Community agricultural scheme near Leamington is holding an open day and fete this weekend

Organic food scheme Canalside Community Food, in Radford Semele, is inviting the public to come and visit its vegetable and fruit growing scheme on Saturday (October 16)

A community agricultural scheme near Leamington is holding an open day and fundraising fete this weekend.

Organic food scheme Canalside Community Food, near the canal just outside Radford Semele, is inviting the public to come and visit its vegetable and fruit growing scheme on Saturday (October 16)

As well as the opportunity for visitors to look round the vegetable-growing fields, polytunnels and the fruit orchard, there will be a fundraising fete with a range of activities to join in with, including apple pressing, guess the weight of the pumpkin, t-shirt printing and refreshments.

Youngsters press apples at Canalside Community Food in 2016.

Canalside grows all the produce provided in its weekly produce boxes, which come in three sizes – large, medium and small.

Around 170 households in the area subscribe to the scheme.

Those who subscribe receive a share of the seasonal vegetable harvest throughout the year, with fruit alongside when in season.

Ali Jeffery, the administrator for the scheme, said: "“People often tell us they drive past our gate every day and have always wondered what we do, so we think that opening the gates and showing people round is a great way for them to find out how Canalside works and how they can get involved.

A visitor enjoys fresh apple juice at a Canalside Community Food open day in 2016.

"We also want people to know about community supported agriculture (CSA) as a successful model of farming, because there is more demand than existing CSA farms can serve – both locally and nationally.”

The scheme is in the process of buying an extra field to allow space for fruit trees to be planted as an integrated part of the site.

Canalside produce member and investor in the existing land, Xandra Gilchrist, suggested the fete to help raise additional funds for the land purchase, and hedge and tree planting.

She said: “A fete is a fun way to get the community together.

A Canalside Community Food open day in 2014.

"There will be something for all ages and we hope to raise some money for buying the land and the new fruit trees.”

The fete will open at 11am, with tours lasting approximately one hour taking place at 11am and 2pm.

The tours are free and other activities will be by cash donation/payment, so visitors should be sure to bring some coins/notes along.

Visitors are also invited to bring a picnic to enjoy in the family-friendly social area at the site or in the pole-barn if the weather is wet.

Younger visitors will enjoy playing in the natural, willow-woven tunnels and on the chunky wooden play equipment in the play area during their visit.

In addition, the Willows Project - which operates from a small cabin on the Canalside site, running sessions for vulnerable adults - will be open– for visitors to find out more about the project's work and buy products made by participants at The Willows.

To find out more about Canalside Community Food and its produce boxes, as well as the open day, visit www.canalsidecommunityfood.org.uk.