|Location:||Chalke Valley, Wiltshire, UK|
|Date:||April – November 2023|
|Organisation:||Chase and Chalke, Cranborne Chase AONB|
Cherry Truluck has been appointed Artist in Residence for the Chase and Chalke Landscape Partnership in the Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Throughout 2023 she will be undertaking a project called Edible Ebble.
ABOUT EDIBLE EBBLE
“I grew up beside the River Ebble, eating peppery watercress and earthy river trout, foraging wild garlic and water mint. I brought my infant son back to its banks in 2020 and watched him wading in the luke warm shallows through that strange hot summer, whilst the world around us seemed to be collapsing. This ancient ecosystem has shaped (and been shaped by) our ways of living, eating, communicating, traversing and surviving in the Chalke Valley through its long history. Edible Ebble is both an homage to and call to action for the entangled collaboration of human and more than human neighbours with the Ebble’s history making flow.”
Edible Ebble is a series of 10 interactive food experiences along the River Ebble which connect people to the chalk stream landscape, ecology and seasonality through their own appetite and metabolism. Each 2-3 hr ‘workshop’ will focus on a different food type associated with the story of the Ebble. From diminished supplies of wild river trout and watercess, to the ghosts of heritage cereal crops once processed at the rivers 11 mills, now replaced by monocropped grain accused of causing fertiliser run-off into the fragile chalk stream. Participants will join the artist by the riverside at a purpose-built mobile kitchen to create dishes which further entangle their own experiences, culture and heritage with the story of the river. Local experts and elders will join workshops to share knowledge at risk of being lost about local food traditions and stories.
Connecting the workshops will be the route of the no. 29 bus (Salisbury to Shaftesbury), which itself follows the route of the river along the valley roads, first carved out by intrepid “common carriers” like the famed widow Maria Ridout and her donkey-drawn cart, the “Coombe Express”. These common carriers connected and sustained the communities of the valley, which for much of its past was impassable on foot. They brought provisions and news from Salisbury or Shaftesbury and took produce back from the villages to sell on route or in the towns. Could the 29 bus fulfill this role and revive hyperlocal connections along the river?
The workshops will generate community sourced recipes, food stories and ideas which will be captured by the artist in a series of risograph prints. At the end of the project, these prints will be combined in a limited edition artist’s book to be shared with participants and made publicly available.
Edible Ebble will introduce people (especially young people and their families) from areas surrounding Cranborne Chase to connect with the unique Chase and Chalke landscapes through food, all accessible along the bus route 29 which follows the course of the River Ebble (a rare chalk stream). Participation is free of charge and workshops are designed to be accessed by existing groups and organisations (e.g. youth clubs, schools/colleges and home education groups). The target age range is 16-24 although this is flexible and young people with additional needs or disabilities are most welcome – please just get in touch to discuss access requirements. If you/your group are interested in benefiting from these workshops please contact Cherry or Charlotte Moreton, Heritage and Community Engagement Officer, Chase and Chalke Landscape Partnership.
FURTHER INFORMATION FOR PARTICIPANTS
CHASE AND CHALKE
The Chase & Chalke Landscape Partnership is a group of organisations working to protect and enhance the special landscape of Cranborne Chase and Chalke Valley.
With Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) as the lead partner, and with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, this 5-year partnership is working with local communities to better connect people with the landscape.