After months of planning, organising and campaigning, it’s finally here, Food Revolution on the Rame Peninsula.The Rame Peninsula, or the Gateway into Cornwall, is an area of outstanding natural beauty bordered by water on three sides. The fauna, flora and marine life offers an abundance of natural leaning resources, so in a way I could say it’s an epic food education station for the future generation.
Have you heard of the expression “Bewild your child”? To me this means going back to the raw, nitty gritty of old school leaning. Combining modern technology and OFTED learning methods with some raw basics. As a child I loved getting my hands dirty, baked mud-cakes and climbed fruit trees, which wasn’t always to my mum’s satisfaction, especially the mulberry stains on the whites!
Without knowing, my role play and actions shaped me into the person I am today. In time those sticky mud-cakes turned into beautiful loaves of bread, which I totally cremated in the wood burner on my first attempt at age 8, but that’s why Food Education should be part of the school curriculum.
On the Rame Peninsula, Food Revolution started in the beginning of May. This year I didn’t just want to focus on one age group, or one school, but whole communities, towns and spread the word into cities and counties. I contacted David Barrett at Tamar View Fruiters, totally amazing guy running a family business with his two brothers, Ian and Nigel. He offered great support and sponsored all events and schools taking part in this year’s cook along.
It all kicked off on Sunday the 3rd at the annual Greenman festival at Mount Edgcumbe Country Park. With the support of the Vix at the Family Foraging Kitchen and her team, we managed to spread the word and hand out leaflets. Vix Hill Ryder is an amazing lady herself! She has inspired me in many ways with her knowledge on wild edible, and passion to educate families on a low income through her Free Food Forever project.
On Monday I celebrated the arrival of The Black Prince with Communities4Kids at the annual May Day Flower Boat ritual in Millbrook, a tradition celebrating springtime fertility of soil, livestock and people. My workshop consisted of imaginative, creative vegetable art. Exploring the minds creativity children had the opportunity to make a boat for the Black Prince, customise their own chef’s hat and choose their own ingredients to make smoothies.
Teusday’s session was full on! I joined the Play and Learn team at Torpoint Children’s Centre for a Food Educational session. Outside Carol sowed seeds, Sue was on activities, vegetable printing and eye spy and Darrel and I got creative at snack time. A small group children came to experimented with flour and dough which they turned into bread rolls for snack time, and then got creative with vegetable art. I went with the boat theme again as it was such a success the day before. At snack time I had the opportunity to speak to parents, explained the purpose of the session, encouraged them to sign the petition, and invited all to the opening event on the 9th.
Well Wednesday was almost a disaster as we were meant to have a session outside in the garden at Torpoint Children’s Centre and it all went pear shaped due to the weather. Luckily Kate the receptionist made us a little space inside the reception area, which turned out great as there was some interest from others using the centre. Tamar View Fruiters supplied a variety of unusual ingredients that day which we discussed in detail before making the squash it sandwich! Homemade hummus was a great hit, and now on the list for the next Food Group session.
Now that the first stretch of the week was over, I had two days to prepare and finalize the opening of food revolution healthy schools week at the Torpoint Council Chambers. I wanted to share this with the community in a fun, engaging way so I approached Kelly Lamb Brown from the Coppola school of performing arts to educate through theatre. We planned for weeks and decided on two performances; The little red hen and The very hungry caterpillar. I called on my good friend and award winning Executive Chef Bruce Cole for assistance in the kitchen and organised a team of volunteers. I received great support from the town council and the use of their facilities. A few local mums helped out by baking cakes and donating raffle prizes. The town council, schools and businesses all helped with advertising by putting up posters and advertising on their websites and newsletter.
The Grand Opening:
I don’t think I have ever been so anxious and excited about this day. My kids got up super early as they didn’t want to miss a thing! It’s #FoodRevolutionDay. For the past year and a half I have been building relationships in the community and today was make it or break it day!
I managed to decorate the hall the day before with the help of my friend Natasha, so setting up would be minimal.
