RAU Veg Patch delivers a tasty treat at The Big Feastival 2017

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) had a fantastic time running the Vegetable Patch at The Big Feastival over the August Bank Holiday (25-27 August), which provided great family friendly fun for festival goers of all ages to enjoy.

Following on from the success of our award-winning Wheat Project at The Big Feastival 2015, and our Herb Garden in 2016, the RAU Vegetable Patch was created to provide a sensory experience that would showcase the journey of our food from field to fork.

Carefully cultivated over the summer, the RAU invited green fingered revellers to visit the patch and pick their own homegrown vegetables and herbs – think fragrant basil, coriander and rosemary, and earthy courgettes and carrots.

Armed with freshly picked carrots, courgettes, beetroot, and herbs from the RAU Vegetable Patch, budding young chefs could then enter the NEFF Little Kitchen where the team from Hobbs House Bakery were on hand to help them bake some savoury falafel or some sweet muffins.

Dr Nicola Cannon, Principal Lecturer in Agronomy at the RAU, said:

“The RAU Vegetable Patch at The Big Feastival was a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate how growing plants links directly into the food chain, and straight to the kitchen table. It was a beautiful sunny weekend and there was a huge demand for the vegetable picking session. Many families relished the opportunity to hear how their food is grown, and to get their hands dirty! I hope the experience has inspired families to give homegrown veg a go, it’s rewarding and great fun for all.”

The University celebrated its strong entrepreneurial spirit with The RAU Entrepreneurs’ Pavilion at The Big Feastival; a special marquee full of bright young entrepreneurs from the RAU. Exhibiting students and graduates included:

  • Lewis Steer (Grand Idea Winner 2015 & Grow It Award 2016) with The Dartmoor Shepherd: sheep skin rugs and gourmet lamb
  • Liam Derry (Grand Idea runner up 2014) with Coppernose: traditional craft beef jerky
  • Luke Craven (Grand Idea winner 2017) with BiJimini: cricket protein power flour
  • Jessica Maude, Made with Ananda: raw organic chocolate

Jessica Maude said: “Trading at The Big Feastival was a fantastic opportunity. There was a wonderful atmosphere; the music was incredible, the people were friendly, and everyone was so interested and eager to learn more about the origins and production of food (in our case, chocolate!). It was amazing to see so many kids interested in pure, dark chocolate. A great ‘foodie’ weekend out for the family to experience great food and music!”

University staff were on hand selling the RAU’s new white wine, Cotswold Hills, to thirsty revellers. A percentage of the money raised will be donated to the First Steps Fund, which provides grants to students looking to develop their business idea.

Visit our enterprise page to find out more.

The Big Feastival 2017 offered lots of family fun over the weekend, with top artists, chefs, and children’s entertainers appearing over the three days. The Big Feastival is produced by Taste Festivals, setting a new benchmark for food and drink events worldwide.