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An age-old festival with a fairytale twist will give home gardeners an opportunity to strut their stuff on Taranaki Anniversary Day (Monday 12 March).
There’ll be great prizes for keen veggie growers at the free Harvest Festival at Hollard Gardens, Kaponga – and much more, including live music, Market Day stalls and entertainment for kids courtesy of the Magical Flower Fairies.
“We’ve put together a huge range of entertainment and activity, and there’s something for all the family,” says the Taranaki Regional Council’s Regional Gardens Manager, Greg Rine. “It will go ahead whatever the weather, as we’ll have a marquee to keep any rain at bay.”
For home gardeners, there’ll be prizes for the biggest, cutest, most unusual and most perfect vegetables, and for the best vegetable creation. “The more the merrier, so bring along any of your garden produce that’s tickled your fancy,” says Mr Rine. “The contests are open to anyone, including those who got free Egmont Seeds packets at Regional Gardens workshops and events in spring and early summer.”
Entries will be accepted between 11am and 12.30pm, with judging at 12.45pm. Prizes include a “chook tractor” (mobile chook run), gardening books and herbs.
The day’s activities begin at 10am when Gardener Annetta Scott will lead guided walk through the 4.5ha gardens and their world-renowned collection of plants.
The Festival proper will begin at 11am with a performance of Morris dancing, and run until 3pm. Besides the veggie contests, highlights will include:
Art and craft from Taranaki craftspeople
Fresh seasonal produce from Farmers Market Taranaki.
Coffee and French baking from Petit Paris.
Devon Sweets, with handmade confectionary from yesteryear and premium ice creams.
Demonstrations on seed-saving and edible ornamental plants.
American roots music (country and bluegrass) from Taranaki trio The FEDZ – Frank John, Erin Manu and Dusty Burnell.
Face-painting, stories and games with the Magical Flower Fairies – kids in dress-ups welcome!
Mr Rine says the Hollards team is excited about the festival. “It’s going to be one of the biggest days ever at Hollard Gardens.”
For more information, go to www.hollardgardens.info.