If you’re a foodie who has a love for our land, mark the 12th-14th October in your diary. This year’s theme for The Connemara Green Festival is ‘Eating for Conservation’ and the festival’s fund-raising project is to raise awareness of the conservation of the freshwater pearl mussel.
The festival will highlight the wide variety of superb local food and artisan producers in the region, marking Galway as the European Region of Gastronomy.
Cathy Wolfe, one of the festival organisers said: “Connemara Green Festival is about celebrating nature and the unique place that is Connemara. Our theme is ‘Eating for Conservation’ and our aim is to raise funds for biodiversity projects. We are proud to team up with the European Region of Gastronomy 2018 to highlight nature’s bounty, our artisan food producers and our locally sourced foods through foraging walks and talks and at our Connemara Green Feast.”
The festival kicks off at 6pm on Friday 12th October with a free guided walk titled A Taste of the Forest. This ramble allows visitors to admire the scenery of the new Atlantic View-Woodland Walk, working up an appetite before enjoying a forest barbecue.
From lamb and mussels, to sustainable seafood demonstrations, this year’s festival will cater to all taste buds. Head to Pangur Ban Restaurant on Saturday to sample a buffet of local artisan food produce, created by chef John Walsh. On Sunday, Galway chef and author Michael O’Meara will be making an appearance at a Passion For Taste at Artisan House, where he will demonstrate and sample a variety of sustainable seafood.
Keeping it green, the president of the Vegetarian Society of Ireland, Maureen O’Sullivan, will be hosting a Vegetarian Cookery demonstration where guests can taste her unique take on vegetarian dishes during a 2-hour event.
As a regional delicacy, it would be a shame not to celebrate the beautiful, fresh oysters of Connemara. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about and taste the local shellfish at an Oyster Farm Tour & Oyster Tasting at 12.30pm on the Saturday.
Other foodie highlights include a free Connemara Bees event, a Herb Talk & Tasting, a Seaweed Foraging & Tasting event, a spot of Mushroom Foraging, and to close the weekend, a Farm To Fork experience at Rosleague Manor. The range of events taking place over the weekend are guaranteed to impress all foodies!
Taking advantage of the beautiful surroundings, the weekend will also include a number of outdoor activities, including kayaking, paddleboarding and boat trips, as well as special kids activities. The full 2018 programme can be viewed at connemaragreenfestival.ie/events.
Many of the activities over the weekend are free of charge but some require booking, so head to the official website connemaragreenfestival.ie to secure your places and avoid disappointment.