Fab harvest event again. Storm Brian that was on his way all week so we took shelter in the Edward Herbert Building and had our first ever harvest event indoors after an hour and a half walking the route. It actually worked really well and there were more people than ever of all ages and nationalities, 40 bake off entries, vigorous apple pressing and a giant feast at the end. Steven Vitale provided music composed from visitors harvest themed words accompanied by resident accordianist and LU staff member Ian Graham. Paul Conneally, local poet and cultural forager created a superb workshop and performance on the route inviting the 30 or so people walking the route to contribute a haiku and attach it to his jacket and indoors provided a giant Fruit Routes wordsearch for people to fill in.

Participants originate from many different countries so conversations and exchange of knowledge was very rich – the learning is palpable as people check that they have correctly identified different plants on their phone using online translations!  Lots of students took apple juice and demi johns for creating their own cider – we look forward to tasting the results (although I am not sure we will get near it).

We also ran an Early Bird run across campus introducing people to the edible plants on campus while running through the field edges, along the hedgerows and woods. This was followed by a Fruit Routes themed breakfast in BomBom Patisserie. The Bathaus launch was also part of our event series. This fascinating building, now housing a colony of bats, can be found on West Campus. We have a bat superhighway on Fruit Routes so are pleased that the bats are being protected on the campus and even have their own home! Its definately worth a visit.

(sketches by Diwas Bisht)

This year I learn to eat chestnuts raw – yes they eat them raw in Portugal as a snack by cracking them open with your teeth first (no thank you). It was a great year for chestnuts on campus and we had our first chestnut bake off entry – which was a sweet chestnut puree.

Thanks to the many people who contributed to the event and the harvest leading up to it and to Gardens who look after the route all year round.

(photos by Pawas Bisht)