AR Gathering KitchenVeggies provides catering support, advice and facilities for indoor gatherings, often hosted at the Sumac Centre and other social centres, or at summer camps, such as those held by Peace News, Earth First, the Animal Rights Coalition and Climate Camps.

This advice may also be helpful for the community cooks at the ‘People’s Kitchen  at the Sumac Centre.

Details of Camps and Gatherings at which Veggies is providing catering support can be found on our events diary.

We have benefited greatly from the Neighbourhood briefing prepared for the 2007 Camp for Climate Action, which is also available as an checklist to print (rtf file), which includes

  • Tasks, responsibilities and facilities for running a Camp Neighbourhood
  • Kitchen infrastructure and set up
  • Preparation, cooking, serving and eating utensils
  • Food Hygiene Guidelines (including display version)


Additional advice (and some the same) can be found in Lou and Shannon’s Kitchen Skillshare (txt file), which we’ll convert for inclusion here in due course.

Further Info:

Veggies documents to simplify gathering catering



PN Camp Climate Camp

A Typical Gathering Menu and recipes

Friday Lunch: A selection of Pasties, mashed spuds, salad.
Friday Dinner: Vegetable Stew, Garlic Bread, Salad

Saturday Lunch: Veggies Burger, Potato Salad
Saturday Dinner: Tagine, Cous Cous and salad

Sun lunch: Pasta and Tomato
Sun Dinner: Chickpea Curry & Rice.

Mon Lunch: French Onion Soup (new recipe soon)
Mon Dinner: Tabbouleh and Hummus

Tues: Leek and Potato Soup; Red Beet Coleslaw

In addition to main meals, Veggies gathering catering includes breakfast with Essential deluxe muesli, Dove’s Farm gluten free cornflakes, peanut butter, fruit spreads, yeast extract, wholemeal bread, sunflower spread; and teas, coffees and juice throughout the day.

Finding Suppliers

Where possible we source local and wholesome ingredients, organic where available. See

There are websites that can help locate them:

Replace the town name required – the listing radiates from the selected town, by similar postcodes.

Note that, whilst bakers might not use animal ingredients in their bread, they may bake in the same ovens as, for example, sausage rolls or meat pies, with possible risk of cross-contamination by crumbs or steam.

Sadly the two local craft bakers in Nottingham Bake Off & Pie (Baz the Baker) and Homemade Bakery from Beeston are no longer trading.

For the 2013 British Juggling Convention, we used Cooplands in Pickering, N/Yorks.

For the 2013 Peace News Camp we found a good local craft bakery, Roystons in Long Stratton, 10 miles from Diss. The village had 2 well stocked Co-operative stores too.

The Green Gathering is supplied by Wigmores of Monmouth: 01600 712083


Although not organic, L&M on Berridge Road, Forest Fields, Nottingham (0115 942 0008) are our regular supplier of quality fresh vegetables and at 0.2 miles couldn’t be much more local.

Ecoworks Veg BoxEcoworks veg boxes are grown by local people in Nottingham, the majority of it on their gardens in St. Anns.

Eden Farms organic vegetable home delivery service to Nottingham, Lincoln, Loughborough and Leicester.

In the North, Goosemoor Organics near Wetherby, North Yorkshire, provided great service and a wide range of seasonal veg for the 2006 Climate Camp and the 2011 AR Spring Gathering in Bradford.

For the East of England & London try Norfolk based Eostre Organics Ltd, 01953 456294 (who supplied the July’08 Climate Caravan).

In the West, including the Green Gathering, Four Seasons are based in Bristol: 07986 243341

In the Midlands / Derbyshire, the 2015 Earth First Gathering was supplied by Liz from Cromford Hill near Ashbourne: 01629 822208 / 07588 429291

Best of all, to avoid animal products like blood, bonemeal or manure on your food check the Vegan Organic Network list of Stockfree Organic Certified Growers, including Berkshire, Lancashire, N.Yorks, Cheshire & Flintshire (Wales).

Other organic suppliers:

Big Barn is a searchable website or organic and local foods. Vegetarian Box Scheme suppliers in London & North of England. Also sells meat. Also sells meat & dairy.


We source all our organic wholefoods from Lembas Ltd, the wholefoods cooperative based in Sheffield:; 0114 258 6056

In the West Country we use Essential Trading, and oop North, Suma Wholefoods.


