Transition News

North Street: vision for the future

The prospective redevelopment of the North Street and Phoenix Industrial Estate area of Lewes has fuelled heated debate well before any formal planning application has been put forward. But with a site slap bang in the middle of a National Park, it also offers a golden opportunity to nurture a development that leads the way in environmental, economic and energy resilience. More...

25 Mar 2013.

Resilience, North Street & The Lewes Local Plan – Dirk Campbell

The prospective redevelopment of the North Street and Phoenix Industrial Estate has fuelled a heated debate among Lewesians well before the launch of any formal planning application. Many are concerned about what development will bring, but others see a golden opportunity to reshape the centre of Lewes and lead the way in environmental, economic and energy resilience. Dirk Campbell, of the TTL Steering Group, argues here that the site should be left to develop organically.... More...

18 Mar 2013.

Switching to Ethical Energy Suppliers

Take a look at this anti-EDF site encouraging people to switch to more ethical energy suppliers.

Also this report from WDM indicating corruption and sleaze in energy policy - a personal interpretation from one of the TTL Steering Group!  It's not a surprise, but it's good to have it documented.

14 Mar 2013.

Jon's Monthly Gardening Tips for Transitioners

Hot tips on prioritising what do do in the garden each month -
by Jon Gunson of TTL

In June we should have plenty of sunshine, and no frost. (It says here). So plant out your runner beans and tomatoes, your maincrop peas and carrots...but be ready with a watering can, in case it is dry, and a hoe, in case it rains, and the weeds flourish.

In May you can sow, or plant out: beans, dwarf and runner: beet, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, and cauliflower: courgettes, cucumber, and kale: marrows, melons, parsnips, peas, pumpkins, radishes, spinach, spring onions, squash, sweetcorn, swiss chard, turnips, and watercress. But sort the weeds out first, please.

April, then. Time to sow more peas, the last broad beans, and the first runners - but these last are vulnerable to late frosts, so it is perhaps best to start them in pots and plant out in May. Still time to get some onion sets in, and shallots, if you are quick. Easter is the traditional planting date for potatoes, but they are not very fussy. Get them in when and where you can, but don't forget to feed and water. Sow beetroot, chard, perpetual spinach, land cress, rocket and spring onions: plant out spring and summer cabbage, garlic, horseradish, jerusalem artichokes and cauliflowers.

March: SPUDS
I cannot remember what name was given to March in the French revolutionary calendar. Something to do with potatoes, I imagine: this is the month to buy, chit, and plant your first earlies. I understand that traditionalists would put things off a little longer, and certainly it is true that seed potatoes will rot in cold, wet ground: also, the young haulms are vulnerable to frost.

Winter Gardening: January & February
You can drive Nature out with a pitchfork, but she will always return. The modern equivalents of the pitchfork are, I suppose, the gruesome armoury of horticultural chemicals - pesticides, fungicides, and postemergent herbicides...  There is another way of coping, and it involves working with the natural world, not against it...

Winter Gardening: December
December is perhaps the best month for that important job, winter digging. The soil should be warm enough to work, and dry enough to walk on without causing compaction. And at other times of the year, of course, it is likely to have stuff growing in it...

Food Growing Tips for November
Presumably anyone interested in Transition is also interested in growing their own food; however, some may just be learning how to do so, and the rest of us, being busy, might profit from the occasional seasonal tip.  November is a good time to plant the alliums – onions, shallots, and garlic...

1 Jan 1970.

New ways of thinking and a new word to match: 'Naturegain'

Naturegain  is a word who’s meaning captures what nature does for us and how we can help. As an example:

All our water comes from Nature. But did you know that, in Lewes, we don’t get all our water from reservoirs; much of our water actually comes from groundwater? This is because of our setting in the local chalk hills and is influenced by the way the chalk landscapes are managed. Rainwater percolates through the chalk rock and then comes out from springs or is pumped from bore holes. We pay the local water company because they provide the infrastructure and management (pumps and pipes and ‘stuff’), but behind the engineering, water is a product of naturegain.

Clean air is also a product of naturegain. It is natural processes – principally living plants – that produce the oxygen we breathe. Perhaps less obviously, the economy comes into it too! According to one of the Senior Managers at Deutsche Bank, naturegain (although he calls it ‘natural flows’) is a very important part of the ‘invisible economy’ (more). Without naturegain, our economies would not function as we know them. However, its contribution is invisible because it is not given a monetary value by conventional economic measures and indicators. Naturegain is an ‘externality’, which means it is not accounted for in the economy.

And here’s the other side of the equation! Past a certain point, we only gain from nature if nature gains from us. We need to invest in nature to get what we need from natural processes and systems. So naturegain includes the gain that nature gets from us! The problem here is that because it is invisible in the economy, normal economic progress and growth often leads to destruction or degradation of nature. This is a bit like cutting off the legs of a chair in order to put wood on the fire and then expecting to be able to sit on the chair to enjoy the warmth of the fire. What is needed then is to re-gain nature.

All this is what naturegain says in one simple word! (watch it as a slideshow for best results)

1 Jan 1970.
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