Single Mother Walking the Talk… 2014’s Lessons

7th January 2015 by

Happy New Year y’all!

Before I joined Otesha in February 2014, I think the areas of my life that were environmentally conscious and active were because of:

  1. My financial situation and my ‘make do and mend’ attitude because of it.
  2. The fact my mother raised me as (and when) she was raised (1940’s Philippines) and the influence of another culture and generation made me ‘waste not, want not’.
  3. Wanting my children to be responsible and conscious of their actions and their impacts on their local and wider environment.

So, these past 11 months as a member of Otesha HQ, has taught me a lot and I wanted to share these lessons with you all.

Here they are:

  • Eating flowers is fun… and TASTY! Allium flowers from onion and garlic chives are my favourite – they taste like little floral intense pops of oniony and garlicy goodness!
  • The water footprint of beef (15400 litres of water per kilogram of beef) and coffee (140 liters of water per 125 milliliter cup) is horrible. Calculate your water footprint here.
  • Making deodorant is really easy and no fuss! Not only does it work well, it doesn’t give you cancer! Click here for a good recipe.
  • Nestle owns BOTH Perrier and San Pellegrino!!!!!! :( :( :( These brands tend to be the only ‘easy to find’ naturally carbonated water – and since I don’t drink ‘fizzy’ drinks, I’m rather partial to carbonated water with fruit for a bit of taste.

Now both bottled ‘still’ and carbonated water are on my ‘do-not-buy’ list.

  • Nestle is stealing developing countries’ groundwater to produce its ‘Pure Life’ bottled water (oh the irony), this is leaving whole areas uninhabitable and essentially forcing people to ‘buy their water back’. Oh, and let’s not forget that Nestle’s CEO doesn’t believe that water is a human right, click here to watch him saying it.
  • Thrifting is my favourite thing of all time EVER. I’m passionate about slow fashion, recycling, reusing and rummaging around charity shops! I love a bargain, I think it’s great when everything you own has a story and a past and I love me some retro (the 1990’s were a great era for fashion)! I’ve even started chronicling my thrifting adventures on my personal Instagram account!
  • I like chutney! And, yes it takes a bit of time to make, but it keeps good for a year and goes with EVERYTHING! I personally like this recipe. I made mine with marrows from mum’s allotment and apples from the tree in my back garden.
  • The kids love making paper. The mulch is fun to play with! Thanks to Sarah at ECOactive for showing us how. We like the good ole’ fashioned clothes hanger and tights method – as outlined here. :) In 2014 we taught ourselves how to bind homemade books with string. 2015 will be handmade books with handmade paper!
  • If you take cuttings of your friend’s plants you never have to buy potted plants or seeds again! This year I got Aloe Vera (thanks Orsetta) and pineapple sage – which is great in cocktails! Here’s how-to.

Until next time folks!

Peace and bicycle grease!


Alumni Spotlight: Harley

14th March 2014 by

Everyone who goes on a cycle tour, joins our green jobs training programme, or comes to us for support to set up their own project becomes part of our alumni network. We send them weekly updates, filled with  green, world-changing jobs, interesting volunteering opportunities and events, a bit of Otesha news, and something to make them smile! Basically, we like to keep in touch, find out what they’re up to and support them however we can. Here’s a little spotlight on one of our wonderful alumni!

1. Which Otesha tour did you go on?

Tastetastic 2012 – Scotlaaaand!

2. What were you100_5861r tour highs and lows?

Highs - Too many to mention but I really loved our time at Broomhill community garden in Burntisland with Elly and the founders of Fife Diet. Our first day working out in the sunshine and meeting some very dedicated and inspiring people.

Lows - Having to jump on a train on our first proper day cycling… my knee was not up for it and I was worried that was me done for the tour I’d been so excited about. (With a couple of days rest it was fine and I lived to tell the tale!)


3. Briefly, what have you been up to since the tour?

After the tour I moved back to Newcastle and have been living up there until very recently. Living with an incredible bunch, cooking and eating tonnes of big communal veggie delights. Enjoying the beaut that is Northumberland, cycling, learning lots about growing veg, taking kids on farm tours and making them taste new things! Getting dirty growing and selling tasty veggies, dancing, adventuring and planning exciting things for the future!

