Lots of exciting things happening again in this week's newsletter. If you're interested in sustainable food, the Transition Food Group are meeting tomorrow (all welcome). For the chance to learn about organic farming, there's a CropShare farm day on the 2nd of May, plus the Soil and Soul permaculture design course starts this Saturday. For all foodies, the 9th May is an important date for your diaries as it's the start of the EAT Cambridge food festival! Elsewhere, there are talks, events and skillshares of all sorts coming up through Greeniversity - have a look at 'other news and events' below and see what might take your fancy. There're also tips for flight-free holidays, and a job opportunity with the Real Farming Trust.
Plus! We're announcing a new newsletter feature - Agony Aunts and Uncles, a way for the Transition Cambridge Community to answer each other's burning questions. This week, someone's looking for tips for designing a good event poster. If you can share any suggestions, send us an email and we'll post them in the next newsletter. Details and link below.
18:30-20:00, CB2 cafe, Norfolk Street
This is the Food Group's monthly business meeting. We'll cover updates on projects, future plans, and anything else of interest. All welcome - we'll be upstairs in the library.
09:30-16:30, Waterland Organics, Willow Farm, Lode CB25 9HF
Join Transition's community farming project, CropShare, to experience life as a real organic farmer for a day. We will be having fun helping out on the farm from 9.30am to 12.30pm, and 2pm to 4.30pm, sharing a lunch and a chat in between. You can join us for the morning or afternoon session, or both. See our blog to get a flavour of what workdays are like. It will be good healthy fun, a great chance to see our local countryside, and how food is grown on a large scale. Fill in this form if you would like to take part, and we'll also help you arrange travel to the farm. Everyone is very welcome! Family friendly. More details here.
There are lots of skillshares coming up, listed on the Greeniversity web-site, including films, talks, nature walks and bike rides - so take a look and see if there's anything that takes your fancy! Greeniversity is a project based in Peterborough, and the Cambridge Skillshare group (a partnership between Transition Cambridge and Cambridge Carbon Footprint) are the Cambridge arm of Greeniversity. Get in touch if you'd like to be involved, either helping to run the project, offering skillshares, or helping with our Repair Cafe coming up on 16th May.
If you're interested in the wider Transition movement, take a look at the April Newsletter here, including articles on the creative response to climate change and "SWIMBY the musical". There is also a book review of the new Transition book "Playing for Time - Making Art as if the World Mattered" (read Charlotte Du Cann's blog post about writing the book with Lucy Neale). And this year, the Transition Conference is back, from 18 to 20 September in Seal Hayne in Devon (bookings not open yet but some info here and here). We've also been thinking about organising a regional Transition conference for East Anglian initiatives - we're looking for people who'd like to help organise, so please get in touch if you'd like to be involved! (Reply to the newsletter or e-mail us here.)
We sometimes get asked questions that we're sure the Transition community could help answer, so we're going to trial an "ask a question" feature in the newsletter, where we post your questions and collate the answers we receive. The first question for this week, which often comes up when people are organising an event, is "How can I make a really good poster to advertise my event?". Send your answers to us and we'll post them in next week's newsletter and on our website. Thanks in advance for you replies! (Just reply to the newsletter or send your answers here.)
13:00-14:00, Lord Ashcroft Building 005, Anglia Ruskin University
Rob Shaw, Director of Sustainability & Climate Change at LDA Design, will give a talk on a radically different approach to climate change. The UK, along with the rest of the world, is facing an unprecendented set of challenges: a rapid transition to a low carbon energy system, climate change, technological advancemenet and demographic change. Succesfful responses demand that we think differently about how we use land, create places, deliver infrastructure and generate growth. More details here.
19:00, Chetwynd Room adn Keyne's Hall, King's College, Cambridge
Come and meet others involved in the sustainability movement in Cambridge, from both the town and the universities. All are welcome at this free networking meeting! Facebook event here.
20:00-21:45, Townley Hall, Fulbourn Centre, Home End, Fulbourn
AGM commences at 7.00pm followed by a break before the film starts at 8.00pm (finish 9.45pm) You are very welcome to come for the film only. We feel that this is an important film and suitably continues our series of documentaries on wider environmental issues, the last two being More Than Honey and Chasing Ice. 2015 is the UN's Year of the Soils. The film was shown at the UN in December 2014 at the launch of the Year of the Soils, and was a New York Times Critics' Pick. According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, the world on average, due to soil erosion and destruction, has just 60 years more of growing crops. Even in Britain's mild climate, Sheffield University scientists have estimated that the UK has just one-hundred harvests left if we do not take better care of our soil. The screening is free of charge, although a small donation towards costs will be appreciated. Drinks will be available from the bar before and after the AGM. For more information contact David Cottee by email or on C880616 More details here.
