From artisan bread makers to blackcurrant farms and eating ‘wild’, Hartpury students are all set for a feast of activities as National Food Week rolls into the college later this month.
Hartpury already sources many local products for its on-site restaurant ‘Graze’, including meat from Ben Creese butchers in Staunton and eggs and milk from Hartpury Post Office, while all vegetables also come from British suppliers.
And the week beginning November 23rd will see Hartpury celebrate the best of British food and agriculture as students have the opportunity to interact with local food suppliers and experts as well as going off site on a range of educational visits.
There will be a buzz around campus on Tuesday, November 24th when Hartpury hosts its own ‘farmers market’, with students able to sample local produce and talk with representatives including Cerney Cheese and the Happy Goat company – a business set up by two former Hartpury students, Tom Mitchell and Amy Parry to produce happily reared, high quality goat meat. They may even bring some goats along with them!
Colin Downey, the National Farmers Union’s Gloucestershire adviser, will also pay Hartpury a visit to enjoy a ‘local’ lunch in Graze before a group of around 60 students enjoy a ‘Heritage Grain’ presentation.
Artisan bread maker, Deedee Liss, who is based at Hart’s Barn Cookery School, near Longhope, will talk to the students about the history of wheat and how it has changed in genetics, domestication and in the environment. She will also bring in samples of grain and bread.
Students will also be heading out on trips all over the UK to celebrate British food and farming to mark National Food Week. These include a visit to Hartpury Chair of Governors, Edward Keene’s farm, which supplies blackcurrants for Ribena, and to ‘Eat Wild’ restaurant in Cirencester.
Here, they will listen to a talk with a moor to folk angle (a slightly different take on field to fork!) and watch a cookery demo. The lucky students will then enjoy lunch with a difference, potentially including venison chilli and pheasant popcorn!
Hartpury’s Farm Mechanisation and Land-based Technology students will be visiting the JCB factory, Landrover headquarters and Morgan Cars during the week, while groups of Agriculture students will go to Ross-on-Wye lamb sales, Cotswold Brewing Company in Bourton-on-the-Water), Weston’s Cider Mill in Herefordshire and to Smarts Cheese at Churcham.
Hartpury’s Head of Agriculture, Janatha Stout, said: “We’ve set up a range of fantastic opportunities for our students to talk to and learn from people at the heart of the British farming industry, including some really exciting local producers and businesses.
“At Hartpury, we’re proud of our commitment to British food and farming. After all, we’re equipping the future of the UK’s agriculture industry with the practical skills and the knowledge they need to hit the ground running and be at the forefront of the latest developments when they start their working lives.”