A FANTASTIC food growing, cooking and recipe collaboration has led to the launch of a cookery book along with a series of local 'pop up kitchen' cookery demonstration events, which you are invited to so you can learn to make delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.

The initiative has been launched by Spiralseed - an independent, ethical publishing and educational enterprise founded by permaculture expert Graham Burnett in 2001 - and the Mendip Wildlife Garden.

The Mendip Wildlife Garden was created in 2011 on the previously derelict land behind Dunster Ave on the Mendip Estate in Westcliff. It’s now an award winning haven for wildlife, wild flowers and people. The garden is maintained by local people and all kinds of different volunteer and community groups and hosts regular family festivals, arts projects, gardening and therapeutic activities.

Graham Burnett, who is based in Westcliff, explained: "The Grow and Cook project was launched in conjunction with a current exhibition at the Beecroft Gallery, which celebrates the heritage of the Mendip Estate in Westcliff. [The Mendip wildlife garden, HLF Art and History Exhibition at the Beecroft until August 30].

"The Mendip Wildlife Garden and Spiralseed have produced a collection of easy to prepare, healthy and delicious vegan recipes.

Echo: Cooking up a storm - at the Grown and Cook 'pop up kitchen' session at Kitchen 49

"These are chosen to be inexpensive and use a minimum of packaged or processed fresh vegetable ingredients, many of which can even be grown in your own garden!

"We've launched the Grow and Cook Mendip Wildlife Garden Heritage Recipe Book with a series of 'pop up kitchen' events, where we will be providing interactive cookery and tasting demonstrations."

The first pop up kitchen took place last week, in partnership with Kitchen 49 at Project 49 in Alexander Street, Southend. Project 49 is a based day care service providing innovative opportunities for adults with learning disabilities. Kitchen 49 is the group's community outreach initiative that works with South Essex Homes to help reduce social isolation by producing meals to the elderly.

The second cookery session is open tomorrow afternoon - Thursday 30 August 30 - from 1:45pm until 3:30pm, also at the Project 49 base.

Graham added: "People can come and learn how to cook and prepare delicious plant-based treats like DIY Veggie Burgers, Leek and Broccoli Croustade, Carrot Savoury or Runner Bean Provencale and take away a free copy of our recipe book!"

Further pop up kitchen events are planned for September.

Visit spiralseed.co.uk to keep your eye on forthcoming sessions.

You can just turn up at Project 49 if you would like to attend tomorrow, or call 01702 212434 for further information.