Newsletter 12 May 2010 - Transition Town Brixton

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Newsletter 12 May 2010 - Transition Town Brixton Powered By Docstoc
					                  Brixton Food and Growing Group May 2010 Newsletter
        Hello Foodies – this newsletter can also be found at

Spring Plant Fair this Sunday at Brixton Farmers Market
   Grower’s Guide is published and the new Master
               Gardener scheme starting
       Don’t miss the Spring Plant Fair at the Brixton Farmers’ Market this Sunday! 10 - 2

            The ‘Grower’s Guide: How to start a community garden’ is now published

 The Master Gardener scheme has been launched by Garden Organic in South London and we
                      will be lending support at the community shop

                                           Further details below …
                                           Newsletter contents
Food and Growing Group news:
    Food and Growing group coordinators update
    Main projects being worked on at the moment
    Transition Town Brixton is now a Community Interest Company
    Late news! Spring Plant Fair @ Brixton Farmers’ Market. Sunday, 23rd May, 10 – 2. A spectacular
       range of plants for sale including herbaceous plants, herbs, wildflowers, fruit trees and much more
      Growing Summer Veg event, Sunday, 23rd May, 1pm-5pm, at the Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses,
       including plant sale – over 40 different varieties of tomato! Hourly talks by an expert gardener.
      Dulwich Vegetable Garden - Volunteer Work Morning, Sunday, 23rd May, 10am – 1:30pm, Southwark
      Sunflower Spectacular, Sunday, 23rd May, 2pm – 4pm, Lambeth, - Plant the pavements with Streets Ahead.
       Tools, gloves and plants provided.
      Young people from Brixton create their own wild drink! Half term children’s wild foraging and nettle beer
       making and launch at Cornercopia on 5th June – reserve a table now!
      Transition Town Brixton ‘Our Space’ evening at the Loughborough Community Centre, Monday 7 June 6-9pm,
       ‘How to make your balcony delicious‘, Master Gardener stand and more
      Myatt’s Fields Fair, Saturday 19th June, – opportunities to get involved or just come along
      Conference - Getting Down to Business – How to make your community food growing project economically
       viable. Friday 25th June, 10.30 – At the School of African and Oriental Studies Food Studies Centre
    15th June Community Café training in Greenwich
    Important new scheme! Master Gardener programme launched – first 2-day course in June. Organized by
       Garden Organic with local organizer for South London. Enroll now for June, September and Spring 2011
       Market managers needed for exciting Local Food Veg Van in Sutton! Deadline 28th May
    Quince tree contact needed by local jam maker – source of quince needed in exchange for some of their
    Lawnmower – a Flymo lawnmower has been donated. Contact us if you are interested in having it – we would
       prefer it would go to a community group, or where it can be shared between garden owners – but not essential
       if you can make a case. Email or call 07821 401 793
    Unused polytunnel available in Herne Hill – 30ft x 18ft polytunnel (brick walls with polytunnel roof) is available
       for someone to use. Email Jo Self –


Coordinators update
       Open Space evenings, Food group meetings: As usual it has been a busy time. Since the end of February we
        have participated in two TTB Open Space evenings, providing food, plant and equipment swap/sale and
        freecycle, and, on the first evening, an open meeting. The notes on the open meeting can be seen on our
        Minutes and Mindmaps page

       Planning meetings: In between open meetings we have planning, business meetings where those of us
        interested in working on particular projects, or the general organizing of things get together. These are quite
        informal evenings, meeting in people’s houses. We don’t always take notes formally, but did for the last one,
        which you can see also on the Minutes page (link above). As you will see, that one covered a lot of ground!

       TTB AGM: We have also participated in the TTB AGM – our year’s report is not on the wiki yet – there hasn’t
        been time to add it, but we will let you know when it is there.

       Permaculture: We have held a Permaculture course – many thanks to Katy Press for doing the organizing and
        Katy Thompson for helping on the weekend. We hope to make this a regular feature.

       Community Shop: Katy T and Penny have been in the Community Shop most Fridays. Katy T in the morning and
        Penny in the afternoon – so you may see them then. TTB have decided to keep the Community Shop going,
        despite the difficulty of raising the money for the rent, as it is such a wonderful meeting and organizing space.
        Please support it by coming to the shop to buy things, make a donation or volunteer to man it.

       Other projects: There are lots of other things on the go! The main ones we are working on are listed below. To
        see the whole range, look on the website or the tasks spreadsheet

As always, if you need more information or want to get involved in any of these, please contact us at Also, there is too much detail to put everything in our newsletters or on the wiki, so let us know if
you have specific query.

