Sunday, 23 October 2011

Events coming up...

Saturday 29th October -  DraughtBusting Session from 11 am onwards.
Do you want to save energy in your home? Transition Brockley is offering the opportunity to learn how to install some basic home insulation.

Drop in between 11am and 1pm to see a demo (in a private house near to Hilly Fields) of how to draughtproof doors and windows easily and neatly.  Then buy the materials and - DIY!

LOCATION:  22 Eastern Road, SE4


Thursday 17 November 7.30pm, at Cafe Crema, New Cross Road:

The Mysterious Bee - an instructive documentary about one man's fascination with the bees he's keeping in his back garden.

See here for some info and a
lso, a five minute clip on YouTube

£3 charge at the door.


Saturday 3 December, 2 - 4pm
Winter gardening at the Transition Brockley plot.
Please bring your own gloves and tools.
Gardening is at your own risk, please come with health and safety in mind.

Meeting Update

In a concerted effort to keep people up to date with what's happening at meetings should members not be able to attend we will try and publish a brief resume of what was discussed alongside the date of the next meeting and events coming up.

Outcomes from Meeting 11.10.11 at Browns of Brockley

Local Timebank

Discussion around possibility of engaging with local timebanking community, to help source participants for activities but also to help to increase diversity of the transition town. Maria to investigate further.

Fruit Harvesting 2011

Brockley has an abundance of fruit trees and a lot of fruit goes to waste because the fruit isn't picked. We're following on the heels of others. See:

The main aim is to highlight the contribution that food makes to our carbon footprint (around 20%) and ensure that the harvest from local fruit trees doesn't go to waste, by organising groups of volunteers to go and pick from people's back gardens or trees overhanging the pavement.

Transition Brockley has organised several picking outings over the course of August, September and October. A dozen volunteers have picked from half a dozen back gardens in the Brockley area. There's no doubt that walking around the area with a fruit picker does invite questions and perhaps we have inspired some people to pick their own fruit. (we certainly had questions about where to buy pickers). In early October, we did our final picking session and took some of our pickings along to a juicing event at Honor Oak Park allotments where a large group was engaged in chopping, mashing and juicing apples and pears. The end product was delicious.

Reflecting on the fruit harvesting at the October meeting we noted that difficulties were:
-not knowing how many volunteers were going to turn up
-making sure fruit trees were going to be ripe at the time of proposed harvesting. This in effect means that much has to be organised at the last minute, at a time when the tree owner can be around.

Suggestions for the future were:
-start earlier to catch the plums! Some were picked this year but there were more.
-alongside organising occasional groups of volunteers to pick, we could encourage people to advertise excess fruit on freecycle
-such advertising could be done using posters on trees on roads where we know there are lots of fruit trees.
-if we wanted to get more people we could make use of the Rushey Green time bank which is very active.

As well as sharing out fruit, we also hope to stimulate discussion about other ways in which resources can be shared.e.g. Do you know of others to add to this list? If so, please email us.

Garden Share 
Are you looking for a plot of land to grow fruit and veg on? Or do you have a garden which is neglected and would be happy for someone to use part (or all) of, to grow food? Transition Brockley are investigating matching up available plots with growers. If this might suit you, please email us.
At a national level see

Online facility to dispose of items you no longer need to someone who can make use of them. Please see here for details.

Hire your neighbours car (fully insured). See:

Lend and borrow everyday objects, skills and spaces. See:
e.g. borrow a power tool - Apparently the average productive time of a drill in its entire lifetime is about 12-13 minutes.

Community Garden at Brockley Station

Volunteers met on Saturday 15th October to prepare the plot for the winter. The new sign is almost ready and will show what we have planted during the winter. The next session down at the garden is on Saturday 3rd December from 2-4pm. Please bring your own gloves and tools and remember that gardening is of course at your own risk so please bear this mind.

Draughtbusting Session 
Going ahead on Sat 29 October from 11 to 1.00pm. Address details to follow.


Meadow at the orchard plot on Hilly Fields to be cut then raked up within next week. Orchard carers to be contacted.

London Lead on Low Carbon Economic Growth

Event being organised at City Hall discussed and details forwarded to those in group interested in attending.

