Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 15.20.53Work has recently got underway on a community allotment in Northallerton as part of the town’s Homegrown Food Festival.

The ‘Pop-up Plot’ is part of the ‘Grow Zone’ which encourages people to have a go at growing their own food, providing ideas for small spaces and activities such as foraging and composting.

The Pop-up Plot, located on the bonfire site next to the Applegarth Park in Northallerton town centre, includes raised beds, a mini-beast mansion, potato tyre towers and an African style keyhole garden. Volunteers have already planted broad beans, onions, garlic and carrots. In the run up to the Homegrown Food Festival, on June 28th, there will be a variety of events for the local community to get involved in at the plot including more planting of vegetables, fruit and herbs, making the keyhole garden and weeding and watering as well as special events for children.

In addition, organisers of the festival have announced that this year’s chosen charity will be the Friarage Hospital MRI Scanner Appeal which is aiming to raise £2 million to buy a new scanner for the town’s hospital. A range of fundraising activities will take place on the day including collection buckets and a pie sale.

Northallerton’s Homegrown Food Festival has become one of North Yorkshire’s biggest foodie events since launching in 2011 and last year attracted more than 6000 visitors from across the region.

As well as over 100 stallholders, including local food producers, restaurants, farmers and more, other activities at the free event include a Food Theatre featuring award-winning chefs soon to be announced, the Tipple Tent serving locally-brewed beers, spirits and wines, a Kids’ Kitchen with interactive cookery workshops for children, two stages of live, local music and the Grow Zone.

Emma Casson, from the Homegrown Food Festival, is looking after the Pop-up Plot and said: “One of the aims of our festival is to get people to grow their own food more- herbs, vegetables and edible flowers are all options and simple to do. The Pop-up Plot is for the local community- especially families- to come along, get their hands dirty and see what’s possible in small spaces. We thought it would add something extra to this year’s festival and is a fun way to get people involved a couple of months before the event itself.”

Judith Masterman, community fundraiser for the Friarage Hospital, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be the chosen charity for the Homegrown Food Festival and can’t wait to meet with local stallholders and the people of North Yorkshire. We are over half way to our £2million target for our MRI scanner at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton and really appreciate everyone’s support.”

This year’s event takes place on Sunday June 28th at the Applegarth in Northallerton. For more information visit http://www.homegrownfoodfest.co.uk/