A website worth looking at showing two possible energy futures:
What are the benefits coming from our local environment to our businesses, our communities, our personal well-being – and our overall economy? Would putting a market value on our ‘natural capital’ make us protect and invest in it more? And what are the steps we need to take now to provide greater resilience for our communities, landscape and local economy in the face of potential effects of climate change?
|These were some of the issues explored at a landmark workshop at the Linklater Pavilion in July, co-hosted by the Lewes & Ouse Valley eco-nomics (L&OVe) Group (part of Transition Town Lewes) and Environment Agency South East’s Coastal Communities 2150 (CC2150) team. More....|
|In a recent article on allotments, Julian Baggini says, "But let's not kid ourselves they reduce food miles or increase food security. The case for allotments is spiritual and psychological, not economic or environmental." Don't you hate it when people confuse cynicism with realism, especially if they call themselves philosophers!|
...And presumably should have thought quite hard about those particular words. Anyway, if anyone wants to ask their local council to create more allotments to satisfy their spiritual cravings, I wish them the best of luck.
I would suggest that if anyone wants to discuss food security, they might as well start with a study of military history. There really is no point in having a big army unless you can feed your population, which is why blockade has always been a vital strategy in any conflict that lasts more than a few days. Interesting statistic: the Dig for Victory campaign was so successful in WWII that by 1943, more than one million tons of vegetables were being grown in British gardens and allotments. Now there is a target to aim for. And since the vast majority of this would otherwise have been imported, I imagine that even Mr Baggini would accept that there is a statistically significant reduction of food miles involved....
After a hot day, the sun is at last going down, so I shall go out and water my raised beds. I suspect that the potatoes need a good feed, by now: tomato food will probably do as well as anything, at this stage. There is still time to plant beetroot and lettuce, carrots, French beans, and spring onions - oh, and peas, if you choose an 'early' variety, which will grow quickly. I am not really qualified to assess their spiritual value, but the taste is usually rather good.
Jon Gunson, TTL.
Does Population Matter?
One of the world’s leading geographers Professor Danny Dorling visits the RSA to argue that our concerns over population growth may be overblown. You can hear it on the RSA audio website...
Rob Hopkins launched a copy of his new book "The Power of Just Doing Stuff" from Worthing Beach last week. Read it here...
Rob Hopkins talk in Worthing
PRODUCE MANAGER (Ideally a Full Time Position)
Barcombe Nurseries Organic Vegetable Box Scheme is looking for someone with good IT, writing and marketing skills to work in their office.
Knowledge of growing and/or preparing fresh produce would be useful as a key part of the position will be to liaise with our own nursery and other growers to plan our weekly box contents creatively. You need to be energetic, communicative and prepared to work as one of a team in the office, packshed and nursery, have a friendly phone manner and strong general office and organizational skills. Due to our rural location you need to have your own transport.
The post is in a farm setting with a basic no frills office! (Frills slowly being added!) Some physical work could be included. If you are interested please send a CV and covering letter to email@example.com
or to Barcombe Nurseries, Mill Lane, Barcombe, BN8 5TH.
'A lot of you, perhaps most of you, will have caught sight of the article in recent Sussex Express ‘Hotel application must be resisted’. It highlights proposals for a 62-bed hotel and shops on the site of the former Magistrates’ Court in Lewes. Premier Inn are the front runners and while little detail is given about the retail mix, a separate article in the Argus quotes Ben Ellis, a director of Quora as saying “We believe this will not only increase footfall in Lewes town centre but also help to support the local economy” with the creation of 60 full and part time jobs. ...If only it were that easy.' Read it on the Lewes Pound website...
|Do you know of examples of good school food in the Lewes area, or schools where people are working for improvements?|
The TTL Food Group and the Lewes Food Market are represented on the county working group on local food, which is part of the East Sussex Environment Strategy. We are focusing on food provided to schools, the NHS, care homes and other institutions. There is a lot of positive activity in East Sussex and nearby, partly through the Lottery-funded Food For Life partnership, which includes the Soil Association. It promotes local, traceable, healthier food, and the standards for catering suppliers include a proportion of free range and organic production. We may soon be looking for pilot schools.
