Carnival 2009

A big warm well done to the carnival crew, and a big cheer for Paul W for his efforts as master presser.

We had a good time in the summer sun on Saturday and fortunately copious amounts of thirst quenching juice to ease the pressure of selling to a crowd. It carnival 1was nice to be next to the FLFI team, and it was great be out in the sun.

Various children were press-ganged as apple juicers, and they loved taking it in turns to grind the apples, and then trying strongman tactics to squeeze the last drops from the stacks of pulped pommes.

The Big Farnham Map had a public outing, and we managed to get our first 8 sites marked up, including the whereabouts of a medlar, a black mulberry and a walnut.

carnival 2Hopefully, we’ll be joined on Monday by two new transitioneers… (not pictured left and above) and we made a fantastic contact with Guildford’s countryside officer who was very interested in what we’re doing and wants to cross-pollinate with Transition Town Guildford for their orchards programme.

carnival 3On a strategic note, there’s something to be said about the way we engage here… this was fun, simple, legible and as far away from the “fear” factor as we could get. Most people can deal with this. Our Mayor noted too that the language of the greening campaign was accessible and understood, and a safe bet if we build activities on the back of it. Also, being at the carnival was a distinct “Market”; we competed with the Donut queues and the face painters for attention and had to work extremely hard to sell our 180 cups of juice. There was a distinct feeling of what the “real world” was like that we’re pitching ourselves into, and it struck me that that being in front of a passer-by selling local juice and striking up a conversation about local food wins the bigger sale.

Perhaps the lesson I learnt was that a stall at an event like this gives us the real opportunity to learn how to engage with the wider public, because we have to work hard to air our views and make it accessible. It also drags us out of our safe “group” discussion, and drops us in the deep end of open discourse.

And finally…the biggest cheer of the day has to go to Caspar….because without you mate, Saturday was just another carnival.

Alex

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