11 May 2024

Nottinghamshire County Show set to inspire a new generation of growers and foodies

Community gardeners and local food and drink suppliers say they are looking forward to sharing their passion for growing and producing when they take part in the Nottinghamshire County Show next month.

The event, which takes place at the Newark Showground on May 13, promises to become a foodies’ paradise, with visitors being invited to sample the wares of a host of homegrown producers in its popular Festival of Food section as well as learning how to grow their own fruit and veg from scratch.

The activity has been lined up alongside the traditional county show attractions such as livestock displays – which has attracted a bumper entry this year - equine competitions and entertainment in the main ring in order to celebrate the different produce from across the county, from open fields to urban allotments.

At the heart of the action will be The Growing Hub, which will encourage visitors to grow their own fruit and vegetables by offering them advice, plenty of tips and fun and games along the way.

The attraction will be based inside the Lady Eastwood Centre and is being organised by Newark allotment owners Sue Goodman and Miles Harriman, who will join forces with a host of volunteers to teach skills such as planting seeds, making a window herb garden, building a bird-box and making compost.

There will also be a game where players have to match the right seed to the correct plant and a whole section devoted to recycling.

And visitors will be able to learn more about Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Crop Drop scheme, where local allotment owners such as Sue and Miles donate extra produce to local good causes such as food banks.

Sue said: “I’ve always loved growing things and gardening, and both Miles and I really enjoy talking about our allotments and finding ways to encourage other people to grow their own produce too, so we are looking forward to the day.

“We’ve been given a huge area within the Lady Eastwood Centre, so we’ve been able to get plenty of people involved with lots for people to see and learn about, especially children.

“People don’t need an allotment, or a big garden for that matter, to get into gardening. They can start with by planting a bean in a pot or set aside a small plot outside their back door.”

Across the site at the Festival of Food, oat milkshake start-up DevOATed, is making its debut at the show to champion local produce.

Operated by mother-and-son team Moira and Oliver Christy at their family farm in Hockerton in Southwell, DevOATed is one of a large number of producers taking part in the show, alongside local companies selling honey, iced tea, cakes, and food boxes.

Moira said: “We have attended the county show for many years, but this will be the first time representing DevOATed, which we have been planning for two years and only officially launched six weeks ago.

“Our milkshakes are made using oat milk that’s been produced locally and we’ve enjoyed a wonderful start. We’re an example of a farm that is diversifying while giving consumers choice and supporting local agriculture, so we can’t wait to share our oat milkshakes with visitors to the show.”

Elizabeth Halsall, organiser of the Nottinghamshire County Show, said: “The county show exists to celebrate local growers and local producers, from large-scale farmers right down to somebody who raises a runner bean in a paper pot, and everyone is welcome.

“That’s why we’re thrilled to be staging the Growing Hub and providing a platform for local producers such as DevOATed in our Festival of Food.

“Such local producers are also a really important part of the show, because they are often up-and-coming brands that showcase the latest food and drink trends as well as the entrepreneurial side of Nottinghamshire’s agricultural community.”

Entertainment at the show includes the Young Farmers Clubs’ lawnmower race, an appearance from the Red Barrows wheelbarrow display team, a dog show, miniature donkeys, countryside skills and a chance to meet animals from White Post Farm.

Advanced tickets for the show are available until May 5, costing £11 - although all children aged 16 and under are free of charge – and to find out more visit