May 2010


This week is the Invisible Food text weekend. Please text 07722003465 to receive texts

New text-messaging piece of work launched at the Edible Lambeth festival on Saturday 19th June and continuing over the weekend. Actions from what’s happening in the urban plant world will be relayed by text message throughout each day to subscribers to the project as well as archived on twitter.

Please text 07722003465 to receive texts or mail invisiblefood(at)gmail.com to subscribe. Send your mobile number.

http://twitter.com/invisiblefood

Heavy chesnut blossom sands the pavement tracing the outline of the cars on Camberwell Grove. Sawdust to dust. 8 minutes ago via web

  • Beside a hawthorn tree. Flowers browning, the heart brightening. Water has flowed on. Grace. Primrose Hill 2:58 PM May 26th via web
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  • Clashing greens, waxy lime bract. The flowers are > just > about > to > open. I may miss it. Coffee turns your skin into leather. 2:55 PM May 26th via web
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  • All of a sudden it’s happening. The suns of elderflower. Shadow. 2:37 PM May 26th via web
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  • The window is now, the sun, the suns of elderflower. All of a sudden it’s everywhere and there’s an abundance of graciousness in the air. 2:36 PM May 26th via web
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  • Daisies sway at the end of a drunken afternoon when its not so bad returning to the Tulse hill estate behind a push chair with a friend. 9:34 AM May 21st via txt
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  • After ten minutes sitting on the ground the ants start to climb over me and my bum is blotting paper to the May dampness. Myatts Field 3:54 AM May 19th via web
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  • A billboard announcing survival is the best revenge scales a 3m wall and is cut off by a train arriving. Maple beech and lime tower sile … 6:19 AM May 18th via txt
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  • My nightmare was a boy clutching a yanked bunch of ragwort repeating ‘can you eat it can you eat it’. 6:10 AM May 18th via txt
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  • The lemon balm is busy and there are two ladybirds basking on it. A dandelion leaf pushes up through the bush like a sword. Angell Town 1:30 PM May 17th via web
  • We’ll be at this event. Doing a walk at 2pm and then a cook up from 3pm.

    This week is the Invisible Food text weekend. Please text 07722003465 to receive texts

    New text-messaging piece of work launched at the Edible Lambeth festival on Saturday 19th June and continuing over the weekend. Actions from what’s happening in the urban plant world will be relayed by text message throughout each day to subscribers to the project.

    Please text 07722003465 to receive texts or mail invisiblefood(at)gmail.com to subscribe. Send your mobile number.

    http://twitter.com/invisiblefood

    Heavy chesnut blossom sands the pavement tracing the outline of the cars on Camberwell Grove. Sawdust to dust. 8 minutes ago via web

  • Beside a hawthorn tree. Flowers browning, the heart brightening. Water has flowed on. Grace. Primrose Hill 2:58 PM May 26th via web
  •  

  • Clashing greens, waxy lime bract. The flowers are > just > about > to > open. I may miss it. Coffee turns your skin into leather. 2:55 PM May 26th via web
  •  

  • All of a sudden it’s happening. The suns of elderflower. Shadow. 2:37 PM May 26th via web
  •  

  • The window is now, the sun, the suns of elderflower. All of a sudden it’s everywhere and there’s an abundance of graciousness in the air. 2:36 PM May 26th via web
  •  

  • Daisies sway at the end of a drunken afternoon when its not so bad returning to the Tulse hill estate behind a push chair with a friend. 9:34 AM May 21st via txt
  •  

  • After ten minutes sitting on the ground the ants start to climb over me and my bum is blotting paper to the May dampness. Myatts Field 3:54 AM May 19th via web
  •  

  • A billboard announcing survival is the best revenge scales a 3m wall and is cut off by a train arriving. Maple beech and lime tower sile … 6:19 AM May 18th via txt
  •  

  • My nightmare was a boy clutching a yanked bunch of ragwort repeating ‘can you eat it can you eat it’. 6:10 AM May 18th via txt
  •  

  • The lemon balm is busy and there are two ladybirds basking on it. A dandelion leaf pushes up through the bush like a sword. Angell Town 1:30 PM May 17th via web
  • Wild food walk around the green spaces of Loughborough area of Brixton to forage for our lunch!

    Last month we had dandelion flower fritters, nettle soup, stuffed lime leaves and eritrean coffee! We prepared hawthorn flower syrup which we’ll have on the 12th June.

    Come prepared to enjoy yourself and join in.

