Slow Food Hunter Valley is hosting a pumpkin party in The Levee on March 11 and 12 as part of the Maitland TASTE Festival

The iconic Maitland pumpkin is preparing to invade the city for a two-day pumpkin festival in the city centre. 

The event is part of the Maitland Taste festival which is on March 11 and 12 in The Levee.

Slow Food Hunter Valley will host a range of pumpkin-themed activities over the two days in a bid to celebrate the city’s support for local produce, which began with an impromptu pumpkin stall 12 months ago.

PRODUCE MARKET: The Maitland produce market was a thriving success in 2016. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

PRODUCE MARKET: The Maitland produce market was a thriving success in 2016. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

That stall saw more than 2000 shoppers come to the mall and buy 20 tonnes of pumpkins in less than 12 hours. They came to support farmers Matthew Dennis and Tony Milburn, who were about to turn them into fertiliser because of the cost to send them to the Sydney markets.

Those farmers, and the others that support the Maitland produce market, will be there to showcase a wide range of pumpkins and sell fresh fruit and vegetables.

There will also be pumpkin ravioli tasting, and pumpkin gnocchi and basil pesto making classes for children. 

Shoppers who buy at the stall will be able to pick up their food in the five minute pick-up zone to avoid carting it a long way to their car. 

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to remember the impromptu pop-up pumpkin stall and support our farmers,” Slow Food Hunter Valley leader Amorelle Dempster said.

LIFELINE: Selling direct to the public is a lifeline for farmer Matthew Dennis. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

LIFELINE: Selling direct to the public is a lifeline for farmer Matthew Dennis. Picture: Jonathan Carroll.

“Our farmers needed our support then, and they need it now after all the hot weather they have endured – they’re doing it tough.”

There will be farmer talks on both days. Oakhampton’s Austin Breiner will share intriguing facts about pumpkins and grammas on Saturday and Sunday.

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