Friday 21 December 2012

Message from the Steering Group

                                      14th December 2012
Dear Activists and fellow Transitioners,             
Yet another year of service to our community passes by and exciting as it is to see so many projects grow, our time and energy needs nurturing and sustaining too.
In February we would like to plant some seeds to strengthen our practice and community.We invite you to gather with us and explore how we can collaborate and work together more effectively to reduce stress and burnout....
  • How can we best support each other thru this great transition to a local resilient and positive community?
  • What are all our common & differing resources?
  • What are our common & differing needs & visions?
To enable this we have engaged an external facilitator, Jeannie Thompson (who has many years experience and is currently part of Transition Sherwood) so we can all relax into the process of enquiry and exploration.
Come join us in creative exploration of sustainable solutions
Saturday 9th February 2013
11 -2.45pm
We'll provide lunch inspired by the local LoVe Eating group.
Venue to be confirmed.
Jeannie also extends an invitation to contact her in advance to share with her any particular hopes, wishes and outcomes you may have for the session that she will then bear in mind in designing the session.
or call her;- 07879438061 / 01159200470
We would love to know if you can come. Please RSVP
Best wishes for Xmas and New Year from all of us
Transition Crouch End steering group

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Wednesday 5th December - Queens Wood Cafe

Music, Poetry and Spoken Word, Queens Wood Cafe

Crouch End in Shorts

Wednesday 5th December - 7pm Green on the Screen
Our annual review Crouch End in Shorts is on Wednesday December 5th
SHORT FILM PROGRAMME of local projects & events, 
demonstrating a move towards a more resilient community. 
Food growing, celebrating, eco-building, foraging, raised bed making, grafting techniques, etc
If possible, please bring a wrapped 'no longer needed' recycled gift to swap.
All proceeds and surplus gifts go to the Haringey Churches Winter Night Shelter.
Please let us know you'll be there by following this link.

Crouch End Open Space (CREOS)

Sunday 2nd December - 2pm
Crouch End Open Space (CREOS) - Christmas Party - 2nd December

Get involved every third Sunday, February to November.

View over Ally Pally
Large Oak tree

CREOS is a conservation charity set up to protext, maintain and improve the CREOS area.

Saturday 1st December - Tree Dressing

Saturday 1st December  -  Tree Dressing, 2-4pm

Railway Fields Nature Reserve, 381 Green Lanes London N4 1ES
A festive celebration of trees. 
Make and hang a tree decoration, storytelling, warming winter refreshments and much more. 
A free, family event.
Please note - the Friends of Railway Fields Nature Reserve AGM is at 1.30-2pm.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Midday Seasonal Tour and Forage for Winter Greens

Saturday 17th November - Midday Seasonal Tour and Forage for Winter Greens.

Tour of all things green! Beginning Queens Woods Cafe (N10 3JP ) and joining up with Urban Harvest forage at 1pm.

Meet at noon at Queens Woods Cafe to visit the Organic Garden and have a hot chocolate or snack if you wish.
Moving on to join Urban Harvests Winter Forage at 1pm (meeting up at the point where the alleyway from Queen's Wood comes out on Park Rd N8. (Opposite junction with Park Ave South)
Map here .It's on the W7 bus route.Then, depending on the weather, a brisk or leisurely walk looking for edible weeds.

Together we'll then see what's happening at the Meadow Orchard before sharing our foraged food (and any other food you wish to bring) around the fire at Plot21 community allotment, they also have a cosy cabin!.
Bring your own cup, plate and utensils.
Join us for as long as you like, feel free to contribute stuff you've picked/made earlier, and expect mud.
But arrive on time! It'll be hard to find us once we've set off.

