Sunday, 27 June 2010

Hilly Fields Fayre

Last weekend saw the annual fayre at Hilly Fields take place and Transition Brockley was there alongside other environmentally orientated organisations such as Lewisham Waste Initiatives, Frendsbury Gardens, Global Action Plan, and Sustainable Energy in Lewisham. Fran kindly took some pictures which you can see below:

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Hilly Fields Fayre - just days away!

This years Fayre at Hilly Fields organised by the Brockley Society is just days away! This year Transition Brockley have been co-ordinating a 'green' themed area with a number of local environmentally-themed participants including Global Action Plan, Lewisham Waste Initiatives, Lewisham Sustainable Resources Team, Frendsbury Gardens and 9 Carrots alongside our own stall which will have information on all the things we have been involved in. You can find out more details about the Fayre and view the programme here Come along and say hello!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Hilly Fields Orchard Update

Carina from the London Orchard Project has sent through details of the proposed orchard and we've now prepared a plan of the site with proposed trees shown (see below).

Carina writes:

We are proposing to plant 7 fruit trees on the level patch of grass at the bottom of the slope with the stone circle. Semi-mature trees on the patch will be retained, and planting will be amongst the existing trees.

The proposal is to plant 7 apple trees, including a mixture of common and heritage varieties, with fruit of different colour and cropping at different times throughout the harvest season. Some of the varieties are known for their hardiness, making them more likely to succeed, or are doing particularly well on our current sites.

The proposed varieties are as follows.

1. Egremont Russet: Late Victorian English variety, most important commercial Russet, good frost tolerance, nutty flavour ripe in mid-September.

2. Tydeman’s Late Orange: variety raised in 1930s in Kent, rich aromatic flavour, firm and sweet, orange to red in colour, picking time mid October. A cross between a Laxton Superb and a Cox Orange Pippin, but a lot easier to grow than a Cox Orange Pippin. Picking time mid-October.

3. Greensleeves: green to yellow mid-season apple, popular with children as it is a cross with a Golden Delicious, picking time mid-September.

4. James Grieve: Received an Award of Merit from the RHS in 1897, produces juicy and tangy fruit and crops heavily and regularly.

5. Sunset: Raised in Kent in 1918, produces golden fruit with red stripes, with a firm, crisp texture and an intense cox like flabour. Picking time late September.

6. Arthur Turner: Cooking apple, excellent for baking and famous for its outstanding pink blossom. Picking time is August to September. Raised in Berkshire in 1912.

7. Kingston Black: Cider apple, producing small conical fruit, maroon colour. The flavour is bittersweet and aromatic, ideal for making cider.

Varieties will be finalised after the Hilly Fields Fayre where people will be allowed to vote for their preferred choices, and depending on our suppliers’ availability closer to the time of the planting.

Two of the trees will be grafted on MM106 rootstock resulting in trees that will grow up to approximately 4 metres after 10 years, and produce 90-110 lb of apples. These trees are “semi-vigorous”, and will be placed closer to the side of the ditch. It will be easy for passers by to help themselves to the fruit.

The remaining five will be grafted on M25 rootstock, which will produce a standard tree, over 5 metres high. These bigger trees are the ones found in traditional orchards, and their larger size will make them more in keeping with the other semi-mature trees in the area, although fruit collection will be more difficult. These trees will be placed amongst the existing semi-mature trees.

The trees will be double staked and double guarded, to minimise the risk of accidental or deliberate damage.

It is suggested to hold the planting event on 27th November, with training of park users and Transition Town members planned for the 6th or 7th November (to be confirmed).

We'll keep you updated on progress.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Performance Planting

You might have noticed the new planting beds at Brockley Station recently completed by the Brockley Cross Action Group. This site has been in planning for many years and with the new London Overground arriving in Brockley it is a timely improvement to the area. In addition to the beds is a planned performance space at the end of the ramps at the Brockley Cross end of the site. Due to funding issues this has had to be put on hold so BXAG approached Transition Brockley to see if we would like to co-ordinate the temporary planting of this area.

With no set budget and the group appealed for plants and people to help spruce up the barren patch of earth and in just a few hours the hardwork of 5 or 6 people turned the space into a productive and more beautiful patch of land. The plan below shows the different types of plant that have been planted. Many of them have been planted from seed so you might not see much for a little while!

The job is not finished though as careful nurturing and watering of the plants is required and a joint effort between the Brockley Cross Action Group and Transition Brockley members will carry out maintenance. The planting in this space is not yet finished so if you would still like to contribute any plants or seeds then feel free to plant them; all we ask is that you avoid planting where any plants or seeds have already been sown and continue to help with the maintanance of the site.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Transition hits Hilly Fields Fayre!

This years Hilly Fields Fayre will be graced with an environmentally themed area with Transition Brockley leading the way by co-ordinating other like-minded people such as Global Action Plan, 9 Carrots, and Frendsbury Gardens to join up and raise environmental awareness in Brockley.

Also expected is home-made ice cream using eggs from some of TB's members' own chickens alongside a wide range entertainments, activities and other stalls.

The Fayre is on Saturday 19th June and is one of the highlights of the local calender so do come along!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Fruit Harvesting in Brockley

Inspired by Grow Sheffield's Abundance project and in conjunction with Transition Brockley's own attempts to recreate Brockley's strong history of orchards Katie recently hosted an evening of tasty snacks and chat about the potential of fruit harvesting in Brockley. 

As we found at the meeting fruit harvesting can be quite a daunting task with plenty of logistics to overcome before the first fruit is plucked from a tree. However, as can be seen in Sheffield with the Abundance project it is possible to do and can produce many benefits for local groups. Helpfully the group in Sheffield have now produced a handbook which will no doubt prove invaulable to harvesters.

The next stage for the group is to establish some key parameters for the project:

- Who will benefit from the fruit?
- Which areas to target?
- Mapping Brockley's fruit trees
- Sourcing equipment required for harvesting

If you're interested in harvesting or have fruit trees which don't get harvested then please contact Katie