Report: Education for Agroecology

OP2 Eduction for AgroecologyI am currently in the process of completing an MSc Political Agroecology with Gaia University. It’s pretty slow-going as a part-time endeavor amongst all my other projects and all the stressful challenges I’ve had to contend with at late!

However, I am excited to share my second Project Report for my Capstone Year. It’s called Education for Agroecology and you can find it here: http://portfolios.gaiauniversity.org/view/view.php?id=9344

In this report, I share the key findings of my research exploring education and agroecology. I have sought to discover successful models from around the world that have been inspiring and supporting people to practice agroecology; the application of ecology to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems. Agroecology has been described as a whole-systems approach to agriculture and food systems development based on traditional knowledge, alternative agriculture and local food system experiences. The field of agroecology has been framed as both a science, movement, and practice.

This report shares the insights into how successful agroecology learning opportunities have been designed, structured and resourced. It also includes commentary on the various curriculums, as well as the common forms of pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching). Finally, it highlights the role of education in accelerating agroecology and gives recommendations to organisers and educators in this field.

I would love to hear your feedback. Drop me an email at nicole@emptycagesdesign.org

EAT 2017: A whole bunch of exciting courses happening this year

I am proud to be the Education and Training Coordinator at my worker’s co-operative Feed Avalon. We do our best to organise accessible community learning in food system skills.

Check out our amazing array of courses and workshops happening this year:

  • FermentationWorkshop1Cooking with Nuts and Seeds – Learn about how to cook with nuts and seeds in this one-day course! We will be sharing wholesome, plant-based recipes with seeds and nuts being the principle ingredients. The course will cover seeds and nuts culinary uses from nutrition to flavour. | Saturday 18th February 2017 | http://www.feedavalon.org.uk/nutsandseeds/

 

  • Grow Your Own Garden – A series of workshops about how to get started in growing your own food. The course will cover how to build raised beds, compost making, seed saving and sowing, fruit tree grafting and other forms of propagation, as well as basic design and planning to make the most of your garden. | February & March 2017 | http://www.feedavalon.org.uk/grow-your-own-garden-course/

 

  • Introduction to Fermentation – In the workshop, you’ll be rediscovering the old methods of preserving food. We’ll be preparing, making and tasting fermented foods from all over the globe; a variety of sauerkrauts, kimchi, sourdough bread and more. | Saturday 11th March 2017 | http://www.feedavalon.org.uk/fermentationcourse/

 

  • apple vegHealth at Every Size – This 5-week course offers a new and compassionate approach to weight and well-being, shifting the focus away from the frustrating pursuit of weight loss in favour of self-care and developing long-term healthy habits. Over 5 sessions, we will explore nutrition, and building a positive relationship with ourselves and with food, in a friendly and supportive group. | 1st March – 29th March 2017. Every Wednesday 10am – 12pm | http://www.feedavalon.org.uk/healthateverysize/

 

  • Nutrition Day School – This day school will explore the links between food, health and well-being, demystifying nutritional concepts and science, and emphasising a sustainable and pleasurable approach to feeding ourselves. | Thursday 30th March 2017 | http://www.feedavalon.org.uk/nutritiondayschool/

 

  • Polytunnel Growing – A hands-on practical course covering all aspects of polytunnel growing- crop choices, crop rotation timing and planning, fertility, watering/irrigation, disease and pest control (including slugs!), propagation, planting sowing, harvesting, and use of space around the outside of the tunnel. | Wednesday 3rd May 2017 | Full details coming soon.

 

  • IMG_6182An Introduction to Herbalism – A two-day place introducing herbalism and plant-based medicines. | Dates TBC | Full details coming soon.

 

  • Weekend Foraging Course – A weekend course introducing the art of wild food foraging. This course will cover foraging safety, plant identification, habitat-care and responsible foraging, as well as an introduction to multiple wild edibles. | Dates TBC | Full details coming soon.

 

  • Vegan Permaculture Design Course – A 10-day course delivered in 2 x 5-day blocks, taking place outside Glastonbury at Feed Avalon’s Education Centre, Brook End. A comprehensive course introducing permaculture ethics, principles and design methods. With Graham Burnett and Nicole Vosper from Feed Avalon. | Sat July 1 – Weds 5th July 2017 & 5 Aug – Weds 9th Aug 2017 | http://www.feedavalon.org.uk/dates-announced-for-full-permaculture-design-course/

Vegan Gluten and Sugar Free Baking Course this December

I have a confession – I can’t bake for shit! But thankfully, two members of my worker’s co-op can and they are going to teach me and anyone else interested in how to bake gluten and sugar free treats:

How to book: please email eat@feedavalon.org.uk

When: Thursday 1st December 2016, 9.30 – 4.30pm

Where: Unit C1 Thriveability Hub, Northover Buildings, Glastonbury, BA6 9NU

What: This one-day course will share all the principles of healthy, wholefoods baking. Learn how to bake your own nutritious vegan, gluten and sugar-free treats. Together we will explore a world of baking alternatives. Seasonal winter time cakes will be made too, in plenty of time for the Solstice. You will leave this class with the confidence to bake your own.