Best wishes and hope to see you soon

Coordinators Penny Noy, Katy Press and Katy Thompson

PS Don’t forget that there are also the regular Green Drinks - 7pm Trinity Arms, 45 Trinity Gardens, London, SW9 8DR
(map) An opportunity to meet informally and exchange experience, find contacts etc. about all the work of Transition
Town Brixton, not just our group. Brixton Green Drinks happens on the third Wednesday of every month. See the
GreenDrinks site for more info and for a link to Green Drinks in other areas.

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Main Projects at the Moment
The projects we are working on most at the moment are:

       TTB Bees – Steve and Sonja have visited venues for possible courses, set up an online survey form and collected
        information about the two methods – Traditional and Natural. The natural method is relatively new and does
        not involve clipping the queen’s wings or feeding the bees over winter with sugar water. Its main aim is not to
        produce sugar, but to look after the bees. However, as it is new, there is not so much support for this method.
        We are in the process of deciding which of these systems to organize the course for. Steve and Sonja are also in
        the process of agreeing where our hives are going to be located. If you are interested in attending the course
        and have not filled in the form – please go to where you will
        also find more information.

       BAG gardening – the funding application for this is ongoing – Katy T has had several meetings and is writing the
        next part of the application.

       Website and bulletin board for plant and equipment swap or sale – several of us have met to discuss this and
        are producing a design, we have also contacted Project Dirt as they have said that they are going to do
        something similar

       Community Garden guide: We are putting together a list of community gardens. They are springing up all the
        time, so it is hard to keep up with them

       Setting up a Community Garden guide: published and available on the website Many thanks to Bonnie Hewson and
        James McDonald for writing it and Alexa Mottram and Chris Rodier for editing and putting it together.

       Box scheme and Hackney Growing Communities start-up programme: we’ll be sending out more details about
        this. The next stage is for us to fill out the Expression of Interest Form.

       Energy Descent Action plan: Sorry, we have been so busy that we have not got the group together to write this.
        This year it is still the plan to do this, so we may halt some other activities to make time for this.

Do contact us if you would like to be involved in any of these at

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TTB is now a Community Interest Company
TTB is now a Community Interest Company which means that we will be able to apply for more funding as we have a
recognized structure. We now have 7 directors and one of our coordinators, Penny, is a director – so communication
with the directors will be straightforward. We are looking at what kind of organization to have and have had an evening
workshop on Sociocracy – an alternative system for organizations. Questions such as,

       Should we have a formal membership (currently only the directors are members)?
       How should the directors work with the Working Group Forum (made up of the Group Coordinators, Secretary
        and Chair)?

       How should strategy be worked out?

Basically the discussion is about what kind of organization TTB should be. The immediate need is for a businesslike
organization that can qualify for, administer and attract funding in addition to facilitating the work of the groups, and to
a lesser extent covering general functions, such as the website and communications. However, in the longer term it is
important that the organization is democratic – representing and involving its membership, however defined. Whilst
recognizing that it is a great strength to have the ability to grow ‘organically’ by enabling people to act very freely on
their own plans and thus release their own energy.

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Spring Plant Fair @ Brixton Farmers’ Market
10 –2 Sunday 23rd May
Next to Brixton Recreation Centre, Brixton Station Road SW2

A spectacular range of plants for sale including herbaceous plants, annuals, bedding and hanging basket
plants, herbs, wildflowers, climbers, shrubs and fruit trees and much more, something to suit every
gardener. Independent nurseries, ornamental growers plus English grown cut flowers will all be there.

The nursery staff will be on hand to offer help and growing advice with some special tricks of the trade for
any problems you may have in the garden.

Plus the regular farmers market will be open as usual for all your fresh food requirements including, fruit,
vegetables, meats and dairy

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Growing Summer Veg Event
Need some Summer Veg Inspiration? Always wanted to know how to look after chillies or tomatoes? Brockwell Park
Community Greenhouses is holding a Growing Summer Veg event on Sunday 23rd May 2010 1pm-5pm

Hourly talks will be given by our expert gardeners on everything from planting to harvesting your summer veg

Want to start your own veg garden? We’ll be having a plant sale with prices from just 50p! Over 40 kinds of tomato
plants for sale! Address: Brockwell Park, Norwood Road, SE24 0PA

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Dulwich Vegetable Garden - Volunteer Work Morning
Sunday, 23rd May, Southwark, 10am – 1:30pm - Trees have been cut back, paths have been finished and the greenhouse
has been built - time to follow up with some serious growing!

