouse (tasting sessions), Trossachs Wild Apothecary (kitchen medicine workshop) and Inglewood House Hotel (gourmet steak night). For the full festival line-up see: www.forthvalleyfoodanddrink.org

Media contact: Lesley Wilkinson 07826522517 Lesley.wilkinson@stirlingpr.com