About Us


We're part of a world-wide community movement in response to peak oil and climate change. This site gives you details of our up and coming events and meetings, as well as reports and related matters that are going on in Norwich and East Anglia.

NEWS AND RELATED EVENTS... Common Room - Low Carbon Cookbook - Magdalen-Augustine Celebration - Norwich FarmShare - Transition Free Press 4 - Visions for Change -On the Blog Harvest: Looking in the Archive 2009-2013 - Flight of the Butterflies - Where We Are Now

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Welcome to our May 2001 News!

Read all about it in the updates and reports below from our Transition Norwich news crew: the start of our new Economics and Livehoods group, must-see documentary Gasland, Norwich FarmShare open meeting, Magdalen Street Celebration, Low Carbon larder, Transition Circle West's cycle workshop, the latest on the blog and more . . . . Merry May Day everyone!

New Economy and Livelihoods Group - 24 May

It is clear that the problems of peak oil and climate change are inextricably linked to our failing financial system, and we are in danger of letting governments and corporations undermine our values in the hope of reviving a growth-fuelled economy. There are many responses to this, from campaigning for different national and international policies to local alternative trading systems which redefine the paradigms of what it means to be part of a society, sharing this one planet.

I hope that in the Transition Norwich Economics and Livelihoods group, we can do our part to ensure a sustainable future of economics that does not rely on the ever-increasing burning of fossil fuels. If you are interested in joining this group please go to http://groups.google.com/group/tn-economy and sign up as we shall soon be sending out details of our first meeting.

From the recent discussion in Aladdin’s Café, I was moved by some of the new ideas I heard, such as producerism - the idea that consumerism is fuelled more by the supplier's desire for profit than the consumer's desire for new things - and vision - that the ideals we are presented with by TV and other highly visible media outlets are at odds with our own values, and therefore we need to produce our own media outlets (like blogs!!) to present our positive vision of a sustainable future. Simeon Jackson
Notes from open space discussion at the Aladdin's Cafe, 12 April

New Carbon Conversations Groups

What is your carbon footprint?

That is the first question we try to answer in a Carbon Conversations group. Already Transition Norwich have run 11 successful groups in Norwich and Diss which have helped participants reduce their carbon footprints and make plans to reduce them significantly over the next five years. Even those already leading fairly low energy lifestyles have been astonished by some of the amazing revelations, enlightening discussions and inspiring exercises in the course.

For those wanting to start a Transition Circle or other kind of energy reduction group in their neighbourhood, workplace or organisation a series of six Carbon Conversations provides an excellent foundation. We now have several trained facilitators and apart from regular groups in central Norwich we can offer courses in your area. All you need to do is find 6-10 friends or colleagues who would like to participate, find a space and time to meet and we’ll find the facilitators. Christine Way

For further details contact: training@transitionnorwich.org or 01603 614460

Magdalen Street has a spring in its step - 3 May

The 2011 Magdalen St. celebration is all set for October 1st, and the planning group are giving the day a long run-in, after the astounding success of last year's event. Getting rave reviews in the local press last year was no mean feat, given that the whole event was planned and delivered through the amazing good will of volunteers, local people, and performers.

We are planning an even bigger event this year, and are bringing together more of the street's growing band of fans, and neighbouring resident's groups.

Who knows, by the end of this year we may have persuaded those in authority that the space under the flyover really is a space worth developing for regular community use! Chris Hull

Magdalen Street Celebration planning group are meeting at Aladdin's, Magdalen Street on 3 May at 7pm. For further information contact Karen artoftheordinary@googlemail.com or Stefi Barna on 07964 494836

This Low Carbon Life gets into the bigger picture - 3 May

The blog crew on This Low Carbon Life got into full Spring swing in April as we grappled with Gas Fracking, a Lenten Fast on Buyin Stuff, the woes of Unrepairable Kettles and Civil Liberties. The week on Transition Basics took a fresh look at the Transition drivers (sic) asking such questions as Transport - Where Are We Going? and Permaculture - Are you a Wwoof?

We also explored the inner aspects of Transition in a week on Happiness. Read about saying thank you, being mindful, going deeper, activating joy and becoming a father. And these are only 12 of our 30 posts this month.

And we have some great news! This Low Carbon Life is expanding its horizons. We have now been aggregated into the (world-wide) Transition Network site alongside Rob Hopkins (Transition Culture) and Transition Voice (the US blog). And Charlotte has just become editor of the new Transition Network Social Reporting project which will be launched at the Transition Conference in Liverpool in July. Watch this space. Mark Watson

The TN bloggers are meeting this Tuesday May 3 at 7pm at Jon's house to discuss upcoming topics, creativity, communications and social media. All inquiries markintransition@hotmail.co.uk

FILM: Gasland - 4 May

There will be a showing of the film "Gasland” (directed by Josh Fox) Wednesday 4 May, 6:00 pm, jointly organised by the School of Environmental Sciences and Cinema City. After the showing, our panel of experts, Dr. Kevin Hiscock, Dr. Alan Bond, Dr. Victor Bense and Dr. Nikolai Pedentchouk will be discussing issues highlighted in the film in what we hope will be a lively debate. Tickets are available from the cinema, and Orange Wednesdays will apply!

