Serpentine Jarrahdale Food and Farm Fest keen to entice urban visitors

(L-R) Angus Easton-Hayes, Merri Harris, Margaret Cala and (front) Karen Hayes with dog 'Dustie-Rose, horses (L-R) George and Leeda are gearing up for the Serpentine Jarrahdale Food and Farm Fest. Photograph: Bruce Hunt.
(L-R) Angus Easton-Hayes, Merri Harris, Margaret Cala and (front) Karen Hayes with dog 'Dustie-Rose, horses (L-R) George and Leeda are gearing up for the Serpentine Jarrahdale Food and Farm Fest. Photograph: Bruce Hunt.

SOME of Serpentine Jarrahdale’s finest agriculture will be on show when Quarry Farm hosts its first Serpentine Jarrahdale Food and Farm Fest.

The festival, back after a break last year, is offering punters a packed program with an array of food, animals, guest speakers and stalls on display.

Festival manager Merri Harris said they had a range of food stalls, farm activities and animals to entice people from outside the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale to take in the festival.

“We want people who are living in the urban areas to come out and be able to get up close to animals, we’ll have multiple animals, a baby farm, people can get actual hands-on experience with animals,” she said.

“We’ll have camel rides, cattle mustering, pumpkin rolling, pony rides, a little stream train, the carriage driving led by horses doing obstacle courses, fruit kebabs and any farm game you can think of.”

Event organiser Karen Hayes said the festival was a great chance for people from the suburbs to get a taste of farm life.

“It’s about the urban people meeting the farm and rural sector, but also learning how they can grow their own nice and nutritious food at home,” she said.

“There’s lots of things for kids and we know the big kids won’t be able to help themselves either.”

Ms Harris said the majority of food on offer would be healthy and produced naturally within the Shire.

“No food vendor here is permitted to have artificial flavouring, colouring or preservatives in their food and they’re not allowed to use pre-commercially-made food and bring it in and sell it off,” she said.

“They’ve got to have made their own food, they’ll be plenty of coffee people, gluten-free options and healthy ice cream options.

Headlining the guest talks is Peter Dingle (gut health), while the festival also features talks from Charles Otway (Permaculture), Linda Bonney and Peter Fearns (Fermented Foods), Nancy Scade (Native Plants), Rebecca Watson (Naturopath), Francis Smit (SJ Landcare Cockatubes), Merri Harris (Healing with Food) and Gerald Bergsma (Taking the junk out of beef).

Serpentine Jarrahdale Food and Farm Fest takes place on May 5 from 10am-4pm at Quarry Farm in Whitby.

Adult tickets are $15 and concession tickets are $10, while kids under 12 and adults over 80 are free. There will be free onsite parking available.