4. Tell us a bit more about Food Nation…

For the past year I’ve been working on a number of projects for an organisation called Food Nation. They are a social enterprise based in the East End of Newcastle that aim to inspire people about good food. This varies from cookery classes for all ages/abilities, outreach at a number of schools, community centres, universities and events. They also have an allotment where they run a few programmes for local schools to visit and engage with gardening, food growing, cooking and tasting! They are also linked to Food Newcastle which has been set up to improve some of the food systems in Newcastle by setting up a Food Charter – read more here. It’s been a pleasure to work on such a range of food related initiatives with them and I recommend checking them out!

SONY DSC5. What impact has the Otesha tour had on you?

I was lucky enough to get onto the tour just after graduating and I think Otesha has given me a fundamental backbone of inspiration, knowledge and positivity. Learning so much more about FOOD and confirming my desire to GET INVOLVED. Falling in love with cycling. Friends! (I met the most brilliant of humans!) Feeling part of a powerful network of individuals from all over the world. Despite not living in London I have still felt supported by Otesha and looking forward to getting more involved when in London. It’s confirmed my view that by creating an enthusiastic and inspiring example (by DOing), others will feel encouraged to join in and get involved themselves. Also, by educating people with a fun and playful approach, it can be a much more influential way of changing the habits of individuals.…… I am also a lot less scared of standing in front of a class of children which has come in handy!

6. Are you still involved with Otesha and how?100_5617

Only a fan from afar but hopefully this will change now I’m a little closer!

7. What advice would you give to new tour members?

Don’t bother with those ‘waterproof’ socks… They don’t really work.

Just get ready to have a wonderfully fun and productive time, meet glorious people and learn loads!

8. Describe your Otesha experience in 3 words, a picture, or an action?


Wild Food Cycle 2013!

8th August 2013 by

River hippos, summery siestas and Totally Tasty food.. notes from the Training week!

26th July 2013 by

It’s two weeks today since Sam, Iona, Catherine and Andy left us to fend for ourselves after training week, so really past time to post a blog about those five rich days.

From beginning as a group of almost total strangers on the Friday night (with Ana joining us midday Saturday following timely bike drama) we had come together with much laughter, shared food, and learning.


We were inspired by Highbridge Community Farm, their model of community growing, friendliness and the productivity of their fields. We were also glad of the chance to help out with weeding – a great accompaniment to interesting conversation.

Games were a key part of training week, to get to know each other, energise, break out of our comfort zones – and to add to our toolkits for working with young people. Hug Tag, Monsters and Lovers, Hug Murder and the Vegetable Name Game were particularly remembered. We also sang many songs together, with one particular night of rounds to set the tone for singing to come.

A lot of time was given to practical tour prep – learning workshops, consensus decision making and bike maintenance as well immersing ourselves in why we were there, our stories, motivations and tour goals. Putting together small sketches as part of the workshop learning share process was hilarious and ultimately very useful, as from these we created a play for school assemblies whilst on tour. We decided on our food mandate, a long process that put the group’s consensus skills to work. We only finished it in Southampton – To shop from within Europe, organically if possible, with minimal packaging. We would be vegan, except sometimes would buy eggs if they were from very local and happy hens.


It was the start of the heatwave, hot enough to burst one of our trailer tyres (unladen!) and making swimming in the nearby river during our mid-day breaks/siesta an enduring highlight. This included mud bathing /exfoliation. To quote Jessie “I’m a hippo!”

Our last day worked around a visit by The Media Trust who were making a short film about Otesha. They occasionally pinched people for interviews and gave us a great chance to ride our bikes around the field ringing our bells. We finished that day though with great jubilation, completing a treasure hunt, that invited us to banquet and demanded we dress to impress… We feasted on samosas, two curries and a banana dessert before closing our eyes to receive our little envelopes, full of warm fuzzies, our Otesha T-shirts and our bells – ready to ‘Saddle up and change the world!’

Thanks Sam and Iona for all the enthusiasm, support and hard work guiding us through those days, and Catherine and Andy for keeping us full of delicious food. Also thanks to Peter Hansford Cycles in Eastleigh for their support with Ana’s bike!


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Working the Workshops with Totally Tasty

22nd July 2013 by

I am lying in Lynn’s garden hammock looking out at the massive oak tree in the park next door. “You look extremely happy”, Jessie says as she walked past. I am a bit. I feel really enriched after everything I have experienced and taken part in today. This morning we woke up at 6.37am. All ten of the Otesha tour members were sleeping in the Rope Walk Permaculture Project’s garden shed just behind a mosque.Yesterday was our first day on the road and today we were introduced to the world of environmental and social workshop facilitation.

