This week there's a chance to join the Sustainability Hacking group, who'll be chatting about aquaculture and hydroponics this evening. Or on Saturday, you can join CropShare for a day out on Willow Farm, where we'll be planting lettuces, cabbages, courgettes and squashes, as well as hoeing parsnips and beetroot, with a lovely communal lunch in the sun (hopefully!) (book here). Also on Saturday there'll be a group going parsnip gleaning near Kings Lynn, and there's an exhibition and seminar with artist-in-residence Fernando Garcia Dory, looking at how new developments such as the North West Cambridge Development can embrace sustainability (including a talk on "Unmonastery" by Ben Vickers, which sounds intriguing). Finally, if you'd like to support a local solar energy company, then there's still time to invest in Reach Solar Farm (deadline this Sunday, and here are the articles from the Cambridge News and Ely Standard!).
19:30-21:30, at Makespace
Sustainability Hacking group is a fairly new Transition group. A "hack" is a clever - or efficient - solution to a tricky problem. This months' meeting will include an informal presentation on experiments in aquaculture/hydroponics. Going by last months' discussion, our conversation on "hacking the food chain" may also mention fish, microbes, mushrooms, bees, building materials, and whether we can rig up water pumps or heat transport without using electronics. We will be meeting at Makespace to exchange information and ideas. If you'd like to join the group's mailing-list or are interested in the group in general, contact Toni to say hi. More details here.
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.
19:00-21:00, Nicola's house in Chesterton Road
At the hub's monthly meeting, representatives of the groups and projects report on what they've been up to. We also make plans together to coordinate future events. Meetings are open, so all are welcome to attend. Attending hub meetings is a good way to see how Transition Cambridge works, and to get a sense of the range of projects that we are involved with. Contact Nicola for details of the address.
20:00-21:30, Patrick's house (near the Beehive Centre)
Nicola will introduce a discussion on energy storage for homes , to use with PV panels - storing energy in your hot water tank or in batteries for use later. How does this work, how much can you save, is it financially viable. We will also catch up on the latest news. Ask Nicola for details of the venue. All welcome. More details here.
Would you like to help us keep our web-site up to date by writing short pieces of text about past/future events/news? And/or would you be able to help up-date a few pages of our web-site if someone else provided the text/images? Our new web-site looks lovely, but we're not managing to keep the content as up-to-date as we would like. All help gratefully received! Please get in touch for more info. (The web content is in "pmwiki"; no experience necessary as this is very easy to work with and the template is all there, so it's just a matter of entering text/pictures in the right places.)
In Open Eco Homes, Cambridge-area homes will open for booked visits on 19th & 27th September. Is your home an interesting low-energy home that you'd consider showing people who are keen to learn from you? Visitors love seeing how to save energy in real situations and most go on to make their own home energy improvements. We already have some brilliant 2015 Open Homes, but need a few more before we finalise the list. Please get in touch soon. More details here.
The share offer for Reach Community Solar Farm is still open until the end of May. We'd like to say a huge thank you to the many of you in the Transition Cambridge family who have already bought shares - and if that isn't you, please do consider it now before it's too late! We're very close now to the point where we can definitely go ahead, but we do need a few more people to buy shares. Help us turn Cambridgeshire green - it's a great ethical investment! More details here.
Gardens around Cambridge
It's spring, so for gardeners that means the Chelsea show. And in 2015 for the first time, there are Chelsea Fringe events in Cambridge - installations, art projects, community gardening. Fancy visiting a floating garden or feeding pondlife in a bathtub pond? Meditative drawing in the company of trees or making a library garden more friendly? To discover what's on, click here
18:00-20:00, Mill Road Cemetery
This month's creative writing session with Clare Crossman will be outside - weather permitting! Each month we explore the relationship between people and the natural world using existing texts by other writers and writing ourselves. Meet at the Cemetery gates - Mill Road entrance - unless it's rainng heavily in which case, join us in the cosy back room at the Earl of Beaconsfield. All welcome, no need to book! Wear clothes/shoes suitable for a cool spring evening- it can get chilly. Price: £10 per person.
19:00, Granta Lounge, University Centre, Granta Place, Cambridge
The Fossil Free Cambridgeshire campaign is continuing to grow. This campaign is calling on all local councils in Cambridgeshire to divest investments and pensions from fossil fuels, institute an ethical investment policy and invest in sustainable industries such as renewable energy. To support the campaign please read and sign the petition, which already has over 100 signatures. All are welcome to attend the next planning meeting for the campaign at 7pm on Wednesday 27th May in the Granta Lounge at the University Centre, Granta Place, Cambridge. Facebook event here.
09:30-13:00, Gravel Hill Farm, Madingley Road, CB3 0FU
Transition Cambridge has been invited to take part in this seminar organised at the North West Cambridge Development, as part of a project titled "Dwelling Model: Unsettled Research Centre for Sustainability and the Built Environment", created by Fernando Garcia Dory. The exhibition and seminar will be a chance to discuss the dreams and challenges of new developments. An installation occupying the sample apartment of NWCD will also draw on different questions related with sustainability and built environments, from a post-catastrophe shelters catalogue to a recycled materials greenhouse. Seminar talks include the Cambridge Future Living Community with Rajiv Chelani, “Unmonastery and technology to the people” with Ben Vickers, a talk by Dr Heather Cruikshank, and a session with Transition Cambridge. Please share the event with your networks and encourage people to come along. The event is free but registering is essential, please click here to book. There is more information here, and here is some information about the associated exhibitions and other events here: “Gravel: notes from the other side of the fence”. Food available on site from 1-2pm from delicious local food traders.