Email Ann to share your experience and find out more.
I have recently been reminded that not everyone who reads this newsletter is a skilled and experienced gardener, and that perhaps a few words about the basics may, occasionally, be welcome. What follows is for those of you who get flustered when NPK ratios are mentioned, and wonder if they're something to do with a civil war in Turkey. (The experts can toddle off and read about Eco Houses and the £Lewes).
|Plants need six macronutrients. The three most important are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K, presumably because when the periodic table was put together, P was already taken, so they used its Latin name: kalium). More...|
The Burning Question addresses the fiendish system we are all entangled in, that works despite our wishes and future welfare, to drive more exploration of fossil fuels, including fracking. We cannot burn most of the reserves that companies and countries already hold. The book outlines potential solutions holistically, and for me helps to put in context the various things that I and others are involved in. Ultimately (and soon) we have to turn off the tap and put a global limit on extraction, unless the emissions can be captured and stored.
Individual and community actions provide leadership and help people to see that change is OK. Disinvestment by pension schemes etc can also help, but there has to be a huge democratic push for capping. The book helps plan a process of change - a kind of self-induced peak oil - which strengthens hope.
I have invited one of the authors to come and speak in Lewes in the autumn. In the mean time, I strongly recommend the book and would like to discuss it more. Ann Link
There are around 80 businesses that take the Lewes Pound.
Take a look...
“He is made one with nature …. Sustains it from below and kindles it above”, Shelley.
There’s symbolism in the air! The ‘Green Man’ came late this year, almost certainly slowed (in part, at least) by our interference with nature’s cycles. Shelley’s words show us what we get from him …. But we also need to give back, allow him full flow; to start treating the ‘Green Man’ as a friend rather than a slave ….
Seedy Saturday is a much loved event that takes place in Lewes on the first Saturday in February. It is a community event run by a partnership of local organisations and individuals who form a steering group as a sub-group of Common Cause. It is a financially sustainable event and has a remit to reach adults and children who may not normally attend the event.
|It aims to provide opportunities for adults and children to swap seeds, learn about seeds, plants and related issues, learn about community growing activities, buy seeds from independent seed merchants and growers and locally made food and garden products.|
The Steering Group is looking for people to join it to build on Seedy Saturday’s success and reach more people. We are keen to increase our profile using social media and to create an image which the public will identify with us and help us spread our message. We are particularly looking for people who can help as do this, but all helpers are welcome. If you would like to be involved in Seedy Saturday Lewes 2014 please get in touch
A fascinating story of how to make traffic work using 'shared space'. There are some interesting principles here...
India’s culture of jugaad, or frugal innovation, has helped produce a wide range of sustainable breakthroughs. Are there lessons there for the rest of the world? Read it here on Green Wise...
|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.|
At least we have had reasonable weather while the blossom is on the fruit trees: with luck, a very good year for apples, pears, and plums. More...
Jon Gunson, Transition Town Lewes.
Jon's Food Growing Tips for July
Transition Towns visit Germany
Chris and Tom are back from Germany where they went to find out more about renewable energy - take a look at their blog to follow their week.
|The one week trip started with a train journey on the 20th April to Frankfurt, arranged by Dirk Bischof from Embrace Cooperation Ltd.
Chris Rowland is a director of Ovesco and supporter of the Transition Town Lewes Energy Group and Tom Broughton is a key contact for Transition Town Chichester. Read their blog about the trip to find out more about how they deploy renewable energy in Germany.
Chris & Tom's BLOG...
A sparkling new summer edition of Transition Free Press is out now. As well as news, reviews and interviews on all transition subjects under the sun, this edition includes a 'Lewes in Transition' special with features on the Lewes Pound, the North Street development and fracking.
|TFP costs £1 and is available to buy at the Friday Food Market, the monthly Farmers Market and also Pleasant Stores and The Buttercup Cafe. To request copies or discuss advertising contact Alexis|