This morning we cycled to a local school to spend the morning at the, maybe paradoxically named, “inclusion unit”. It was for children who had been deemed not adapted to be within a conventional class room. The average number of children in these inclusion classes were between four and six. Students would stay on a single floor on which all of their needs were catered for. All their subjects, tutors and even lunch was provided on this level. The teachers were all amazing and it I think we learnt much from seeing how they spoke to and engaged the students. While one team delivered another workshop, my group was presenting a workshop on Fair-Trade which looks at all the different people involved in the production on bananas; from the logger who has to clear-cut his beloved rainforest to earn enough money to get by, all the way to the consumer in the UK.

Later that day, I was shown a feedback sheet with Alex, one of the students had written after the class but had seemed one of the hardest to engage. In it he  recalled with great detail several of the facts concerning fair-trade and gave many interesting suggestions for how we could improve the workshop. In the second group, also four students, was one girl who was full of enthusiasm, excitement and charisma. We had one who wanted to read many of the character cards describing what each person in the supply chain has to do. After each card she would give a particularly conscience summary of what had just been said and apply it to examples she was familiar with as well as explaining it within the greater whole of the exercise. After class, the teacher, told us this student was normally the most introverted and shyest member of the class. He had never seen her as enthusiastic and engaged as she was. We felt we had been of use and that our presence at the school was being appreciated.

The last workshop was the one I thought was most successful. The four boys in the class seemed genuinely interested in what we were talking about and shared their knowledge about pesticides and GMOs. Later in the day, we discovered that this last group we had worked with were reputed to be the most difficult to engage with. Quite a result, we told ourselves.

After some not-so-vegan egg and cheese sandwiches the school kindly provided, we headed back over to Southampton Common [we had cooked an epic dinner for ourselves there the night before] to meet a home education group. These were children who were educated by their parents or grandparents and all met up on a regular basis so as to learn and play with their kin. These children take an active role in deciding what it is they are most interested in and would like to learn more of. “I drive my grand-daughter around 200 miles a week so she can receive lesson from all the specialist teachers in the region” one parent told us. The children now in front of us couldn’t have been more dissimilar from the ones we had spent time with that morning. Surrounded by supportive, reassuring parents, they spoke, read and posed questions with clarity, self-assurance and calm. At one point when talking about the distribution of money amongst the different actors on the supply line, they took the debate completely into their own hands and we  no longer needed to facilitate and actually stepped back and watched (slightly in awe) as children of six and seven discussed who in the supply line deserved the most pay. This seemed like a million miles away from the disheartened students we had met earlier that same day.

Personally, I felt greatly privileged and enriched to have had the opportunity to experience these two polar opposite worlds. We had witnessed first hand how socio-economic segregation is passed on from one generation to the next as a result of systemic causes within our society. These skills and experiences are fantastic to get, and the whole team is developing in leaps and bounds ready for all the schools we have ahead. Thomas

Totally Tasty’s first taste of touring!

17th July 2013 by

At half past eleven on Thursday morning, the first cycling group rolled out from Highbridge Farm, towing Candy  the cooking trailer (named after our training week cooks, Catherine and Andy) soon followed by the second and third groups. We were only half an hour later than our aspirational/ non- negotiable 11 o’clock departure time. The sun shone and there was still a coolness to the air as we headed south down the start of road, shaded by the hedgerows. There was a shared sense of elation, of finally being on the road, the tour being underway. We had woken early, with tidying and packing to do, our group and personal belongings scattered freely across the field.

Our first ride was short, 7.5 miles to Southampton common (a site of special scientific interest) to meet for lunch by the fabled model boating lake (there were no model boats being sailed). This didn’t stop each group from getting lost as we traversed the boundary from the countryside into the city. Our route crossed the M3, and one after the other the cycling teams took the wrong turn down, to the round about entering the M3! We made it


though, the joy of riding again not beaten by busier than ideal roads and wrong turns.

A brief picnic salad (a learning curve on the appetite of a tourer vs training weeker) and we were off again to Green Space community garden, were we met Felicity, Otesha alumni of Wild West fame. We built a bug hotel, a stack of pallets, with the gaps stuffed with rolled card and newspaper, straw, grass clippings, pinecones, flower pots to encourage solitary bees, different pits of stick and wood. By providing habitat this will encourage a diversity of invertebrate life into the garden.



