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Heligan Harvest - 30 Days of Celebration

Let us invite you to our 2022 harvest celebration and share with us the bounty of our gardens and estate, from the kitchen garden to the fields and woodland: vegetables, fruit, herbs, seeds, meat, flowers and even timber - all from Heligan’s Garden & Estate.

In our 30th year of being open to the public, we’ve put together an authentic programme of events and demonstrations, which will span 30 days of October, embracing all elements of life at Heligan.

Harvest is a significant time of year for us. It is at a momentous point in the calendar, where we can fully appreciate and share all of the hard work and effort that our team has given, during the last 12 months and celebrate the fruits of our labour.

Harvest is not just about the now. It is important for us to be looking back to the past, this is where heritage skills, varieties and practices come from and influence how we work today. It is even more vital for us to be thinking about the future of food production and land use at Heligan and what we can be striving for over the next 30 years.

Heligan Harvest 2022 will celebrate all that Heligan makes, produces, and tends to – be that vegetables, animals, or woodlands. We’ll be looking back to the past, with our heritage harvest demonstrations, relishing the present with delicious food and drink, as well as celebrating our current team who tend the gardens, farm, and estate, before bringing everyone together for a traditional barn dance. We will also be sharing plans for Heligan’s future, with our food talks, farm tours and garden stories. 

During October half-term, we will be inviting families to get together and celebrate Harvest with us. Families can follow our fun Harvest Trail through the Productive Gardens, before gathering around our firepit and toasting a marshmallow or perhaps a harvest favourite – cinnamon apple. Both children and adults can get creative and join the team and learn how to make a traditional corn dolly to take home with them.

Come and join us to celebrate 30 days of Heligan Harvest!

To download a full programme of events for the Heligan Harvest, please click here. 

Harvest Preparations

1st – 7th October, daily in the Melon Yard and Reserve Yard

Join the Productive Garden team as they prepare the fruits of their labour, ready for our Harvest Display. They’ll around the gardens, busily carrying out tasks, from cleaning pumpkins, to arranging shallots, and on hand to answer any of your questions.

21 years of Harvest Displays – Photographic Timeline

1st – 30th October, daily in the Reserve Yard

Look back over the last two decades of traditional Harvest celebrations at Heligan.

It was in 2000, that our Productive Garden team re-instated the annual ritual of Harvest Celebration. Their first display was a relatively small one, using produce from the 4-plot vegetable garden from the time. It has developed over the years, with the core purpose the same, but as with each year, some things thrive and provide a glut, whereas others struggle, and this is what makes each Harvest celebration unique.

Our photographic timeline will be on display for the whole month of October.

‘Heligan Harvest – Echoes from our Past’

1st – 30th October, daily in the Gardener’s Bothy

An immersive audio experience that will take you on time travelling journey through Heligan’s productive gardens.

Every day throughout our Harvest month, we welcome you to experience the gardens like never before. Historic Heligan Gardeners of a time gone by, are waiting to guide you along an ambisonic adventure.

In this audio experience, you will meet Head Gardener, William Hovell, and his garden staff as they share their love of Heligan’s productive Gardens, during the Harvest of 1875.

Designed by creatives, Fable Feast, listen to the echoes of Heligan’s Harvest and connect to our past, to learn more about the Productive Gardens of today.

The Heligan Harvest Produce Display

8th – 30th October, daily in the Reserve Yard

Marvel at this year’s spectacular traditional Harvest Display, set with the historic walled gardens. This year, we will be celebrating the hard work of all of our outdoor teams, so there will be contributions from the Ornamental Garden team, the Jungle team, the Estate team, the Livestock team, alongside the traditional produce from our Productive Garden team.

Harvest Demonstrations

Weekdays only from Monday 10th – Friday 28th October

11.30am, in the Productive Gardens

Meet Heligan’s gardeners and enjoy their skilful demonstrations. Including seed saving, crop rotation and onion stringing.

More detailed daily information coming soon.

Daily Taste Testers

1st – 30th October

2pm, in both The Heligan Kitchen and The Steward’s House

Join one of our chefs to delight in their tasty creations. Beetroot brownies, pumpkin breads… what will be on the menu during your visit?

Don’t forget to pick up some recipe cards, so you can recreate these dishes at home.

Charcoal Burning

Various dates throughout October, in the Lost Valley

Witness the heritage practice of charcoal burning, down in the Lost Valley.

Our Estate Team will be on hand all day to share more information about our method of turning wood into fuel.

You’ll be able to see our Exeter Retort Kiln in action, which was part funded by a grant from the Agri-tech Cornwall Innovation Grant Scheme Project funded from the ERDF as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The retort kiln is cleaner and more efficient than the ring kiln that we used to use. It recirculates the burning wood gas in a sealed system, burning in a self-sustaining reaction, reducing pollutants by 75%

For further information, please check our chalk boards at the Ticket Office, on the day of your visit.

Let’s Talk Food!

3pm every Tuesday and Thursday between 1st – 20th October, meet at the entrance to the Kitchen Garden

Join our Developmental Chef, Nat Tallents as she talks about the past, present, and future of food production and use at Heligan.

