24 Oct 2020

Townies get taste for rural life by exploring food origins

4:58 pm on 24 October 2020

The manager of the park that hosts Nelson's agricultural and pastoral show says it has become an important event for people who have lost touch with the origins of food.

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Patting a lamb satisfies many when they visit an A&P Show, an organiser says. (file pic) Photo: Sophie Barnes

The Nelson A&P Show will hold its 126th annual event at the Richmond Park on 21-22 November.

Manager Annette Robinson said the show had evolved into more of an education event as people's lifestyles changed, and young people became less aware of basic food production.

"Things like where milk comes from, or what does a little lamb look like - a lot of people just don't get the opportunity to see and feel those sort of things."

Robinson said fresh vegetables grown in someone's garden, and what they could be made into, had also attracted more interest in recent years.

Show president Ted Ford said despite the impact of Covid-19, it was encouraging to see local business confidence had held up, evident by the number of businesses wanting to be part of the trade displays.

He said the show had a long and proud tradition of bringing together town and country.

Robinson said the Nelson show differed to many others around the country because of the region's predominantly horticulture base.

She said the veterinarian business that ran the animal nursery was initially worried at the lack of exotic animals, but soon found people were satisfied to pat a lamb or listen to a small goat or piglet.

"That's what people want to see, feel and learn about.

"Another thing that's developed hugely in recent years is photography - it exploded last year.

"We ran out of space last year to exhibit them so we're prepared this year, and only hope it happens again."

The show's notable and historic cancellation was in November 1918 when Nelson was in the grips of the Spanish Flu pandemic, and the showgrounds in Richmond were turned into a temporary hospital.

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