Rooted in sus­tain­abil­ity

Tiver­ton’s REROOTED is a café cre­at­ing meals from sur­plus and waste food. Team mem­ber Tess Wilt­shire tells KATE WIL­LIAMS the story be­hind it

Devon Life - - Rerooted Cafe -

Hor­ri­fied to learn that one in three bags of shop­ping bought na­tion­ally ended up in the bin, Tess Wilt­shire vowed to help make a change in her Mid Devon town.

Al­ready shar­ing an in­ter­est with oth­ers in how to live more sus­tain­ably, Tess was a part of the na­tional Tran­si­tion Net­work - a move­ment started in 2005 con­cen­trat­ing on com­mu­ni­ties ad­dress­ing the chal­lenges they face lo­cally and com­ing to­gether to crowd-source so­lu­tions.

‘‘We never cease to amaze each other with what we come up with’’

Tess ex­plains: “I have been a part of the Tran­si­tion Move­ment around Tiver­ton and the vil­lages for 12 years look­ing at dif­fer­ent ways to live sus­tain­ably. Two years ago, I started hear­ing that one in three bags of shop­ping bought na­tion­ally ended up in the bin!

“I was hor­ri­fied and couldn’t be­lieve that all that en­ergy for grow­ing food, the wa­ter used, the man hours, the fer­tiliser, the trans­port to get food to the re­tail­ers, for trips to the shops for peo­ple to spend their hard­earned cash to buy food that ends up in the bin! That’s mad­ness.”

Tiver­ton Area Com­mu­ni­ties Tran­si­tion (TACT), a non-profit com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion which is part of the na­tional tran­si­tion scheme, works on projects cre­at­ing more sus­tain­able and re­silient com­mu­ni­ties with a low car­bon econ­omy in the Tiver­ton area.

Fol­low­ing a Love Food Hate Waste train­ing event in Fe­bru­ary last year or­gan­ised by Com­mu­nity Ac­tion Groups Devon (CAG Devon), a group in­ter­ested in cre­at­ing com­mu­nity meals from sur­plus food and left­overs called Grub’s Up! was formed and Tess was part of it. Due to a name clash, the group changed the name to REROOTED, a project un­der TACT.

The aim was to look at ways vol­un­teers could help lo­cal peo­ple waste less food in the home and the group has gone from strength-to-strength. It now runs a monthly sur­plus food café of­fer­ing a three-course freshly cooked meal on a pay-as-you-feel ba­sis.

Tess says: “The REROOTED café is an en­er­getic project run by vol­un­teers who re­ally care about mak­ing the best of our food. It’s great that we can make meals that peo­ple en­joy from food that would oth­er­wise be wasted.

“It’s a huge chal­lenge each month to de­cide how to use those ten loaves of bread or that sack of slightly sprout­ing parsnips. We never cease to amaze each other with what we come up with.

“On av­er­age we feed about 70 to 80 peo­ple on the first Sat­ur­day of ev­ery month at 12.30pm in St Ge­orge’s Church Ex­ten­sion in Tiver­ton be­hind the church which is next to the Town Hall.

“We recog­nise that house­hold food poverty is all around us too so REROOTED events are open to any­one.

“The peo­ple that come to the café are get­ting a great lunch and see­ing what can be done with ‘ what­ever you have’.” For fur­ther de­tails email rerooted@google­groups.com or call 07941 330450.

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