Orchard and Garden Open Day

Mount Holly Orchard and Garden Charity event in aid of national Friends of the Earth Saturday, 1st October 2011 2.00 pm –  5.00 pm Mount Holly Castledon Road Downham CM11 1LH Mount Holly is on the Southend Victoria Line between Wickford and Billericay Station. From Wickford Station, walk along the Crouch, cycle or share cars (limited parking). The environment is under pressure. From oil spills to floods and droughts, our natural world needs an independent voice. To make sure Friends of the Earth have enough funds to take on big polluters, South East Essex Friends of the Earth (SEEFoE) are hosting an open Orchard and Garden Open Day at Mount Holly. The Mount Holly Orchard was planted by a Quaker family in the early 1900s. It contains apple varieties that were planted in Victorian times. It is one of the few orchards growing original Victorian varieties. A number of the varieties have still not been identified. In the course of the restoration, a new orchard extension has been planted. This extension is entirely made up of additional historic varieties that might be interesting for transitioners and permaculturists as they have long storing capabilities. Everything available can be tried and tasted. There might also be some original Cox apples. The current owners are self-sufficient and have started a small organic market garden. All proceeds from  produce and brochures sold on the day will go to national Friends of the Earth. Admission: £2 … [Read more…]

The Fantastic Food Exchange!

(FREE Event) Sow it, Grow it, Make it, Bake it! Show and trade what you’ve grown or made for a variety of goods using basic exchange! Take home a selection of rich, tasty, fresh food with less energy and food miles than your average supermarket stuff. Add to this the opportunity to meet like-minded, friendly folk and you’ve got a recipe for friendship, fun and rewarding conversation plus the sharing of ideas. If this sounds like your bag, bring your gluts and self-made produce to… Metal’s Kitchen Garden, Chalkwell Park, Southend-on-Sea Sunday 18th September 10:00 – 12.00 am. www.swapfood.blogspot.com … [Read more…]

Not in my loaf! Take action against the proposed GM wheat trial

A new application for a GM wheat trial was announced in July 2011. The Soil Association will be submitting information to the consultation highlighting how the trial is potentially risky, unnecessary and a waste of public money. The GM wheat has been engineered to repel aphids, using a technique which has already been shown to work using non GM methods. If you agree with us, you can register your objections in the Government consultation which is running until the 19th August 2011. Here are some points you might like to include in your response: There is a risk of cross-contamination with other plants The inclusion of an antibiotic resistant marker gene may contribute to a rise in resistant infections in humans and animals There is no market for GM wheat – citizens have voted no to GM in their food There is a lack of data on potential health risks of these crops Possible impacts on natural aphid predators  have not been investigated Likely impacts on non-GM farms as a result of displaced aphids There are already effective ways to use the ‘aphid alarm’ system using non-GM techniques Comments can be sent by email to: gm-regulation@defra.gsi.gov.uk or by post to: The GM Team, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Area 8A, 9 Millbank, c/o 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR, stating the application reference number 11/R8/01 For full details of the application see the Defra websiteFor further details regarding the trial, please see this GM Freeze briefing paper   … [Read more…]

Organic Vegetable Growing Course 30 September 2011 at The Growing Together Gardens

Hello Again to all our Friends and Supporters, I am delighted to tell you that we are now able to run the above course starting on 30 September and look forward to receiving enquiries and bookings. Would you please share this with your friends and colleagues? We are also planning to broaden the range of short courses/workshops that we run at Growing Together and would welcome feedback/suggestions on what we may add to the programme. Also please watch this space for Apple Day events in October! Thank you all for your continuing support – for all our latest news please visit our website at www.trustlinks.org With kind regards, Anji Stratton Trust Links Training and Employment Co-ordinator Training@trustlinks.org 01702 213134 47 Fairfax Drive Westcliff-on-Sea Essex SS0 9AG … [Read more…]

A Good Scythe at Work

My name is Beth Tilston and I am a scything tutor.  I am writing to gauge your interest in joining forces to run a one or two day scything course in your area either before the end of October this year or from May onwards next year (due to grass growth).  Scything, as I am sure you know, is a way of cutting grass and weeds using a blade and human power rather than power tools such as strimmers and lawnmowers.  A scythe is useful for lawns, allotments, community orchards – all the way to meadows and mountainsides.  I am looking for appropriate areas in which to run courses.  An appropriate area would be somewhere which had access to a reasonable amount of grass which isn’t regularly mown short, plus somewhere with nettles, docks, thistles etc to provide variety. I teach groups of up to six and can work with another tutor for larger groups.  I provide all the equipment (including safety equipment) necessary and am fully insured.  I am also available to do demonstrations. The course will cover:  The history and uses of a scythe, how to set up your scythe, health and safety when using edge tools, how to scythe grass and weeds and keeping your blade sharp by peening and honing. Please email me at bethtilston@googlemail.com bethtilston.com   … [Read more…]