There are two areas that will be mentioned. Firstly the courses and then all things mushrooms.
2018, well the term actually started in 2017, saw us organise, host and teach a lot of classes. Known as the EAT project, Education and Training in Food System skills, this project was undertook with Somerset Skills and Learning’s support.
Looking at the numbers there was well over 200 adult learners that participated in the courses. Wow! The classes ranged from the kitchen, with fermentation, vegan baking and Korean cooking. Nutrition and eating habits were also covered. In the garden we offered composting and tree pruning and the successful Grow Your Own Garden classes. The herbs made a welcome and vital appearance in foraging walks and medicine making. All of this came to a glorious finale with Soil Hack Weekend, the second year in its running.
With the ethos being about community-led learning, we certainly delivered. With Feed Avalon members teaching and an interesting array of external tutors reaching out to the Glastonbury community and beyond. The feedback we have received has been amazing, with people saying that we have helped change their lives through learning. The whole process was hard work, beautiful, humbling, joyous- the list goes on!
We sincerely thank SSL for the opportunities they helped us realise, yet we are taking a step back from so much event organising and will be holding much more grass roots courses. Please keep an eye out on the website for this.
Within the EAT project we held the 8 week mushroom cultivation course. This course linked in perfectly with the mushroom cultivation and bio-remediation that is happening down at the Red Brick Community Garden. Two separate projects both working with the wonderful world of Funghi.
Kew Garden’s community outreach initiative Grow Wild has supported the bio-remediation project. The site down on the old Moorlands Factory is known to have a toxic history and the project is investigating the remediation properties of mushrooms on the site. Feed Avalon are currently seeking support from scientists and students to undertake further water and soil samples within the bio-remediation project.
The cultivation of mushrooms for eating has begun. This wonder is happening in the sterile lab, converted from a supermarket trailer and specially built, temperature controlled barn. There has already been flushes of shiitake and oyster mushrooms. These will be getting sold through Bride’s Yard Food C0-op and in local cafes and restaurants under the name Glastonbury Gourmet Mushrooms. This is great news for local food production and creating work for local producers.
We will be having a mushroom day in April where you will be introduced to the inoculation process and be able leave with your own grow kit and log. Details of this and how to book on will be announced very soon. This, other courses and events will be announced over 2019.