Wednesday 30 March 2011

Transition Crouch End AGM and Ideas Factory - less is more

Reminder of our AGM on Sunday 3 April  2-5 at Hornsey Vale Community Centre, Mayfield Road 

If you want some inspiration for our Ideas Factory, less is more...

Picture courtesy the street artist Slinkachu

Less is More
Can less be more, can more be less?
Well, yes and no, and no and yes
Well, more or less…

More bikes, fewer cars
Less haze, more stars

Less haste, more time
Less reason, more rhyme

More time, less stress
Fewer miles, more fresh (vegetables)

Fewer car parks, more acres of available urban soil
More farmers’ markets, less produce effectively marinated in crude oil

Less colouring, more taste
More mashing, less waste

Fewer couch potatoes, more spring greens
Fewer tired tomatoes, more runner beans

More stillness, less inertia
Less illness, more Echinacea

More community, less isolation
Less just sitting there, more participation!

More wells (not oil ones, obviously), fewer ills
Fewer clean fingernails, more skills

More co-operation, less compliancy
Less complacency, more self-reliancy

Less competition, more collaboration
Less passive listening, more participation!

Less attention defic…, more concentration
Less passive listening, more participation!

(Less repetition)

Less of a warm globe, more a chilly’un
More of a wise world, at least 34 fewer parts of C02 per million

Less stress-related cardio-vascular and pulmonary failure
More nurturing quality time in the company of a favourite clematis or dahlia

More craftsmanship, less built-in obsolescence
More political maturity, less apparently-consequence-free extended adolescence

More believed-to-be-beautiful, known-to-be-useful things
Less cheap, pointless, petroleum-steeped stuff

So Yes, less is more – and enough’s enough…

Matt Harvey is a poet and performer who lives in Totnes.  His poetry is much admired by Rob Hopkins and he wrote this poem after attending a Schumacher Conference where he promised to write a poem on the conference theme: "Less is More - Can we live better by consuming less?"

You can find more out about Matt here and more about Totnes in a very fair article published in the Observer.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Transition Crouch End AGM and Ideas Factory

We already have fantastic projects in and around Crouch End.  .

Our AGM and Ideas Factory on Sunday 3 April 2-5 at Hornsey Vale Community Centre is a chance to hear about some of these and to create your own.

But we are also in a climate of growing political awareness and community activism - have a look at this blog from Transition Norwich which puts this very well.

 So our AGM is the forum to bring your idea, whether it's a craft class, a pop-up enterprise or a growing space you have your eye on, as a way of empowering ourselves and creating a better future.

A packed schedule will include:

-  A welcoming cup of tea and cake

-  A brief introduction: what is' transition'?

-  Guest Speaker from Greenpeace, Charlie Kronick will talk about the current oil crisis and its implications

-   Four local projects (the Meadow Orchard Project, FoodCycle, Green    on the Screen and the Church Farm 'More than a Box' Scheme) will tell us how they got started

-  Ideas Factory - tell us what you would like to do in the community

- Election of the steering group - new members always very welcome

Hope to see you there!

Monday 21 March 2011

A Day (and Night) on our CSA Farm

On Saturday 19 March, a group of us went to Church Farm, Ardeley, where we get our weekly Farm Box.  (For more about why we do this, see here).

A beautiful spring day, on the cusp of the equinox, with a supermoon looming. 

Here's a taste of what we did.

Planting in the polytunnel.

A moonlight walk around the farm.

And of course, we watched the piglets: British Lop Pigs on (almost) the first day of Spring and Berkshire Pigs by the supermoon. Catch their antics below.

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Draught-busting Workshop on Saturday 12 March

If you missed the session we hosted, Muswell Hill Sustainability Group are also running draught-busting workshops in local homes to teach people how to make easy, low-cost energy saving improvements to their home.

The next date is this Sat 12th Mar 2-5pm and there are still places available: email or phone 07798 835738 to register and to find out venue details. There will also be further workshops happening in future. 
The workshops will cover:
  • Demonstration of installation of easy to use draught excluding materials for wooden-frame doors and windows (plus chimney if relevant)
  • Opportunity to practice using the materials - only very basic DIY skills required
  • Exploring and sharing ideas on saving energy and conducting simple home energy assessments
  • The draught-proofing materials will also be available for you to purchase at reduced prices - suitable for wooden frame doors and window (sash or casement) only.
Muswell Hill Sustainabilty Group would also like to train more volunteers to be able to help run further draught-proofing workshops and teach people how to use the materials. Please let Kate know if you are potentially interested in sharing your skills. Some reward incentives will be offered for your time. 

