Tuesday 27 September 2011

My own ingredient for transition

Sometimes you need to remember what it's all about.  It's about working together quietly, sometimes in the background, having fun and producing really great results.

This poem was written after the 2010 May Gala at Hornsey Vale Community Centre, which was very hard work but which led to us collaborating with the centre to make a tyre garden in a tiny unloved strip of land.


When asked about 'community'
I considered at first
Lying on my back on a summer's night
The community of stars.
But although their gleam inspired,
Felt it was an analogy too far.

And then I thought about the honey bee,
Its little suede body busying itself around flowers,
And then to the hive to present its waggle dance
Before the murmuring crowd.

But in the end, I decided
That 'community' is something more in keeping
With a compost heap.

I see it now
Raw, red brandlings tumble the fibre,
And microorganisms munch the slime.
And while some stubborn sticks
And glossy plastic bits
May refuse to change,
Most of it alchemises.

So honour the workers,
The worms and the woodlice,
The moulds and the germs,
Or if you like the cake bakers,
The key holders,
The minute-takers,
The shoppers,
The sweeper uppers,
The emailers.

All helping to create
The dark, rich fudge that is community.
From which - oh yes-
New things spring.

Apple Day 2011 - Planning Notes

Transition Crouch End Meeting Notes Monday 5 September 2011

Apple Day Planning – The Maynard pub – we are in this to have some fun!!!
Tilly, George, Mike Dallymore, Pamela Harling, Gemma Harris, Gillian Livingstone, Chris Setz

Everyone introduced themselves.

1. Sourcing the apples 
George will be able to collect apples from his father's orchard again this year.  They can include some old varieties as well modern commercial varieties.  Church Farm apples?? Local apples? Volunteers needed to cut apples for tasting.

2. Stalls 
 There will be stalls for Transition Crouch End, Urban Harvest, Transition Finsbury Park (?),  apple games, longest peel (Patrick Marr has a machine for this?), cider making demonstration from Dick – Gillian to contact, apple mosaics from Rachel.  Bruce Castle archivists (Tilly has been in touch with them). Sustainable cocktails (Rebecca and Gemma), Meadow Orchard ?, Transition Walthamstow? Church Farm, jam, chutney and dried apple.  It was suggested that Chris coordinate the local groups.   

3. The apple press
It was agreed that this was difficult to handle last year.  So it was suggested that  the press should be against the wall this year to avoid too many people crowding round, and to have one or two sessions during the afternoon rather than a continuous event.  Mike will make a guard to deter people getting their hands too close.  People will be needed to cut the apples.  Gemma is collecting already, but as last year, most apples are ready now. People will be asked to bring along their own apples and pears for pressing and cups to drink from. The pulp could go to the Meadow Orchard.

4. Activities/Events
Anna Konarska has agreed to do activities with natural objects for the children. It was agreed to cover her costs and possibly some time.  Sarah Moore cookery demonstration (in a quieter place than last year). Film – could we show the BBC4 film about apples presented by Chris Beardshaw in June this year? Could we have a grafting demonstration?  Tree planting? It was agreed to announce events by ringing a bell.

5. Refreshments
 Publicity to ask people to bring cups for drinks.  There was discussion about using paper cups.  Hornsey Vale Committee are concerned about the washing up needs of using mugs.
It was agreed to provide coffee and tea this year (Fairtrade) (alongside fruit teas) with a view to having herbal and fruit teas only next year as being more sustainable.  This event is an opportunity to be a showcase for sustainable events. Bins for reuse, recycling and residual.

6. Funding
 There will be donation boxes around the event. It was agreed to charge £1p for teas and £1 for cakes.

7. Signs/decorating the hall
It was agreed that tables should be well labelled in advance. Notices required for the cafĂ©, the timetable of events (Gemma to do a blackboard) and organisations represented.  A welcome table for people to sign in at is needed.  Possible raffle ticket for everyone as they arrive?  It would be  very helpful to have numbers of people attending and get new members for TCE.  Tilly has some display posters.  Common Ground posters.

