‘Beast from the East’ proved a bonus for village food festival

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The 2018 ‘Beast from the East’ storm has given an unexpected benefit to the 3rd Alnmouth Food Festival.

The spell of bad spring weather persuaded Greenbrae’s George and Carolyn Graham to time the lambing of their flock a little later this year, and as they won’t be busy in the lambing shed just yet, they are able to take part in the event on Sunday, April 7, for the first time.

Food festival organiser Jill Bourne is delighted to have recruited Greenbrae this year.

She said: “We chose an Easter date for the food fest, but it clashes with lambing and is such a busy period for local farmers that they have had no time for us.

“This is a great shame because our county produces fantastic quality meat and we want to promote it.

“This year we will be able to.”

Greenbrae is based at Newton Farm, in the Coquet Valley, between Harbottle and Alwinton, on the edge of the Northumberland National Park.

George and Carolyn converted to an organic system about 15 years ago following a farm re-organisation. It is mainly a grassland farm, but has enough arable land to grow organic cereals, beans and forage for its Aberdeen Angus and Beef Shorthorn cattle, sheep and rare-breed pigs.

The farm’s beef, lamb, mutton and pork is traditionally produced from stock born on the farm and reared with the high welfare standards expected from organic farmers.

Although the farmers sell their meat from the farm butchery, Greenbrae is also a familiar sight at shows and markets.

Carolyn and assistant Gail are pleased to have the opportunity to go to the food fest at last and join more than 20 other food producers from chocolate to charcuteries, biscuits, drinks and more at an event which is now an established feature of Alnmouth’s annual programme.

It is based in Alnmouth’s Hindmarsh Hall with street-food stalls outside and is supported by Produced in Northumberland, the Northumberland County Council organisation which promotes the county’s artisan food producers.

The food festival will run from 10am to 4pm in the Hindmarsh Hall.

There is a £1 entry charge and the proceeds from the event go to the Hindmarsh Hall refurbishment fund.

Visitors are advised to park in the beach car park, which has the most space in the village.