This was the week that summer arrived.
With temperatures over 15°C all week the chickens have been very happy, sometimes laying as much as an egg a day each! And the broad beans, peas, and lettuces are all coming along nicely too.
At Monday’s meeting we focused on two key projects. Casper Gray’s “Sustainable Modern Lifestyles” is now starting to build momentum.
And Cian Duggan kicked-off an equally important project: looking at how we will generate the energy we need in Farnham once cheap oil has gone.
The “Energy Independence for Farnham” project has two strands looking at how we can generate (sustainable) local energy, and how we can reduce the amount of energy we need (through insulation etc). It will do this at three different scales:
> Small: individual buildings, homes, scout huts, etc
> Medium: larger residential and office blocks, schools, hotels, care homes etc
> Large: ‘parish’ scale, such as Wrecclesham, the Bourne, Upper Hale…
Clearly this is going to be a big project, so if you would like to get involved, Cian would love to hear from you.
Following the success of their first event, Eloise Grey announced that the Sustainable Fashion Group will now be holding another clothes swap party on Tuesday 5 May. The location is the same as last time (Purity boutique, 20 Downing Street). With a later start time of 7:30pm, the focus this time will be on Special Occasion Wear — weddings, the races…
It looks like it’s going to be a good summer for weddings, so this could be the perfect opportunity to pick up the (free) stunning new outfit you’ve been looking for!!
On Tuesday two members of Transition Farnham met with leaders from the Forestry Commission in the South East and at Alice Holt Forest in particular.
It turned out that Alice Holt is already doing several things that will help to address the top Transition priorities that we need solutions to:
Agroforestry is a possible way to grow more food on the same amount of land. And venison and rabbit are two simple forest food products that could be harvested very quickly.
As oil and gas prices rise, wood from Alice Holt could help to heat our homes (and be nearly carbon-neutral!).
Alice Holt is already working to gain support for an all-weather cycle route that would run from Farnham and Bentley through Bordon and Whitehill to Petersfield — a great amenity for commuters and leisure cyclists alike.
As the energy we use to make concrete, cement, bricks and steel becomes more and more expensive, wood will again become a very important building material for construction.
Alice Holt already runs education classes for both adults and children. Use of its facilities could be expanded, especially if public transport links were improved.
> Creating Local Businesses, Local Jobs
Each of these new ways of using the forest creates new local jobs. These can replace the jobs which are being lost through the recession in the oil-based economy. (And when the forest is well-managed, it also helps to increase wildlife and biodiversity.)
Finally, here are some snippets and announcements that have come our way during the week:
> A “Bricks and Bread” sustainable living centre will be opening in Aldershot shortly. The centre will offer events, information, products and training. More information on this page.
> The Hampshire Green Fair 2009 takes place at the Sustainability Centre near East Meon on Sunday 10th May from 10am – 4pm
> May madrigals will again be sung to welcome the spring at St Thomas on the Bourne on Monday 4th May. Start time is 10am, followed by a bank holiday breakfast. There is no religious element. All are welcome. More details here.
> On Saturday 23 May the Farnham Creates project will be hosting a FREE “Secret Garden Music Festival“, in the Library Gardens. Twenty four bands will play on two stages from 2pm till 10:30pm, with food and drink (or bring your own picnic). More info here and here.
“Buy an energy saving lightbulb, and we’ll give you some airmiles” — which of course will instantly wipe out the positive benefit of the lightbulb, many times over!!!
As Ed Gillespie put it, “What’s next? A free packet of 20 Benson and Hedges with every Nicorette patch?”