Tastetastic! 2012

Lick your lips and get in gear for our first ever food tour – which just also happens to have no upper age limit. Tantalise your taste buds as you pedal across southern Scotland for three weeks exploring food sustainability.

Dates: 4th – 25th August

You’ll receive plenty of training from bike maintenance to workshop facilitation to consensus decision making; you’ll visit lots of exciting food-themed projects; and it wouldn’t be Otesha without visiting a few schools and youth clubs to spread messages of sustainability along the way.

We want the tour to be a space for team members to explore all aspects of food sustainability.  We tried to make a list of all the issues around food, but it’s nearly never ending – but expect to learn and share plenty about everything from trade and transport, to permaculture and pesticides.

 Where we’re heading

Who can come along?

If you’re…

  • aged 18+
  • fanatic about food (sustainability) or want to learn more
  • happiest when out and about on your bike, often cycling 40 miles in a day
  • comfortable sleeping in accommodation ranging from tents to school halls.

…we’d love to hear from you!

What about fundraising?

Tour members are expected to fundraise £600 towards the cost of their place on tour. We’ll provide you with plenty of resources and support to help you along the way.  We also have bursaries available for those less able to fundraise – so please get in touch if you want more information about this.

What if I’ve been on an Otesha tour before?

We’d love you to join us again, but we will be giving first preference to those who haven’t had the opportunity to join an Otesha cycle tour in the past.

I’ve missed Tastetastic! What to do?

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Are you a food project in southern Scotland?

If you’re part of a food initiative in southern Scotland and would be interested in the Otesha tour visiting you and lending a hand (or 30) for a day or two, get in touch with us at cycletours@otesha.org.uk.

We’ve timed it so that any teachers in England and Wales who want to take part can volunteer. Chris Hardy, a teacher at Fulham Cross Girls’ School, tells us about his experience on tour (here) and what it has brought to his day-to-day life, including his teaching.

Meet the team

Kerry Lane (food guru)
Having just finished working for the Transition University of West Scotland Project, I am now looking for more exciting sustainable community initiatives to get involved with.  Being Food Guru and Tour Liaison for the Otesha Tastetastic tour is one of these adventures! I went on the Lands End to John O’Groats tour in 2010 and loved it, so I have been Otesha mad ever since! I am actively involved in the Transition and the world of sustainable living, including with lots of wonderful foody stuff. I love food! I love making preserves, seasonal vege dishes, sourdough bread, growing herbs, foraging in the hedgerows, helping in community gardens, sharing meals, telling people about it, learning about it… and more! With the rest of my time I like playing my whistle, dancing, reading, walking, doing acrobalance and going on adventures with Wren, my trusty bike.

Ffion Bell (tour liaison)
Ahoy all, I’m Ffion and will be one of the tour liaisons on Totally Tasty. I’m 22 (turning 23 while we’re on tour!), and at the moment am living in the land of the Little Mermaid, Carlsberg, and the Killing. In other words am studying for a Masters in Information Science in Copenhagen, Denmark.  I spend most of my time in libraries, at my student job, or on my bike cycling between them every day.  Also cooking, reading pretty much anything, playing trivia games, and speaking a weird mixture of Danish and Welsh that nobody understands. I’m really excited about this summer tour; living with a good group of people, exploring new places, and doing some great work as we go along. Hurray!

Emily Connor
Hello, i’m Emily :) i’m currently studying at a 6th form in Bradford but spend the majority of my time getting excited for the incredible things i’ve got in store in the future, including the TasteTastic tour! I’m a life long member of the youth organisation Woodcraft folk and volunteer on the committee of the 16-21 branch who go by the name of District Fellow’s. My role on the committee is to run projects about many things including peer led education about sexual health, mental health and drugs, renewable energies and politics. After being surrounded and brought up with cycling everywhere in my life, i caught the cycling bug when i was about 14 and when i was 15 i cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats! Since doing that ride, i’ve been ever more obsessed with cycling!

Adam Jacobs 
I’m an eager cyclist, and am passionate about trees, organic growing and biological sustainability! I wish to rely extensively on using my limbs for my transportation, just like I did before getting a driving license. My background is in woodwork, both rustic and refined, and now I’m training in the field of forestry and woodland management. I hope to share a great experience with others on this ‘Tastetastic’ cycle tour, and learn a good deal about team-work and education.

