Tonight’s meeting

Well, tonight’s meeting was really fun — eleven of us sitting round the table, eating and drinking and then discussing what has worked over the past 2 years, what hasn’t and what we’d like to do next.

Bottom line is that we’re going to resume meeting every two weeks, with each meeting focusing [mostly] on one particular project. We seem to be moving towards Transition Farnham being an organisation that launches projects — comes up with ideas, tests them, and launches the ones that could work, out into the wider community. And maintains some sort of ongoing communication(s) with that community, keeping in touch with people who would be interested.

As Bysh said, we’re all on our own individual transitions — most of us had stories of things we’d done in the past two years that we wouldn’t have done if it hadn’t been for our involvement in Transition — and the role of Transition Farnham need be nothing more than maintaining our personal transitions, and helping/facilitating others to make whatever changes they want to.

A couple more detailed minutes from the meeting will be posted in the morning.

Good night 🙂

Here are some notes kindly taken by Ruth last night.

The conversation moved back and forth between What do we want to achieve, What have achieved, What have we learned, and What do we want to do next?

The conclusion was to meet every two weeks, in one of our homes, and focus on working together more to help each other achieve our projects.

The general theme (IMHO) was that the most useful changes over the past two years had been the ones we had made in our own lives and that had been fun, and that our focus should be to continue to help each other achieve this, and maybe be a place where others can join and do the same.

What have we achieved:

What do we like doing, what don’t we like

Ian: Something I’ve realised, we have to have community – that will enable us to transition smoothly, but to get the community it takes individuals to become more aware of themselves, others, and nature, so it is an individual transformation and this is fundamental – this ties in with what the church does. My own personal journey means I now live in a yurt.  : Why? What motivated Ian: Get closer to nature, out of a square box, away from electrical equipment : so it’s a round box?I: I’t s spiritual experience, I enjoy it more than I expected, and it was transition that got me thinking about it

Finn: Built raised veg beds, started keeping chickens, took a Permaculture course

Joyce: Bought a greenhouse, and joined FLFI, Farnham Local Food Initiative

Garden share – Happening around Farnham (Land share?) – Dippenhall Land, Interstitial Spaces, Loft Busting, Gail’s Training Courses, [Chris] School lessons – Heath End, Weyborne; Barnfest, other

Gayle: March 2011 – Climate Week. Launch reception, Climate Week, – this is a focused week put on by the UN (Al Gore, Kofi Anan, movie stars, celebs) – we met in Central Hall, Westminster, which is where the UN first met, 800 people, 34 nations represented, the people who are doing things. Fantastic – Girl Guides, etc, we were the only transition town invited (our website is well optimised), as a positive response to climate change people were really interested in what TT can do for them. The challenge is to launch community events next March, spring the message – locally…

Finn: Climate Week is great, but first let’s be clear about what is our agenda, why am I here, what do I want to get out of it, and what do I want to do in 2011 because I want to do it – and then we can know whether Climate Week might be something I/we want to do, it may not – Unlike the Climate Week organizers we have been on the ground and have better experience of what we want to achieve and how to achieve it.

Joyce(?): Maybe some people have strong opinions, but if we want, I want to do something good to make Farnham more resilient, and I can’t necessarily think of anything apart from food, but other people have ideas, and I like to join in with other people

Ian: things that make me angry about Farnham, kicking Marios out of the passage way. The level of traffic – why does it have to be like this?

Jonathan: young families trapped from London, working Mon-Fri in London, wives also working – “What would you really like?” “I want a pig”, is the answer – We have salvation for them, I ask if they have heard of TTF or FLFI, I explain it and eyes light up – we have vast numbers of people and we need to market what we are thinking about and doing – people have moved here thinking it’s mid Devon! We could show them a quality of life that is about interaction with land, we have the links – I would flag up communications

Alex: It’s nice to meet people on a similar wavelength, trying to go in the same direction. Leaflet on the commuter train! [violent agreement]

Pam: People don’t have time

Jonathan/Alex: need a mechanism, what about a pig-share scheme – this linking can happen, it’s organising this, I am excited, working out an agreement, I have met a lawyer who can help us work this out – set up the model – we have lots of contacts that can produce things, and increase value.

Paula: There is a scheme – sharing the slaughter – google “pig share” to find the schemes.

Pam: Ian hit on an important thing – transport – a scheme that everybody could gain from would be good. I am retired and have to rely on the bus, there is no Sunday bus.

Gayle: There is a community car share in Bucks Horn Oaks – volunteers – this is local community initiative.

Pam: People feel they are imposing – we need something where you have independence to go somewhere and get the transport – need to think it out and decide whether/what to do about it

Gayle: For the record, I want to keep doing more of what I’m doing, I’m enjoying it.

Ian: Finding things people get passionate about and enjoy is important

Finn: my own life changes have been important; we started that we were doing things separately, and I got the feeling that if we would pull together, we would achieve more, we had 12 people doing 12 things, so it seemed to me if instead of that we all got behind one thing for a month, it might mean we would get more done.  It is about doing things, and communicating about them, but we need to do it more as  a team.  First year we did it a bit, second year we split up and lost momentum. Right now I can’t judge what the right projects should be for next year. Maybe what we need to do is meet every two weeks, and someone says I am passionate about my project and will present it, and we will agree what to do to make it happen – would this work? This was my sense of what might work – meeting

David: FLFI is essentially a transition project – lowering food miles – professional advice from a professional grower, knows quantities, etc, so I think it can be a serious project – it has a bit of money, an inspiring grower, is spawning another one in Alton, has spawned one in East Horsley. If Joyce and I put word out to people there that there is a specific project they need manpower for we could become a resource for that group. It is bigger than TTF, but we were, for example, given a big shed, and it needs to be put up, we could use help. We had the polytunnels – people helped put them up – the larger plan will involve a lot more, if we get the land we have applied for where the quarry is, if we get some of that land there will be more work, to extend, shift the whole lot to the next patch.

Joyce: It is important to have support, marketing, spreading the word would be helpful. It is a struggle for first couple years, we need to make organisation bigger for it to succeed.

David: Wide range of skills needed, and surfacing via Joyce… Surrey BioDiversity Partnership – survey orchards in our area

Paula: There is a community orchard in Tongham (See also here) – apples freecycled! – Orchard Map –

Joyce: Wood pellets for fuel, Bramley – Surrey Hills – James Little was organising it – I said to him, would you talk to our group, and he said yes – so we could invite him and invite others as well. Went to Guildford uni – they have wood pellet at the new sport center – Guildford Environmental Forum.

Closing thoughts — we seem to be moving towards Transition Farnham as a group for initiating projects.

Brief discussion around meeting with other TTs, getting our MP and Mayor to come to meeting[s].


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