Forage and feast

Posted by Lucy Tutton Youth and Schools Coordinator

6th Nov 2012

Feast ingredients:

1 forager

1 local community education officer

2 Oxfam staff (x1 from Activism and x1 Youth and Schools)

3 amazing Oxfam interns

2 photographers

1 film maker

15 adults

5 under 7 year olds

Mix together with lots of ideas to feast on, sprinkle over an outdoor forage event during half term and bake in a conversation and creativity.

Based in a Bristol primary school for the day, the South West Oxfam team of interns and staff created a space for adults and children to come together to explore:

  • 'food heroes' - local people who champion food in their community. Perhaps they get groups involved in growing vegetables or try and stock fair-trade products and raise awareness of issues with our global food system.
  • 'land grabs' - did you know that every 30 seconds an area of land the size of London's Olympic stadium is grabbed by wealthy investors in poor countries?  The group talked about the humanitarian reality and global impact of land grabs on our food system.

The day started with a guided forage around the Brislington brook area in Bristol - experienced forager Adrian Boots lead the walk, stopping to show us edible wild growing: watercress in a safe stream area, plantain, jelly ear fungus and nettles - including important tips on how to eat a nettle without getting stung! Adrian pointed out deadly yew tree berries and hemlock - definitely not to be consumed.

During the walk two staff who will be starting a photography project at the St Anne's Park primary school in the New Year gave out disposable cameras to children on the forage, they explored how to take an interesting or unusual photograph and documented the forage and edible finds.

It was really inspiring to see the abundance of local wild growing food - the forage was an experiential lead into a shared lunch, including some of our foraged food, followed by table top discussions on land grabs and food heroes for the adults.

On the children's table we explored where food was normally sourced, where it is grown and why they thought food was important - children created drawings of food 'super hero's' including a carrot whose mission it was to 'protect people from hunger and keep them healthy'!  They also created vibrant pictures from leaves foraged on the walk.

At the end of the event - everyone came together to share what they had discussed / created - a really diverse range of families and individuals attended the event, all with different experiences of food.

The recipe was a great success!

  • Children got involved in thinking about world issues and their impact globally and locally
  • They cemented their learning through creative activities and sharing what they had made
  • Adults had some interesting and thought provoking discussions - some people are now interested in becoming activists.
  • It was great to run an event in half-term so parents and children could get involved at the same event.
  • Would we run the event again? - Yes definitely!  Combining experience with discussion and creativity is a powerful formula and worked really well.

Find out more about our education activities and themes.

Blog post written by Lucy Tutton

Youth and Schools Coordinator

More by Lucy Tutton