Tom Lawson
I’m Tom. One of my fondest childhood memories was the moment I realised my Dad
had let go of the saddle and that I was actually balancing on two wheels all by myself. I haven’t stopped pedalling since and have had many memorable rides. As well as cycling I love nature and strive to live as sustainably as I can. Since finishing an environment and development degree at the University of East Anglia almost two years ago I have done a variety of different things ranging from working at a tree nursery to WWOOFing in Ireland to performing conservation work whilst living in a yurt. I’m currently on a journalism internship with Positive News and can’t wait to start my next adventure cycling with everyone on the Tastetastic Otesha tour!

My name is Coraline and I’m half-French half-British (… but I do have the very strong (annoying) French accent as I’ve lived there for 18 years of my life). I am a second year student currently doing an English and Spanish degree in Scotland. However, I started school at 2 and a half years old in France and so I’m feeling a bit tired of intellectual doing nothing … AND this is why I’m joining this mega action tour! I’m really happy to be part of a tour this year as I discovered the Otesha Project UK a year ago and was very excited about thinking of doing one myself! I am looking forward to cycling with a bunch of new and enthusiastic people and learning lots of new skills! My interests in life are: caring for our planet, listening to music, doing lots of different sports, learning languages, photography, meeting awesome inspiring people etc. My biggest dream in life would be to live on an organic farm/in a community where people would all share their amazing skills.

Charli Clark
Hi I’m Charli from Bristol. I am a mixed media artist, currently working in performance and live art. My work focuses on the human relationship with nature, the way we interact, understand and are part of it. I work part-time in a co-operative called Cafe Kino as a vegan chef. I am also a company director, co-op member and the staff co-ordinator and love working in a place where everyone’s opinions and ideas are taken in to account equality. I am excited to be able to further my experience of collective discussion making with the Tastetastic tour team this summer.  I learned to cycle after I had a near miss in a motorway crash 2 years and haven’t looked back since. I love it and can’t wait to explore the Scottish landscape by bike.

Charlotte Rashleigh
Hey, my name’s Charlotte. I am originally from Cornwall and I currently live in Sheffield. I have just finished my Diploma to become chartered as a Landscape Architect having taken a couple of years out to work for an Architecture practice in Bristol.  I am interested in how we can plan urban environments to really consider food sustainability.  I enjoy all things food and bicycle related;  foraging, Wwoofing, cooking, growing and camping. I am very excited to finally be making it to Scotland with lots of new and enthusiastic people. Right now I can’t wait to get my bike out for some long rides in the Peak District :-)

Ellie Jones
Hi there! I’m Ellie from Swansea. When I moved here 8 years ago to study illustration, I was apathetic, discontented and lost. I knew I wasn’t where I ought to be in life. In 2008 I reached a turning point and decided to take responsibility for my actions. The first thing I did was quit my isolation…. Er I mean… illustration degree and take up volunteering. To cut a long story short my life has been totally transformed. I have done lots of things that I never dreamed of, but most importantly I completed a social work degree so that I could become qualified to empower the people who need it the most. I have a dream of setting up a social enterprise that combines my arts and craft background with my social work values and makes use of materials that are usually wasted. I’m really looking forward to meeting you all. Roll on 4th August!

Sonia Cropper
Ahoy there! My name’s Sonia and I am really excited about our Scottish tour in August! I am a passionate foodie – I love cooking it and eating it, as well as engaging with the politics of local and global food production. Past jobs have included working in kitchens as a kitchen assistant and baker, teaching community cooking and nutrition courses, and working for FoodCycle – a national charity that strives to tackle problems of food waste and food poverty through free community meals. What excites me most about this tour is the opportunity to meet other active people that are involved in interesting projects, and see where such connections take me! Also I quite like cycling – and am embarking on a 6 week tour of Scandinavia and northern Europe just before our Otesha tour… So if I seem weary when we first meet, you’ll know why! Happy summer days everyone – I look forward to meeting you all in August!

