I'm a freelance writer living on the Sunshine Coast.
Where Foodies And Green Thumbs Unite
Hankering for a quick getaway to the Sunshine Coast? Yeah, well you could spend your time lazing on one of the coast's spectacular beaches ... but if you're a bit of a foodie with a green thumb then your trip would not be complete without attending the 2016 Ginger Flower and Food Festival at Yandina.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the festival which promises to be the best yet. During 22nd - 24th January, The Ginger Factory hosts Australia's largest display of ornamental gingers and heliconias. The program includes daily talks and demonstrations by well-known chefs and garden experts. If you ever wanted to learn all about growing, harvesting and cooking with gingers then this is an event not to be missed. Guest speakers will show you how to create authentic Thai food and cook ginger inspired desserts. Other things you can find out about include: eating and growing edible flowers; growing ginger plants; how to attract native bees to your garden; as well as witnessing the launch of the new range of compact Costus ginger plants.
A 3 metre high floral display will be there for all to admire. A large range of ornamental gingers and Heliconias will also be available for purchase. Make sure you take a walk through The Ginger Factory's gardens to fully appreciate the mature plants in full bloom. Nature photographers will have plenty of beautiful blooms to capture.
The stunning Heliconia Rostrata. (pic courtesy of author)
Admission is free to this family-friendly event with some special activities for kids at 11am each day including: The Ginger Factory's birthday party on Friday; a kids'gardening workshop on Saturday; and a kids' foodie session on Sunday.
Enjoy some lunch at the cafe, then cool off with a nice cold dessert at the Ice Creamery. Finish off with a leisurely stroll and browse through the many different gift shops or take a ride on Moreton the train. When you're done for the day, don't forget to visit the nut factory directly opposite for some yummy snacks. One more tip - if you are super fit and a bit of an early bird, you may want to check out nearby Yandina Markets on North St, Saturday morning before the Ginger Festival starts at 9am.