Farmers hope to squash ’em in at the food festival

Herald Series: Organic farmer George Bennett with his squashes at the Thame Food Festival Organic farmer George Bennett with his squashes at the Thame Food Festival

FARMERS George and Charles Bennett have had a bumper crop of squashes this year.

They will be among more than 20,000 people squashing into Thame tomorrow for the town’s annual food festival.

From 9am onwards, hundreds of local producers and artisans, from bakers to celebrity chef Raymond Blanc will be touting their wares.

George Bennett said he is expecting to harvest about 10,000 butternut, blue ballet, golden hubbard, patty pan, custard white and zucca squashes at Sandy Lane Farm, Tiddington, this year. All the varieties will be on sale at the festival. He said: “The festival is a fantastic opportunity to see the range of produce available on your doorstep.

“We are probably the closest vegetable producer to Thame and it is a great opportunity for us to meet new people.

“Last year, we had to restock three times. It was really exciting to be able to say we are delivering produce which has only been out of the ground for an hour.”

This year the festival will host two demo stages, at which chefs including Raymond Blanc will be sharing top cooking tips throughout the day.

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