What is Cultivate?    

Cultivate is Ruritage’s  local hub in South Somerset, UK

It brings local food, arts and people together. We are a ‘hub’ with no fixed abode, but instead popping up at farmers' markets, arts festivals, food halls, inside your kitchens, and online.   

Our activity is a creative partnership between the local food and arts sectors - exploring ways to benefit communities, individuals, the natural environment and all of us living in these unprecedented times. 

Cultivate explores working in social, innovative, vibrant and dynamic spaces, blending arts and food together for the better of our South Somerset community. 

With local, food, arts and people at the core of what we do, we deliver an exciting programme of work, with a particular focus on the areas of: 



South Petherton


The Cultivate Community    

Through Cultivates work, we connect people, share stories, and strengthen community engagement. Here's how:

  • Bringing  people together through the sharing and enjoyment of delicious local food and high quality arts           
  • Cultivating  plans to provide platforms for the arts sector and local food community by exchanging knowledge through shared experience and networking 
  • Generating  opportunities for people to learn, participate, and be creative in activities and workshops - being mindful of an intergenerational audience 
  • Serving  up a menu of events that lead to better health and wellbeing along with positive outcomes for the environment and the area in which we live

Events and Projects Coming Up

Arts & Food Trails

We are delighted to be collaborating with The Somerset Food Trail for 2022. The trail celebrates the best, locally produced food, with a special emphasis on Somerset's more regenerative and 'nature-friendly' farmers and food producers.

The food trail is organised by a group of community organisations who are passionate about local sustainable food, including our partner Wells Food Network, a member of Sustainable Food Places.

Find out more about Cultivate’s role in The Somerset Food Trail by clicking here.

The Banners of Chard Project 

We have been partnering with Somerset Art Works on a community project, part of Culturally Chard, celebrating people, place and food. Five striking banners will be created using print making and textiles, including elements which will be inspired by the land, farm and food, linking with Cultivate and the community. 

Cultivate worked with lead artist, Jenny Mellings, in a series of workshops to inspire creativity and imagery for the creation of the artwork. Children from Manor Court primary school looked at the kitchen gardens at Magdalen Farm, Chard and explored the natural landscape, herb gardens and pressed fresh apple juice. Family workshops, for those living in Chard, were also hosted at ARK, Egwood using printing, drawing, and cyanotype technique as part of the creative workshops. 

A celebratory event of the project is due to take place on Friday 29 April at The Guildhall, Chard when the banners will be unveiled. The day will include drop-in workshops, music and refreshments and is free to attend.  Please join us between 11am-5pm.

Slow Burn – More than just a Pizza Oven 

Cultivate are very excited to be partnering with charity PROMISEworks, ARK at Egwood and artist from Creation Generation, Natasha Rand. Children and mentors from the PROMISEworks programme will be working with Natasha in a series of outdoor workshops at ARK using the natural landscape, food, wood, fire and dragon folklore as inspiration. 

The workshops will be part of a bigger ‘Slow Burn’ project in the creation of an outdoor pizza oven and shared eating space. The series of workshops will include different creative processes, design work and methods using cob, clay and various materials in which to create their own collaborative pizza oven.

Cooking, rolling of dough, picking from ARK’s kitchen garden and considering herbs for the toppings of the pizza will come in the later stages of the project. A community, celebratory Open Day at ARK on Saturday 25 June 2022 will reveal the oven and include a performance of Whispering Willows by Wassail Theatre Company.

Children and Young people from PROMISEworks will also achieve a bronze Arts Award for their involvement in the project. The oven and shared, creative area will be a legacy and an eating space that those children and many others can enjoy for years to come. 

Current and Previous Events And Projects 

Cultivating Commissions

Cultivate's first activity was to team up three local food producers and three local artists to work together. We paired up Richard Tomlinson (Digital Artist & Photographer) with Wayford Wines; Caroline Barnes (Ceramicist) with Hinton Harvest, and Nick White (Theatre Maker) from Wassail Theatre with farmer, Duncan Palmer. The pilot commissions are ongoing and once lockdown is over we hope to be able to share more about these exciting partnerships. Read more about their stories so far here.

Apple Art

Apple Art is a community project for Cultivate and we wanted to celebrate the humble apple - a defining symbol of Somerset. Orchards surround our landscape producing apples for some of the best made cider and apple juice in the world! Read all about Apple Art here.

Cultivate's hub facilitator Katy Tilley spoke with one of Cultivate's partners, Jonathan Hoskyns from North Perrott Farm. Jonathan and his wife, Anwen, have been great supporters in the start up of Cultivate, Ruritage and the Apple Art project. Once cafes and shops can reopen the plan is to exhibit the community apple art tree in their farm coffee shop. Katy and Jonathan had an informal chat about the farm, its' history, life in lockdown, and whether Jonathan would choose cider over apple juice!? Listen to their chat below.

Doorstep Poetry

Doorstep Poetry was a collaboration between poet, David Reakes (Tor Theatre) and North Perrott Fruit Farm. Along with a home delivery of local food and produce, 'Bags verses Boxes' was performed on customers’ doorsteps to enjoy from the comfort of their own home. Cultivate focused on those living alone or with little human interaction since the Covid19 pandemic began. Read the full story here.

'Wild Apple Forests in Our Eyes'

We asked Liv Torc (Spoken Word Artist) to create a piece about family, love, survival, and how food brings us all together - especially within our ever-changing world.

Liv’s poem is a celebration of food and the arts and how sometimes food can be a healer of sorrow and a comforting reminder of family, home, tribe, and those we are missing.

We think it is beautiful and we hope you do too.

Wild Apple Forests in our Eyes

Cultivate's Cookalong

Cultivate's Cookalong with local chef, Steve James from Eastfield Farm & Shop is a fun, cooking challenge for parents, children and families to make a delicious Rosemary and Apple Crumble Cake. 

Cookalong with Steve with his step-by-step how to video, along with his printable recipe. Share your creations on socials using the hashtag #CultivateCookalong and tag us.

Steve James Photo by Tim Macpherson.

Be part of the Cultivate conversation

Tickled your tastebuds? Be part of the conversation and keep up to date with news, activity and events by following us on socials.

Cultivating webinars 

Take Art's Chief Executive, Ralph Lister along with Cultivate's Hub Facilitator, Katy Tilley spoke as part of a webinar, arranged by Ruritage, around how arts, festival and culture can support Rural Regeneration. Ruritage have run and recorded various webinars focusing on different themes with a range of our European partners. Find a list of the webinars and listen in here.

If you have a question, want to find out more or to get involved in Cultivate's local work contact or call 01460 249 450. 

Cultivate is the local hub for South Somerset which is part of a 4-year EU funded project called Ruritage. Find out more about it here.