Friday, 29 April 2011

Green on the Screen May - Once Upon a Time in Knoxville

Green on the Screen presents
Once Upon a Time in Knoxville

Wednesday 4 May, 7pm (Film starts 8pm)
Moors Bar, 57 Park Rd, Crouch End


We do hope to see you at May's Green on the Screen. It should be a good one this month - with local film director Will Fraser presenting his film about recycling guru, Rollo Sullivan, who builds with 'found' recycled materials. Plus the usual combination of delicious seasonal food, stimulating post-film conversation and friendly faces.

Once Upon a Time in Knoxville uplifts us with the tale of recycling visionary Rollo Sullivan.

Rollo hits us with a vision of the resources collapse that awaits us. But where other eco-warriors preach and bore, Rollo revives us with a tableau of fainting goats, talking monkeys and spiritual trash dumps. He’s created a paradise out of garbage, and he wants to show us not just how we can live, but how we will be living in the not too distant future. He shows us his brave new world with great humour, but his clear-thinking foresight will stay with you long after the lights have come up.


"A wonderful documentary on this bio man's mad paradise, brilliantly made and slightly terrifying." Jake Harders

"A very interesting film, provocative and sometimes startling." Jack Neely, Metropulse


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Guerrilla Gardening

During the ideas factory at our recent AGM I floated the idea of forming a local guerrilla gardening troop. Interested parties could share information on suitable sites, support each other with planting events and help raise funds for future raids.

Browsing on the internet I discovered there is an International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening day planned for May 1st.

See for more information.

Anyone who is interested in sowing some sunflower seeds this coming Sunday meet me at the Harold Road Community garden at 2pm (on the corner of Harold Road and Tottenham Lane N8). We can go and plant some sunflower seeds and talk about forming our troop.

What to bring:

  • Sunflower seeds (although I shall have spare seeds available)
  • A small dibber (a pencil would be ideal for this)
  • A bottle of water (enough for you to drink and to water in the seeds)
  • Your ideas for suitable sites
  • Enthusiasm and a sense of fun

Any questions or thoughts please feel free to contact me at

Bluebells and lambs at Church Farm, Ardeley

What a great day at the farm, feeding the lambs! This is Tony, the first lamb born to Church Farm.  He's not in great shape, being blind and a little lame. But he's as happy as Larry(!) 

Here's why... .

And why.....
And why...

But he's not the only happy animal.  The pigs love digging for food.
And so do the hens.
 And who lives here, do you think?
 Could it be the weasel or the rabbit we saw scurrying across the path? 

This is where the hare lives, along with the cows, bulls and calves.

Bumble bees don't live here but this is their larder.

And what about human habitation?

The watering hole...
And another.

But to end on a serious note.  Last week's Chris Packham's guide to British animals looked specifically at grassland habitats.  (You can catch it again on At the farm we saw grazing animals, hares, and bumble bees and much more besides.  The link between mixed farming and biodiversity is very clear and as Chris Packham emphasised in the programme, if that's what we want in the countryside, then that's the kind of farming we should be encouraging. We too can play our part by buying our food there and participating in the regular Farm Days. The next ones are:

Members' Farm Day Sunday 15 May
Members' Camping Weekend 28 and 29 May
Farm Festival 17-19 June.

To find out how you can join the Church Farm 'More than a Box' Scheme, come along to our regular drop off every Thursday between 6 and 7 at the Haberdashery Cafe, Middle Lane. Or go to the Church Farm Website here

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

North London Bike Power Workshop Saturday 11 June - places still available

Magnificent Revolution is running its hugely successful London Bike Power workshop in association with Transition Town Crouch End. For those wanting an introduction to renewables and are mad about bikes, this course is a great way to learn about creating electricity from bicycles. To get an idea of the potential of bike generated power, check out Bang Goes the Theory Human Power Shower:

The workshop will take place on:
When: Saturday 11th June
Where: Green Lens Studio, 4a Atterbury Road, London, N4 1SF
Time: 10am to 5pm
Price: £40 per person, £35 concessions
Tickets: Bike Power Workshop

Magnificent revolution facilitates this workshop for those interested in learning the ins and outs of pedal power generators. Our workshops have a good balance of theory and hands-on experience. Participants will discover how to use their own bike as part of a small power station, capable of powering computers, stereos, TVs and other small household appliances. Participants will find out about:

