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Harvest time at RHS Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate

PUBLISHED: 00:00 15 October 2013 | UPDATED: 15:05 28 November 2017

Cookery demonstration at the Grow Your Own Autumn Festival at RHS Garden Harlow Carr.Chef Lionel Strub

Cookery demonstration at the Grow Your Own Autumn Festival at RHS Garden Harlow Carr.Chef Lionel Strub

© RHS

There’s a great deal going on this autumn at RHS Harlow Carr Gardens

The days are gradually growing cooler, the nights are drawing in and although it’s sad to say goodbye to balmy days, alfresco dining and a garden brimming with flora, colour and growth, it does mean the start of another exciting season: harvest. This busy period of picking, digging, collecting and gathering is a favourite in the kitchen garden at the RHS Harlow Carr in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. The gardeners can finally reap what was sown in the months before and are more than ready to gather in a bounty of leeks, squashes, beetroots, brassicas and apples, to name just a few fruits and vegetables .

The kitchen garden, now four years old, is a colourful and exciting haven, jam-packed with ideas, resourceful design and food. Living willow fences edge the curved path into the area, providing a screen and natural support for fragrant sweet peas in the early summer months and climbing vegetables. The garden’s raised beds range from RHS trainee plots which change yearly, to the maze-like layout of the main beds inter-planted with flowers and herbs. These companion plants attract beneficial pollinating insects and deter pests, and together with edible flowers, such as violets, marigolds and nasturtiums, offer a visual feast for the eyes; a colourful mixed planting with texture, depth and interest.

A well-planted produce garden is a beautiful sight and will provide a bountiful harvest if managed well. And there’s no better place to see this than at RHS Harlow Carr’s annual Grow Your Own Autumn Festival which takes place on Saturday October 12th and Sunday October 13th; it’s a celebration of the season with expert advice on all aspects of growing your own food and seasonal eating.

Top French chef and owner of the Mirabelle restaurant, Harrogate, Lionel Strub, will create mushroom miracles in the Kitchen Garden. (And in recognition of UK Fungus Day, you’ll be able to make your own mushroom starter kit to begin growing your own edible fungi at home, or even take part in a fungus foray led by the Mid Yorkshire Fungus group.)

Lionel will be using the outside oven and fire pits to demonstrate how to get the most from seasonal produce, while an RHS horticulturist talks through the ingredients and how best to grow them. Have a go at his recipes here and email your photos of the finished dish to us at feedback@yorkshirelife.co.uk or upload them to our website yorkshirelife.co.uk. We’d love to see them and we will publish the best.

The festival will have an array of produce displays with advice and demonstrations from local experts, as well as a mini autumn market where you’ll be able to stock up the larder with treats from regional producers.

The Yorkshire Rotters will be on hand to get people involved with their Love Food Hate Waste campaign, while also whizzing up delicious smoothies on their juicing bike.

Other highlights include live jazz music, demonstrations on growing cut flowers and apple pressing, mushroom log drilling, craft workshops for youngsters and a help stand manned by experts from the RHS advisory team. So, whether you have a window box, a front lawn, a smallholding, an allotment or just a vase that needs filling, there’ll be something to inspire and interest you.

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