Tuesday 4th October & Thursday 6th October

Past – Historical recipes and Heritage Varieties

Tuesday 11th October & Thursday 13th October

Present – Food Waste and Current Produce

Tuesday 18th October & Thursday 20th October

Future – Heligan’s Vision and Sustainability

All talks are free with garden entry

Half-term Harvest Activities

Saturday 22nd – Sunday 30th October

Corn Dolly Making

10am – 4pm, in the East Lawn Tent

Learn how to make a traditional corn dolly to decorate your home during Harvest.

In times gone by, it was believed that the spirit of the corn lived amongst the crop, and that the harvest made it homeless. Corn dollies were hollow shapes made from the last sheaf of wheat or other cereal crops. The corn spirit would then spend the winter in this home until the "corn dolly" was ploughed into the first furrow of the new season.

This is a creative activity that adults and children will enjoy but please be aware that some children will need an adult’s help.

Marshmallow & Apple toasting

11am – 4pm, in the BBQ Area

A Heligan Harvest favourite! Gather around our huge firepit and toast a delicious marshmallow or cinnamon apple.

Harvest Family Trail

1st – 30th October

Collect your Harvest Trail from the Ticket Office and let it guide you through the gardens towards the paddocks, testing your vegetable, fruit, and animal knowledge as you go!

Community Apple Drop

Saturday 17th September – Monday 17th October

10am – 5pm, in the Main Carpark

This autumn, we are on a mission to not let apples go to waste. If you have any apples in your garden that you won’t be able to put to use, please bring them along to our easy apple drop, which will be located in the main Heligan car park. The Cider Gang will work their magic and create delicious juices and ciders, with apples from the whole community, that would have otherwise gone to waste.

All you need to do is bring your apples with you and drop them into the net sacks provided at the apple drop. You can then leave them for our gardeners to collect at the end of the day.

If you drop off your apples & bring your own containers in on the dates listed below, you can collect some freshly pressed apple juice too.

1 litre of freshly pressed apple juice can be collected, per 10kg of apples donated.

Just head towards the Apple Drop area, close to the entrance from the Main Carpark, with your apples and containers. A member of our team will be nearby to make sure you get stickers for your containers.

You can then head down to the Woodturner’s Workshop, where you can meet the Cider Gang, and they will happily fill your containers with freshly pressed apple-juice. (Valid garden entry will be required)

The Cider Gang will be onsite, pressing apples on 8th – 10th October and 15th – 17th October, from 10am – 3pm.

Apple Pressing with the Cider Gang

8th – 10th October and 15th – 17th October

10am – 3pm, outside the Woodturner’s Workshop

Join the Cider Gang for an informative demonstration of juicing methods from their heyday. They’ll be using both a traditional & more modern apple press to make cider, juice, and cider vinegar, using produce from our very own Heligan Orchards, as well as apples donated by the community, via our Apple Drop.

Be sure to stop by and have a taste!

Harvest Barn Dance and Celebration

Sunday 23rd October

1.00 – 3.30pm, at The Barn

Join us for an afternoon of celebration, for all the family, in the heart of the Heligan Estate.

Barn Dance

We will be joined by the fantastic Whippletree Ceilidh band, who will be performing tunes, songs and dances that will get your feet tapping. Everyone is welcome to join in!

Community cake baking competition

Celebrate Harvest by baking your best, harvest themed cake!

It’s all about the decoration, presentation, and the connection to the brief… Heligan Harvest! Think scarecrows, vegetables, corn dollies, pumpkins and more!

There will be an adult and children’s (16 and Under) category– so the whole family can get involved.

Further details on timings & prizes will be available on heligan.com soon.  I’m still working on exact timings and details for this day so will get back with more info in due course.

Apple Pressing with the Cider Gang

10am – 3pm, outside the Woodturner’s Workshop

Join the Cider Gang for an informative demonstration of juicing methods from their heyday. Make you stop by to try some!

Drinks and snacks will be available to purchase nearby.

All activities are free with garden entry unless stated otherwise.

Foraging Workshops – Walk, Cook & Eat

Saturday 22nd October & Saturday 29th October

1pm – 3.30pm, starting from the Kitchen Garden

Forage alongside our Development Chef, Nat Tallents, in the grounds of the Heligan Gardens and Estate. Collect your items and cook them in the Steward’s House, to enjoy at the end.

£15pp, to book, please click here. 

Harvest Lost Suppers

Friday 14th October & Friday 28th October

6.30pm, in the Heligan Kitchen Conservatory

Lost Suppers are about connections, the connection between people, the soil, the planet, and food. In the current climate it’s never been more important to talk about food miles and eating from the land has always been the way at Heligan, that’s what it was built for.

The Kitchen Garden sits just 157 yards from the kitchen and grows around 4.5 tonnes of vegetables and fruit per year. Home Farm hosts an array of rare breeds and provides a small supply of meat each year. None of this could ever be enough to feed the 3000 visitors per day but here we are celebrating the fruits of our labour in innovative and sometimes surprising ways.

Limited spaces available. Booking is essential at heligan.com

All dietary needs are catered for, please advise when booking.

£60pp (maximum 60 guests), please click here for further information. 

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