Share our food and growing experience from our 16 years at Cotna Eco Retreat with our organic land-based courses, on flexible dates to suit you so we can fit in with all your other holiday activities. All courses are experiential and practical, though we do also provide recipe or information sheets.
For more information on courses or vouchers, just give Sara a call 01726 844867 (do leave us a message) or email email@example.com.
Sea & Salt Therapy
Our friend and nutritional therapist, Janie Parker, is always eager to share her passion for the sea! She will share her knowledge with you, from foraging the abundance of seashore food and the power of pure natural sea salt with its important minerals to enrich our health, to experiencing the joy of sea swimming and the numerous benefits of cold-water immersion. Janie offers a half day of foraging, sea swimming, breath-work, sea salt therapy and a beach feast! This is an informative and extraordinary dive into the power and riches of our oceans. (Weather and tide dependent: approx. 10-2 or 3-7pm Just £60 pp.)
Walk on the Wild Side (Spring & Autumn)
Walk the Cotna circuit around the yurt site’s 12-acre valley with Sara & Dave, foraging wild seasonal food as we go. This course will help you get to know the history of the local area, understand the land more deeply and identify wild foods in our hedgerows, woodland & fields. We offer ideas and recipes from the courses and can provide a hamper and recipe sheets to cook a delicious organic meal in your yurt, shepherd’s hut or barn – or when you return home as a day visitor. (1.5 hour walk: £30pp + £15 for top-up hamper)
No Dig Gardening Courses
We started by growing and selling our organic wild watercress and rocket, then moved on to other salad leaves – mainly all kinds of lettuce but also other types of salad leaves, herbs and flowers. We follow the inspiration of the no-dig gardening guru Charles Dowding, and like him we have delivered to restaurants, cafes and farm shops around Cornwall. Spend a morning or afternoon with us in Cotna Eco Retreat’s organic garden and polytunnels for these courses, learning how we move from creating compost to sowing seeds and potting on, then to planting out and harvesting. Feel inspired to go home and use the no-dig approach to sowing, growing, mulching & composting! (£50pp)
Sourdough Bread made Easy Courses
Sara learned sourdough bread-making with Vicky from Vicky’s Bread, who supply bread from Helston to all over Cornwall. Since then we have baked sourdough in Cotna Kitchen nearly every day and have developed a simple, reliable approach to making all kinds of delicious loaves which we supply to our yurt guests. Learn the different stages of sourdough baking throughout the day, then eat your own loaf, warm out of the oven, or for breakfast the next morning. Back home you will be ready to get going the very next day with your starter, a Banneton basket and a recipe to follow – you’ll never look back! (£60, £100 for two)
Preserving Nature’s Bounty
Back before freezers we had to be much more creative to preserve the bounties of summer and autumn. The traditional ways would have used salt, sugar, vinegar or smoke. Using some of these methods with Cotna organic seasonal ingredients, we will cook up a whole range of jams, chutneys, pickles vinegars and cordials. Fermentation has become increasingly popular and Sara is starting to experiment with that at Cotna Eco Retreat too! So go home with ideas and jarfuls for yourselves, friends and family to enjoy. (£60, £100 for two)
Our two therapists, Jill and Tamsin offer Shiatsu and Reiki treatments to help you relax and unwind while you’re here at Cotna Eco Retreat. These are carried out in your own yurt, or strawbale barn. Therapies can be booked pre-arrival or directly through Sara once you arrive. More details of our treatments can be sent on request VOUCHERS are available by phone or email Cost £50 (one-hour)
Cotna meets Kerala
Cornwall has traded tin around the world for centuries, in return for goods and spices like saffron. Even the local village of Tregony nearby had a row of spice and silk shops backalong before the River Fal silted up. Sara has visited Kerala many times and finds it fascinating that Cochin, at the centre of the spice trade, would have shipped spices to Cornwall. So it seems appropriate that South Indian cooking has had such an influence on Cotna Eco Retreat cuisine. Keralan recipes are simple to cook and delicious once you know how to combine Indian spices or coconut with the organic seasonal vegetables we grow here – and chillies do grow well in the poly tunnels. With some basic ideas and practice together, you will be able to go home with the confidence to cook healthy and exotic tasting vegetarian / vegan meals like brussel sprout thoran, tomato & ginger fry or butternut squash dahl. (£60, £100 for two)
Pizza Nights (weather & time permitting)
When the weather looks fair we sometimes fire up our home-made clay oven for Cotna Eco Retreat pizza nights. All the vegetarian ingredients are provided for a communal, convivial evening! Check with us once you’re here to agree a night (£15 – minimum 4 people)
We spent the afternoon on a wonderful foraging walk learning about the riches of the hedgerow and land. Perfect! I can’t recommend this strongly enough!
Julie & Steve
Dave’s encyclopaedic knowledge of plants is fantastic! Thank you for teaching me about soil, compost and all the nurturing that takes place on this land!