Basic system design
Load assessment
Power generation
Electricity storage using batteries
Conversion of DC to AC electricity by inverters
Control and monitoring of power

For more information and to book, click here: here

Magnificent Revolution is a not-for-profit London based cross-disciplinary organisation working in education, ecology, engineering, design, art, music and film 

Saturday, 16 April 2011

FOOD from the SKY- Job opportunities for an Urban Farmer and a Project Assistant
JOB DESCRIPTION for a local Project Assistant

Time and Date: 2 days a week starting Tuesday 10th May 2011

This volunteering position is to assist Azul with the running of the organisation. It will lead to a paid position as a freelance project assistant after a successful trial of 2 months. To be reviewed weekly by both parties.

The paid position will start on 19th July 2011 @ £100/day as a freelance Project Assistant with opportunities for training and growing with our pioneering and ground breaking organisation.

The role:

The role is hands-on, creative and responsible. It requires someone that enjoys a challenge and has a proactive outlook to administrative tasks and the world of internet as well as working on the roof – planting, setting up and other jobs as and when required

The Project Assistant will be:

* Assisting and contributing in all areas of FOOD from the SKY
* Write press release and posts for web
* Co-ordinating events and courses
* General administration
* Assisting with Social media and the website
* Record keeping ( financial, the template and book keeping)
* Co-ordinating committed volunteers
* Joining with the planting rota and responsibilities in the garden
* Flexibility and willingness to do what is needed
* And any other tasks that would assist Azul and the organisation to create a successful template of FOOD from the SKY

Dates and times for interviews: slots of one hour

Wed 27th April: between 14:00 and 17:00 (3 people)

Thu 5th May: between 16:00 and 18:00 (2 people)

Sat 7th May: between 09:30 and 11:30 (2 people)

Send us:

If you are interested in this position and opportunity please send your CV asap and a paragraph about why you feel you would be suitable for this position. We want to know you a little more, so as an optional extra send us something that inspires you!

Azul-Valerie Thome:

Values that we hold dear:

Responsible (ability to respond), Supportive, Open to the challenges and the learning that stems from being pioneers, Creative and not scared of making mistakes.

All experiences have the potential for deep growth, learning and transformation. Friendly, Curiosity, Positivity, Fun, Inclusivity, Respect (seeing the other’s reality) of Diversity of People, Plant, Insects, bugs and Learning styles.

Our Ethics are grown from: Earth care, People care, Fair share of our Earth resources

Space here to add your own…

OUR VISION: ‘To grow Life, Food and Community in our most cemented places’ and ‘To plant seeds in people’s heart’ .

JOB DESCRIPTION for a creative urban organic farmer

Make sure you read the website to check that it is the right job for you:

The role:

The main focus of the farmer is to increase our yield and income from sales for FOOD from the SKY in store below.

This is done using organic methods, permaculture ethics and an open mind to other inclusive growing methods like Biodynamic while being part of our increasing biodiversity on the roof.

The farmer will

* Be a very experienced urban farmer
* Make a growing plan for the year – working in containers and up fences and wall
* Create a budget for the year
* Be interested in working with Thornton’s Budgens produce department
* Will create a working plan for volunteers to use the rest of the week following the Biodynamic calendar as much as possible
* Be happy to work with other parts of the organisation
* Be well connected to the London growing scene
* Be creative about how to ‘find’ material in skips, refuse depot, freecycle and your London networks etc…
* Know and develop natural fertilisers, comfrey, nettle and wormeries using the waste from the supermarket below
* Good with computer and basic social media
* Have a good communication skill, be friendly, inclusive, creative and willing to learn

The farmer needs to be able to work alone, with members of both organisations and with local volunteers.

Time and Date:

1 day a week starting Tuesday 3rd May 2011 and every Tuesday thereafter.

To be reviewed weekly then monthly. The job will be for a year to start with.


£125 a day (8hours) as a freelance with opportunities for a share in sales, training and growing with our pioneering and ground breaking organisation.

Dates and times for interviews: slots of one hour

Tue 26th April: 09:00 to 11:00 (2 people)

Wed 27th April: between 14:00 and 17:00 (3 people)

Thu 28th April: 09:00 to 11:00 (2 people)

Send us:

If you are interested in this position and opportunity please send your CV/ resume of your relevant working life ASAP and a paragraph about why you feel you would be suitable for this position. We want to know you a little more, so as an optional extra send us something that inspires you!

