Long time readers of Good Things will know that yours truly is a city-girl. I was born and bred in Canberra, Australia and have lived here all of my life and absolutely love it. And yet there deep down inside there's always been a wee yearning for a taste of the rural life. As good as that sounds, I do ask myself how I'd go with a tree change. Heck, I break out in hives from head to foot at the mere sight of a horse. I love cows but am also just a little daunted by their size. And my hay fever would get in the way of any crop farming outdoors in the dusty Australian landscape. That said, I do so greatly appreciate farmers and farming, a little like ABC Landline's wonderful journalist, Pip Courtney, who loves everything to do with rural life but once told me (via Twitter) that she's not a country lass either.
Just as well that Canberra is surrounded by the most wonderful landscape and country towns, such as Yass, Gundaroo, Bungendore and Murrumbateman. And with these townships on our very doorstep, one can always pop out to a country show, like the Murrumbateman Field Days, which will be held this month on the weekend of 18-19 October. This is a hugely popular event held annually at the Murrumbateman Recreation Grounds.
Now in its 36th year, the Murrumbateman Field Days event coordinates over 45 Community Groups with almost 1,000 volunteers, and manages more than 500 commercial exhibitors. Injecting almost $1milion in the past five years back into the Murrumbateman community, the Field Days is recognised as the region’s premier family and lifestyle event, and with average family ticket entry costing less than $50 making the Field Days one of the region’s most affordable events.
Want to know more? Let's ask the Manager, Kim Williams. 'The Field Days is more than a rural trade show. The community have built the field days into the ultimate family outing, with lifestyle and produce exhibitors, fast rides, aero-bounce, baby animals, wine tastings, tractor pulls, equestrian and shearing demonstrations, gadgets, antique displays, and this year we introduce a huge family entertainment program on the oval and Village Green,' he told me.
The John Deere Spotlight marquee is the centre piece exhibit for the Field Days and will be filled with exhibitors and producers from the Murrumbateman Region, showcasing local wineries, chocolatiers, oils and finishing sauces, jams and relishes, fungi, herbs, cheeses and organic lamb and beef, all grown within the Yass Valley.
This year the Field Days will have a special celebrity on site! Fast Ed Halmagyi (pictured above), from the 7 Network TV lifestyle show Better Homes and Gardens, has agreed to be the 2014 Special Guest Celebrity Chef. Ed will appear at this year’s Murrumbateman Field Days to help promote the area’s wines and produce by performing cooking demonstrations twice a day.
As an added bonus, visitors to the Murrumbateman Field Days will have an opportunity to have $50,000 paid off their Mortgage simply by uploading their best Field Days photo to Facebook. For more information about the photo competition (including terms and conditions of entry), see the MFD web site. Tickets to the Murrumbateman Field Days can also be purchased online.
What: Murrumbateman Field Days
When: Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 October 2014 9am-5pm on Saturday and 9am-4pm on Sunday
Where: Murrumbateman Recreation Ground, Barton Highway, Murrumbateman, NSW
Cost: Adults $15 per day, concession $10 per day, Children 12-16 years $5 per day, Under 12 years free
So tell me dear readers, are you a town mouse or a city mouse? And do you enjoy spending time in the country?
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.