The contrast between the dark alley kitchen of our old cafe in Stokes Croft & reconnecting to cooking & living communally outdoors at Eden Festival in Scotland was a welcome one.
We found that there is something beautiful & reaffirming living in a field, waking up every morning to cook fresh food outside in a large pot & taking time to eat Turkish style communally on the grass in the sun.
We were lucky to be amongst friends & strangers; we welcomed Nick a research student from the Schumacher College into our crew and Andre a student from London.
Our conversations turned to discussing communal cooking and what that means for people, how we have lost this and how communal eating is central to bringing people together.
Due to the temporary nature of our existence at a festival we expressed concerns that it would be hard to recreate the same sense of community we loved so much in our cafe in Bristol as we lacked a sit down communal space in front of the ambulance for people to eat and gather.
We debated whether people would understand and embody the true nature of pay as you feel and what it can create.
Over the course of the weekend we connected with many beautiful and engaged people who really wanted to understand our campaign and what we were doing.
We met Dennis who runs the There’s No Such Thing as A Free Lunch Cafe in Glasgow a similar food waste pay as you feel project, as well as folks from Dumfries & Galloway running the people’s folk kitchen!
We were invited by Sophie to stay in her co-operative farm house just outside of Edinburgh which we were glad to take her up on!
We met Jamie who asked us to come and be part of Solas Festival in Perth the following weekend so we could continue spreading our campaign throughout Scotland!
In the true spirit of pay-as-you-feel we were donated a handmade bracelet, a hat, Kraft dinner, lime juice cordial, blackcurrant squash, bread and buns, one girl volunteered to wash up and a lovely vegan chef volunteered her time & skills on Sunday afternoon to cook us a delicious Brocoli & Stilton soup and a Vegan Curry.
Having faith in the garden of Eden confirmed that food is a religion to us, in that it connects us and others to all the positive tools we need to create an alternative future.
Thanks Eden Festival for having us!
Photos: Julia Shirley Quirk