Azul-Valerie Thome:

Values that we hold dear:

All experiences have the potential for deep growth, learning and transformation. Friendly, Curiosity, Positivity, Fun, Inclusivity, Respect (seeing the other’s reality) of Diversity of People, Plant, Insects, bugs and Learning styles. Responsibility (ability to respond), Supportive, Open to the challenges and the learning that stems from being pioneers, Creative and not scared of making mistakes.

Our Ethics are grown from: Earth care, People care, Fair share of our Earth resources

Space here to add your own…

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Discounts on Solar Renewables

Muswell Hill Sustainability Group is running an information evening on solar renewables on 11th May at St James Church, Muswell Hill at 8.00pm, following the success of our first evening last November.
As many of you may know, there is a very generous government subsidy for generating solar electricity at the moment.  You can earn 8-10% net every year for 25 years (which compares to interest rates of 2-3% available from most building societies).  The government pays domestic generators of solar power a Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) of 41.3p for every unit of electricity generated - generating an annual income of around £900 on a medium sized solar pv system.  The FIT is index-linked, tax-free and guaranteed over 25 years.  Despite some confused reporting in the media, the recent government review has had no impact on the domestic feed-in-tariff, only on larger solar farms.  You'll also save on your electricity bills - because you're producing your own electricity you'll be buying less.  With electricity prices forecast to rise significantly this is a real benefit.
Muswell Hill Sustainability Group have recently set up a Low Carbon Buying Group (LCBG) to provide discounts on solar renewables and other more expensive energy-saving measures.  We've obtained 10-20% discounts from 4 pre-vetted solar power installers who will be coming along to our information evening.  Several local households have already installed solar electricity systems through the scheme.
At our evening you'll be able to learn about the following:
basics of solar electricity and solar thermal
subsidies available
what's involved in installation, what are the most suitable roofs, how do you integrate solar thermal into your hot water system
planning considerations
our Low Carbon Buying Group discount scheme

You can also talk to our 4 installers over drinks and snacks.

Please let me know if you'd be interested in attending so we have an idea on numbers.

best wishes

Kate Allardyce
Project Co-ordinator
en10ergy and Muswell Hill Low Carbon Zone
07798 835738

Friday, 8 April 2011

Shiatsu Massage Fundraising for Japan

Shiatsu Massage Fundraising for Japan
The ultimate relaxing & rejuvenating treatment
Tue 19th April, 4-7pm

Stroud Green Library, Quernmore Rd N4 4QR

(off Stapleton Hall Rd, near Harringay mainline station)
30 minutes shiatsu sessions by appointment
Call Kate on 07947 617563 to book

Shiatsu is a deeply relaxing and rejuevenating therapuetic bodywork, originating in Japan, using pressure, stretching and joint mobilisation to correct energetic and structural imbalance. It has a powerful effect on the whole body including physical, emotional and mental well-being.

Suggested minimum donation £15 for 30 minute treatment.
If you are unable to attend the event but want to contribute and experience shiatsu, donation vouchers are available.
Rose Charities is the British Charity connected to AMDA.
All moneys go directly to workers on the ground in Japan.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Two opportunities for wildlife photography this weekend

Wild London photography in Queen’s WoodSunday 10 April, 10.30am-12.30pm

Join BTCV and our professional photography expert for a FREE Wild London photography session walk/talk/workshop in Queen’s Wood, learn how to take wonderful photographs in this stunning ancient woodland.

Open to all budding photographers and non-amateurs. Don’t forget to charge your camera!

The session will be followed by an afternoon of Friends of Queen's Wood activities with a plant sale and Spring Nature Walk at 2pm.

Meet: Outside Queen’s Wood café, N10

Wild London Family Photography in Priory Park
Wednesday, 13 April, 2-4pm

Kids go wild this Easter. Get snappy with BTCV this Easter and join us for FREE nature photography fun in Priory Park. Learn about local wildlife and take super snaps during our wild photography hunt. Don't forget to bring your own camera!
Meet: Priory Park café, N8

More details, contact Michael Bury
Haringey Project Officer
BTCV, Bridgewater House, 11 Crinan Street, London, N1 9SQ
Tel: 0208 348 6005
Mobile: 07740 899 682
Fax: 0208 342

Website: <>

You may also be interested in the RSPB Bird Walk this Sunday at Ally Pally 8am!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

AGM and Ideas Factory - the pictures!