More details:

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Sunflower Spectacular
 Sunday, 23rd May, Lambeth, 2pm – 4pm - Plant the pavements with Streets Ahead. Tools, gloves and plants provided.
Location: Vassal, around Calwell Gardens Estate

More details:

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Young people from Brixton create their own wild drink
In the summer half term, young people from Grove Adventure Playground will be creating their own special drink of
nettle and ginger beer, complete with unique labels to launch at Brixton Cornercopia, in Brixton Village, a corner shop
with a difference, selling locally made preserves and serving lunches made mostly with market-sourced or locally grown
and sometimes foraged ingredients.

The young people, aged 7 – 13 will first forage for nettles in surrounding green spaces with wild food artist Ceri Buck
from the Invisible Food project, they will make their own version of nettle and ginger beer and while it’s left to brew
over the half term week, they’ll be creating their own labels before a bottling and tasting session at Grove Adventure
Playground on the Friday 4th June and a launch at Brixton Cornercopia on Saturday 5th June.

For more information please contact Ceri Buck on 07963 446605 or

Grove Adventure Playground: (

Brixton Cornercopia is located at no.65 Brixton Village Market, at the junction of Coldharbour lane and Atlantic Road.
Weekly menus and other updates can be found here To reserve a table for lunch on
Saturday 5th June email

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TTB OUR SPACE open evening including skill share tasters, plant/pot/tool swap
and ‘How to make your balcony delicious - food growing in tiny spaces’
Monday 7 June 6-9pm,
Loughborough Centre, 105 Angell Road (corner of Barrington Road) SW9 7DT
Light refreshments provided. Donations welcome. TTB hires the space - you make it what it is...

       Skill share tasters: seed sowing, carpentry/DIY basics,
       6.30 ‘How to make your balcony delicious - food growing in tiny spaces’ - with pictures. Penny Klees of the
        Loughborough Estate
       Transition Shorts - inspiring short films 6-7pm
       Master Gardener programme stand – advice available
       Seed/plant/pot/tool swap
       and whatever else you want to happen!

Please tell people and BRING FRIENDS. Email TTB – if you want to offer an activity, a skill
share, some swapping or trading, a film, a meeting, a discussion...

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Fruit and vegetable growing in Lambeth will be put under the spotlight during Myatt’s Fields Park’s midsummer fair on
19th June.
Volunteers living around the park have planted a variety of fruit and vegetables in and around the park’s community
greenhouse since February 2010.

The new growing project makes the park perfect for the launch of Incredible Edible Lambeth, a new scheme which aims
to support food growing across Lambeth. Led at present by Lambeth, it is hoped this will develop as a partnership with
community groups and individual growers.

As well as children’s entertainment, music on the bandstand, dance, a small fairground and community stalls, a host of
free food-related activities at the fair will include:

• Cake baking and vegetable growing competitions
• Talks about growing food in a small space and guerrilla gardening
• Cooking demonstrations and cook and eat sessions
* Pizzas from a wood burning pizza oven
• Tours of the park’s community greenhouse and fruit orchard
* Bee keeping demonstrations
• Composting workshops
• Recipe sharing
• Support for new food and growing projects
• Showcase of food and growing projects throughout Lambeth
• Resources for people interested in developing local growing and food projects

Music on the bandstand will include Errol Linton’s Blues Vibe and the Ceilidh Factory, who will lead visitors in a
traditional Ceilidh dance.

Community and growing groups, schools and individuals can get involved by:

            o   Entering competitions which include cake baking, jam and pickle making, prettiest salad and prettiest
                wildflower posy in a jam jar.
            o   Volunteering to help on the day
            o   Booking a stall for their project or business
            o   Coming along on the day and helping us to map the growing that’s happening in Lambeth

The fair will run from 1pm to 5pm on 19th June. The following day will see a Tea Dance by Ragroof featuring Ida Barr's
Mash-up, Camberwell Arts Festival, 20th June, and run by Home Live Arts.

The park’s new café, the Little Cat Café, will be open for both the fair and the tea dance, offering cream teas and home
made cakes. The café is run by volunteers as a social enterprise.
If you would like to have a presence at the fair and run and activity to promote your own project contact Sue Sheehan 020
7926 7672 There will be a chance to put your community food growing project on a 'map'
and to answer their survey about what sort of support you would be looking for for your food project. Most importantly it is
a great chance to network with other community food growers and people who want to network with you, such as Garden
Organic, which is just about to launch a Master Gardener's programme in the borough.

