Fun on the farm, communicating what we do, and permaculture design...

Hi everyone

We've got a busy few weeks ahead! This week come and enjoy a day out at Willow Farm on Saturday with the CropShare team, or join the TC Communications group (aka bulletin and web-writers, but we'd love it if some tweeters, bloggers and other writers came along too) on Thursday evening. Next week we have our "Getting to the Heart of Permaculture Design" course up at the Cambridge Sustainability Centre in Cottenham - there are a couple of places left so get in touch soon if you'd like to come. Our Annual General Meeting is only a couple of weeks away on Monday 5th - this is a great way to find out what we do and meet all the wonderful people that are helping Cambridge to make the transition to more future-friendly ways of living!

This Sunday there is also a chance to look round some of Cambridge's most eco-friendly homes at the Open Eco Homes event  (organised by Cambridge Carbon Footprint), or you can join the Gleaning Network to rescue a whole load of potatoes and onions from a farm near Norwich that would otherwise go to waste, or visit the Milton Produce Show at Milton Country Park. Then on Monday, the Wildlife Trust for Cambridgeshire are planting wild flowers on Coe Fen - everyone is invited to join them! And more below...


Transition News and Events

  • Thursday 24 September: Transition bulletin editors and website contributors meeting
  • Saturday 26 September: CropShare - Be an organic farmer for a day
  • 28th Sept - 1st Oct: Course: Getting to the Heart of Permaculture Design
  • Saturday 03 October: Workshop: The Work that Reconnects
  • Monday 05 October: Transition Cambridge AGM
  • Thursday 08 October: How to make fruit wines
  • Love plants and urban spaces? Want to learn how to blog?
  • Events for your calendar

Community News

  • Cambridge-wide green tool library - October collection points

Other News and Events

  • Open days are 19th & 27th Spetember, both 10:30 - 16:30: Open Eco Homes
  • Sunday 27 September: Gleaning - come help rescue potatoes and onions near Norwich
  • Sunday 27 September: Milton Produce Show
  • Monday 28 September: Make Cambridge more flowery!
  • Saturday 10 October: Embodied Science Retreat
  • Sunday 11 October: Open event : Cambridge Co-housing
  • Wednesday 21 October: Lecture - 'Confronting the future: climate, energy and people'
  • Thu 29 - Fri 30 Oct: Behaviour Change From the Inside Out: psychosocial approaches to sustainability
  • Nine short films exploring successful permaculture projects

Transition News and Events

Thursday 24 September: Transition bulletin editors and website contributors meeting

19:30, CB2 Cafe (upstairs), Norfolk Street

At this meeting we'll check in with how things are going, and talk any new prospective editors/contributors through what is involved. So if you've ever thought that you'd like to help with writing our newsletter or updating our web-page, please come along! The bulletin and website aim to connect the dots, letting people know about the many sustainability-related activities in Cambridge. We also hope to inspire and encourage everyone in their efforts to lead sustainable lifestyles, by demonstrating how many other people are also committed to working towards future-friendly ways of living. On a more practical note, editing the newsletter takes approximately 2-3 hours, and involves choosing what to include, entering any new events/news items that have come in, and writing the little editorial at the top of the newsletter. We take turns doing it, so that it is only every few weeks. Contributing to the web-site can be on a more ad-hoc basis. You can read back copies of the newsletter here and have a look at our web-site here.

Saturday 26 September: CropShare - Be an organic farmer for a day

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. There will be farm days on the 1st, 15th and 29th August. More details here.

28th Sept - 1st Oct: Course: Getting to the Heart of Permaculture Design

09:00-17:30, Cambridge Sustainability Centre, Fen End Farm, Oxholme Drove, Smithy Fen, Cottenham, Cambridgeshire, CB24 8UP

Wendy Seabrook, an Australian permaculture teacher, is visiting the UK and has offered to run a permaculture course focusing on permaculture design. The course will take place at the Cambridge Sustainability Centre (10 miles north of Cambridge) from 28 September to 1 October (4 full days) at cost price £125-150. Bookings are now open (early bird price ends 14 Sept) and full details are here.

Saturday 03 October: Workshop: The Work that Reconnects

10:00-17:00, Newnham Croft Primary School, Cambridge CB3 9JF

"The Work that Reconnects" is a style of workshop designed by Joanna Macy to help us find the energy and inspiration to act to bring about a more sustainable, peaceful and equitable world. This workshop aims to help you connect with topics that you'd like to engage with, and/or to find the energy and motivation that you need to get started or to keep going. The workshops are also a good way of connecting with other people who care deeply about environmental and social issues. The workshop will be based on Joanna Macy's book, "Coming back to life" (co-authored by Molly Young Brown, with a new edition out recently). The workshop will be facilitated by Anna McIvor and Liz Serocold. Suggested contributions are approximately £20 to cover the cost of room hire. To book, please contact Anna or Liz.

