'Nomad' tents at fforest camp
It’s great to see the sun rise... We all get up early. But no one minds when there’s such a full day ahead.
We make our own bread
We help ourselves to cereal, toast, fruit, yoghurt and porridge. On the last day we have a late breakfast after an egg-making demonstration. If we’ve made sausages, we eat those with our eggs - Benedict or scrambled...
Foraging near fforest
We’re divided into two groups. The first group takes the van to the field, while the others make lunch. Field work includes planting, harvesting and weeding. Or foraging, milking, sausage-making. Or preserving, apple pressing. It depends on the course, the venue and the season. In the kitchen, we learn the basics. How to chop an onion, peel a pumpkin, make simple dishes. We also explore more unusual ingredients and using more ambitious techniques. We keep our work stations tidy and the kitchen clean.
A delicious mushroom tart made by the team
Everyone eats together. The first group washes up while the others prepare to work in fields.
Helping in fforest kitchen garden
Now the second group takes the van to the field, the vegetable patch, the orchard - or to see the packing house or help with the cattle. The mornings’ activities are repeated. The first group cooks supper. Sometimes two cooks will make the same dish and we compare, analyse and compete. One person is on bread duty. All our bread and biscuits are home-made.
In the evening, we invite a guest speaker. Someone involved in growing, producing, selling food - a beekeeper or a farmer for example. Or an expert on the politics of agriculture, a fair-trade fashion designer.
The dessert trolley...
We all eat supper together with our guest speaker. Cooking for them is our way of thanking for their time. The second group will wash up.
If we’re not too tired, we watch a food-related movie. This connection to food can be strong as in Food Inc. or Delicatessen. The link must be in there somewhere (Suggestions and offerings are very welcome). Sometimes we play games. Or we might go for an escorted night-time bat walk. Or you might just want to go to sleep.
Cliffs by fforest
Lights out is at 11 o’clock.
The Next Day
The two groups swap their morning/afternoon slots, so that everyone makes the same number of lunches and suppers.
Family and Friends
At the end of the course we invite friends and family for a meal. It might be brunch, or lunch. But it is quite a celebration.
Swimming near fforest
"I've liked the cooking a lot. At home I don’t really cook that much, I'll make a sandwich, some cookies. I've really enjoyed making lots of different things and I've found it really interesting that even though you have a recipe you can elaborate on it and make something really nice"
"My favourite bit has been everyone else that came. They're really nice"
"The best non-cooking activity was going to the beach. It beats anything really"
"I've learnt some really useful things that I'll use in my future life.
Maybe in the far, far future I'll have my own kitchen, my own restaurant,
and I'll use what I've learnt"
"I've cooked a bit but mostly Caribbean food, but since I've come here I've learned about food from other countries"
"I came to Root Camp to enjoy outdoors and learn about what's out in the open. It's different from living in London. Just look at it, it's beautiful!"
"I loved yesterday when we walked up the mountain and collected the bilberries because I love walking and being on top was quite incredible"
"It's not just cooking, there are lots of other activities to do - for example, we built a compost toilet!"
"It's all about teamwork, meeting other people and working with people you don't know"
"It's been an eye-opener"
"I'm really enjoying it, I'm so happy I'm here. I love the people. I love the atmosphere. I love almost everything about it"
"I got to keep the recipes, which is nice!"