By Ellen Hill – Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism
Immerse yourself in sustainable food, clothing and knowledge sharing at what is set to become the biggest and best such event in the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region – the Autumn Sustainable Food Festival in May.
The Blue Mountains Lithgow & Oberon Tourism (BMLOT) supported annual Autumn Sustainable Food Festival will include major events and a range of smaller activities, much like the established BMLOT-supported Festival of Walking in October and the Roaring 20s Festival in February. (Yulefest, held at various hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses and restaurants throughout the Blue Mountains from June to August, completes the annual seasonal round of BMLOT-supported festivals.)
BMLOT chairman Daniel Myles said: “The subject of sustainability is a crucial one for our modern society, none more so than for those of us blessed to be living, working and playing in a precious World Heritage Area.
“The trick is to gather people together and get them thinking and talking about it and then motivated to do something about it. Food and wine has been a great recipe for social engagement for millennia. Likewise with the Autumn Sustainable Food Festival, physical nourishment will form the basis for change.’’
The popular TomahROMA event showcasing local and regional produce will be the launch event at Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah, on Saturday, May 3.
The new Leura Harvest Festival, an incentive of Leura Village Association and also showcasing local and regional produce,will be the finale event on Saturday, May 10.
Other satellite events will be held throughout the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region, and accommodation providers will offer special packages so visitors can fully immerse themselves in the festival.
TomahROMA autumn food and wine fair, which has attracted tens of thousands of people during the past decade, showcases local and regional produce and crafts set against the spectacular autumnal hues of the cool climate garden.
The fair will include local produce, gourmet delights, wine tasting, music, free guided walking tours and plant sales.
Blue Mountains Botanic Garden marketing manager Louise Clifton said: “By partnering with Leura Village Association and connecting these two major events to `bookend’ a week-long regional festival, we can link the northern and southern escarpments of the Blue Mountains: from the artisans and farmers of the Bells Line of Rd and the Megalong Valley to the winemakers of Mudgee and Orange.
She hoped the festival would “encourage more people to experience the wonderful array of food, wine and cider we have here and to stay longer to explore the region’s best kept secrets’’.
“We would like people to be wowed by the beautiful deciduous colours of autumn at the region’s many beautiful gardens and to be inspired to conserve our environment by living sustainably.’’
Dedicated to showcasing all facets of sustainable living including outstanding produce, fine fare and innovative initiatives in the Blue Mountains and wider region, Leura Village Association’s Leura Harvest Festival will be set among the cherry trees on Leura Mall, along with guest chefs and speakers discussing everything from food preserving to clean energy, permaculture, beekeeping and micro-farming.
Other highlights will include regional wine and beer tastings, a jam-making competition and a local chook show. Several of Leura’s beautiful private gardens will also be open to the public on the day of the festival.
Leura Village Association president Barry Jarrott said: “We are living in an age where we are very quickly losing natural resources, where food production is coming into question and we are relying more on multinational corporations for our survival.
“In reaction to these factors affecting our lives, Leura Harvest Festival will celebrate with a seasonal and cultural event that draws from a 100 mile radius food, recycling and repurposing, all coinciding with the beautiful autumn colour.
“The large and small events which make up the Autumn Sustainable Food Festival really tap into the international zeitgeist promoting sustainable living and I hope we can be a catalyst for change.’’
Go to http://leuravillage.com.au/fairsandfestivals/ for details about Leura Harvest Festival and http://www.mounttomahbotanicgarden.com.au/your-visit/whats-on/ for details about TomahROMA.
Go to https://bluemountainsconnect.com/ for accommodation packages.