Thank you Felicity for the fresh dug potatoes, the nasturtium, sorrel, beet leaves, parsley, lavender, and fennel, they made our dinner! We ate that night in the common, a feast of fried potatoes, curried beans and vegetables and beautiful salad, prepared together, with lots of laughter mixed in for extra flavour. The sun went down and we burst into song and more laughter, before riding to Ropewalk, our base for the next few days. A cluster of day-glo yellow, shining reflectors and flashing lights, we happily rolled through the dark, quiet streets. Craig, our generous, enthusiastic host, met us and settled us in. We slept in the shed, a line of sardines amongst the spades and rakes, with Tristan stretched outside in a hammock. Friday came, our first day of workshops. We ran through the workshops quickly before leaving, on time, at 8 am…

A tasty revolution

22nd April 2013 by


This weekend I went to visit a very special project on the outskirts of Eastleigh, near Winchester.

Highbridge Community farm is exactly that – a working farm entirely operated by members of the community. Local people can gain new skills, make new friends, save money on food costs, get plenty of fresh air and exercise AND get to take away some incredible, fresh vegetables. I was lucky to time my visit with an open day, and it was great to see many members of the community getting involved and making the most of what has been a bad year for growing this year. With the sun shining and t-shirts out – there was a definite air of optimism about the season ahead.

This model is being picked up all over as it deals squarely with many problems facing us today: rising food costs, questionable and untraceable content in processed food, our reliance on supermarkets, imported foods and heavy use of pesticides…  Speaking with Rich, a member of the group, it was clear that the benefits stretch far beyond these points. The sharing of skills between generations, improved cohesion within the community and simply getting people outside to do some healthy exercise are just as important as the finished produce.ellie-225x300

In my job I am constantly heartened by the many amazing projects there are – when plotting the route for Totally Tasty I only knew of a couple of amazing projects I wanted to include. After a little a research, speaking to a few local people, it seems there really is a food revolution going on across the UK as people step up to take back control over what they are eating. It is rewarding to arrange a whole 3 week tour, sampling the different forms that these projets take. Our hope with the tour is that tour members learn from each project they stay at. They will see the projects first-hand to gather, discuss and share ideas and take everything they need to inform their own lives and others through our workshops in schools. With our continued support, we hope that tour members will be inspired to take action within their own lives. Less than a year after our first food tour, we are already seeing this happen.Ellie has put her new skills to work to create a food co-op. You can read her honest and inspiring account of her Otesha tour, and where it has taken her in the months that followed by reading this alumni spotlight, ‘Edible Ellie‘.

In short, I just know see that Highbridge Farm will be a perfect launchpad for our 3 week food tour. If you are interested in applying, please see the Totally Tasty page for all you need to know.

Western Quest go back to School!

27th September 2012 by

After a short cycle ride from Radstock to Frome along a beautiful abandoned railway, we arrived at Vallis Veg Farm.  Here we were greeted by our wonderful host, Cordillia and our Sustainable Frome guru, Alex.  We settled in quickly and in the evening we were treated to a bath under the stars, heated by an open fire.

Frome was where we were to give our first school performances and workshops.  We were kept fully occupied here visiting both the local secondary school and Oakfields Primary school.  In Frome Community College we were put to work helping a group of year eleven boys (known as the G Force!) with ideas on how to make their school more environmentally friendly and how to get more pupils aware of environmental issues.  We gave them various suggestions such as an ethical fashion show, putting up signs around the school for energy awareness and trying to promote cycling to school amongst the pupils and the teachers.  After our meeting with G Force we had a session with a year nine English class.

We ran three workshops on Media, Food and Ethical Fashion. The class was very receptive, they seemed to really learn a lot and fully enjoy the session.  Afterwards, one child remarked ‘‘You shouldn’t buy something just because an advert tells you to’‘ and another ‘I want to buy more Fairtrade things’. The following afternoon we had another booking at the local primary school.  Here we performed the play to the year six assembly, and explored some of the issues raised with the Food and Fairtrade scene with workshops.  This was our first real session of performing the play and delivering the workshops to a large number of children and it was inspiring to see how much they learnt.

During our stay here, we also had an evening with Sustainable Frome at one of their monthly meetings.  After a delicious shared meal with around 80 Frome residents we performed the play and then listened to a talk from guest speaker Mary Colwell who was speaking on religion and the environment.

We really enjoyed our time in the very pro active Frome – it’s encouraging to hear so much going on all over the UK and the world – have a look at the Transition Network to see what’s on near you.  We meet some very inspirational people and it was great to have such a warm reaction from our first schools.

