Hungerford’s first communal foraging and cooking event

Hungerford’s first communal foraging and cooking event took place recently thanks to a collaboration between the Hungerford Food Festival Group and Hungerford Environmental Action Team (HEAT) at the Hungerford Youth and Community Centre.

“We want to encourage people to source local ingredients and cook more year round,” explains HFFG committee chair, Penny Locke. “Autumn is a great time to harvest produce, so even though we were still recovering from the food festival we didn’t want to miss this opportunity”. 

Teams of apple pickers picked fruit that would otherwise have rotted in Hungerford’s gardens. “Over 80% of apples in English gardens go to waste,” explains Helen Cukier from HEAT. “So it’s great to do our bit to reduce that percentage in Hungerford and to help members of our community who might be unable to pick their own apples any more. We all had a fun and enjoyable afternoon together out and about, then back to cook up and eat some delicious crumble. Even though this hasn’t been a great year for apples, there were still plenty that were going spare.”

The pickers then brought the fruit back to the Hungerford Youth & Community Centre where others were already cooking up marrows and pears from their gardens and chestnuts they had foraged along The Croft in Hungerford.

All generations cooked together, making crumble and juice from the apples. Together with marrows stuffed with a chestnut and mushroom filling, topped with crisply cheese and breadcrumbs, a communal feast was enjoyed by all at the end.

“We were delighted to see our new kitchen being put to such good use, ” says Charlie Barr from the HYCC. “I hope this becomes an annual event as it was great fun foraging and cooking together – a fantastic community event.”

The apples that were left over at the end of the day were donated to the cooks, Beavers group and other local residents.

If you have any apple trees that you need help picking please contact HEAT on heat_hungerford@yahoo.com 

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