Archive for February, 2010

Nottingham Transition Market

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

Yesterday we went to the Transition Nottingham Market in Sneinton. It was a bitterly cold morning, and part of me wondered if it would be worth bothering with, but as we were out and about anyway we decided to make the effort.
It didn’t look too promising at first – the stallholders were all huddled against the freezing wind, and there weren’t many customers, but as we drew nearer we could hear funky music coming from a bike powered generator, and smell delicious food cooking. We wandered around for about half an hour, and in that time I had a really interesting chat with a guy from Ecoworks about their veg box scheme, bought a beginner’s crochet kit for my daughter’s birthday, and stocked up on homemade cakes and free range eggs. There was a stall selling bread made with flour from Green’s Windmill, and another with a huge range of organic seed potatoes. Everyone was friendly and happy to chat, and everything on offer was carefully made or sourced, with a real emphasis on local and sustainable produce.
This was only the second market organised by Transition Nottingham, so the scheme is very much in its infancy. Having gone to it almost by accident, I am now keen to find out when the next one takes place, and I would certainly recommend it as a welcome alternative to the normal ‘Saturday shopping’ experience, which tends to leave me short on patience and vowing never to go back! This market was less about ‘things’, and more about meeting people, exchanging ideas and building up a sense of community, and it was a great way to see some of the basic principles of the Transition movement in action.

Socal change and making friends

Monday, February 8th, 2010

I wanted to blog about the aspect of Transition Towns which inspires me the most. I have been around green issues for more years than I care to remember, to give you an idea I was around when something called the Ecology party and a manifesto for a Sustainable Society came about (think really 1970s!), this transmuted into the Green Party.

So for me the colliding dynamics of fossil fuel depletion and climate chaos are “old companions”. What excites me about the transition movement is the emphasis on a just transition for all, shaping our community so we can support each other in whatever way we can when things start to change, when the realisation of the incompatibility of ever increasing economic growth and a sustainable planet finally hits home. For me this is about empowerment, as individuals, as groups of individuals and as communities. Waiting for “Them” to do something is a waste of time. It is us, we, that can do things for ourselves, we don’t have to wait for gray men in gray suits in tall gray towers to “do something about it”. We can self organise locally, in our street, in our village. But before we can start to do some of the things which will make us resilient and ready to take on the challenges coming we need to be a community, to know and respect each other. When I sat in a tent in Keyworth show in 2007 I knew that this was something that had to be done, what I didn’t know then is how many wonderful and inspiring people I would meet. The Transition Keyworth group has encouraged me to get out there and make connections with my neighbours other groups in the village (not working full time helps with that one!)

So little by little, step by step I feel a change coming, a social change, something better………..

A second hello

Sunday, February 7th, 2010

I thought that as Alex has finally stepped forward and introduced himself, I’d better do the same. I’m Rachel, another of the regular TK bloggers. I’ve been involved with Transition Keyworth right from the start, and I’m really excited about the way it is finally starting to take off. Our membership is growing, new ideas are springing up, and a real energy is developing.
Anyway, I’m digressing slightly as this is supposed to be an introduction! So……well, I’m a little bit older than Alex, I’ve lived in Keyworth on and off for most of my life, and I’ve been interested in ‘green’ issues for as long as I can remember. This does not mean, though, that I’m some sort of ‘expert’ – I am learning all the time and am really looking forward to being able to share the ups and downs of my green adventures on this blog!
One of the issues that is currently bothering me concerns what happens to any waste food in our household. Now, I know that in an ideal world there would not BE any waste food, and I do work really hard to use up leftovers, not cook too much, etc. But the fact remains that from time to time there is food waste to dispose of. Up until last summer I was pretty much on top of it – the chickens ate most of any scraps, and I was using a system called ‘Bokashi’ with a reasonable amount of success. This entails having 2 special bins with very well sealed lids. The waste food goes into the bin and is sprinkled with a special bran mixture containing micro-organisms which acts on the food in a special way. Once the first bin is full you seal it and leave it until the second one is full, when you empty the first one into your normal compost bin. Once in there it seems to break down really well -I’ve composted whole chicken carcasses very successfully!
Anyway, this was all fine for a couple of years, but last summer we had a couple of incidents where the lid wasn’t totally sealed and we got maggots…<shudder>  Since then I’ve fallen back into the habit of putting food scraps into the landfill bin, but I do feel guilty about it. So I’m going to look into other alternatives,  and I’ll let you know how I get on!