Happy Fall, Y'All!

02 October 2023

We bring you quite a bumper autumnal newsletter, bursting with arts and food goodies! 

Chill on the Hill 

We were delighted to produce Cultivate’s second Chill on the Hill event on Friday 25 August 2023. For the second year in a row, the weather was kind to us… just! 

The event, produced in collaboration with Ham Hill Country Park, The Octagon Theatre and The Prince of Wales pub, attracted over 300 people throughout the day.  

In the morning, families had the opportunity to participate in art workshops with Natasha Rand to make dreamcatchers using items discovered on an informative nature walk; learn new aerial circus skills with Frances Aitken; and Indian dance with Sonia Sabri Dance Company

Audiences were treated to The Peacock and the Princess Walkabout performance in which a proud and majestic peacock and a beautiful princess roamed through the picnickers competing for attention. 

Performing in the impressive Ham Hill stone circle, Somerset-based company, Pirates of the Carabina brought us Pirate Taxi. Taking place in, on, around and above an old-school London taxi it was performed with plenty of thrills and spills by Shaena Brandel and Barnz Munn. Using a mechanically ingenious set, live music, extraordinary aerial stunts and plenty of laughs, the show told the story of them finding their way, via circus, to Somerset, weaving in themes of journeys and the annual migration of birds. 

We were pleased to welcome and promote food from North Perrott Farm and Laura’s Kitchen, who provided delicious cakes, fruit, veg and juice.   

We also owe a huge thank you to the Ham Hill Rangers and volunteers who kept everyone informed, safe and secure throughout the day. 

Comments from audience members included: ‘It was fabulous.’ ‘That was amazing.’ ‘It is so lovely to be here today, as a family, and see the stone circle area used in such a creative way! We have enjoyed the whole day, brought a picnic, and loved such fantastic performances. We can’t wait for the next one.’ 

Sewing Seeds of Gladness 

Cultivate is thrilled to be supporting the community stitching project ‘Sewing Seeds of Gladness’ for the people in the Parish of South Petherton. The project is supported with funding from South Petherton Parish Council and South Petherton Community Enhancement Fund.  

Many people attended the ‘Stitch and Chat’ sessions over the summer and the project is now building up an amazing set of beautifully embroidered pieces for the Parish Map. 

There are more ‘Stitch and Chat’ sessions coming up over the next couple of months.  Anyone and everyone is welcome, either to join the stitchers or to pop in and see the beautiful pieces that have already been made: 

  • Tues 26th Sept 2-4pm: South Petherton Church 
  • Tues 10th October 2-4pm: South Petherton Library 
  • Saturday 14th October 10-12: South Petherton Methodist Church Hall 
  • Tuesday 24th October 2-4pm: South Petherton Library 
  • Saturday 4th November 10-12 ‘The Stitchathon’ in the David Hall. We want to fill the David Hall with stitchers, all materials supplied!  

Help is on hand at all the sessions and materials available for the creation of stitched pieces. 

There will be more Tuesday Stitch and Chat sessions in November in the Library.  If you would like more information, please email kathbrace7@gmail.com.  

The sewn map will be completed by January 2024 and the project is engaging with groups such as South Petherton Youth Council, local schools, the WI and community from the village. 

Cultivate Connects at Holyrood Academy 

The Cultivate Connects project runs activities and events around arts and food with a particular focus on diverse communities living in South Somerset. Supporting local events such as Chard Together has widened our network of audience and connecting with people who may not ordinarily engage with some of the activities we have on offer.   

We’ve recently been working with Holyrood Academy in Chard and, on 21 September 2023, collaborated on facilitating a ‘meeting with food’, attended by parents, students and teaching staff, to explore ideas around future potential events. 

The delicious food from different cultures we shared inspired much creative conversation which was wonderfully documented by performance poet David Reakes. He wrote the following poem during the course of the evening which gives a flavour of what we shared and enjoyed together. 


At a long high table with Theo at the head 

We sat down together to all break bread. 

There were sachets to empty and paper cups to fill, 

Tin foil to tear up and juices to spill.


And Potatoes-A-Go-Go! 

Potatoes Ninety Ways! 

Potatoes, let me count of thee 

The ways that I may praise…


Local spuds with an Indian spin, 

Vocal spuds with chilli in. 

Bajan taters to make you full, 

Sweetly blended with pineapple. 

Roasty-toasties bursting with pride, 

Crispy on top, but fluffy inside. 

And once you’d had enough of the tatties, 

There was salted cod and chicken patties.


But when the food was finally finished, 

The drinks all drained and the plates all polished, 

The waistlines wasted and the diets demolished: 

Twas the conversation that truly astonished!


Such ruminations around the room 

(As the rain did rain and the gloom did gloom), 

As the ideas were stewed and the fat was chewed 

Over what’s the best festival format for food…


What were the answers? Did we reach a consensus? 

Well, we’d love to tell, but modesty prevents us. 

So if you’re intrigued, if we’ve got you hooked 

Then come back later, when the plans are all cooked.