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HarFest sees best of Norfolk’s agriculture on display in Norwich city centre

PUBLISHED: 21:21 07 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:01 08 October 2017

James Debbage of Green Pastures with pumpkins at the farmers' market for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

James Debbage of Green Pastures with pumpkins at the farmers' market for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

The best of Norfolk’s farming bounty was brought into the city centre for the day as part of a growing festival.

Annalise Lawson, two, with a bird feeder she has made at the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYAnnalise Lawson, two, with a bird feeder she has made at the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Thousands ventured into Norwich for Norfolk HarFest, which saw livestock, machinery, food and music showcased in the Cathedral Cloisters and Cathedral Close.

Artisan producers sold their wares at a farmers’ market, with cheese, bread, gin and chutney among the tempting goods.

Framed in the cloisters, Amy Bekooy with her Crush Foods stall at the farmers' market for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFramed in the cloisters, Amy Bekooy with her Crush Foods stall at the farmers' market for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Mawkin’s Farm offered younger visitors the chance to come face to face with farmyard favourites, including piglets, kid goats, sheep and geese.

When they’d had enough of the animals, it was time to hop on board a tractor or climb into the combine harvester, before turning their attention to pumpkin carving and face painting.

Isabella Lawson, five, at work decorating a tree at the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYIsabella Lawson, five, at work decorating a tree at the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

It is the second outing for the festival, which is organised by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA), the team behind the ever-popular Royal Norfolk Show. It was sponsored by Great Yarmouth-based brewery Lacons, Leathes Prior and Norwich Accountancy Services.

Mark Nicholas, show and programmes director for the RNAA, said the event had been “superb”, with about 5,000 people attending by 3pm.

Debbie Baxter of Ethnic Fusion from Dereham, with some chicken samosas at the farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDebbie Baxter of Ethnic Fusion from Dereham, with some chicken samosas at the farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It’s been fantastic,” he said. “It’s absolutely brilliant - the weather has held, everyone has been having a good time.

“We’ve had a superb number of visitors - we think about 5,000 people have been so far.”

Mark Richmond drinking one of his blends of Nelson and Norfolk tea at the farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMark Richmond drinking one of his blends of Nelson and Norfolk tea at the farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He said that HarFest was initially launched as something of an “experiment”.

“The whole aim is for us to come into the middle of the city to promote food, farming and the countryside in a way which is completely accessible for everyone,” he said.

Archie Savage at work on the Essence Foods stall, sorting the conserves, at the farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYArchie Savage at work on the Essence Foods stall, sorting the conserves, at the farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It was an experiment to begin with, but it’s been a success so far.”

Live entertainment was put on throughout the day, with performances from the Rain Valley People, an acoustic band, and pupils at the Norwich School.

The farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Easton and Otley College floristry students also took part in the events.

Gillian Lincoln, from the floristry department at the Easton campus, said: “Being involved in external events brings the teaching to life for many students.

Candi Robertson of Candi's Chutneys at the farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCandi Robertson of Candi's Chutneys at the farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“As a department we endeavour to give our learners the opportunity of embracing different situations that will help them in their future careers. It has been a privilege to have worked again in this beautiful building, helping to celebrate the HarFest this weekend.”

The festival supports the You Are Not Alone (YANA) project, which helps those in farming affected by stress and depression.

Sculptor Ray Noakes, carves an owl into a pumpkin at the farmers' market for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYSculptor Ray Noakes, carves an owl into a pumpkin at the farmers' market for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

For information on the YANA project, visit www.yanahelp.org`

Are you organising an event in Norwich that we should be writing about? Tell us by emailing lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

Pumpkins at the farmers' market for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPumpkins at the farmers' market for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Food on show at the farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFood on show at the farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Food on show at the farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFood on show at the farmers' market in the Cloisters for the Norfolk HarFest 2017 at Norwich Cathedral. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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