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Posts Tagged ‘food’

Made in Knowle West

On a sunny May afternoon a group of adults and children made their way from Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) to the nearby Springfield Allotments. We were taking part in a Bristol Food Connections workshop to forage for local ingredients and learn how to turn these into summer drinks.

The gathering grew throughout the afternoon until there were more than 30 adults and children. Many joined us from nearby Knowle West Children’s Centre.

During the short walk to the allotments we started foraging, stopping to collect blossom from a cherry tree growing near the road.  Local residents in the group discussed how they use these public park areas – from grazing horses to watching the hot air balloons to collecting blackberries.  The area we walked through is known as ‘the Bommie’, apparently because of the bombs that were dropped in the war.

On arrival at the allotments, run by Knowle West Health Association, we were met by Steve Griffiths who gave us a tour, including poly-tunnels, beehives and a chicken coop. As the children looked for eggs and stroked the chickens, the rest of us turned our attention to Susanna Wallis from Company Drinks.

Company Drinks is an organisation based in Barking and Dagenham that aims to remember some of the old East End traditions including the hop picking season – six weeks a year when women and children would move out of the city to go picking on farms in the countryside. The organisation also wants to address issues around children losing the ability to name plants and flowers and engage people in a rural activity within an urban setting. Susanna was keen to connect with the work that we have been doing on the Who decides what’s in my fridge? project.

Susanna pointed out plants and fruits that we could use to turn into summery drinks. We split into three teams to collect rhubarb, a pretty pink flower called flowering currant, and dandelions. When our baskets were full we regrouped in the cool retreat of the allotment roundhouse to learn how to make the cordials.

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We picked off the petals of the dandelions, flowering currant flowers and the cherry blossom, which would later be steeped in a hot sugar syrup to make the cordials. Susanna mentioned a variety of other cordials that they make and work well: Japanese knotweed, cola, blackcurrant and apple, fizzy crab apple and manor house pear. Susanna had brought some tasters for us to try – and the cooling cordials helped refresh us after our ramble to the allotments and foraging.

As we plucked the petals and chopped the rhubarb we chatted and shared experiences of using the green spaces of Knowle West and the beautiful nearby countryside. The area has a proud history of foraging and residents shared how people came to the park to catch rabbits, as well as sharing tips about which herbs and plants are good for eating and using as remedies. We now know that pink clover flowers are supposed to ease period pain!

We didn’t have time to the finish the drinks then so we took everything back to KWMC to finish overnight. Participants were invited to stay for an evening event of food, discussions and tasting drinks.

This event was one of three Cook ‘n Converse events held in May as part of the Bristol Food Connections festival. Knowle West Media Centre would like to thank all partner organisations involved in the event that made it such a success – Company Drinks, Food Connections, Knowle West Children’s Centre and Springfield Allotments.

Meet a Change Creator: Emma

Name: Emma Nicol
Age: 22
Campaign: Food Waste

EMMA

What made you apply to be a Change Creator?
I applied to be a Change Creator because I wanted to work with a group of people who have the same passion to create social change as I do. I’m particularly passionate about the environment and wanted to learn about how we can use sensor technology to inspire people to change.

What are you up to when you’re not campaign developing with Change Creators?
I’m currently studying for a BA (Hons) in Illustration at Bristol UWE which takes up most of my time. I love to make work about environmental issues or scientific facts as I feel that art is a great way to communicate the information to a wide audience. I volunteer with Arnolfini and have a part time job. When I have free time I like to travel, see live music and go to art galleries or museums.

What’s been you favourite part of Change Creators so far?
My favourite part has been meeting people who are doing things already to try and create social change, it’s inspiring to see what other people are doing. It’s been great to work in a team of people in my age group who are passionate about social change.

What do you want to achieve through your campaign?
It would be great to see our campaign have an impact firstly in Bristol and then maybe further afield. Food waste is something that we can all help reduce.

Check out Emma’s blog to see her work.

Twitter @emmasnicol

 

Change Creators: Week Two

On Monday 7th March, the Change Creators met at Arup’s Bristol Office to continue with the development of their social change campaign. The group met with Peter Cooper, who is a Consultant and Research Engineer at Arup, and we took the group through Arup’s history and experience in engineering, consulting and project management.

The Change Creators separated into their groups of four and began to finalise their campaign ideas, taking into account time, resources, and whether their aims are achievable and realistic.

Andrea, Chelsea, Ella and Yelena are continuing to focus on services offered to young people dealing with mental health problems. Their aim is to diversify these services. They want to collect data, using brain sensors, that will show how young people feel after different types of therapy or counselling. The group also want to use phone sensors to monitor what the young people do after they have received these different types of therapy. Yelena says that this can help them see if and how art therapy has worked and can also help to identify when people are at risk.