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Conference: Getting Down to Business – How to make your community food
growing project economically viable
Friday 25th June, 10.30 - 5.30 School of African and Oriental Studies, London . Local Action on Food, London Food Link
and SOAS Food Studies Centre are organising a national conference to explore what steps can be taken to help
community food growing projects generate income and become economically viable (be it through food production and
sale, setting up box schemes, providing training, linking up with GP referrals, etc). Morning and afternoon sessions will
focus on: successful models and replication, increasing the scale of food production, diversifying your income from a
range of activities, and finding support in the community. Visit for a list of speakers and to
book a place. Contact Anna or Polly for more information on 0207 837 1228. Early Birds get a discount!

There is a charge (£25-£45). If you are part of an unfunded group and you are unable to pay, contact Susan Sheehan,
Green Community Champions Officer with Lambeth council, as she is able to fund some places. Priority will be given to
groups that have not recently received funding from Lambeth or Capital Growth. 020 7926

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Community Cafe Training 15 June
The Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA) is offering an exciting new Community Cafe Training course.
The training will take place on 15th June from 10 - 4 at their training facilities in Greenwich. The cost for the day per
person is £40 and includes refreshments and lunch. The day is aimed at anyone who is currently working in a community
cafe, or who plans to set one up and promises to be an extremely useful, informative day with plenty of practical tools to
take away.

There are only 16 places, so if you'd like to book a place then please contact Mel Taylor, Training Development Manager
Good Food Training for London, as soon as possible -

Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency
Unit 6, Greenwich Centre Business Park
53 Norman Road
London SE10 9QF
Tel no: 020 8269 4880
Greenwich Centre Business Park is at the junction of Norman Road and Tarvis Way and it is 3 minutes walk from the
Tarvis Way back exit of Greenwich DLR-Train Station.

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Master Gardener training - South London programme starts!
The Master Gardener programme will establish a volunteer network supporting people and communities grow fruit and
vegetables in their gardens and on local communal land. Organized by Garden Organic, the south London Master
Gardener programme has now begun with coordinator Sarah Cannon now out and about locally. Sarah is recruiting the
first volunteers for June training.

Recruiting is being done through the ’street rep’ network of Food Up Front and through local growing groups and
initiatives (including via the local authority partners to be announced). They are also looking for training venues and
inspiring food growing sites to visit. Currently they are recruiting their first 20 Master Gardeners from May for their two-
day foundation training course in June 2010 and recruiting more Master Gardeners for foundation courses in September
2010 and spring 2011.

Places available for the first training weekend! Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th June, Roots and Shoots, Walnut Tree Walk,
London SE11 6DN.

Ongoing support for south London Master Gardeners from Sarah and the programme team includes top-up training,
resources, advice, etc.

Find out more: Visit the

Contact Sarah via this web form or email her at about enrolling in the south London programme. She will also be available at the next
‘Our Space’ evening on 7th June.

 Here are Food and Growing group Coordinators Penny (middle) and Katie (right) at the Transition Town Brixton
community shop with Master Gardener volunteer coordinator Sarah Cannon (left).

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Market managers needed for exciting Local Food Veg Van in Sutton!
Environmental charity BioRegional has launched a new local food market, a refurbished veg-o-flaged electric milkfloat,
the Veg Van ( , and is looking for a Market Manager to set up, run and promote the new market in
Hackbridge, Sutton (Zone 4). This is an exciting opportunity to be part of the new One Planet Food project and increase
local, healthy, sustainable food in Sutton.

The role is part-time:
Thursdays from 14.30 – 18.00 and provisionally additional hours
£8.10 / hour. Contract type : Permanent

 If you have a good work ethic and are interested in local produce and related issues, then working at one of our markets
will be a fun and rewarding experience. Our stalls are busy and so we work at high energy levels in a way that engages
customers and increases their loyalty to our range of produce.

To apply please send your CV with cover letter outlining your relevant experience to

Deadline for applications: midday 28 May 2010. So, if the opportunity to sell fresh and delicious fruit and vegetables
excites you and you think you have the necessary qualities to be successful in the role, then please apply and tell us why.

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Quince tree needed by Potter’s Preserves‘
Email received from David Potter:

“We are a small producer of preserves and we are hoping to source more local quince this year. If you have a surplus of
quince later in the year, we would love to exchange them for some of our preserves. We sell our products at the Oval
Farmers Market (St Mark's Church grounds) on the first Saturday of each month and at Bermondsey Farmers Market
(Bermondsey Square, off Tower Bridge Road) on the second Saturday of the month. We are also at Blackheath Market
(car park next to the station) on the fourth Sunday of the month. Contact David or Stephanie Potter at one of the
makets or on email”

Note: Potter’s Preserves reuses jam and chutney jars and gives a discount on your next purchase, when you return

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