Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Annual Chestnut Fair in Arriondas

A selection of different varieties of chestnut on show at the fair.

This weekend was the annual chestnut fair in Arriondas which is celebrated along with a show of vegetables from local farmers and a wood fair. This is the major fair in Arriondas and originates from the importance and abundance of chestnuts at this time of year in the area.

Chestnuts for sale.

Farmers and village people would come along to this annual fair to sell the chestnuts they had collected and did not need for themselves. They would also bring any produce they had growing in their gardens at this time of year to try and sell with the chestnuts, hence the development of the vegetable show.
Seasonal vegetables on show

What is so lovely to see at the fair is the different number of varieties being produced by some of the local farmers. This biodiversity is typical of traditional small holders who grew, harvested and maintained seed of different varieties of maize, beans etc.
A lovely show of food biodiversity; beans and maize.
Different types of peppers, tomatoes, onions and pumpkins.
Nice to see the presence of one local organic producer
Over the seasons the local farmers acquired a lot of knowledge about the different varieties and their particular properties. This even applies to something like chestnuts where the exhibitors were proud to show the different types of chestnuts available.

Local knowledge; different varieties of Chestnut.
The wood fair is much more of a recent development and comes from the historical presence of various wooden furniture manufactures in Arriondas. Now there are only two small furniture manufactures left in Arriondas and the fair has become more orientated to the small artisan wood worker.
Local artisan carving wood

Artisan worker repairing a chair.

As in most local fiestas there was some traditional dancing and music and a good turn out of people despite the rainy weather.

Local dancing, costumes and music.

Although this event is celebrated when the hotel is shut there are a number of other traditional annual fairs celebrated in the area when the hotel is open. Some of the more popular ones are; the hazelnut fair in Infiesto, the apple fair in Villaviciosa, the bean fair in Colunga. There are also a lot of different cheese fairs celebrated throughout the year reflecting the huge diversity of cheese in the area.

Long live local cultures and diversity!


Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.