Ursula Billington Campaigns Assistant
7th Nov 2012
Oxfam South West launched its series of Forage & Feast events in GROW week with an exhilarating afternoon of walking and talking in Frome that brought together nature lovers, heritage food enthusiasts and enquiring minds from the local community.
Foraging expert Dave Hamilton (author of the definitive guides the SelfSufficientish Bible and Grow Your Food for Free - Well Almost) kicked off the event with an informative and inspiring wild food walk around the beautiful Willow Vale in which the group explored nature's bounty in the local fields and hedges. We nibbled on Jelly Ear fungus and toffee berries in the autumnal sunshine, then took our foraged findings back to the confines of the kitchen where we learnt how to create tasty hawberry and crabapple ketchup.
After feasting on a pot-luck lunch, accompanied by gleaned plantain and blackberries, the group was given a background to the GROW campaign and World Cafe-style conversations began. Our practical foodie activities clearly grabbed the imaginations of the group who were fired up for enthusiastic debate around topics such as land grabs and local food heroes. Hands-on experience of the local landscape as a food source helped to bring the issue of land grabs home to the group; while talk of inspiring local food movements and small holdings were linked to broader global topics of industrial
agriculture and climate change. All were keen to share their own thoughts about the food system, both at home and abroad, and to learn more about Oxfam's campaigns.
Ideas were exchanged, positive solutions discussed, local actions considered. Then the group dispersed and headed off homewards with a jar of homemade ketchup tucked under one arm and a bundle of GROW materials under the other!
Keep an eye out for news on our Forage & Feast events in Bristol, Exeter and Totnes... why not run a Forage & Feast event yourself? Get in touch for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get involved in GROW with a Local Food Hero nomination
More on wild food and Dave Hamilton