Gleaning Glasto

Yellow sticker travels By Laura Gaga

Ordinarily, I'd have been holidaying overseas by this time of year but with COVID-19 it felt safer to stay closer to home, so the bestie, Sammy, and I booked a staycation. For our first few nights, we found a yurt on Airbnb for us, and Sammy's dog Darcy, in Glastonbury.

With the yurt came the use of an outdoor kitchen, BBQ, table and chairs. Whether we are home or away, Sammy and I are accustomed to bringing food on our travels, clearing our fridges of any surplus. Packing food from home meant that we were able to make our own breakfasts whilst at the yurt, and later at the glamping cabin where we spent another night.

Our final residence was at a guest house in Wiltshire where breakfast was included. The first night at the yurt we cooked a BBQ - yellow sticker plant-based sausages, jalapeño burgers, onion bhaji's, pasties, salad, houmous, celery sticks, grapes and gin - that wasn't reduced!

We went to Morrisons whilst in Glastonbury on the hunt for more yellow stickers, and did a surplus food shop with picnics in mind, including reduced Naked Glory chicken tikka strips. We had a picnic at Glastonbury Abbey on an evening where they had live music.

Welcome packs at both the yurt - and the holiday cottage site which has the glamping cabins - encourage guests to shop local. We took heed and shopped in Earthfare, an eco-friendly grocer on Glastonbury High Street - we came away with marked down grapes, and a reduced priced pot of houmous nearing its best before date (

Just up the road from Earthfare is Glastonbury's community fridge, set up to reduce food waste and food poverty. We collected bread, juice, fruit and veg; all fab stuff for our picnics (

In ancient times, Glastonbury was known as Isle of Avalon, AKA, the island of apples. You don't need to venture very far to see why - apple orchards are aplenty! Free fruit made great snacking for our trail walks and climb up Glastonbury Tor.

It's not just the fruit that you can help yourself to in Glastonbury but their spring water is literally on tap. At the base of the Tor, on Well House Lane, there are two springs, the white spring flowing with calcium and energy-rich water, the red spring rich with iron.

Sammy, Darcy and I refilled our bottles on a near enough daily basis. We did eat out a few times while away, treating ourselves to some vegan goodies.

Of note was our takeaway vegan kebabs from Pyramid Catering ( We also dined at The Old Tannery in the 'red brick building', which is a community owned social enterprise that transforms derelict buildings into community spaces.

They had some delicious plant-based dishes on the menu including a mezze ( Other delights were the selection of chocolates we bought from Chocolate Love Temple (

I also tried a CBD infused vanilla milkshake from a lovely little place called BagEnd ( - I can't say that I noticed any effect from the CBD, but I always experience a high when there is dairy-free ice cream and squirty cream! Holidays at home, or abroad, are for new experiences, including trying different foods, being waited on - an escape from your daily life.

Bringing your own food along, saving surplus, doesn't detract from that in any way. Us having a BBQ allowed us to watch the sunset, poke fun at one another's fire lighting skills (or lack of) and put the world Get the lowdown on living a low cost and low waste lifestyle to rights into the early hours of the morning.

Live music was the soundtrack to our picnic in the Abbey, something we've not been able to enjoy in well over a year. When we ate alfresco at the cabin, we did so with the view of the Tor. Collecting food from the community fridge, buying from Earthfare, enabled us to support local and invest in a town which had warmly welcomed us.

The first time we visited the springs, a man was singing Bob Marley's 'No Woman No Cry' into the window of The White Spring Temple, 'Love One Another' graffitied on the wall behind him; you just can't buy those moments.

Eating surplus food and saving good food from being binned, doesn't take away from our travels and experiences, in fact it enriches them. There are so much more than apples to be gleaned.

For more from Laura, follow her on Instagram @reduction_raider1 Or listen to her on episodes 2 and 16 of Vegan Life Magazine Podcast,


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