The group working on food waste confirmed that they will be focusing on consumer/citizen food waste. They want to help people understand the difference between ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ – as they can be confused as meaning the same thing and people can throw away food that is perfectly fine to eat. Charlie, Emma, Jay and Mason want to show people that they can make meals like soups or smoothies from fruit and veg that is going out of date instead of wasting it and buying more. Another of their ideas is a tupperware that can sense when food is going off, giving people a chance to use the food in time and decreasing the amount being wasted.

The Change Creators then came together to share their new findings and ideas with the rest of the group, providing and receiving feedback and sharing how the two campaigns are developing. Peter also gave some valuable feedback to the groups, highlighting key issues associated with the two topics that are currently on the political agenda.

KWMC’s Young People’s Programme Manager Mena Fombo commented: ‘last night’s session was really positive, and the groups are now beginning to shape their social change campaigns.  There is so much raw passion coming through the group members, I’m excited by the development of both of these projects’.

You can follow the Change Creators workshops live on Twitter at @Change_Creators

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Meet the 2015 Junior Digital Producers

In October 2015 Knowle West Media Centre employed eight young people aged 18-24 as Junior Digital Producers (JDPs), a role supported by the Creative Employment Programme.

During their six months’ employment with us, the JDPs learn in-demand digital skills from industry experts, such as coding, animation, filmmaking and design, whilst being supported to improve their confidence and professionalism. Their training takes place within the context of a ‘real life’ project that aims to produce a positive social impact by working with local people to respond to an identified need.

They are the third group to be employed in this way – the first having worked on the Data Patchwork programme and the second on an interactive documentary.

The 2015 JDPs are Alex, Chris, Dipo, Gage, George, Kelly, Raddy and Yasmin. This year the JDPs will be working on the food research project Who decides what’s in my fridge?

JDPs 2015

Seven of the eight Junior Digital Producers for 2015: Gage, Chris, Yasmin, Alex, Raddy, George and Dipo. Not pictured: Kelly.

 

 

The Urban Forager – what foraging means to me

Watershed Executive Chef Oliver Pratt talks passionately to Knowle West Media Centre about foraging & cooking with wild ingredients. Oliver hosted Wild Thing, the Food Connections Festival event at Knowle West media Centre.

“Although I didn’t know it back then I have been a forager all my life. It all started as a kid, walking in the woods, exploring, asking questions and looking at the vast array of plant life around me. Only being allowed to pick the things my parents said were safe to eat I was learning that food originated from the wild. As I got older so the outdoors became a challenge, often seeing how long we could live out in the woods and whether it was possible to survive off the land alone. The answer to that question was quite simply: No. With our limited knowledge and skills it was in fact exceptionally hard if not possible at all.

25 years on and I have a more holistic approach, picking up facts and information along the way from a range of sources has led me to one conclusion. Foraging is a primeval instinct deeply rooted in all of us, it has gone hand in hand with our evolutionary progression and mental development where we survived as a species by being able to identify and catalog the subtle differences in plants; their shape, texture, taste and smell and that by using and developing all of our senses to define what was edible and what was not. These days there is no need to forage for survival, food is farmed, packaged and even delivered to our door and the ancient art of being a hunter-gatherer is slowly being lost.

Or is it?

I now live in the city but wherever I go I find myself identifying a whole range of plants all fit for eating. Bay trees, rosemary, thyme, wild parsley, valerian, lavender, wild cabbage, mustard, horseradish, rosehip, hawthorn and elder to mention but a few and I realise that although the landscape has changed my ancient instincts have not: I am a modern day hunter-gather; I am an urban forager.

When asked what is it I enjoy about foraging then my answer comes from observing other people whilst on a wild camping trip to the Wye valley. Their fun and joy at immersing themselves in nature, the excitement as they discover a bounty of food that is edible; identifying it, picking it and taking it back to the camp to cook. It goes right back to our basic self, our basic being where we were connected to the land for survival and by doing that, by tapping into all our senses and using them it feels good.

If foraging helps us stay connected to the land, appreciate it more and as a result help preserve it then that is a great thing. ”

 

 

Foraging Chef Oliver Pratt

 

For the Love of Bread – new film about Knowle West’s Bread Group

Find out more about bread making in Knowle West – watch the new Baking Bread film on YouTube.

The Bread Group get together every Thursday at Knowle West Health Park to bake and sell their popular bread and to socialise. They love it – and they welcome anyone to join and learn. The Bread Group are being championed by Knowle West Media Centre’s ‘Do What You Love’ Green and Digital Business programme.

The film was made by students of FdA Digital Media Production at City of Bristol College as a Community Liaison Production.

breadstill1

 

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
Bristol
BS4 1NL
+44 (0) 117 903 0444
enquiries@kwmc.org.uk

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