We started with tea and cakes, including buns donated by Dunns Bakery in Crouch End and a delicious vegan chocolate and almond cake by Alex, the Green on the Screen chef.

Richard introduced the idea of transition, how it is not a blueprint but more a context to help our community move towards a sustainable future.

In Crouch End the transition model is one based on partnerships, for example Apple Day with the Urban Harvest and Hornsey Vale Community Centre.  He also stressed the importance of enthusiastic involvement, a theme of the day.

Charlie Kronick, our guest speaker from Greenpeace challenged the group - he doesn't believe in peak oil.  He does believe in 'peak consumption' where we are no longer consuming as much oil: the USA for example, now uses less oil than in 2008. 

In his view, the main issue is, we have reached the end of 'easy oil.'  He pointed to the drive to extract oil in the Arctic and Canadian tar sands and the damaging consequences to the environment: if an oil spill similar to that in the Bay of Mexico occurred in the Arctic, the region would take twice as long to recover.

We know about the Inuit people who have been affected by oil companies drilling in the tar sands.  But he would argue, our society suffers just as much because we are still beholden to the oil companies and their policies, in terms of the economy and our pensions. 

So he applauds the work achieved by grass roots organisations, such as the Transition Towns Movement.  But he still stresses the need to be negotiating with the oil companies and preparing them for the consequences of diminishing oil supplies.  And that's why Greenpeace are so important.

We then had input from four local projects which started from an idea. 

Fred from Green on the Screen talked about inspiring films shown at Moors Bar, such as 'The Real Dirt on Farmer John'  which led to........

.....the Church Farm 'More than a Box Scheme'.  As Sam explains, the scheme is special because of the relationship between the farm and Crouch End - it is a good way to source food sustainably...

....which is also what FoodCycle are trying to achieve.  In their community cafe at the Station House, on Stapleton Hall Road, they use supermarket food waste to produce an affordable three course meal.  Rebecca 'cooks up' a Food Waste meal for Andy.
And not forgetting the Meadow Orchard Project, run by Kate, here seen leaving on her lovely Brompton bike.
The project is a remarkable partnership between the community and local health centre.  It runs many and various courses, from forest gardening to scything but wants to run more, such as bee keeping and arts and crafts.

As well as hearing from local projects, we had an Ideas Factory where we had some brilliant ideas from..

Deborah - sign the Farmers' Market Campaign Petition - the market could be a information centre for all the local projects

Andy - ask Deborah for a link and put it round your networks

Kathryn - plant more flowers - they aid pollination, an important part of sustainable food growing

Mary - and go easy on weeds - they produce flowers as well!

Sally - come to the Cakewalk at Ally Pally on Easter Sunday and claim back Alexandra Palace for the people!

Richard -  form a guerrilla gardening squad to reclaim open spaces

Pam - start an ecoteam in your area

George - form a world wide body to look after the earth, not based on national interest

Anna - have arts and crafts picnics in the park for children

Amanda - help start a growing space around her housing association -she created a meadow before...

Gemma - use Growing in Haringey to support these ideas

Rebecca (later in the AGM) - create a space for people to share their fears about the future

Apologies if I've forgotten anyone but please use the comments to add more information and details.

Next Film at Green on the Screen - Wednesday 6 April 2011


Wednesday 6th April
Moors Bar, 57 Park Road, London N8

from 8pm  ~ doors open at 7pm
Showing The Man Who Stopped the Desert
The Man Who Stopped the Desert is a one hour feature documentary telling the story of Yacouba Sawadogo, an illiterate African peasant farmer who has transformed the lives of thousands of people across the Sahel.
Soil is essential to life on earth. But much of the world's soil has become degraded and useless. As the global demand for food grows, millions of pounds and the latest technological advances have been invested in attempts to improve soil quality. Leading scientists and agriculturalists from around the world strive against growing world hunger to find the means to bring exhausted soils back into production, but it seems that a peasant farmer from one of the poorest countries on earth has finally achieved what these experts dreamt of; halting the desert. 
In late 2009 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation declared small farmers (like Yacouba) as key to helping alleviate famine and poverty amongst the world's poorest, launching a multi-million dollar research and investment programme into local solutions for Africa.