Leading healthy cooking workshops and stalls at community events are some of my favourite outreach activities. I really enjoy talking to people about whole food plant-based diet and the consequences of our food choices on the environment and local economy. I do believe that these events are an effective way to raise awareness on these issues. And the positive feedback from the participants is so rewarding! So as I did both activities this weekend (workshop + outreach stall), I feel happy and fulfilled!
Cooking workshop at the Forest Farm Peace Garden
On Friday, I was at the Forest Farm Peace Garden for a healthy cooking workshop. The Forest Farm Peace Garden is a permaculture ecotherapy garden in Hainault (East London) that works with a broad cross-section of supported clients and buddy volunteers to promote, among other, mental & physical health and social inclusion. Participants come once a week to work in the garden, and I have to say that the space is lovely – a haven of peace!
The aim of the workshop was to cook a healthy meal with the produces the participants have been growing. The result was therefore a local, seasonal and plant-based lunch:
- Salad, with a wide variety of leafy greens, tomatoes, raw grated courgettes, marigold & fennel flowers, etc.
- Runner beans stew, with courgette, aubergine, tomatoes, onions, thyme, rosemary.
- Fruit salad with plums, apples, pears and grapes – topped with fresh apple juice.
We started the session by harvesting the produces and we then cook them in the polytunnel with basic equipments. The atmosphere was so nice and relax, it was a pleasure to be there! The food was lovely and we ate all together, discussing healthy and plant-based food. It was great to answer so many questions and doubts related to nutrition and plant-based diet. Thank you to the staff for asking me to deliver this workshop!
Outreach stall at the Hidden River Festival
On Saturday, I was doing an outreach stall with Made In Hackney at the Hidden River Festival. It was an interactive food stall, where people were invited to make energy balls, smoothies, and vegan tacos. The aim was to raise awareness about healthy plant-based diet and to promote Made In Hackney community cooking classes. And it’s been a success!
We’ve been busy all day, discussing food and sustainability with the participants – and it’s been fruitful as lots of people signed up for our newsletter, asking about our classes or how to volunteer for Made In Hackney. The interactive activities worked really well; people were queuing for the three stations! Kids “fighting” to make their own smoothies and then proudly sampling it to the passer-by (who said kids don’t like fruits??); both adults and kids making their own energy balls (“really, there is no added sugar in it? And still, it’s delicious!”); and adults, themselves surprised to enjoy a vegan taco, asking about this weird but tasty stuff in the tacos (answer: seasoned tempeh!).
Huge thanks to Cary, volunteer at Made In Hackney, for his precious help at the stall. And big up to all the volunteers and staff from the festival for the organisation, such a lovely event!