Phone/ text Gemma with any queries 078 06 87 05 05

Tweet: @UrbanHarvestUK


Help decide the future of Green on the Screen

Thursday 22nd November - 7pm - private home near Alexandra Palace

Help decide the future of Green on the Screen
You are invited to a meeting to discuss the future of Green on the Screen to consider what we have harvested and what (if anything) we would like to take forward into 2013
Welcome to those who have already said they would like to join us.
The meeting is hosted in a members home close to Alexandra Palace so we need to know numbers.
If you would like to come please RSVP to to secure your place.
We'll then send you our generous host's address.
Fred is providing soup and we invite you to bring any other food you would like to share.
Looking forward to you joining us.
2012 Green on the Screen team.
p.s. Save the date - our annual review Crouch End in Shorts is on the first Wednesday of next month (December 5th)

Festive Live Music Night

Saturday 24th November - North London LETS

Festive Live Music Night
What’s on offer?
Tell everyone you know about our fantastic live music night, and bring your family and friends!
Come along on the 24th November 2012, singalong or request a special song!
Meet local people, enjoy socialising and make some new friends!
Enjoy some foot tapping fantastic live music, provided by members of your local community in a warm and friendly atmosphere!
Chat away over a coffee, some mulled wine and a slice of the yummiest Xmas cake ever!

Come along and enjoy the fantastic festive atmosphere and music!

Being here means you can also help your local community organisation North London LETS to keep our community events premises open.
Proceeds go to towards covering our running costs, and making it easy for local people to continue helping one another.

We look forward to your company on the night!

Saturday 6 October 2012

Apple Day Saturday 20 October 2012

Our fabulous annual Apple Day is back at Hornsey Vale Community Centre, 60 Mayfield Road, N8.  The event is on Saturday 20 October, 2-5 with a feast of apple activities, including....

Apple pressing on the hour - delicious freshly produced juice, bursting with flavour and nutrients.

Apple tasting throughout - a chance to sample different varieties, with some unusual and rare specimens.  The apples will be sold off at 4.30 pm, so come early.

A brilliant talk, 'The Story of the Apple' from John Selborne from the Blackmoor Estate.  John talked about his trip to Kastakhstan at our 2010 Apple Day to a packed audience.

Apple stories to write and recite - what would that lovely, glossy New Zealand supermarket apple say to you, if it could talk?  (Find out what one apple said here.)

Apple cakes and buns at our sustainable cafe, all home-baked using ethical ingredients.  This year we are also making a donation to World Compassion in Farming who are running a campaign against (another) mega dairy being planned in Wales. 

Kids' activities where they can make their own autumn wreathes, write their wishes on the Stationers Park Apple Tree or have their portrait painted.

You can also find out about local groups, such as Stroud Green WI, the Meadow Orchard Project, the Friends of Stationers Park Volunteer Group, North London LETS, the Tree Trust for Haringey, the Urban Harvest and of course, Transition Crouch End.  The London Orchard Project will also be there to tell us how to map orchards in the area and to try out some of their London Cider.

And if you want a little souvenir of the day, there will be apple produce (jam and chutneys) and crafts to buy.

Although Apple Day is a celebration of local produce and lots of fun, there is a serious point to be made. This autumn has seen nothing like the amazing bumper crop of the last couple of years, and is generally considered to have produced the worst crop for 15 years.  Experts reckon the dearth is due to the cold and rainy summer when pollinating insects were not around to do their crucial work and help the fruit to set.  The consequences are going to be serious for the cider industry although one good outcome is that supermarkets are being less fussy about displaying less than perfect fruit.

However, thanks to Blackmoor Estate, there will be apples at our Apple Day and interesting and unusual varieties too.  We also hope to hear about a new variety of apple tree from the London Orchard Project which is particularly suited to the London climate.

So on the strength of this, we will be asking you to do a couple of things before and after the event.  After all this is your Apple Day!

Firstly bring along any apples you have from your garden - windfalls are fine (and actually produce a rather nice cidery juice!)

And secondly, if you like what you taste, add your name to our open letter to local green grocers in Crouch End, pledging to support them if they offer more unusual varieties of apples and plums. We loved the James Grieve for example currently being sold at Harringay Market every Sunday.