My team of volunteers was diligent and everything started falling into place. The stage was set, the workshops ready and the pop up kitchen open for business.
So what’s on the agenda and how can we implement this into learning?
Leaning about food through theatre: Knowing where your food comes from.
The little red hen uses her knowledge and skills to turn grain into bread and then shares that knowledge and skills with her friends;
Eye spy: A fact sheet with various fruit/vegetables with adjoining labels to find inside the area using your senses, knowledge and recognition shapes and colours;
Craft table: Create and customise your own chef’s hats encouraging initiative and independence;
Get messy with veggies: Using your imagination, create printable artwork with different cuts, shapes and sizes of vegetables to promote co-ordination, differentiate colours and textures.
Down in the dirt: Get stuck in sowing seeds, leaning how to grow your own food.
Squash it, roll it fruit sushi: Using a rolling pin, bread, cream cheese and chopped fresh fruit, turn something simple into something awesome. Test your rolling skills and enjoy a tasty treat.
Make the pledge to eat more veg: A fun engaging way to inspire and bring families together, set a challenge to take back to the home. Give it a high five!
Kernewek Link, our local magazine attended to take pictures and help spread the word on social media. The town mayor opened the event and the first show commenced. The aroma of homemade pizza, fresh bread and soup filled the air as lunch time approached. A real buzz in the air with a great community spirit as more flocked in to enjoy some real food and homemade cookies and cakes.
The atmosphere in the pop up kitchen was at an all-time high. The local MP Sheryll Murry surprised me on her first engagement after being elected. I met her earlier that week and informed her what I had arranged in the community and she popped in to show her support. Overall a very successful day with great feedback.
This evening I had a great session with the Torpoint Brownies, the last group session of the week.
I help up a poster and asked them if they has seen it before and what it was all about. Great response as quite a few had attended the opening event.
I planned in three activities:
What’s in the box, Create an Eatwell plate, Creative Caterpillars?
What’s in the box: I presented a magic box filled with foam balls, inside the box I place 10 different varieties of vegetable. The aim is to feel around the box, identify using your sense of touch and knowledge. Discussing each individually.
Create and eatwell plate: I presented an eatwell poster, explained the proportions and using a paper plate draw the eatwell plate with ingredients they would buy in their weekly shopping.
Creative caterpillars: Fun interactive session making caterpillars with skewer sticks, grapes, honey, sprinkles and pumpkin seeds.
After the session I tested their knowledge, went through each vegetable, and handed out activity books to complete at home.
ealthy schools week: 3 Local schools are taking part this year,
Torpoint Nursery and Infants School: Recently awarded an Outstanding school status by OFSTED, students will be participating in class adding food education to their learning journals.
Carbeile Junior Schools: Year 6 will be completing 5 a day posters to display on food revolution day.
Torpoint Community College is hosting the main events this week concentrating on health and wellbeing. I have been liaising with Fiona Donald, head of catering TEC who has been acting as chair.
Jamie Oliver’s petition went live on the college website a few weeks ago for students to sign. Healthy schools week started on the 11th till the 15th of May. Nutritionist Jane Hutton will be attending assemblies with a presentation concentrating on a key points. Students will be leaning about health and wellbeing in Tec classes and exercise classes leading up to food revolution day. Healthy recipes are displayed on the college website and families are encouraged to try them at home. Fiona launched a recipe competition in College. Each day a dish of the day will be served in the canteen alongside the weekly menu.
On food revolution day 60 – 80 students will prepare this year’s squash it sandwich.
After Jane Hutton’s presentation we will head straight into the cook along and demonstration session. The local Mayor Mr Pearn will attend and the press will be there to take pictures.
Bruce Cole will demo a fishcake recipe, Vix from the Family foraging kitchen will demo and talk wild edibles, Tim/Daisy for the Cornish Seaweed Company with demo and talk seaweed and Jane Hutton will demo a brownie recipe using alternative.
All and all I’m looking forward to a very busy, active food revolution day!