Goodmayes opens the door to its allotments with annual festival

Visitors to the allotments in Goodmayes Lane yesterday were treated to a festival celebrating freshly grown produce, healthy living and wildlife.

The Seven Kings and Goodmayes Allotment Society staged its annual allotment garden festival on the site which is home to more than 100 plots.

Residents enjoyed morris-dancing, bid for prize-winning vegetables and learnt the secrets to growing their own produce, while also having a peek at the site’s nature reserve.

Committee member and organiser Susan Cunningham said: “It was a real success. It’s not a mish-mash.

“We don’t have ice-cream machines and dodgems.

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“There’s the Eastbury concert band and morris dancing, you can’t have more traditional than that.”

Alongside sales of produce, including jams, the festival included cooking lessons, with stir-frys, soups and salads created with vegetables lifted straight from the earth.

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Groups including the Ilford and Woodford horticultural societies, the Goodmayes Residents’ Association (GRASS) and the Ilford Historical Society took part.

The Hopefield Animal Sanctuary in Essex brought cuddly friends including rabbits for children to meet and it was possible to look at the site’s own wildlife reserve, with 16 varieties of birds spotted in four hours by an Essex birdwatching club.

Keith Stanbury, GRASS’ chairman, said: “It was a really great day, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“We talked to a lot of people and we were giving out lots of membership leaflets.

“I’ve already had some back.

“From that point of view, it was a very positive and worthwhile engagement.”

Read more about the festival and get tips on growing your own vegetables in Thursday’s Recorder.

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