Make the most of your stay with our range of Courses and Therapies. 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 at Cotna too with Sara and Dave.
Pick, cook & eat: share our food & growing experience from our 12 years at Cotna Eco Retreat with these courses, both on set dates (see below) or flexible dates to suit you when we can fit in with all your other holiday activities. All sessions are experiential & practical, though we do also provide recipe or information sheets. VOUCHERS available.
2019 – 2020 Dates:
Regular Classes Wednesdays 10am-2pm & Sundays 11am-3pm.
Permaculture Design Course Starts April 2020: Six 2-day sessions: 1st/2nd & 25th/26thApril , 13th/14thMay, 3rd/4th& 27th/28thJune, 11th/12thJuly
A toolbox for positive action towards a more sustainable life and future
Full Price £395, Concessions £275 Contact us for more information.
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. (£20, £30 for small group) 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. (£55, £100 for two, including walk)
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! (£35)
Cotna meets Kerala:
Cornwall has traded tin around the world for centuries, in return for goods & spices like saffron. Even the local village of Tregony 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 cuisine. Keralan recipes are simple to cook and delicious once you know how to combine Indian spices or coconut with 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 meals like brussel sprout thoran, tomato & ginger fry or butternut squash dahl. (£55, £100 for two)
Sourdough bread made Easy:
Sara 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! (£55, £100 for two)
Family Forage & Pizza-making:
Spring & Summer – weather & time permitting
Come on a children friendly foraging walk around Cotna fields & woodland. Gather pennywort, watercress, nettles and the eggs from the chickens & ducks. Make your own wild pizzas in the pizza oven – even green dodgers may enjoy nettle pizza. And when the weather looks fair we sometimes have more traditional Italian pizza nights – check once you’re here! (Forage & Pizza: £30 adults, £15 kids. Pizza only £15 / £10 Minimum 4 people)
Preserving Nature’s Bounty:
Back before freezers we had to be much more creative to preserve the bounties of summer & autumn. The traditional ways would have used salt, sugar, vinegar or smoke. Using some of these methods with our seasonal ingredients, we will cook up a whole range of jams, chutneys, pickles vinegars & cordials. Fermentation has become increasingly popular and Sara is starting to experiment with that too! So go home with ideas and jarfuls for yourselves, friends & family to enjoy. This course can combine well with the sourdough bread making session, while waiting for the bread to rise. (£55, £100 for two)