South East London Transition
Members of different South East London transition town groups met on Saturday 22nd October to share thoughts. Feedback soon!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Apple Days

Our friends at the London Orchard Project are hosting 3 apple days across London later this month with one of them at the Centre for Wildlife Gardening in the Peckham/East Dulwich which is a fantastic facility in our area which we advise you to check out! Details below:

The London Orchard Project will be hosting 3 Apple Days in partnership with The London Wildlife Trust
11-4 at the Centre for Wildlife Gardening in East Dulwich/ Peckam on the 16th October
11-9 at Camley Street Reserve in King's Cross on the 22nd October and
11-4 at Camley Street Reserve in King's Cross on the 23rd October.
All the events are family focused and friendly, and there will be some live bans from 3 pm- 9pm on Saturday 22nd, thanks to the lovely folk at Seventeen Events. 
What to expect on the day:
- The London Orchard Project will be hosting beginners' workshops on how to plant and look after fruit trees throughout the day at these events (up to 5 on 22nd). Participants will get expert advice on which fruit trees would be most suitable for their gardens, after which participants will get the opportunity to order a starter pack and fruit tree for £5 (which will be ready for collection in early December). This is an initiative supported by the Mayor of London's RE-LEAF Partnership.
- The London Orchard Project will be exhibiting a wide number of different apple varieties, with opportunities to taste them all. We will also be exhibiting fruit that have been harvested throughout London
- There will also be juicing on site, which people will be able to join in with- including a pedal powered fruit crusher, designed for us by our competition winner Peter Clarke!
- There will be preserving demonstrations throughout the day, run by Pickling Peckam on the 16th October, and Clippy from Clippy's Apple on 22nd and 23rd October
- Ian White from the Campaign for Real Ale will be running cider making and tasting workshops
- The London Wildlife Trust will be organising apple related games and activities for children
- Apple related foods will be prepared and drinks will be on sale
- There will be 6 acoustic bands playing from 3 onwards on the 22nd, organised by Seventeen Events
All the events will be free, but we will be accepting donations for The London Orchard Project and The London Wildlife Trust. 
We're in the process of putting together some lovely watch this space and save the date for the time being!

Winter gardening session at Brockley Common

The summer has seen the community garden at the station flourish once again with much picking and eating done however gardening is a neverending if rewarding task and Saturday 15th October 2-4pm will see Transitioners and friends descend upon the plot to prepare for the winter with general maintenance tasks alongside the planting of winter crops.

Transition town member, Caroline has done an excellant job of co-ordinating the garden activities this year and writes:

Many thanks for your offers of plants for the winter garden.

So far we have offers of: broad beans, lambs lettuce, oregano, wild rocket, spinach, field beans, and possibly some strawberry plants (although it may be too late in the year to plant these.)

Please let me know before next Tuesday whether you will be bringing anything to plant. The list of possibles is: rainbow chard, spinach, broad beans, thyme, spring cabbages, rosemary, oregano, kale, garlic, lambs lettuce, onions, mustard, wild rocket, mizuna, chicory, chervil, leaf celery, parsley, peas, kale, mizuna, mibuna, winter lettuce, rhubarb, onion

And indeed you may know of other suitable plants for this time of year!

We would also be really happy to see you without plants as many hands make light work! And of course coffee and cake is always a great reward! 

Gardening with Transition town Brockley is at your own risk. Please come with health and safety in mind.

So if you fancy a spot of gardening before the cold really sets in then please do drop by and we'll be more than happy to see you! A reminder of the date again: Saturday 15th October 2-4pm at the community garden outside Brockley Station. We shall no doubt drop in to the Broca for a hot drink and cake at some point!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Hilly Fields Orchard Update

Fran has been in touch with an update on the orchard at Hilly Fields which by all accounts appears to have been a great success this year with the addition of a couple of pear and mulberry trees and the mini meadow.


All the trees are looking very healthy - well watered and free of weeds.  New laminated labels have been attached  to replace the worn-out ones.  In our usual weather pattern there would be lots of rain now and much cooler temperatures, and we wouldn't need to water any more until next April.  However, given the high temperatures and dry spell we are having, if you aren't already doing so, it would be a good idea to give the trees a soak until autumn proper sets in!

The mini-meadow has  been really colourful and there are still poppies and ox-eye daisies in flower, but once they all stop flowering, they will need to be cut down, left for the seeds to set for 4-5 days and then the cuttings will be raked up so that there's no mulching down of the dead plants (this gives too  much nutrient which meadow flowers don't need).

Apart from that, I'd just like to say that you've all done a great job, and after the meadow management there shouldn't be anything to do until next Spring, but we will be Wassailing the trees in the New Year to help them grow!