The class will include:

• Learning how to bake delicious sweet treats without refined sugars
• Exploring gluten-free flours and how to combine them for optimum results
• How to prepare a healthy take on cake frosting
• Learning how to make healthier versions of bread, biscuits, and cakes
• How to use plant-based alternatives to eggs and butter
• Food and recipes to take home

Cost: The course is run on a sliding scale. Suggested donation £10 to £50. There are some free places.

We work in partnership with Somerset Skills and Learning

Gluten Free Cooking

Learn how to cook with Beans and Pulses

My co-op is hosting this course in November. Don’t miss!

When: Thursday 17th November 2016, 9.30 – 4.30pm

Where: Unit C1 Thriveability Hub, Northover Buildings, Glastonbury, BA6 9NU

How to book: please email eat@feedavalon.org.uk

A cheap and tasty source of protein, minerals, vitamin B1 and micronutrients, pulses make a great ally for both healthy eating and economic survival. 2016 has been the International Year of Pulses, in order to raise awareness about their advantages and encourage new uses along the whole food chain.

We will be sharing healthy vegan recipes with beans and pulses being the principle ingredient. We will cover cooking with pulses from soaking to cooking times, focusing on slow food cooking and preparation. The recipes will be of an international flavour yet combining organic, seasonal produce.

The class will include:

• Learning to make wholesome meals with beans and pulses
• Exploring different pulses and their principle uses and history
• Learning which pots to use and cooking times
• How to prepare delicious meals on a budget
• How to combine pulses with other ingredients for optimum taste
• Food and recipes to take home

Cost: The course is run on a sliding scale. Suggested A donation £10 to £50. There are some free places.

We work in partnership with Somerset Skills and Learning.

Beans and Pulses Web

Fantastic Fermentation Course this October

How to book: To book please email eat@feedavalon.org.uk

When: Saturday 22nd October 2016, 9.30 – 5pm

Where: Unit C1 Thriveability Hub, Northover Buildings, Glastonbury, BA6 9NU

What: In the course, you’ll be rediscovering the old methods of preserving food. We’ll be preparing, making and tasting fermented foods from all over the globe; a variety of sauerkrauts, kimchi, sourdough bread and more.

The course will be educational, from understanding the process to the nutritional values and health benefits. We’ll end the session with a chance to taste all the delicious food and have plenty to be taking home too.

Why: Fermented food tastes amazing and is a great way to consume probiotics from living food all year round – one of the many health benefits.

Cost: £35. There are a small number of free or subsidised places for people on low incomes. Max 14 places. Please book early.

This course has been supported by Somerset Skills and Learning.
Fermentation Course October

Introduction to Vegan Cooking Course – Saturday 1st October 2016

How to book: To book please email eat@feedavalon.org.uk

When: Saturday 1st October 2016, 09.30am – 4.30pm

Where: Unit C1 Thriveability Hub, Northover Buildings, Glastonbury, BA6 9NU

What: The workshop will be practical and hands on. We’ll learning simple cooking techniques, what foods to combine for nutritional value and interesting flavour combinations. They’ll also be a chance to discuss and learn the reasons to being and becoming a vegan.

Working with seasonal and organic ingredients we’ll make and prepare a meal, from starter, mains and a pudding. We’ll all get to share together the prepared meal in the end.

Why: There are many different reasons to become vegan or eat a plant based diet. They range from the food being healthier for you, the environmental impact, to a plant based diet being lower in cost. Yet the best thing is tasty wholesome dishes and meals.

Cost: The course is FREE however donations are very welcome.

Vegan Cooking October 2016

 

Inspiring day learning about Pond Design and Construction

Members of my workers’ co-op Feed Avalon and interested local people spent the day learning about pond design and construction with local horticulturist Philip Knight. The one-day course was designed to support people to learn the basics of how to design and build ponds. We learned how to create pond habitats that support wildlife to thrive.

As part of the day, we had the pleasure of visiting Glastonbury Abbey to look at their two contrasting ponds. We saw the medieval fish pond, as well as a larger wildlife pond.

Thank you so much to Philip who taught everyone so much. We hope to use this knowledge to design a series of ponds at Avalon Wildflower Park. The reclaimed BMX track has a fantastic mixture of levels and we hope to create a little wetland paradise for local wildlife. To get involved please email bon@feedavalon.org.uk

IMG_2598 IMG_2627 IMG_2628 IMG_2629 IMG_2634 IMG_2635 IMG_2636 IMG_2638 IMG_2661 IMG_2662 IMG_2666 IMG_2669 IMG_2672 IMG_2675 IMG_2680 IMG_2681 IMG_2689

Learning about Mushrooms at the Red Brick Building Community Garden

Patrick Mallery from the Upcycled Mushroom Company and Feed Bristol taught a one-day mushroom cultivation course this July in Glastonbury. Hosted at the Red Brick Building Community Garden, the course explored the basics of mushroom growing. Folks learned how to inoculate mushroom logs and build mushroom beds. We hope that there can be some mushroom production at the Red Brick Building Community Garden and Avalon Wildflower Park – please join us at our regular gardening clubs to help make this happen!

My workers’ co-op Feed Avalon will be hosting a three-day comprehensive mushroom identification and cultivation in November. If you’re interested please email Nicole at eat@feedavalon.org.uk

IMG_2570 IMG_2572 IMG_2575 IMG_2576 IMG_2577 IMG_2580