Cultivate Connects in 2023

26 January 2023

“Love and joy come to you, 
and to you your wassail to; 
and God bless you and send you 
a happy New Year.” 

A very Happy New Year to our Cultivate readers. It’s been a cold start to the year but as the seasons change and the chill factor is freezing it makes for some pretty pictures of the Somerset landscape and fresh beginnings, a new year, new projects, new plans, new hopes. 

January also means Wassail. Wassailing is a tradition of celebration, song, and cider to bless the trees and sing to the health and growth of the fruit. Wassailers do this in the hope of a bountiful harvest in the autumn and a bumper crop. 

Kath & Trev at The Pig Pen, Over Stratton, hosted their annual Wassailing Feast on Friday 20th January. We supported the event by inviting Jusna from Somerset Diverse Communities along with Chhavi Gautam who is part of the Yeovil Indian Association and Joanna Bogunska from the Yeovil Polish community. It was an evening of beautifully prepared and sustainable food, English tradition, music, fun, cider and merriment.  

“Thank you once again for giving us a totally new and amazing experience, which will stay with us forever.”

Chhavi Gautam

Pig Pen feasts run monthly. To check out detail, themes and to book visit The Pig Pen website.

Soil, Regenerative Farming and The Archers  

Our event on Friday 27th January in collaboration with promoters at Norton Village Hall was a great success. Graham Harvey who was once a script writer for the much-loved radio show ‘The Archers’ shared an evening of stories, anecdotes and spoke about farming, regenerative agriculture, the soil, fixing the planet and what we can do to help! 

It was a fascinating evening of regenerative discovery and accompanied by the culinary delights from Sue Foreman’s, The Cookhouse, the evening was top notch! Sue and Penny served a spread of mouth watering sweet and savoury tasters. Produced by using locally sourced ingredients from near by producers in and around Norton sub Hamdon and South Somerset.

Huge thanks to Graham who also works with our partners, Sustainable Food Somerset, in an inspiring evening of discovery and thought provoking conversations.

For info about Sue and her cooking check out The Cookhouse website. She is available for take-out food, home dining parties and will pretty much cater for any occasion. 

Sustainable Food Somerset

Following the incredible success of 2022’s Somerset Food Trail, that saw 8,500 members of the public visiting over 190 sustainable food producers and retailers, the 2023 Trail dates have been announced, with a new overarching theme of The 30-mile Feast. The Countywide feast challenge will run from Friday 14 - Sunday 30 July 2023 and Cultivate hopes to feature firmly on the menu! 

Foodies will be able to taste the best that the county has to offer at a series of feasts that showcase ingredients supplied by Somerset’s growing band of regenerative farmers and sustainable food producers.

We have several feasting collaborations to explore, with the arts and good quality, local food as the winning recipe. We can't wait to bring you more news of this and updates about Cultivate and Sustainable Food Somerset's Feasting events! 

Cultivating diverse work in Chard 

The Cultivate Connects project will link our activity and events around engaging with more ethnically diverse communities and presenting activity around food, the arts and the voices of diverse communities and their experiences.  

After our involvement with community led Yeovil Together, we are delighted to be involved with Chard Together, which is happening on Saturday 11 March at The Guildhall, Chard. We will be offering poetry and performance as part of this fun, diverse, community event.

We are delighted to be involved, for our second year, with the Culturally Chard Spring Festival which runs from 27th – 29th April. Cultivate will be part of the afternoon’s celebrations alongside Somerset Art Work’s Waterways exhibition with lead artist Anna Chrystal Stephens.  

Cutlivate’s “Creative Supper” event will welcome anyone who would like to come to share, eat and be together in a warm space. We met with Vera and Ingrid this week, in Chard, who have created a support group for Ukrainian refugees called The Nightingales. 

Their work is impacting and meaningful and uses arts activity and creativity as a medium to bring people together, talk and feel safe to share their experiences and worries. They focus on teaching English whilst being creative and bringing Ukrainian’s together in a safe and inviting space. 

We also welcome anyone from the ethnically diverse communities, of which there are many in Chard, including a large Portuguese and Polish Community. Creative Supper will include sharing of food, arts activity and sharing experience. We hope the event will bring joy to the community of Chard in a meaningful and uplifting evening of food, art and creativity. We look forward to talking more with Vera and Ingrid about future events and opportunities through the Cultivate Connects project. 

More details to follow but if you have any questions or would like to be involved in any of the above events please email

We look forward to making more cultivating connections and facilitating a range of joyful experiences for all. Please keep warm and cheerful and when you can, support local. 

The trees will blossom soon. 

The Cultivate team x