An Otesha farewell with food

13th September 2012 by

We always knew that Charlie would only be with us for half of the tour, but the moment of her departure had seemed so far away. With sad faces and heavy hearts, we bid her farewell in Bristol.

But of course, this being an Otesha tour we were going to celebrate and not cry about the loss of one of our members! So the cooking team got to work on a 5 course feast made up of local ingredients from the fabulous Feed Bristol, where we were staying, and the Bristol Sweetmart.

One thing we’ve all taken out of this tour is how easy it is to cook healthy, local and organic food on our budget of 5 pounds per person per day. As we’re promoting a sustainable, local lifestyle, it’s important to us that we walk the talk. Our food mandate means we’re eating vegan food that is from the UK, or the EU if it can’t be grown in the UK, and we’re avoiding soya and palm oil.

We buy most of our foods from the farms we stay at or the nearest farm shop and local greengrocers and wholefoods shops. At first, wading through the packaging was hard work – just because something says it’s ‘made in’, ‘manufactured in’ or ‘produced in’ Britain, does not mean the ingredients are British. So we check for signs saying EU agriculture and use our common sense to decide if products are likely to be British. Unless we’ve got it all wrong and cumin seeds do grow in Guildford, we’re hoping we’re doing okay… and all without a supermarket in sight. Woo! For Charlie’s leaving party, we enjoyed a wonderful meal of homemade houmous, English melon, Italian olives, local curried vegetables, tabbouleh, beetroot and green salad and blackberry and apple crumble.

After a delivering our workshops and performances all over Bristol, we rode on to our next stop in Chew Magna. We arrived later than expected due to two punctures and a burst tyre but we timed our arrival perfectly to see the sun set over the pituresque Chew Valley lake where we set up our tents. We were staying at The Community Farm and were greeted by the lovely Claire and the infamous mid tour retreat package from the Otesha office.  As expected, it contained a lot of postcards to spark pupils’ individual actions, ideas for the retreat and a big bar of chocolate. Less expected were wonderful, positive messages from the Otesha team, thanks guys!

We contemplated the previous two weeks, what we had achieved, what we hadn’t, what we wanted to get out of the next few weeks and the Otesha experience as a whole. We then reconvened to chat over our thoughts and celebrate the tour so far with ‘The Great Big Pat on the Back’ where we counted up miles cycled, projects visited, punctures, best views, and highs and lows in general.

The second day was more relaxed and began with volunteering on the Community Farm, with jobs ranging from picking cucumbers to pruning raspberry bushes. We then had a wonderful feast with all the volunteers, well deserved after a morning’s work. The Community Farm, a co-operative vegetable box scheme farm seems to be really established, despite being in its early stages. We were treated to a tour of the farm by Ben and heard about big plans for the new education centre, where numerous courses will be run, ranging from foraging to bee-keeping, so if you are interested and in the Bristol area watch this space.

We had a wonderful, relaxing, mid tour retreat, thanks to the Otesha team, the Community farm and the beautiful weather. It was a great chance to reflect and re-cap on our play and workshops, thoughts and aspirations, which helped us to feel prepared to enter schools; the next phase of the Western Quest tour.

Feasting, Fife and Falkland – more tales from Tastetastic North

6th September 2012 by

Tastetastic North’s Prince of Porridge, Jonny, takes up the tale…

After a pleasant and picturesque cycle north through Fife from Burntisland, we arrived in the village of Falkland.  With Gavin at the helm, map in hand, there was always a chance that we’d end up taking a less than direct route to Pillars of Hercules, the organic farm that was to be our home for the coming days.  Fortunately Gavin has a knack of taking wrong turns that turn out to be beautiful detours and this wrong turn took us right through the grounds of the Falkland Estate, past the house and stables, past the tipi that still stood in the grounds, a remnant of the Big Tent Festival (Scotland’s biggest and increasingly famous eco-fest), and through a forest to the farm.

We were welcomed at the farm shop, a beautiful wooden construction packed with a plentiful harvest of organic delights, and met Bruce, our host and the founder of the farm who showed us to the field where we’d be camping for the next four nights.  As evening descended over the East Lomond hill (immediately and affectionately named ‘the nipple’ by the team), under whose imposing shadow the farm nestled, the cooking crew rustled up a feast as others gathered wood for a starlit campfire.