Saturday 5 March 2011

Discounted Permaculture Design Course, London

ATTENTION:  reduced price of £350 if paid before 11th March

Concerned about climate change, peak oil and our children's future? Want to go green? Interested in creating Sustainable Local Communities? Thinking about making significant changes in your life? Fed up with the problems and want to start looking for solutions? Then this full Urban Permaculture Design Course accredited by the Permaculture Association Britain (PAB) is for you.

Held over 5 weekends, in central London (border zone 1 and 2), it provides a broad introduction to the ethics, principles and applications of permaculture primarily from an urban perspective, and is for anyone who believes that we need to find ways to care for ourselves, for each other and for the Earth.

The course will give you a detailed understanding of permaculture tools, which will allow you to realise your own sustainable designs, be it buildings, food growing, communities, economic systems, retrofitting urban house, etc. Upon completion of the course you will receive a permaculture design certification qualification accredited by PAB and become part of a local permaculture support network.

The workshop will be taught by Graham Burnett from Spiralseed and Rakesh Bhambri, plus up to 5 specialist teachers. Graham is one of the most senior permaculture teachers in the London region and author of several books on sustainability, permaculture and community activism. Rakesh  has a diverse background of experience, including IT, natural medicine, yoga, and of course permaculture. He has spent much of the past 7 years facilitating permaculture, forest gardening and low impact living workshops in Croatia, which culminated in starting an off-grid eco village. He is currently in London setting up several sustainable community projects.

Week 1     26+27 March
Week 2     9+10 April
Week 3     16+17 April
Week 4     14+15 May
Week 5     28+29 May

Location: The workshops will take place at Lilian Baylis Old School, Lollard Street, SE11 6PY, we will also have a few hands on practical workshops which will be walking distance from the main site.

* £550 Full payment
* £400 Low income discount

* SPECIAL OFFER £350 if paid before 11th March

For more information on what to expect on the course

How to register
If you have trouble registering or need more info, feel free to email or call
Rakesh 07575 009 322

What to expect

The course will start with an introspection of why you are on the workshop, asking you to creatively look into yourself to establish your life journey, your ethics, your guiding principals. This helps you to establish your goals, your purpose, your reason for studying permaculture, which will help you get more from the workshop.

We will cover the history and definitions of permaculture. We will cover the ethics and principles of permaculture, which are the bedrock upon which permaculture and sustainable living/design is built. This will be covered several times throughout the 10 days, and in different ways (including some games), so they embed themselves in slowly but surely.

We will cover many design and analysis techniques, so you are capable of using and adapting a design or analysis technique for almost any situation.
You will learn the beautiful art of observation.

We can cover various smallholding design and food growing concepts if people wish, but we anticipate most people on this workshop live in the city and probably do not have access to large pieces of land. We will therefore concentrate more on how to work with nature in designing urban spaces. We will look at community gardening, urban forest gardening and community forest gardens.

We have a unique module in which you  look at your day to day energy consumption, and how you can tweak your day to day life to become more energy and time efficient.

We will cover food production, including soil fertility, water retention. We will cover how to design efficient growing spaces. We cover building and retrofitting houses and other structures, including urban techniques of cleaning waste water, making composting toilets, etc.

There will be several practicals, including
Helping to design and or make a green roof on a row of council garages
Survey and mapping a site where we will design a forest garden and food growing project
Making a wormery or compost
Pollarding or coppicing trees
Making a self sufficient raised bed system
We will cover transition towns (delivered by Duncan Law, a founder member of Transition Town Brixton).

We will include resilient economics and right livelihood. We will also include a module on using permaculture to design resilient, ethical, businesses.

You will be taught several surveying and mapping techniques, which you will then have plenty of opportunities to put into practice.

We will have a module on natural bee keeping, and be given a chance to help on some new local bee keeping projects.

There is potential for a lot more, and have built flexibility into the syllabus, so if someone from the course has a specialist subject and the group wants to hear about we can give them the space.

All the workshops will be delivered using participatory and accelerated learning techniques, so it will be a mix of different styles (people learn in different ways), so we use games, discussions, modelling, practicals, as well as a few lectures.

The course is designed to remind and reinforce subjects, so the concepts embed themselves. All the learning culminates in a group design exercise, which for most people is the best part of the workshop. You are split into small teams and each is given a project to design, over the last 4 days of the workshop. You are given the tools to hold a client interview, analyse the information and create a design. The designs are then presented back to the entire group, with feedback, followed by a celebration.

There will also be scope for optional extra activities, such as film showings, yoga classes, etc.

How to register
For more information email or call Rakesh
07575 009 322