Permaculture Design Course at Soil and Soul Permaculture in Norfolk. Our Permaculture Design Course is a hands-on, lively and inclusive course spread out over six months with one weekend each month. It is a non-residential course although there are options for staying over each weekend if you wish to. Priced according to affordability. The course begins with the introduction weekend in April, followed by five further weekends on May 30/31, June 27/28, July 25/26, August 29/30 and September 26/27. Topics covered will include: Ethics and Principles of Permaculture; Design process and methodology; Soil and soil conservation; Regenerative agriculture; Forest gardening; Humanure and compost toilets; Green architecture and retrofitting; Building resilient communities; and much, much more. During the course you will work on your own design and by the end of the course you will have a full permaculture design for any system of your choosing. It could be your garden, your allotment, a friends patch or a non-land based system. Full info here.
18:30-19:30, Graham Storey Room, Trinity Hall
Emily Dunning has just returned from a 6-month trip to New Zealand, via the Trans-Mongolian Expressway, China and Japan and a few other countries in-between. She has been meeting people working on sustainability initiatives, particularly those inspiring others to take action. They vary from youth climate action groups in Taiwan to clean-up events in Russia to the social enterprise ethos inspiring change in Japan. She'll be sharing some of her stories, introducing some of the people she met and the lessons she has learnt, and there'll be a chance to ask questions and discuss similar local and national activities. So if you're interested in grassroots sustainability worldwide, would like to hear about social enterprise in other countries, looking for some travel inspiration, or just feeling a bit dissatisfied with where you're at right now and possibly in need of a gentle nudge to do something different, then come along! If you want a taster of what she's been up to before the talk (or in case you can't attend), have a look at her blog seekthechange.org. This event is also on facebook here.
13:00-14:00, Lord Ashcroft Building 027, Anglia Ruskin University
As the ecological crisis deepens has the time come to put an economic value on ecosystems or will this weaken conservation by commodifying nature? With a specific focus on developing countries, this seminar by Dario Kenner of Why Green Economy, will look at the question who should value nature. More details here.
19:15-21:30, Coton Village Hall, 56 High Street, Coton, CB23 7PL
Do you want to find out more about how you might heat your home more cheaply and efficiently? Come to Coton to get some expert advice, hear about local residents' experiences, and talk to local suppliers. Questions that will be covered include: what is renewable heat? How does it work? What are the options? What is the right solution for my house? What government funding is available? This event is organised by local village volunteers from Haslingfield, Barton, Meldreth, Gamlingay and Coton as part of South Cambridgeshire District Council's Sustainable Parish Energy Partnership. For more information, e-mail the SPEP team here.
09:00, set off from Market Square at 9.00 or Newmarket Road Park and Ride at 10.00
This annual event is organised by Cambridge Cycling Campaign. It's large-scale - last year over 800 riders of all ages made their way to Reach for the Fair. This year the route is via Swaffham Bulbeck and Swaffham Prior, returning via White Fen - around 12 miles each way. Just turn up for the start at the Market Square at 9.00 or Newmarket Road Park and Ride at 10.00. More info.
10:00-17:00, Farms around the region...
Open Farm Sunday is a great opportunity to find out more about where our food comes from. Once a year, farms open their gates to visitors so this is your chance for a tractor ride, a hosted farm tour or to meet farm animals. Lots of farms have family-friendly activities too. Open Farm Sunday is managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming), for more about their work go here. To find farms near Cambridge (and elsewhere) go here.
If you're planning your holidays, here's a quick reminder about the wonderful "The Man in Seat61" website that has helpful advice about how to get just about anywhere without flying. And if you like being in the great outdoors, WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a great way to meet new people while helping out on a farm in exchange for food and accommodation (UK website here). Let us know your low carbon holiday ideas/experiences and we'll post more ideas here!
The Real Farming Trust are seeking a "Just Growth" Programme Manager to work part-time (3 days a week) fromJune 2015 to December 2016 (this is a paid position). "We are seeking a skilled and experienced Programme Manager who will enjoy the challenges and opportunities of setting up and running a pilot project, Just Growth, and is committed to supporting the development of new and innovative approaches to community finance for “real farming”. The project is part of Funding Enlightened Agriculture (FEA) which was launched in 2012 at the Oxford Real Farming Conference (also a project of The Real Farming Trust)." Full information is available on the Real Farming web-site here. Closing date for applications: May 4 2015. (Editor's note: we know that these job adverts are popular and can result in a lot of people applying - so if you are hiring, or see a "Transition-y" job advertised somewhere, please send it our way and we'll advertise it.)