Monday 05 October: Transition Cambridge AGM

19:30-21:30, Friends Meeting House, Jesus Lane, CB5 8BA

Come and help us celebrate all that we've been up to over the last year at our Annual General Meeting! We'll hear what all the Transition groups have been up to, and think about what we'd like to do next. Agenda items and nominations for officers (Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer) should be sent to Nicola Terry by 28 September. Nominations for other potential officers are also welcome (e.g. events, grants, press officer etc). We will post an agenda for the meeting nearer the time. The AGM is a very good way to find out more about Transition Cambridge and to hear about the projects we are involved in. Everyone is very welcome to attend. If you have any (small, clean) tools for the forthcoming tool library, then please bring them to the AGM and Rebecca will pick them up.

Thursday 08 October: How to make fruit wines

19:30-21:15, Toni's house on Victoria Road

Ever dreamed of bottling summer? Making your own wines is easy! All you need is a few utensils, fruit, yeast, sugar, an hour or two, a little care, and patience. I will share with you all you need to know on how to make your own wines, show you which items you need, demonstrate the first stages of wine making and share my experience on troubleshooting. Price £12 per person (includes a cheat sheet, home-made biscuits, and tea). There is a limit of 9 people, so make sure you book quickly! To book or for more information, please email Toni (who will send details of venue). (NB If you intend to make wine from foraged soft fruit this season, I recommend picking 2-3kg now - it can be a mix of fruit and berries - and freezing them as it's getting towards the end of the season. But you can always get ageing fruit cheaply at the market or start off with ginger wine or mead, so don't worry on that account.)

Love plants and urban spaces? Want to learn how to blog?

The Growing Spaces project is looking for additional blog writers for our website. You will get trained on how to use wordpress and on your options of writing styles, then simply drop by one of the growing spaces or come to an event once a month and share. You are also welcome to write on gardening topics of your choice. If interested or if you would like more information, contact us here. (Editor's note: The Transition Cambridge blog would also very much welcome some new writers! Please just reply to the newsletter address if you'd like to help, or come along to the web-writers meeting on Thursday, details above.)

Events for your calendar

Community News

Cambridge-wide green tool library - October collection points

A new tool library for groups is starting up (slowly). We are having two collection events in October: For small clean tools, at the Transition AGM on the evening of Monday 5 October. For anything portable, at Cambridge Botanic Garden Apple Day on Sunday 25 October (you will need to pay admission - but it is a good day out). We'd like to gather, and eventually purchase tools for gardening, conservation, ecology, DIY/repairs and food harvesting and processing tools. At the events we will also have information about other local tool gathering projects. For more information contact Rebecca Jones. More details here.

Other News and Events

Open days are 19th & 27th Spetember, both 10:30 - 16:30: Open Eco Homes

10:30-16:30, at 18 Cambridge-area open homes

18 varied Cambridge-area low-energy homes will be open for free booked visits: retro-fitted & new-build, low cost & really stylish, simple & high tech. Householders show and explain how they save energy, including: draft-proofing, many types of insulation, low-carbon energy sources such as wood-stoves, solar and heat-pumps. Smart behaviour and taking control of home-energy too. More details and booking to follow. Home-owners: Do you have an interesting (not perfect!) low-energy home that others could learn from? We're looking for more. See "Hosting" at or phone 01223 301842. More details here.

Sunday 27 September: Gleaning - come help rescue potatoes and onions near Norwich

10:00-17:00, A farm near Norwich (transport and train tickets provided)

From James at the Gleaning Network "We've found thousands of potatoes and onions going to waste on a farm near Norfolk where we gleaned with Jamie Oliver for their series Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast - equal to 1,000s of portions! But these spuds aren’t a load of rot, they're beautiful and delicious, so we're going to be setting out to save as many as possible for charity, and we NEED YOUR HELP. The more volunteers we have, the more veg we can save! We’re inviting volunteers to the farm to help harvest those potatoes and save them from waste, to surprise food poverty charities like FareShare all over the UK with beautiful veg. Witness the colossal waste first-hand, and have a great social day out for a fantastic cause. Please spread the news of our glorious return to your friends and groups, by sharing this email, or here’s a sharable facebook pic and tweet! To join the big potato and onion glean, please fill in our sign-up sheet or for more info, please contact us here. Please get in touch ASAP so we have an idea of numbers. Also, please do check whether you can make it, as lots of drop-outs at the last minute can jeopardise the gleaning day going ahead. Travel expenses can be covered for those travelling from Cambridge, Norfolk, Suffolk and nearby – just check with us first (we generally cover up to £12 per gleaner, so a car with 4 people could be reimbursed £48 petrol expenses in total)." More info here.

Sunday 27 September: Milton Produce Show

11:00-16:00, Milton Country Park

A chance to show the world the wonderful things you've grown, baked, photographed or otherwise created this year! This is a friendly village show at which all are welcome. 50p per entry (free for children); form and details available here. Part of the Autumn festival, a family day designed to showcase some of our best local independent food, craft and community enterprise.