We hope to see you on Saturday 20 October!

Sunday 23 September 2012

Green on the Screen

Wednesday October 3rd - Green on the Screen - first Wednesday of every month.
This month it's In Transition 2.0 - the Movie. Doors open 7pm, film 8pm, food available.

Please 'join' the event on Facebook so we know you're going to be there:

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Autumn News

Transition Crouch End is working towards building a resilient positive community in the face of rising oil prices, a vulnerable financial system and climate changes. We provide a rooted active community hub for local initiatives, events, re-skilling and vital community building. 
Collaboratively our actions are practical, positive and local.
Autumn 2012 NEWS

Get Growing!

Knowing thru Growing  Weekly Low Maintenance Gardening and seasonal community celebrations. Email:

Meadow Orchard Project. Regular growing sessions at our community orchard behind the health centre on Park Rd.

Food from the Sky Regular growing sessions up on the roof of Budgens.         

Other Growing Spaces: Harold Rd - community garden, Plot 21- community allotment, Naturewise Forest Garden, Priory Common Orchard and Hornsey Vale Tyre Garden - details from

Get Connected!

Green on the Screen...1st weds of the month films on sustainability, environmental issues and all things green at Moors Bar, 57 Park Rd N8. A great night of film, food and discussion. Next film details 

Urban Harvest…Free Food Foraging walks and workshops third Saturday of the month

Community Supported Agriculture...seasonal farm camps and more..

Food Cycle-love food hate waste? See what’s cooking at the weekly community Food cycle cafĂ©, serving great meals made from surplus food,  Fridays 12-2pm, Station House, Ferme Pk Rd. 

Barboot-7.30-10.30pm 1st Friday of each month , the Haberdashery Cafe, Middle Lane
&, turns into a colourful and kaleidoscopic bazaar with community artists, craftspeople and vintage sellers. 3rd Friday of each month musicians perform ' Three Songs' each, proceeds to a local cause.

Bon Croissant Cafe Monthly Community Music Jam. 85 Weston Park.  All levels of music skills welcome. Monthly Saturday afternoons (next one soon). Facilitated by local musicians Mary Hogan & Peter Budge. Email:

Hornsey Vale Community Centre (HVCA)A busy hub in the heart of our community with something for everyone. Home of our Tyre Garden and Recycled tabletop sales 

Hearthland Off grid green tours, seasonal earth celebrations, off grid cooking, green wood working and other low impact reskilling to renew and re-root our connection to the land for our and future generations ‘hearth’ and well being

Community Acupuncture Tues eves 5.30-8.30 @ Hornsey Vale Community Centre. run by Gemma - call in or Email:
Community Choir...
singing songs of resilience, midday Thursdays at Union Church

Get Crafty!

Mosaic making with recycled materials: 1st Sunday of the month, also @ Hornsey Vale Community Centre.  
Knit Cafe – Unlibrary at Hornsey Library on Saturdays, now also at Stroud Green Library.

Get Building!

Eco building- cob, straw bale, rammed earth, timber and lime rendering at the Meadow Orchard Project.

Draughtbusting (when demand arises) . Coming up... Home energy initiatives....Tool Library (looking for a coordinator to set up with our donated tools as well as swaps). Contact Transition Crouch End ( for more information and to get involved.

Get Loaded!

NLLETS We are a member of the local exchange and trading scheme & have now joined Haringey Timebank…other ideas for boosting our local economy welcomed.
Save the dates - Upcoming events:
2nd October OCCUPY the SEED meeting Seeds and our food are in slavery. Proposal to form a ‘Freedom Seed Bank’. 2pm at
3rd October 'Transition 2.0' Green on the Screen, Moors Bar
20th OctoberApple Dayat Hornsey Vale Community Centre (2-5pm).
27th October Dark Walk to the Fire - off grid tour of growing sites and procession.     
7th November 'Bonsai People' Green on the Screen, Moors Bar
5th DecemberCrouch End in Shortswith ‘Green Santa and Present promises’ and short films of our community in transition, building community resilience sustainably.
Transition Crouch End - annual end of year celebration! Get those cameras rolling! Email to notify us you are including a video!

Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter (@TransitionCE)
email us at:

News & events are announced 'live' at
Green on the Screen nights
& on our blog.

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Is it goodbye to the 'More than a Box Scheme'?

It appears that Church Farm is seriously considering ending the 'More than a Box' scheme and this Thursday is likely to the be the last delivery to Crouch End and other drop-off points in North London.  

Lots of smiles and delightful produce on display but the slogan, 'Farm Store to the Door' 
 is proving problematic for the Crouch End 'More than a Box' scheme.
The reasons for this are clear and understandable. The scheme has only recently started to make a profit and while it has been brilliant at promoting the idea of sustainable food, it has not proved to be sustainable in a business sense.

Driving a van to London once a week is expensive and daunting for those unused to the city's traffic: it requires a high level of commitment from the volunteers on the farm. The scheme has worked until now because of the enthusiasm of interns, Sam and Laura who have seen the value of giving an urban community access to food straight from the producers. But with both these individuals moving to different roles, the continuity of purpose is likely to go with them.

It was Sam's idea to bring the farm to London.  He is the co-founder of the Agrarian Renaissance, a movement which aims to reinvent farms as 'multi-faceted rural hubs with sustainable food production, and direct distribution'. He was and is passionate about the idea of a close relationship between the farm which provides the food and the people who consume it, particularly in an urban context, where most of our access to food is mediated by supermarkets. 

Working with Transition Crouch End, the scheme began in July 2010, then a parked van with boxes for people to pick up on a Thursday evening.  Issues with street trading led to a move to the Haberdashery, a vibrant local cafe which was becoming a hub of the community.  Since then the drop-off points have expanded to a local community centre and to other parts of North London.

Members of the 'More than a Box' scheme have appreciated the fresh seasonal food and exceptional range of meat and vegetables.  Direct communication with the farm has led to a more streamlined, customised service which may have benefited members of the scheme outside London.  (In the beginning the meat box contained sausages, mince and a joint, and was very difficult to get through in one week!)  Members have appreciated the ethics of the source of their food: the high level of animal welfare, the support for an enterprise committed to mixed farming and the concomitant rejection of supermarket hegemony.

But more than that (hence the name) have been the visits to the farm, to stay or volunteer or just hang out with the animals.  The farm is a magical place: two of my favourite visits were when we took part in the Supermoon Walk in March 2011, and when we caught the wave of bluebells in the wood in April.  It may even be that the London contingent of the members' scheme appreciate the farm more than the local members: it is an escape.

But the scheme has also developed a local presence in Crouch End.  Members and farm representatives have featured in the local press several times, promoting the box and explaining its values.  Sam has represented the farm at two AGMs for Transition Crouch End and the farm provided the catering for the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group's meeting on sustainable food.

Livestock from the farm were a star attraction in the Crouch End Festival, featured in the local press (twice) and are now enshrined in the festival publicity.  The day the Church Farm lambs came to Stationers Park may well be the box scheme's finest moment. They inspired a raft of wool-themed activities in the local community centre and delighted the local children, and the scheme gained two more customers.

As I write the blog begins to feel like a valediction to an initiative that has been running for just over two years.  It does not seem likely to continue in its present form, but as a loyal member from the beginning I would like to keep a few doors open.  Alexandra Park Farmers' Market attracts between 30 and 50 producers every Sunday, as well as 1,500 to 2000 visitors but it is not the only market in town.  Harringay Market  was launched on 24 June and takes place every Sunday at North Harringay Primary School and on 1 September another market opened up in Bounds Green School. These small ventures may be a foothold for the farm to maintain that special relationship with North London, forged in Crouch End. 

Members visiting these markets would be able to support a local enterprise in a neighbouring area.  I for one would be happy to go the extra distance to keep the box scheme alive.