The film follows the stories of real people affected by shale gas exploration in the USA. Shale gas is an unconventional energy source where gas is released from the shales by a process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of the shale itself. This industry has rapidly expanded within the last ten years in the USA although seemingly with major consequences for both the environment and health of local people. These effects arise as both the gas released, and the chemicals used in the fracturing process may contaminate local aquifers, rivers and surrounding land. With the UK Government currently considering its approach to allowing this industry into the UK and the first fracking experiments occurring earlier this month, this is a highly topical environmental/earth science related film.

For more information: http://www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Cinema_City/film/Gasland/ or please contact me on : S.Loveless@uea.ac.uk

Further reading on the blog: Fracking Hell and Other Apocalypses - The Energy Story

Spring at Grapes Hill Community Garden - 26 May

The Grapes Hill Community Garden Group has been busy planting up the garden and we now have lots of hardy perennials and over thirty different sorts of herbs, from some dramatic pyramidal bay trees to more unusual varieties like Anise Hyssop, English Mace and Corsican Mint.

We've had to do a lot of watering too, with the exceptionally hot and dry weather this April. We've been rewarded with our first flowers, including Dog Violets, Primroses and Wood Anemones under the ash trees and the beautful blooms on our Quince tree, by the gates.

With the lighter evenings, we'll have evening garden tasks on Wednesday 4th May, Thursday 26th May and Thursday 9th June (6 - 8pm). Come and join us! For full lists of
events and plants in the garden, see our website. Jeremy Bartlett.

Above: Our Quince in flower, photo copyright Grapes Hill Community Garden Group.

Transition Circle West 1 - Cycle Workshop- 10 May

Our first meeting in April was a foraging meeting. We met in the UEA square and then went for a lovely sunny wander round the lake, grazing on the vegetation as we went! We collected quite an impressive variety of different plants and all of us learnt lots of new things. We then took all of our goodies back to my house and made a gourmet lunch of super salad, chickweed omelette and braised hogweed shoots, yum yum! We decided that we should have another session later on in the year when there are different things available.

The May meeting that we have already planned is a cycle maintenance workshop starting at 6pm on Tuesday 10th May, where we will talk about the basics of cycle maintenance. Details of our second meeting will be put on to the calendar asap. Kerry Lane

Anyone in the west of Norwich, who is trying to reduce their carbon footprint is welcome to join us, just get in touch with Helen on mshelenpallett@gmail.com.

Salad of Garlic mustard, salad burnet, cleavers, ground ivy, sorrel and dead nettle

Norwich Farmshare Website and other News - Workday 22 May

The Community Supported Agriculture scheme and school farm are springing into life, with Laura and the gang planting out plants. There have been a few challenges on the farms, including the tractor breaking down, and a record-breaking dry spring which means we have to hurry up with getting some irrigation in place. Laura is still keen to hear from people who could do casual work (paid or unpaid), as well as recruiting for the new part-time post.

Meanwhile the marketing group is getting to grips with recruiting our first 100 members - so far we have 12. We've just launched our new website at http://www.norwichfarmshare.co.uk/- have a look! And if you can help us sign up more members, whether among your friends or other groups you're part of, please contact Tully. Or if you can spare any time to help with publicity and so on, again please get in touch. Tully Wakeman

We're planning an Open Meeting at Take Five on Thursday 12th May at 7.30. This will be an opportunity for anyone to come along and find out more about Norwich FarmShare. If you're not quite sure whether to sign up or not, this is an ideal chance to get your questions answered. Laura, our head grower, will be there along with several keen members of our team. We'd love to see you there! Elena Judd

There will also be a workday at Norwich FarmShare's second site at the Hewett School on Sunday 22nd May from 10am. Access will be via Gate 2 off Cecil Road and a walk round the driveway to the market garden area. Contact: Erik at martinburo67@hotmail.com

Low Carbon Larder - 18 May

This month after a Spring in action meal that included raw nettle pesto, local asparagus, home-grown rainbow chard and Hunza apricots, we checked out our several Low Carbon Larders, and conducted our monthly round up of seasonal veg, exchanges of practical tips (wood-fired stoves, how to bottle tomatoes, individual porridge mixes) and big picture thinking.

What has become clear in the last six months is that this is not going to be a cookbook in the usual sense. There will be recipes (dishes you can bring-to-share), but it's focus will not be Cuisine. Instead it will chart a whole new attitude to eating and buying food: cooking from scratch, considering provenance weaning ourselves of a high meat and dairy intake and getting used to eating in community, instead of alone on the fast-track. It's about swapping stuff (Mark and Erik exchanging alexanders for last-of-the season kale), using less energy (pressure cookers, living without a fridge), not wasting anything (freegan food, roadkill, foodcycle Fridays in Norwich). And about creating a culture that is happy to eat simple things.

