Back in February Chris Allwood, the original organiser of the Emsworth Food Festival, contacted us via this website to see if we would be interested in being part of a similar event which he was organizing at Hotham Park in Bognor Regis in September. We did meet with Chris and over the months since then we have been involved with visits to schools to promote home cooking and local food, the promotion of a Junior Bake Off competition for primary age children, and planning our own stall at the Food Festival to promote recipes which use up glut and left-over foods.
On Sunday September 22nd a group of us turned up to man our WI stall. Members had provided recipes and samples of chutneys, jams and cakes for foods such as courgettes, rhubarb, bananas and apples. We also displayed with pride the fruits of our labour in allotments and gardens. Visitors to the stall were invited to try the samples and, if they liked them (which they usually did!), to take home the recipe and try it for themselves. These recipes and others are now on the website under a new RECIPES menu item – so do have a look and try them out!
We also used this event as an opportunity to talk about the WI and the latest WI campaign, the Great Food Debate, which covers the issues relating to food today, including world population, food poverty and hunger, food waste, climate change, and food production systems. As a result we hope to see some of our visitors at one of our meetings in the future.
Although we had handed out entry forms at the schools we visited, the Junior Bake Off competition was not well supported with very few entries (there are lessons to be learned here for the next time). However, Ethan and Abigail Guppy did enter and won prizes with their marble fairy cakes and bread rolls … and they were delighted as you can see.
All our helpers on the day enjoyed the chance to meet a great variety of Bognor people and visitors from further afield and spread the WI ethos. We also all agreed that the Big Bite Festival itself was a great celebration of local delicious food. Hopefully this will become an annual event, which will attract visitors to our town.
Many thanks to Gina, Jan, the Rosemarys, Flo, the Lesleys, Heather, Jack, Sue, Alex and Mandy who all helped on the day and/or supplied recipes and samples.
To see more photos please click here.