04 October 2016
NI Year of Food & Drink 2016 celebrations are continuing in Antrim and Newtownabbey during the month of October and what a month it is for local produce.
Farmers, allotment holders and back garden producers will be busy this month harvesting their crops but October’s bounty can also be found in our parks and open spaces. Hazelbank Park is one example where remnants of the ‘estate house garden orchard’ have been retained, producing a crop of apples, damson, plums and pears every year. Those in the know take a walk around Hazelbank every October to gather fruit fall for home baking and jam making.
Pupils from Whitehouse Primary School will experience this first hand on a guided visit to Hazelbank Park to learn about the foraging opportunities in their local park. As well as the abundance provided by the old and new orchard species, the children will find beautiful berries on the hedges around the park. After a thorough search, a perfect autumnal picnic will await the hungry foragers.
This event has been funded by Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the ‘Wild about Food’ initiative in partnership with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. Tying in with the NI Year of Food and Drink 2016, ‘Wild about Food’ celebrates the bounty of wild food found in our natural environment. Events have included fishing, bread making and berry milkshakes. A Natural Christmas event at Mossley Mill will finish off this varied programme of local events.