    Walks are accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Bring suitable clothes and some food to share at the end. We’ll be making some paper from leaf pulp while the leaves are at their bushiest.

    Bring some old sheets of paper for drying your paper in between. Photocopied, not ink jet paper.

    Also bring tupperwares or bags for collecting things in.

    Please note: we’ll be leaving the centre around 12pm and won’t be back again until 1.30 ish. Please arrive promptly for 11.45 or slightly before so we can do registration and move off at 12pm

    —-&——-&——–&——–&————-&

    The aim of Invisible Food is to strengthen social cohesion in disadvantaged areas throughout Lambeth, and specifically in the Coldharbour ward, through engaging with the natural environment. Invisible Food walks and workshops aim to increase opportunities for local residents to contribute their environmental, botanical and culintary knowledge and experience as part of a reskilling process towards a low carbon future. Invisible Food organises wild food walks, cooking sessions and creative workshops (including drawing, writing, mapmaking and traditional crafts) as opportunities for sharing experience and strengthening communities.

    Oasis nature garden is an amazing resource. Kids, get down there now!

    Or come along on Saturday 29th May at 11am for a Photo foraging walk and to cook up some elderflower fritters … the best of the Summer’s offerings.

    Oasis Children’s Nature Garden
    Welcome to Oasis Children’s Nature Garden, one of the only wildlife gardens just for children. The garden was a derelict site until 1982 when the local community began working on the transformation of this site into it’s now mature state. The garden boasts an array of natural habitats such as a wildflower meadow, woodland, two wildlife ponds and a wetland area, a nectar garden, a cottage garden and a sensory trail. The garden supports a variety of plant, insect and animal species. We have a greenhouse for raising seedlings and a heated greenhouse for tropical plants. There is an indoor area and a porch.

    The site is open access and attracts children aged 5 – 16 yrs. Children and young people usually with no garden of their own can enjoy experiencing this unique outdoors environment. Here they can play freely whilst learning about nature in a safe and stimulating environment.

    http://www.oasisplay.org.uk/naturegarden.html

     

    This is the label the children created and designed themselves in photoshop

    NEWS RELEASE – for immediate release

     

    Young people from Brixton create their own wild drink

     

    Launch event Saturday 5th June at 2pm in Brixton Market

     

    In the summer half term, young people from Grove Adventure Playground, near Loughborough and Hertford estates in Brixton, will be creating their own special drink of nettle and ginger beer, complete with unique labels to launch at Brixton Cornercopia, in Brixton Village, a corner shop with a difference, selling locally made preserves and serving lunches made mostly with market-sourced or locally grown and sometimes foraged ingredients. 

    The young people, aged 7 – 13 will first forage for nettles in surrounding green spaces with wild food artist Ceri Buck from the Invisible Food project, they will make their own version of nettle and ginger beer and while it’s left to brew over the half term week, they’ll be creating their own labels before a bottling and tasting session at Grove Adventure Playground on the Friday 4th June and a launch at Brixton Cornercopia on Saturday 5th June.

    Play is at the heart of the project, which links in with Grove Adventure Playground’s practice of promoting play and increasing opportunities for play for young people in a disadvantaged area of Brixton. Searching for wild food is akin to a treasure hunt, you never know what plant you’ll find, and they twurn up in the most unexpected places. The walks are an opportunity to play and be outdoors in all weathers.  Tanya Diedrick from Grove Adventure Playground said “(Making things with wild food) is like having a tea party but it’s real. Instead of empty plastic cups, they played with real produce, tasting teas, running around with the jams they’d made.”

    The young people will learn to identify and pick nettles safely, they will discuss how to make ginger beer and nettle beer and make their own fusion of the two drinks, parents will be encouraged to share their own Caribbean culinary heritage. The young people will draw and write about the process and make a unique label for the bottled drink; Anne Fairbrother from Brixton Cornercopia will give some tips on what information to include in the label. The young people will also self-organise in the project and take control of the decision making process necessary for this small scale collaborative production.

    Invisible Food and Grove Adventure Playground collaborated in 2009 making local blackberry jam and wild herb vege burgers. This year they have joined forces with Brixton Cornercopia, so the young people have the opportunity to launch their drink over a busy lunchtime in the café and see members of the public tasting it. This project is part of a wider project, The London Salad: A Wild Food community resource project, in which Invisible Food will be working with a range of community groups to research new and original ways of cooking the wild plants in London that reflect the social and ethnic diversity of local residents.