Monday 28 September: Make Cambridge more flowery!

10:00-16:00, Coe Fen New Bit, opposite old iron gate entrance to Botanic Gardens on Trumpington Road

People who are handy with a trowel/spade are needed on Monday the 28th of September, between 10am and 4pm at Coe Fen New Bit! The Wildlife Trust for Cambridgeshire and the Cambridge City Council are planning to enhance the grassland at Coe Fen New Bit by establishing more native flowering plants. Coe Fen New Bit is very poor for flowering plants but this project is going to change that. Volunteers have collected seed from Chettisham Meadow, near Ely, a Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. This is going to be sown on the 28th to hopefully recreate this nationally important, species rich meadow. To enhance the site further, and to complement the seed sowing, over 1,300 plug plants of native flowering plants are also being planted. These will include meadow vetchling, ox-eye daisy and cowslip. This project is part of Coronation Meadows,, a national project set up by Prince Charles to reverse the alarming decline of flower rich meadows over the past 60 years and to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Coronation by creating new meadows with seed from existing ones. As well as making the site look more attractive, creating a more diverse grassland will do wonders for the local pollinators, bees, butterflies, flies, beetles and other creatures. Coe Fen New Bit can be found opposite the old iron gate entrance to the University Botanic Gardens on Trumpington Road. Children are more than welcome and trowels and spades will be provided. For more details please contact Iain Webb, Community Conservation Officer, Wildlife Trust for Cambridgeshire by e-mail or telephone 01954 713531.

Saturday 10 October: Embodied Science Retreat

10:00-17:30, The Cass Centre, Cambridge CB2 8BS

Our bodies are our connection to the natural world. By listening deeply to the world within and by seeing ourselves as part of nature we change our relationship to the world outside. By building compassion for ourselves as living beings we sustain our work for the planet. This is a half or full day retreat to dwell deeply inside and connect with our surroundings. We will talk, move, rest and reflect. Morning (10-1pm) - Rhythm; afternoon (2.30-5.30pm) - Imagery. £35 for a half day, £65 for a full day. Concessions on request. Further details and booking on website.

Sunday 11 October: Open event : Cambridge Co-housing

15:00-18:00, Orchard Park Community Centre CB4 2EZ

Ever wondered about living in a co-housing community? Create a sustainable community in Cambridge! Now is your chance. But be quick as they are being snapped up fast. Cambridge K1 Community have a few dwellings available at their Orchard Park site. They are building 38 homes,using environmentally sound methods,with shared community space,making decisions together. To join us, or find out more, come to our: Open Afternoon — All Welcome. Sunday 11th October 2015, 3.00-6.00 pm. Meet at 3pm at the corner of Topper St and Graham St for a tour of the site. Meet at 4pm at Orchard Park Community Centre, CB4 2EZ for presentations, discussion. Email us if you have any questions. More details here.

Wednesday 21 October: Lecture - 'Confronting the future: climate, energy and people'

19:30-21:00, Perse Upper School, Hills Road, CB2 8QF

Chris Rapley is professor of Climate Science at UCL. He's also written '2071' a play about the consequences of climate change, which was performed at the Royal Court Theatre earlier this year. This event is free, though you need to book with the Perse School. More details here.

Thu 29 - Fri 30 Oct: Behaviour Change From the Inside Out: psychosocial approaches to sustainability

Anglia Ruskin University

The Global Sustainability Institute ( at ARU and Dr Renee Lertzman ( are running a two-day workshop in Cambridge. Psychosocial approaches place affect and emotion centrally within design, drawing on learnings from social work, psychotherapy, counselling and community work. They have traditionally been applied in the health sphere, and this workshop represents a rare opportunity to explore their application in the environmental field. We welcome individuals from academic, policy and third sector/ voluntary contexts interested in learning how these ideas could be applied to their work or personal interest. Here is a 2-page flyer with full details; we advise booking soon. You might also be interested in: Dr Renee Lertzman's GSI seminar, Mon 26 Oct, 1-2pm; our Festival of Ideas event "Clim'art' therapy: where do climate change, the arts, and psychotherapy meet?", Thu 29 Oct, 6:30-8pm (both at the ARU Cambridge campus). More details here.

Nine short films exploring successful permaculture projects

Permaculture Magazine has teamed up with Permaculture People to produce nine short films exploring successful permaculture projects across a range of topics, such as large-scale, regenerative agriculture, forest gardening, urban permaculture and natural building. Watch the films here. Topics include forest gardening, natural building, binding soil with regenerative agriculture, urban permaculture, no-dig gardening, animal-free farming, off-grid living, transformation through learning, and 21st century foraging.

Have a great week!

Anna and the bulletin writing team

Our Mission

Transition Cambridge aims to help Cambridge make the transition to ways of life that are more resilient in the face of rising energy prices and a changing climate.

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