Food in the last decades has become an obsession with pleasure and convenience- artificial, over-luxurious, over processed, shipped from everywhere in the world. It needs to become practical, deep, connected, nutritious and tied into the local territory. Here's where we start: by paying attention on what is on the table, giving it right value and meaning and asking questions. Civiliations famously arise and fall accordingly to their ability to feed themselves. If we want to evolve into people who are synch with the planet we’re going to have to radically downshift our kitchens. It might be the end of the Magimix, but it won’t be the end of the world. Charlotte Du Cann

For more about the cookbook contact theseakaleproject@hotmail.co.uk

Carrying 15 kilos of millet home to the larder; low carbon cookbook crew tuck in!

Permaculture Norfolk - April and May

What's in a name? As there are so many people that we have met along the way who live further out into the county, we have decided to cast our net out further and rename ourselves to include our county cousins. Therefore we have decided on a little rename from Permaculture Norwich to Permaculture Norfolk!

Google group As we continue to grow in size as a group we acknowledge that some people might want to dip in and out of the groups’ activities as and when they have the time or interest. We also want to decrease the time spent administrating and for discussions to occur online. We therefore have decided to start a Permaculture Norfolk googlegroup.

UEA permaculture society allotment workday 10th April-fun in the sun! Polytunnel beds prepped for seedlings, asparagus planted.

Next workday is at Erik's in Hethersett, date and time TBC. See calendar for details. New faces welcome! Tierney (tierneywoods@yahoo.co.uk)

REPORT: Talking about Finance and Transition down at Aladdin's Cafe

Tuesday April 12 Aladdins cafe, Magdalen Street The cafe is unexpectedly full. 35 people are listening intently to Deepak giving a recap of Nicole Foss' presentation last month, Making Sense of the Financial Crisis in the Age of Peak Oil. Making Sense of the Financial Crisis in the Age of Peak Oil. As well as its main theme of runaway deflation, he includes other subjects Foss spoke about after the event, notably the restriction of our civil liberties. We've organised ourselves into five tables each with a question arising from the talk: Are we heading for inflation or deflation? What political actions can we take in order to save our society? How did we get into this situation, historically, philosophically? What actions can we take locally, as individuals and in community?

I've asked the question: How can we preserve our liberties and what are they? "We don't even know what our rights are," remarked a young midwife as she described how her time-honoured profession was being squeezed out with the present NHS cuts. On a large piece of paper I'm writing a litany of our disappearing freedoms: EU directive on selling herbs, the liberty of living in a mobile dwelling on your own land, habeus corpus, press freedom, press monopoly, police collection of data. We're talking about breaking our own self-censorship, standing behind others as they act on our behalf, protesting.

What feels important is that we are talking about these things out loud. Paying attention to current social and political events together, rather than remaining stuck and fearful inside ourselvses. Because silence is consent. Afterwards the five groups give a plenary of everything discussed, including financial actions that we can take from starting our own currency in Norwich to shifting cash into ethical funds. The new Economics and Livelihoods group was born. Charlotte Du Cann

(from Entering the Conversation on This Low Carbon Life). Many thanks to Hussein and Tariq at Aladdin’s Café for providing such a warm and generous space for discussion.

REPORT: Transition Circle West 2 - political lobbying

Circle West is getting politically educated!.... thanks to a great presentation by Helene, who has been working in the field of making the U.K. Parliament more accessible. We had our usual bring and share delicious food - and for me this was 2 evenings in a row of bring and share, as we had the Farmshare Board meeting the day before ( I'm now a bundle of health and wellbeing!).

Over the veg soup we worked out how Early Day Motions work, suggested we should have a local authority version of the Select Committee, and alerted each other to the fact we now have (since February 2011), a young new member of the House of Lords whose specialism is 'climate change'. Her name is Briony Worthington, and here is a
link. to what a Guardian writer thought of her. Hearing her speak at a conference in January gave me confidence that we do have a genuine voice in the House of Lords and we should be using her in whatever way we can. Chris Hull

Poster for AV vote of Suffregettes

Flour mill needs a home

This is our flour mill. It's a rather beautiful object, about a metre square, and it needs a home.

For one of our food projects we've promised to set up this mill to mill local, organic wheat to sell to local artisan bakers and through wholefood shops. Originally the plan was for a local social enterprise, Wholefood Planet, to borrow the mill and operate it as part of their own business. Unfortunately Wholefood Planet are no longer with us.

Ideally we'd find another socially-minded business or organisation that could take on the operation of the mill in a similar way. Alternatively you might know of a space that we could borrow rent-free for a while so we could run the mill there. The space needn't be very big at all.

If you have any ideas that might help, please contact Tully.