Big Feastival teams up with university to design allotment

Cotswold Journal: Alex James Potatoes!School kids from the Kingham primary school help rock star Alex James plant some potatoes to be cooked up by Jamie Oliver for his Big Feastival festival.Pictured here is Simon Courtnay (7) in red and Ewan Wright (7) in green. Ewan said Alex James Potatoes!School kids from the Kingham primary school help rock star Alex James plant some potatoes to be cooked up by Jamie Oliver for his Big Feastival festival.Pictured here is Simon Courtnay (7) in red and Ewan Wright (7) in green. Ewan said

THE Big Feastival and The Royal Agricultural University have joined forces this year to design their first ever festival allotment.

Last week, potatoes, garlic, onions and herbs were planted by children from Kingham and Bledington Primary Schools which will be ready in time for this year’s event which takes place on the former Blur bassist-turned cheese-maker Alex James' farm in Kingham from August 29 to 31.

Over the weekend, festival-goers will be encouraged to visit ‘The Potato Patch’ where the team from university will be on hand to teach them all about growing their own vegetables and help them to dig up the farm-grown produce.

Armed with their own freshly dug up potatoes and accompaniments, food fans can then prepare and cook their own culinary delights under the expert guidance of Jamie Oliver’s Kitchen Garden Project and the Potato Council.

Alex James, a father-of-five, said: "I'm exhilarated, it was so much fun. I just think it's such a good idea growing stuff with Jamie's Kitchen Garden project. There's so many things to do with potatoes they're so versatile.

"I've just been reminded of what a miracle food growing is. I like going to supermarkets but you can get overwhelmed with how mundane it is. It makes you realise that food only grows because we live on a planet that goes round a sun.

"We're a food and music and family festival, it made sense to start growing a bit for the chefs to get stuck into. Potatoes are a good place to start with but I've got ambitions for next year."

In addition to ‘The Potato Patch’, The Big Feastival will include top artists, chefs and children’s entertainers who will be appearing over the three days.

This year’s line-up includes Fatboy Slim, Jamie Cullum, Kelis, Gizzi Erskine, Monica Galetti, Nathan Outlaw, Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park and CBeebies Justin Fletcher and Mr Bloom.

"We've added an extra day this year," added Mr James. "It was just so much fun last year. It's a little bit bigger but as I told the parish council, It's not Glasto, don't panic. It's a boutique event, that's how we like it."

Tickets are on sale now. Visit thebigfeastival.com for details or call 0844 995 9673.

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