10:00-17:00, Norfolk Farm
Gleaning EMERGENCY! 250 TONNES of parsnips are going to waste on a farm in Norfolk, near Kings Lynn. The prices offered for these parsnips by supermarkets were so low that the farmer couldn’t afford to harvest them and break even. The more volunteers we have, the more parsnips we can save! We’re inviting volunteers to the farm to help save those parsnips, and surprise food poverty charities like FareShare all over the UK with beautiful parsnips. Witness the colossal waste first-hand, and have a great social day out for a fantastic cause. We cover travel expenses from Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and nearby – just check with us first – and will be organising car-shares. To join the mega-parsnip glean, or for more info, please email us More details here.
Cambridge Carbon Footprint are excited to be setting their latest challenge, the WWII Rationing Challenge. 2015 is the 70 year anniversary marking the end of WWII. This challenge helps us remember some of the hardships that people endured in their daily lives whilst exploring the common ground between a diet from the forties/fifties and eating sustainably today. Participants trying a ration based diet can join for a week or month in June and will have their own ration book with supporting info and resources. To find out more and sign up see our website. All are invited to a launch event at St Paul's, 7.30pm on Tues 2nd June for an evening of talks, displays and short films. Free event, no booking required. More details here.
This food challenge explores the common ground between a diet from the 1940s and eating sustainably today. Less meat and dairy, less sugar and fat, and certainly no food waste - all healthier for us and much better for the environment. Sign up for a week or more, receive a rationing booklet, ideas, recipes and tips. Come to the launch event on Tuesday 2nd June at 7.30 p.m., at the St. Pauls Centre on Hills Road to find out more. More details here.
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.
10:30-11:30, Foster Road allotments trading hut CB2 9JR
Swap spare seedlings, plants and surplus seeds. Expand the range of plants you grow and meet other local gardeners. You can attend even if you don't have anything to swap, just make a donation. This year we are collecting for the Nepal Earthquake Appeal. No admission charge. Everyone welcome! Directions here. We usually have plant swaps each May, June and October.
09:00-17:00, Embercombe, Higher Ashton, Exeter, Devon EX6 7QQ
We are delighted that Helena Norburg Hodge is visiting the UK and running a 3 day workshop on The Economics of Happiness at Embercombe on 24th - 26th June 2015. Helena is a pioneer of the localisation movement, and the articulator of the core ideas of counter-development. The course is for anyone interested in local economic systems design and implementation and plugging the gaps of our leaking local economy. Her Economics of Happiness programme stimulates new thinking, joint activity and public education in response to economic globalisation. For more information or to sign up for the course click here. It's a great chance to bring your ideas and exchange with one of the keys thinkers in localisation. Here is a link to her film trailer which features Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement. The cost is £205 for all three days, meals and accommodation in shared yurts on the evenings of 24th and 25th June. You can read more about Embercombe here.
19:00, Waterstones, 22 Sidney Street, Cambridge CB2 3HG
Join lecturer, campaigner and journalist Steve Melia as he discusses his new book 'Urban Transport - without the hot air'. Steve will dispel current myths about urban transport, discuss current problems and solutions and tell us how Cambridge sets a sustainable example. Tickets are £5.00, available from Waterstones' ground floor desk. The book is out on 4th June, published by UIT, more info here. You can read his article on peak oil, economics and politics here
19:30-19:30, Cambridge School of Art
Once a year artists and other researchers come together to engage in a dialogue about sustainability and to explore new ways of facing challenges, particularly those created by human activity. If you'd like to take part, there is some more info here (flyer) or here (website) or contact Marina Velez directly via e-mail. More details here.
20:00, The Unitarian Church Hall, Victoria Street, CB1 1JW
When Tistou is sent to school after being taught at home he finds that he is unable to stop falling asleep in the lessons. By the third day the school have had enough and he is sent home. Tistou’s father decides that he will continue his education by learning from real life, from direct observation and where better to start than in the garden! With the gardener Mr Moustache, Tistou discovers he has a remarkable gift that he has green thumbs – everything he touches grows into beautiful plants. Over the course of the next few days Tistou learns many new things as he visits the town prison, the slums and the hospital. Now Tistou has no time to sleep. He discovers the most extraordinary thing – that “flowers prevent evil things from happening”. After all his visits magical things begin to happen in the little town of Mirepoil... Ashley Ramsden, renowned storyteller and founder of the School of Storytelling at Emerson College weaves his storytelling magic. Admission is £8/£6. More details here.
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. Do you have an interesting (not perfect!) low-energy home that others could learn from? We're looking for more. See "Hosting" at openecohomes.org or phone 01223 301842 More details here.
Have a great week!
Anna and the bulletin-writing team