Search for calor gas suppliers via Calor Gas website.

LPG kit: propane gas fittings, burners, hose etc, and very importantly the correct crimp clips for gas hose (jubilee clips are NOT advised as they can pinch the pipe and cause gas leaks…)

BES, based in Birmingham, deliver nationwide and do some plumbing supplies:; Ph: 0800 80 10 90

Field Kitchen Set-up Checklist

If you are setting up a kitchen at a camp or a neighbourhood at a campaign gathering you may find useful the Neighbourhood briefing prepared for the 2007 Camp for Climate Action: checklist to print (RTF). Additional advice (and some the same) can be found in Lou and Shannon’s Kitchen Skillshare (TXT).

How big a pot do you need

Use a pot big enough for about 0.4ltr per person, or 0.5 ltr for soup as a meal.

The volume of a pot is approximately depth x radius squared x 3 (roughly ‘pi’). Measure in centimetres and divide by 1000 for litres.
eg a medium pot 25cm across by 20cm deep is almost 10ltr, enough for 20 – 25 people.

Boiling Water

It is worth noting that on a typical ring burner or water boiler 5lt water from cold takes about 16mins to boil, whilst 5ltrs added to an already boiling boiler drops it’s temperature to 83 degrees and takes about 12 minutes to get back to boiling. The best temperature to brew coffee is 88-93 degrees.

Serving Bread

Just a few notes on bread here. You might be wanting to put out bread with breakfast, and/or with soups, or for sandwiches. Find a nice bakery that does organic bread if that’s what you’d like, and try and get the largest loaves you can find (usually 800g). If you can get them sliced and bagged up, there are advantages, but also some more waste. You might want to ask for half of the bread to be bagged up so it keeps better.

Fresh bread will be okay, stored in bakers’ trays in a not too hot place for a few days (possibly up to 3), but if you’re cooking over nearly a week, it’s best to try and arrange two or three deliveries of bread, unless you’ve got some means of freezing large quantities of bread.

Judging quantities when serving

Count out the number of plates required. Divide into two piles.
When the first half are served judge whether you are more or less than half way through the available food. Adjust portions accordingly.


Recipes for gatherings: Meals for 50-100 in a field! [broken link to restore]
Veggies Recipes, including School Meals, Seasonal Fruit and Vegetables, Cooking Conversions, Food allergens

Tips & Quantities

From the Anarchist Teapot Guide to Mass Catering (1.2mb pdf file) which is a fantastic guide on how to cook for loads of people, with tips, guides for how much for each person, and recipes.

Muesli: 50g per person per day

Soymilk: 0,2l per person per day

Bread: a bit less than 200g per person per day, 20 large (800g) loaves will feed just under 200 people at one meal

Sugar: ca 1kg per 100 people per day for teas and coffees

Margerine: ca. 1kg per 100 people per day for breakfast/bread with lunch

Grains: 60-100g per person per meal

Couscous/bulgur: 5kg will do 60-80 people per meal

Pasta: 125g per person per meal

Dried beans: 80-100g per person per meal

Main dish: up to 0,4l per person per meal

Veg in a main meal: 250g per person per meal (so, if it’s mainly potatoes and

Carrots – say 150g potatoes plus 100g carrots per person)

Tomato puree: 35x 200g double concentrate tubes for a sauce for 200 – or, large size catering tins (usually 900g) – 4x for a sauce for 100. A bit less if you’re using chopped tomatoes too.

Lettuce: 1 iceberg for 10 portions of green salad, a bit less for other lettuces

Cabbage: 50g per person per portion of cabbage salad or cabbage side dish

Cucumber: 1 cucumber will make a salad for 6-8 people

Vegan sausages: 10kg sosmix will make ca 400 sausages (not huge ones)

Bouillion/stock: about one large tin (900g) for a soup for 200/250

Dressing: 1 litre vinaigrette dressing for a salad for 100 people (more if a potato/bean salad)

Fruit: if budget allows or we’ve been asked to, we’ll have fruit with lunch or dinner, usually asking people to just take one piece. Apples often come in 18kg boxes (100-150 pieces), Bananas also 18kg (average – 120 pieces), oranges 15kg (average – 65 pieces)

clean plates

Based on advice for catering at events and gatherings from Veggies archive.

Local neighbourhood maps for gatherings at Sumac Centre