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The spice of life

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The spice of life

The Ginger Factory’s annual festival celebrates food, fun and the Sunshine Coast’s favourite plant. WORDS: Rachael Tickner.

Yandina’s home of locally grown ginger will once again celebrate its annual Ginger Flower & Food Festival.

Festival-goers will be treated to three days of fun in the sun. Celebrating all things ginger, including food, flowers and entertainment, the festival will feature a line-up of presenters, with food presentations and gardening talks.

Coast-based chef Matt Golinski, Makepeace Island head chef Lisa Mahar, and Kelly Lord of Spirit House will be on hand to share their talents and their mutual love of local ginger.

Gardening experts will also share their green-thumb tips.

“Food-lovers and gardeners alike will be in for a treat, with so much to see and do,” says The Ginger Factory’s tourism manager, Brenda Bailey. “There will be activities on offer for all ages, from the tiny tots, through to the adults, with guests treated to a day out of adventure and education.

“Guest will see a beautiful art display made from recycled materials by creator Sophy Blake, called To Bee or Not to Bee. The Ginger Factory’s resident artist, Sharon Wood, will also be creating a live art installation, drawing inspiration from the lush green sub-tropical gardens and vibrant flowers.

“Patrons will be able to enjoy the ginger tours throughout the festival, seeing first-hand just how incredible our team of ginger experts are, and how the manufacturing process is handled with love and care.

“Many people who visit don’t realise that we are the biggest operating factory of confectionery in the world. There’ll also be our Moreton Steam Train Ride, Overboard Boat fun and family favourite, Ginger Town, open for a spot of shopping,” Ms Bailey adds.

And, 2020 is set to be the biggest year yet for the festival committee – preparations for the event have been underway since mid-last year. “As the festival grows from strength each year, it’s the perfect opportunity to get amongst the local community, meet some of the local growers and relax and unwind at your own pace throughout the day,” Ms Bailey says.

One of the festival favourites that Ms Bailey is most looking forward to is seeing the seasonal ornamental ginger and heliconia plants on display, as well as 3000 other plants for sale for patrons to snap up and take home.

“The smell of ginger truly is something very special,” she says. “People can have their very own piece of ginger to enjoy each and every day.

“The festival’s final touches are now being put in place and patrons will have the opportunity to meet Aussie favourite, Dame Edna Average, as she lights up the days with her infectious charisma that we’ve all come to know and love.”

Chocolate connoisseurs will also be able to taste test the amazing flavours of local chocolatier Kokopod, which is the factory’s resident chocolate shop.

Kokopod’s founder Brigid Woolnough is also one of the panellists for the festival and will be talking all things chocolate.

“We are very much looking forward to being a part of the festival this year and sharing some insights in to our secret recipes for making the most of Buderim ginger,” Ms Woolnough says.

“Since opening last year, we’ve been welcomed with open arms by staff and locals. Kokopod is a local homegrown brand… We hope that festival-goers will love trying our delicious chocolate range.”

This year’s festival is on from January 17 to 19. Plenty of parking will be available. To find out more, visit gingerfactory.com.au.

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