Today at Beechcroft community allotment site in Darcy Lever it was all go. Carol and Sarah had brought jars, bottles, sugar, measuring jug and funnel, and the all important box of freshly collected blackberries, I brought my rocket stove, axe, a bag of fuel, wine making funnel with filter and some Elder and blackberries.
Make it dont buy it!
So as you can probably guess with all of the tools and resources, today is a day of making things, Blackberry cordial and Elderberry cough mixture to be more precise. There is an awful lot of distrust of supermarkets and the pharmaceutical industry, and this distrust has a lot of foundation, such as the use of untested potentially harmful ingredients, a cocktail of chemicals, and of course a price for shoppers is something is perceived to be good for us. The Beechcroft growers have been hard at it all summer making chutneys, preserves and jams, so this workshop is simply a natural follow on from what they have already been doing. It didn’t take very long for us to form a little human production line, one person tended to the stove, one ran the juice through a sieve, and one bottled by the end of the session we had made six bottles of blackberry cordial, and had filled several jars with the Elderberry cough syrup. Towards the end of the session I was chatting to one of the growers who told me that she actually a Elderberries in her garden so the plan is for her to pick and freeze lots of berries which we will use to make more cough syrup during the winter months when the workshops will move into peoples houses when the harsh winter cold arrives. From my end of things I am really excited about doing workshops in peoples homes, and hope that we can inspire the likes of Sarah and Carol to pass on the many skills that they have learned this year, community learning is best when it happens in the community, with members of the community helping and guiding others in the community.