Harley Wright
Hello everyone! My name’s Harley and I’m very excited about joining you all on the tour in a few of weeks. Currently hopping between London and Newcastle doing odd jobs and enjoying a little bit of post-uni freedom, getting everything sorted for the trip. Just finished my degree in English Literature and History at Newcastle and moving back there in september to join the ‘real world’. I’m originally from Kingston, South-West London but seem to be hooked on the charm of the North. After watching a few inspiring films last year I’ve become increasingly passionate about the state of the food industry and so this tour seems perfect for me. Along with a group of friends, we’ve managed to set up a food co-operative shop in Newcastle’s Student’s Union to encourage students to purchase cheaper more ethical food. I’d really like to pursue projects like this in the future but feel like there’s loads more to learn first! I can’t wait to explore Scotland more and hear more about all your exciting projects, experiences and stories. And lots of cycling of course!

Jonny Watler
Hello fellow foodies!  So, I’ve re-waxed the waterproofs, oiled my chain and am ready to leap into the Lycra.

Here’s a little bit about me. After leaving Uni I got interested and involved in alternative agriculture and local foodie stuff, this culminated in attending a Permaculture Design course in Wales.  After a stint in Nottingham I moved to Edinburgh and worked as a volunteer and then gardener at a great community garden project, growing organic fruit and veg in the grounds of the psychiatric hospital.  Hopefully when we’re in Edinburgh will get a chance to drop in.  After that I took an overland trip (only one way unfortunately) to India and Nepal where I was volunteering with alternative/permaculture/organic agricultural projects.  Since coming back to the UK I’ve moved back home to the (usually) sunny south east coast of Kent where I’ve been working in my local organic food shop and cafe and spending a lot of time in the garage tinkering with bikes.  Look forward to meeting you all soon.

James Warwick
Hello, I’m James. I live in Edinburgh and I have just finished a maths degree. Alongside my studies I’ve been making sourdough bread, wwoofing and learning acrobatics. I built a bike from second-hand parts especially for the Otesha tour – I can’t wait to tour around Scotland on it. In particular, I’m looking forward to learning some permaculture and also to the education side of things. I love to have green juice or oats for breakfast and one day I will be a beekeeper :)

Andy Rossal

Hello!  I’m Andy!  I’m a maths teacher from Merseyside with a passion for food and the environment.I love cooking delicious andwholesome vegan food, and also have forayed into both foraging and growing in the last couple of years, including a bit of WWOOFing.  I commute by bike, but I’m looking forward to doing more than just a few miles a day.

Tamsin Robertson
So excited to be joining an Otesha cycle tour!  I have stepped into Ffions (Injured!) shoes to be a tour liason along with Kerry andreally looking forward to spending the summer cycling and exploring food sustainability in Scotland! I have been working on Otesha’s green jobs programme over the past few months – helping young people into green and decent jobs and also work on a yoga project with asylum seeking women at Hackney city farm.  I’m really looking forward to learning growing skills and getting ideas from tour members and projects we visit to bring back!  I’m planning on spending a couple of weeks cycling back to London after the tour and would love people to join. Tamsin Xx

Hannah Smith

I’m 24 years old and I grew up in a tiny little village in Cambridgeshire, but now I’m living in the Big Smoke, learning to grow myown food and temping at the British Film Institute. I tumbled head-over-heels in to campaigning, community development and social justice at the University of Warwick a few years back where I was studying Theatre and Performance, with a particular focus on applied theatre as a social tool (something that makes Otesha just that little bit more wonderful for me). I have since been very heavily involved in the youth climate movement, both here and internationally, in particular with the UK Youth Climate Coalition (UKYCC) which I Co-Directed last year, and coordinated a delegation to the UN Climate Talks in 2010. Apart from all that I get sooo much of the goodness in my life from playing with my camera, disappearing at weekends on my bike, drinking cider in local pubs with lovely people, using theatre with kids (they are ridiculously imaginative, I love it) and experimenting in the kitchen (to variable degrees of tastiness!) I’m really looking forward to picking up heaps of new skills, building new and inspiring friendships, and working with young people in Scotland to better equip them to change their world for the better.

Shubika Madaan
I am 18, probably the youngest of all on tour. It is the first time I will be attending a tour and living away from home for three weeks. I am really excited for the tour and feel privileged to get this opportunity to explore myself. It is a great learning opportunity and this is exactly what I was looking for. I have presently completed my first year of A-levels and will start with my second year in September. I have worked in Subway before when I was only 16. It was amazing as I learnt a lot about food and hygiene and learnt to work under pressure. My ambition is to become a barrister and I am presently studying law in A-levels. Looking forward to meeting you all very soon.