    Aims of workshops:

    • to enable young people from Grove Adventure Playground to identify and make a soft drink with nettles and ginger
    • to increase awareness of local natural environment
    • to encourage discussion of Caribbean culinary heritage (ginger beer) which will be a catalyst for parental involvement in the project
    • to raise awareness of safety issues when gathering wild food, food hygiene and healthy eating
    • to draw and write about the plants and the process of making the nettle and ginger beer,
    • to encourage creative design skills in designing labels for the bottles
    • to enable young people to self organise and take control of the decision making process
    • to empower young people through new knowledge, self expression and their creative involvement in producing the nettle and ginger beer
    • to create a launch of the nettle and ginger beer at Brixton Cornercopia, inviting family and friends

     

    • For more information about the project or Invisible Food, please contact

    Ceri Buck on 07963 446605 or invisiblefood@gmail.com

    http://www.lambethbandofsolidarity.wordpress.com 

    • For more information about Grove Adventure Playground groveadventureplay@yahoo.com

    http://www.lambethplayassociation.co.uk

    • Brixton Cornercopia is located at no.65 Brixton Village Market, at the junction

    of Coldharbour lane and Atlantic Road.  Weekly menus and other updates can be found here http://www.brixtoncornercopia.ning.com

    To reserve a table for lunch on Saturday 5th June: brixtoncornercopia@googlemail.com

     

    Invisible Food has previously received funding from Artangel and Lambeth Council

    Wild food walk around the green spaces of Loughborough area of Brixton to forage for our lunch!

    Last month we had stuffed nettle leaves and horseradish leaf potato mash.

    Come prepared to enjoy yourself and join in. Walks are accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Bring suitable clothes and some food to share at the end. (Savoury things will be good this month as our main dish will be sweet).

    Segen Ghebrekidan will be conducting another Eritrean coffee ceremony. See here for photos of the last one. http://lambethbandofsolidarity.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/eritrean-bread-and-goosegrass-curry-saturday-20th-february-2010/
    (you’ll need to copy and paste the link)

    We’ll be attempting to make some nettle twine. Look here for some instructions and you could try some in the week until then and bring it along.

    http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-6429.html

    http://hennockhouse.blogspot.com/2009/08/nettle-string-making.html

    Please note: we’ll be leaving the centre around 12pm and won’t be back again until 1.30 ish. Please arrive promptly for 11.45 or slightly before so we can do registration and move off at 12pm

    —-&——-&——–&——–&————-&

    The aim of Invisible Food is to strengthen social cohesion in disadvantaged areas throughout Lambeth, and specifically in the Coldharbour ward, through engaging with the natural environment. Invisible Food walks and workshops aim to increase opportunities for local residents to contribute their environmental, botanical and culintary knowledge and experience as part of a reskilling process towards a low carbon future.

    Invisible Food organises wild food walks, cooking sessions and creative workshops (including drawing, writing, mapmaking and traditional crafts) as opportunities for sharing experience and strengthening communities.

    These photos were taken by Luschka van Onselen, check out more here.

    www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=426993&id=730600233&l=92e9c44e14

     www.diaryofafirstchild.com

     

    All the parts of the plant can be used

    It’s fiddly and time consuming.

    It helps to stamp on the stems to really break them up

    Stamp on the stems to break them up then open them up at the notches on the stem

    It’s difficult to remove the pith from the fibers and the first time I did it, I wasn’t really removing the pith, just destroying the fibers. This is a skilled task.

    The nodes where the branches grow from provide tough obstacles to tearing the fibers once you’ve removed the pith. However, these are good places to start digging out the pith.

    Discard the pith onto the compost. I plan to make paper with the discarded lower leaves (top leaves are for soup). Not sure if the pith could go into the pot for the paper.

    Stems on the left for making twine, nettle tops in the container for making soup, lower leaves on the right for making paper

    It’s difficult to tear the fibers so you get long ones. Still need practice on this.

    Am wondering if it’s possible to weave the fibers (once I get enough) into Jamaican woven fish, normally made from palm fronds which are much wider.

    The Jamaican woven fish activity is from this book, borrowed from Minet Library

    These were our attempts in the May walk.

    Photo by Luschka

    Photo by Luschka

    Then in June, we spotted this plant. Ramya had given us the challenge to find a plant to create a plate we could eat from. This one got us talking.

    So we picked a few fronds and had a go.

    Brenda's hands. She managed to make a necklace in the end.

    What else could be made?

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