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Baking, Brewing, Fermenting and Foraging at Radical Baking

A food-centred gathering at Crabapple Community in Shropshire.

Radical Bakers 2018 wasn’t very radical, unless you count learning how to do things for yourself as radical… There were a range of practical skill based workshops. We had sourdough, baking, brewing, fermenting, infusions, ointments, cold remedies, textiles, woodworking, mushrooms, foraging, a team bake-off and loads more, full programme here.

The event was well-attended and made a small profit in the first year. The people who came were really relaxed and friendly and when we went to clear up, it took about half an hour. Stu, who recycles everything for us, said it was a pleasure to sort.

The workshops were well attended and engagement was high. We had a few people drop out at the last minute and their workshops were covered by volunteers who all did a great job. One of the things we encourage is shared learning with others rather than top-down teaching. There was a hands-on element to most of the workshops.

The bake-off was on the Sunday and was won by the Community Kids. People got the chance to use heritage organic flours and wood-burning ovens to bake bread and cakes. There were drop-in baking sessions all day Fri and Sat with a dedicated team keeping the ovens going. There were some amazing sourdough breads and some mouth-watering cakes made.

The food from Shakira and her crew was very good. A lot of the fresh stuff was locally-sourced and tasted amazing. Her crew worked really hard and were totally into delivering good food. They were knowledgeable and friendly. We sold meal tickets and approximately two-thirds of people bought them. This meant that we had about 140 eating, including crew.

Issues we had were fairly limited:

  • Lots of people came by car and/or wanted campervan places. In order to encourage public transport use next year, we will be making a lift-share page and running a shuttle service from Shrewsbury train station.
  • Somebody emptied their chemical toilet down the compost loos. ?? I have updated the website FAQs and ticket T&Cs and Crabapple have put up signage. Hopefully the damage is limited.


Next year we hope to have more workshops connecting practical skills and action with the wider political environment. We will be improving the fermenting area with some hands-on demos. We will also be expanding the farming and forestry thread as well as more herbalism. I am inviting people to submit ideas for workshops by email to hello@radicalbakers.org – our basic offering is a fully catered ticket and up to £50 travel expenses per workshop, but this is negotiable.

Crabapple Community have confirmed the dates for next year: 13–16 June 2019. Crabapple event field is full of mature trees and wildlife, with properly working composting toilets. The residents have been really supportive and people who attended respected their boundaries. Thanks to everyone who came, it was an enabling and energising weekend.

Radical Bakers is a small, family friendly gathering with a focus on learning and sharing skills. It's a sustainable living festival with a full programme of practical workshops. Earlybird tickets for 2019 are £75 adult and £35 teens/children (plus £35 adult food and £20 under-13 food).

Topics: Food