‘The nipple’ was our constant companion during our stay in Falkland; Photo from Pillars of Hercules website

The following morning was spent in the normal porridge-eating frenzy, given a civilising addition by the coffee and cake on offer at the café attached to the farm shop.  Some even took the opportunity to shower in the luxurious new timber-framed shower block.  Washed, fed and watered, we spent the rest of the morning doing some workshop preparation before heading out onto the land for an afternoon of physical labour that was our recompense for Bruce hosting us at the farm.  So Bruce set us to work removing tree guards from trees that had been planted, a good decade ago, on a bank that divided his land from the neighbouring farm.  The trees had been planted as a living barrier to prevent “spray drift” from the then non-organic neighbours onto the spray-free fields of Pillars.

Working like a well oiled machine, we fanned out on the bank armed with snippers, knives and our bare hands, removing every kind of tree guard we came across, keeping morale up with songs and the sight of the cooking crew conjuring up another hearty dinner with ingredients sourced from the farm shop.

Is it yoga or volunteer labour? Charli gets stuck in regardless

Tamsin at Pillars: those tree guards didn’t stand a chance

After a well-earned sleep, we awoke to a thick mist around the tents that soon gave way to clear skies, which accompanied our ride into Cupar.  We were there to meet the people from Sustainable Cupar, who also had work for us to do, so half of us stayed in the grounds of Elmwood College to plant and fence off some raspberry plants in the community allotment while the rest went to the Busy Bees Nursery where a gaggle of wee children jostled each other in an equally wee community garden.  After being shown around by the little ones, this group did some weeding and began to assemble a picnic table.

After the morning’s work, we all reconvened at Brian’s for lunch; Brian was an enthusiastic and immensely knowledgeable and experienced member of the local fruit group and something of a hero when it came to back garden smallholding.  On the tour he gave us of his garden, which had grown to include the back halves of his two neighbouring relatives’ gardens, we saw succulent strawberries, clucking hens, greenhouses teeming with tomatoes and figs, laden apple and pear trees, buzzing beehives, plentiful vegetable beds and birdproof cages brimming with soft fruit.  The tour culminated in Brian’s shed, where we were treated to samples of gooseberries, jostaberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, tomatoes and a tantalising sniff of one of the large vats of honey.

Brian expressed his hope that we had learned something from our visit to his garden and we certainly had: we learnt about the alchemy of fruit tree grafting, what a jostaberry tastes like and just how much of your own food you can harvest from a relatively small space.  No wonder Sustainable Cupar hold up Brian’s garden as a prime example of the potential for Scottish gardens to produce a bounty of zero-food-miles grub.

After a scrumptious lunch laid on by our hosts, we set off for the local park, where we set about clearing and mulching the ground for the young fruit trees that the fruit group had planted.

The following day we were met at the farm shop by Rod Crawford from the Centre for Stewardship that is based in the stable building on the Falkland Estate.  En route from the farm shop, Rod gave us a potted history of the estate from its days as a hunting estate for the nobility in the 13th and 14th centuries to it becoming a hub of sustainable thinking and projects.  Under the helm of the current laird, the Falkland estate now plays host to not only the Sustainability Centre but also the Big Tent festival, and now the estate farm has converted to organic cultivation practices – this included an organic cattle operation as well as a field of fruit trees where old Fife heritage varieties were being revived.

The Tastetastic crew tucking in? Not quite. These are the organically-reared cows on the Falkland estate

Rod took us to met with Stewart, who spoke to us about Falkland and the Lomonds Transition Cycling Project to promote cycling in Fife, which was followed up by a talk from Rod about his work with Zero Waste Scotland and the Love Food Hate Waste Campaign.

Our afternoon was spent on workshop prep and a little exploration of the estate, before the heavens unleashed torrential rain and wind just as the cooking team were getting to a crucial moment, so it was all hands to the pump as the field kitchen was hastily relocated from the field, down the lane to the wash house by the farm shop.  The rain continued to lash down but the evening was by no means a washout as we had been invited along to the Stag Inn in Falkland village by the local Transition group, where there was also a lively folk jam with up to 17 musicians in full improv swing, so we chatted and jigged the evening away before heading back to our campsite, borne along by the memory of Big Al’s folk version of ‘All Along the Watchtower’.

Sun accompanied us on the beautiful cycle to Newburgh Primary school the following morning, and Dunbog Primary the day after, where we had a whale of a time running our first workshops with the brilliant kids there. Exploring food sustainability issues with the students, we were able to bring in all the enthusiasm, inspiration and new knowledge we’d gained from the incredible projects who had hosted us – so thanks to them all for enriching the whole experience for us and the children.

The team en route to Newburgh – we just had to stop here for the breathtaking view over the Firth of Tay

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