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 http://www.riverofflowers.org.uk/

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!  info@thepeoplespalace.org.uk

Richard -  form a guerrilla gardening squad to reclaim open spaces planningwithoutpermission@gmail.com

Pam - start an ecoteam in your area http://www.ecoteams.org/

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.

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