November blog bash and Green Drinks alarm!

Green Drinks has come around again!
This is a rather tardy reminder that our monthly Transition Farnham evening is imminent; I’m just hoping that the third Wednesday of the month is sufficiently embedded now to survive the occasional reminder lapse.
So much for my blag about starting a blog! Here’s a quick round up of Tranisition Farnham goings on.
There’s rumours of action on the cycling front with Tom submitting a well considered feedback report to the Surrey Cycle Strategy Consultation process. Let’s hope his comments get picked up, they certainly need to be. As Tom says, it is a bit late in the day but individual comments can still be made, see:
I think we should mention activity at the local food growing front, also.  After 6 years funding by The Big Lottery the Making Local Food Work (MLFW) programme has now closed and local food initiatives are  facing a much bleaker development environment. One response to this has been  to set up a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) UK Network to fill, in part, the void left by MLFW and to maintain the momentum of the CSA sector. Farnham Local Food (FLF), our local CSA, was represented at the inaugural gathering of the SE regional CSA hub, one of a series of such meetings around the UK helping CSAs to set up regional networks of mutual support. The hubs will then form a national CSA network with a salaried co-ordinator. So a new future is being built for the CSA movement and Farnham is making an input into that. Be proud, people!
Ironically, the much heralded Great Storm of Sunday 27th October kept most of us from venturing out to hear Dr Peter Stott, invited by Farnham Humanists, give his talk on Climate Change. Though the fierce weather cannot be attributed to CC, and was nothing compared to the violence of Hurricane Haiyan, it lights up the imagination to picture Dr Stott’s talk blown away by the weather. Surely there’s a message somewhere there.
We thought a trip in Tom’s Nissan Leaf would be fun, so three intrepid travellers went off, as we’ve been doing each month now for a while, to vist our Transition chums at the Royal Oak in Haslemere. After a while, enjoying our tipple at a table of three, it became clear that we were going to meet nobody that evening. One thing and another we ended up discussing, as one does, Transition Streets and how to do similar in Farnham focussing on residents’ associations. Tom and Justin got quite inspired about doing something along those lines: so watch this space, but why we had to go to Haslemere to talk about it, beats me. We returned in a slight state of anxiety about Sparky’s batteries being at the edge of range; if only pubs had electric re-charging points as well as pints.
As a foretaste of things to come, an intrepid Farnham Hopper popped into the Beer Rebellion opposite Gipsy Hill station to join Crystal Palace and Hackney celebrate their first community brew. I was not disappointed: the future tasted really good, the conversation was animated and the beer was free! Sorry folks, but you missed a fab time! Farnham Hoppers are invited to a de-briefing session when Helen and Caterina et al will go through the first year’s experience with their community hop growing project. Besides hopping and brewing, talk got onto Transition matters. It seems we share much common ground in terms of political geography with Crystal Palace: Robbie suggested that a twinning of CP and Farnham might be rewarding. Had the Beer Rebellion turned my head!
Encouraged by the Town Clerk I attended a Farnham Neighbourhood Plan workshop at the Maltings last week. I’m not sure that we have a “transition position” vis-a-vis this particular outcome of the Localism Act. Truth to say, I couldn’t find a point of entry into the discussion which was very focussed around the location of housing development sites and the need for green spaces in the town. The whole discussion seemed not to connect at all with the criteria motivating transition, it was bogged down in a framework dictated long ago by planning legislation history. Rather depressing.
Daniel, our aquaponics bioneer, has not been idle, having gone this month on a visit to the Biospheric Project in Manchester where he had a tour around the building lead by Vincent Walsh, one of the directors. Very inspiring he says, so have a look at  If you really want to see where Daniel wants to go, though perhaps not just yet, see where there is obviously huge opportunity now the automobiles have left. A city re-inventing itself: be blown away! Congratulations to Daniel for this big vision.
Last but not least, the humble compost got hotter last week with the first day of three days at Iver Heath Environmental Centre, a Groundworks site, where I joined fellow community hot composters doing our thermophilliac stuff. This course is designed by the Community Composting Network (CCN) and funded by the Big Lottery, it takes you through every aspect of setting up and running a community hot composting enterprise. I assure you there’s gold in that black stuff: just need to tune into cations (negative ions) exchange capacity(CEC) of humus, that’s the long chained carbon compounds we’ll all become one day. Add a little clay marl and a sprinkle of biochar and there’s the perfect customised compost for all those raised beds you need in South Farnham, or wherever the Folkstone Beds of the Lower Greensand are under your backyard.
Thus it ever was in a month of Transition.
See you 7.30pm, Wednesday, at the Six Bells, Hale Road.

About rob simpson

Social entrepreneur developing Community Supported Agriculture Co-operative in west Surrey, UK.
This entry was posted in Climate, Councils, Events, Food, Local_Economy, Transport. Bookmark the permalink.

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