8. Publicity
Gillian to do posters and flyers adapted from last year.  Needed by 17th Sept for the Well Oiled Festival. Press release – Gillian. Possible impromptu clocktower pressing again to publicise the event - 7th October.  Schools quiz??  Places to advertise the event – Haringey People, Harringgayonline, Opinion8, Freecycle, Common Ground. Hornsey Library, local shops.

9. Celebration
As last year, it was agreed that it would be nice if we could have a half hour together at the end of the day to celebrate the occasion

10. Final arrangements meeting
Next meeting to finalise details  is Monday 3 October, 8pm in the Maynard as before

Timeline for arrangements - ??
Collect the apples – George to pick up from Blackmoor.  Everyone to collect local apples.
Recruit volunteers to help on the day – everyone
Rota for welcome desk - Pamela
Rota for kitchen - Pamela
Bell for announcing events - Tilly
Co-ordinate the stalls - Chris
Posters and signs for the Centre – Gemma??
Blackboard for activities - Gemma
Prizes for competitions – George to ask for an apple tree from Blackmoor.
Publicity flyers and posters, press release – Gillian
Publicity e-mails – Chris
Arranging activities – Gillian to approach Dick and Church Farm, Tilly to contact Bruce Castle, Gemma to contact Sarah Moore
Publicity on the applepress Facebook page - Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Friday 23 September 2011

Apple Day is Saturday 15 October

Apple Day is an annual celebration of this ever popular fruit. It is a chance to honour what is local and distinctive to an area and to draw on traditions and knowledge that have existed over centuries. Apple Day encourages us to make use of the wonderful abundance of fruit at this time of year, apparent even in an urban setting.

At this year's event you can sample different varieties of apple, some of them never tasted before, and cast your vote for the nicest. You can watch and wonder at the freshness of just pressed apple juice.

You can enjoy home-made apple produce at our tasting table and sustainable cafe and there will be a free cup of tea to anyone that brings their own cup.

Apples are an infinite source of magic, myth and lore and this will be reflected in various activities on the day, including a children's play area, craft stalls and presentations. And if you have an apple tree and you're tired of making apple pies and puree, bring the fruit along and we'll turn it into juice! 
Watch out for more postings about Apple Day!

Sunday 18 September 2011

New botany course starts this Monday

David Bevan - formerly Haringey's Nature Conservation Officer, and one of London's recognised experts - he is Conservation Officer of the London Natural History Society - is again running his Botany Course at the HLSI (Highgate Literay & Scientific Institution). This two term course starts at 2.30 pm on Monday, September 19th at the HLSI in Pond Square, Highgate.

This course is designed for both beginners and more advanced students.  By the end of the course, which will be based on a study of plant families, participants should be able to name with confidence most of the wild flowers growing locally. This will be achieved through examining live and herbarium material, class discussions, slide shows, and a range of field visits.

Details of the Course, and how to enrol can be found on the HLSI website at:

Course times: Mondays   2.30pm - 4.30pm 
Terms: Sep 19 - Nov 28  (half term Oct 24)

and Jan 9 - Mar 19  (half term Feb 13)
Please note there is no Summer class.

Friday 2 September 2011

Interested in solar energy?

Wednesday 14 September 7.00-9.00pm
at Hornsey Library Haringey Park N8 9JA

Engensa - a leading solar energy installer
a local homeowner with solar electricity
Muswell Hill Sustainability Group
VICTERI – Victorian Terrace Energy Reduction
Why it’s the right time to consider solar electricity for your home:
- generous subsidies are available through the Feed-in-Tariff – but will start to reduce from April 2012
- the costs of installation are currently dropping because of supplier competition
- by reducing your electricity consumption from the grid while exporting electricity to it you will be reducing your net CO2 emissions
- houses with a south-facing orientation at rear or on the roof are likely to be ideal for solar electricity generation.
For more information
tel: 020 8348 2896 07906 261371
Followed by a drop-in session