The Athlone Agri Show committee are delighted to announce a new addition to their line-up this year - the ‘Made in the Midlands’ Food Village. In response to the demand from visitors and local producers to include a foodie element to the popular annual show, the committee are erecting a Food Village to house stalls displaying produce from all over the Midlands and from local eateries. There will also be a wide range of cookery demos covering everything from fast food on a budget to healthy kids’ meals given by local and professional chefs.
Food production is a growing area in Ireland and we are fast becoming recognised for our high quality meat, dairy, and artisan products. The decision to include a Food Village will allow local producers and suppliers to relay the benefits of their products and hopefully encourage shoppers to support Irish business.
Chairman of Athlone Agri Show, Michael Flanagan, said “We are delighted to include a Made in the Midlands local food producers event in this year’s show. It has become apparent...that our strengths in this country lie in the agricultural sector and this is something we need to build both locally and nationally”.
Organiser, local nutritionist, and chef Lynda McFarland added, “More and more people want to choose good wholesome local foods, they want to speak to the producer to see how, for example, their honey is made and what the health benefits are. They no longer want produce from 20,000 kilometres away.”
In addition to the Food Village, the organisers were keen to add some fun and interaction to this year’s show in the form of a Foraging Walk. This will highlight the abundance of free food growing under our noses, which have amazing health benefits. Nettles, dandelions, elderflowers, wild garlic, and cleavers are just a few. The Foraging Walk given by Lisa Brooks through Moydrum Woods will point these out, and a cookery demo illustrating how easily they can be used in everyday meals will follow back at the food village tent.
The final element of Made in the Midlands asks visitors to partake in two competitions - a Quirky Cakes competition which asks members of the public to create a cake that tastes delicious but is also innovative: think pear and ginger, lemon and summer berries, carrot and walnut, courgette and lemon curd. Bring your Quirky Cake along on the day and the Made in the Midlands judging panel will decide who wins. For local butchers there will be a black pudding competition; simply bring yours along made from your own secret recipe and let the judging panel decide who wins.
Athlone Agri Show takes place on Sunday June 26th from 10-6pm.
If you are a local food producer producing a high quality product please contact Lynda on (087 ) 7927471 or email [email protected].
If you are keen to participate in the foraging walk, meet Lisa at the Food Village tent at 2pm on the day.
If you would like to participate in the Quirky Cakes competition, just come along to the stand in the food village at 3pm on the day, or for butchers participating in the black pudding competition, come along to the black pudding stand at 4pm on the day.