The Eat Local Week signature event the Winter Harvest Festival celebrated the Scenic Rims world class produce. Andrea Webb-Jolly, Tim Bell, and Louise Capling.
The Eat Local Week signature event the Winter Harvest Festival celebrated the Scenic Rims world class produce. Andrea Webb-Jolly, Tim Bell, and Louise Capling. Contributed

The epic food festival you should skip breakfast for

CLEAR your plates, skip breakfast and make sure your stomachs are empty for the mouth-watering Winter Harvest Festival in Aratula on July 6.

The Winter Harvest Festival is the signature event of the Scenic Rim Eat Local Week, and is tipped to be a fitting finale to one of the world's most authentic food celebrations.

For those who like to taste a bit of everything, you're in luck, as the festival will feature more than 70 market stalls selling everything from local vegetables to eggs, cheese, olives, relishes, jams, honey, camel milk products, carrot ice-cream, beer and wine.

The Winter Harvest Festival is a highlight for farmer Troy Muller from Peak Veggie Patch.

He has a family-owned farm on the picturesque pastures of Peak Crossing that specialises in growing heirloom tomatoes.

 

EXCITED: Troy and Vicki Muller from Peak Veggie Patch look forward to the Winter Harvest Festival every year.
EXCITED: Troy and Vicki Muller from Peak Veggie Patch look forward to the Winter Harvest Festival every year. Contributed

"We will have a little stand set up at the Winter Harvest Festival where we will be selling our produce," he said.

"What I really love about the festival is getting the chance to meet everyone who comes and buys our tomatoes. We're on the farm every day, all day, so I enjoy talking to people.

"I always ask people where they are from, and they might be from Kalbar, which is just on our door step, or as far away as from the north side of Brisbane or the Gold Coast."

Aratula artists and neighbours Terina Smith and Suzy Buhle at the Winter Harvest Festival.
Aratula artists and neighbours Terina Smith and Suzy Buhle at the Winter Harvest Festival. Contributed

While he will be working at the Winter Harvest Festival, Mr Muller said he will take some time to sneak off to mingle with the other growers and producers.

"We do make a big effort to go and support the other people who are there to sell their produce," he said.

"Our family does a tag team. Someone will go and get some gelato or carrot ice cream, so we do get to try lots of things too."

Last year's Winter Harvest Festival broke all previous records for attendance and participation, with more than 14,000 visitors walking through the gates. This was up from 12,500 visitors in 2017.

 

The Whitton family had some fun at a previous festival.
The Whitton family had some fun at a previous festival.

Mr Muller hopes that number will rise again this year.

"Come and meet the people that produce your food," he said.

The first 1000 people through the gates receive a reusable Winter Harvest Festival souvenir shopping bag.

Visitors are also encouraged to bring their Eskies or cooler bags to keep the produce they buy fresh until they get home.

Tickets are $10 for adults. Children under 12 are free.

The Winter Harvest Festival will be held on Saturday, July 6 from 10am-4pm at the Aratula Community Sports Complex, Carter Rd, Aratula.



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