Hampshire Fare joins Winchester Cathedral's Harvest Weekend

Hampshire Fare joins Winchester Cathedral's Harvest Weekend

Join Hampshire Fare at Winchester Cathedral for the Hampshire Harvest Weekend, which runs from 1 & 2 October, 10am-5pm, in both the Inner and Outer Cathedral Close.

The focus of the free, family weekend is celebrating local agriculture and produce, featuring independent Hampshire producers and providing insight into one of the most important aspects of the county’s economy. The event has steadily grown in size and popularity. There is a wide range of displays and activities for people of all ages. You can take a ride on a Suffolk Punch horse drawn carriage or climb onto vintage farm machinery; or why not watch a falconry display, find out about bee-keeping, listen to the fairground organs or learn about The Bat Society?

New this year is a ‘Grape & Grain Tent’, celebrating local beers including Itchen Valley Brewery, Red Cat Brewery, Flack Manor and Island Ales and Hattingley Valley Wines and Jenkyn Place in the Inner Close, with an opportunity learn more about how they are produced and, of course, to do some sampling.

Local producers attending the two-day event include A Basing Bakes, Brimfields Veg, Hoxton Bakery, Cold Pressed Oil, Greenfield Pork, Chalkdown Cider, Cyril's Soap Shed, Mo Mo's, Winchester Cocoa, Patisserie Macaron, Fordingbridge Fudge, Honesty Bakery, Veggie Patch and Loosehanger Cheese. 

Returning this year is the ever-popular Scarecrow Competition. Families and school groups make inventive ‘straw people’ from recycled materials, which in previous years have been found both outside and inside the cathedral. It is surprising what you can find around the back of a pillar! Details of how to take part can be found at www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk and prizes will be in the form of tickets to the Cathedral’s Ice Rink.

The whole event is supported by a number of partnerships, notably The New Forest Show, NFU, Country Landowners’ Association, Hampshire Council, and Hampshire Fare. “We are delighted to be working again with the agricultural community of the county,” says Canon Roly Riem, Acting Dean of the Cathedral. “Harvest Festival is a long-established tradition in the church but one which we are keen to refresh to reflect the realities of agricultural and farming life in our county today. We want to celebrate the harvest and bless God for it, but also raise awareness of what is fair and sustainable.”

Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare says: "We are excited to be involved in this year's harvest celebration. We work all year round to support the county's farmers and producers and therefore it is really lovely to come together with them to celebrate the fruits of their labour. Come along and meet some of our county's talented producers and discover more about the hard work that goes on behind the scenes."

And all of this is part of the Cathedral’s own, traditional opportunity to give thanks for ‘All God’s gifts around us’, with the Cathedral Harvest Festival Service on the Sunday at 10am and the County Harvest Service at 3.30pm that afternoon, when the address will take the form of interviews by Alastair Stewart OBE interviewing representatives of the Hampshire agricultural community. Between these two services, join the Acting Dean and special guest speaker Hallam Mills for a delicious two-course Hampshire Lunch in the Cathedral Refectory at 12.30pm. Hallam Mills, a former High Sheriff of Hampshire, brings his experience as former Chairman of the Country Landowners’ Association and numerous rural connections. Lunch tickets (£15.95) are available online from www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk or by phone on 01962 857 275.