Cotna Eco Retreat

Things to do

Cotna is set in a great  part of Cornwall for excellent walks and activities in the local area, and there are plenty of learning opportunities with Sara and Dave!

 Cotna Courses

Pick, cook & eat! Share our food & growing experience from our 10 years at Cotna Eco Retreat with these flexible learning sessions. Created for 2 -4 people, we can fit in with all your other holiday activities. All sessions are experiential & practical, though we do also provide  recipe or information sheets.

For more information, just give Sara a call 01726 844867 (do leave us a message) or email

Walk on the Wild Side: Spring – Autumn

Walk the Cotna circuit around the 12 acre valley with Sara & Dave, foraging wild seasonal food as we go. Learn to identify foods in our hedgerows, woodland & fields. After foraging, spend a couple of hours cooking up a creative meal in the kitchen with Sara, then sit down to a delicious feast together with us in the farmhouse – and with Dave’s cider of course! You will take home ideas and recipes for dishes like pennywort canapés, fresh nettle tortellini with wild garlic butter, alexander risotto, flower & micro leaf salad, comfrey shoot curry, sloe chocolate or cleavers ice-cream. (£45pp)


No Dig Gardening:  Spring – Autumn

We started by growing & selling our organic wild watercress & rocket, then moved on to other salad leaves – mainly all kinds of lettuce but also purslane, mustard, chicory, raddiccio, red orache & Japanese chrysanthiums. We follow the inspiration of the no-dig gardening guru Charles Dowding, and like him we deliver to restaurants, cafes & farmshops locally. Spend an afternoon with us in the garden, learning how we move from creating compost to sowing seeds and potting on, then to planting out & harvesting. Feel inspired to go home and use the no-dig approach to sowing, growing, mulching & composting! (£35pp)


Cotna meets Kerala: all seasons

Sara has picked up many ideas & recipes from around the world during her travels, but Indian cooking has probably had the most influence on how we eat at Cotna. Her Keralan recipes are simple to cook and delicious once you know how to combine the spices, coconut and seasonal vegetables we grow here. Think Brussels sprout thoran, tomato & ginger fry or squash dahl & you will start to get the idea! With some basic ideas and practice together, you will be able to go home with the confidence to cook healthy and exotic tasting vegetarian meals. (£40pp)

Sourdough Bread made Easy: all seasons

Sourdough bread baking, organic food, workshop, coursesSara learned sourdough bread making with Vicky from Vicky’s Bread, who supply bread from Helston to all over Cornwall. Since then Sara has baked nearly every day & has developed a simple, reliable approach to making all kinds of delicious loaves. Learn the different stages of sourdough baking throughout the day, then eat your own loaf, warm out of the oven, for breakfast the next morning! Back home you will be ready to get going the very next day with your starter levain mix, a Banneton basket & a recipe to follow – you’ll never look back! (£40pp)


Family Forage & Pizza: Spring & Summer

family forage pizzaCome on a children friendly foraging walk around Cotna fields & woodland. Gather pennywort, watercress, nettles and the eggs from the chickens & ducks. Make our own wild pizzas in the pizza oven at the end of the day. Even green dodgers may enjoy nettle pizza – yum! (£20 adult, £10 kids)



Preserving Summer: Autumn

berriesUsing seasonal ingredients we will cook up a whole range of  jams, chutneys, pickles vinegars & cordials. Go home with jarfuls for yourselves, friends & family to sample! This can combine well with the sourdough bread making session if you have time on your hands! (£40pp)


Volunteer Days

Help is always welcomed at Cotna Eco Retreat in return for practical experience of our organic no-dig approach – lovely lunches and organic food to take away! Just give Sara a call 01726 844867 or email

‘We spent the afternoon on a wonderful foraging walk with Sara and Dave learning about the riches of the hedgerow and land. And we have just enjoyed cooking and sharing the most delicious meal with them and their family in their welcoming home! Perfect! I can’t recommend this strongly enough if you are here – it is a great way to learn about Cotna, your hosts and this heavenly spot – as well as taking home some new ideas, recipes and possibly a pot or two from Sara’s store!’ Julie & Steve