Gardeners looking to maximise their crops and learn new harvest skills this autumn will be heading to Toby Buckland’s new Garden and Harvest Festival at Forde Abbey, near Chard in Somerset on 16th and 17th September. A host of local artisans are bringing their expertise to the two-day event, with talks, workshops and demos on vegetable growing, bulb growing, apple-pressing and seed collecting.
Host Toby Buckland says, “Sometimes the best new skills are the old ones, those integral to making the most of the harvest. With Forde Abbey on the borders of three of the most productive counties in the country it’s the perfect place to celebrate this abundant time.”
Local experts include Axminster flower grower Grace Alexander who will be teaching visitors how to grow flowers for cutting and arranging.
Creator of Longrun Meadow’s Green Cathedral at Taunton and Forde Abbey’s new willow tunnel Stefan Jennings, isat Forde Abbey on Sunday demonstrating how to make willow garden sculptures.
Also to look out for Emma and Jess from Dorset company Hog & Tallow on making botanical soaps.
The Gastro Garden – grow your own beer with beer sommelier Ben Richards.
Cooking demo’s with Ed Mello and The Pig at Bath chef Kamil Oseka
Devon Distillery’s Festival Gin
Demo Yurt – workshops and demos on using natural dyes with Flora Arbuthnott, The Thirsty Gardeners build your own Apple Press, baking with edible flowers,
Artisan Marquee – crafting for all ages using natural woodland, garden and seashore materials with NatureMakes
More than twenty local craftspeople selling watercolours, textiles, ceramics, hand-made jewellery, glass and wood crafts
Chapel Displays – Ready Veggie Cake-Bake Competition, Simple Pleasures bulbs.
Apple Identification Tables.
Garden Tours & Demo’s – Forde Abbey Tree Tours with Kevin Croucher of Thornhayes Nusery.
Kitchen Garden Tours with head gardener Danny Burlingham.
Seed Collecting with Toby Buckland.
Scything with scythe trainer Chris Riley.
Making meadows with Meadow in My Garden owner Paul Jupp.
Tickets – £10 in advance online, Under-16s free, £8.50 for groups more than 10 and garden clubs; VIP tickets £50 including lunch. Time - Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th September 10am to 5pm at Forde Abbey, Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU
For information and tickets www.tobygardenfest.co.uk