Transition Loughborough Zoom Meeting 27th July 2020
Present: Caroline, Martha, Jon, John, Ruth, Luke, Mo, Jason, Natalie, Janet, Ken, Suella
1. Making the most of the allotment now through more planning of maintenance/planting/harvesting days.
Martha suggested a workgroup at the end of September on a Saturday (to give time to do it as evenings only give an hour or two for working) to recover the polytunnel as the last thing we do on the plot for this year. Probably need people to wear face coverings if we have to work close together (need to keep 1m or more distant). Pencil in Saturday 19th September and then have the following weekend as back up if the weather isn’t good.
There’s a new member of the allotment team – Cesca – who is an expert organic vegetable grower. She may also be able to run a basket weaving workshop.
The Wednesday evening gardening sessions are going ahead now, with salad crops for the Autumn being sown this week (plus weeding and watering!). The plant sales during lock down have raised £1000, shared between TL, LAGS and Fearon Hall, so we now have enough money for the new polytunnel cover. Martha, Steve and others involved thanked.
2. Making the most of the garage as our HQ and activity centre
Steve has painted the garage we rent at Fearon Hall but the roof still needs fixing. Not feasible to hold events there this year (as the Hall was shut during most of this year and even if open the space in and around the garage would make social distancing difficult). The roof blew back off again last winter, which still needs to be repaired. Jason plans to chat with Steve at the allotment this week about plans to move forward with the garage. Could volunteers already working at Fearon Hall help with the garage for example?
3. Joining in with Food for Life’s ‘World Food Day’ on October 16th if it is feasible at the time with regard to what covid restrictions are in place.
Decided to discuss as part of the general event planning discussed later (see below)
4. Update on Carbon Literate Charnwood project
Had funding from Charnwood Borough Council to run four 1 day courses but have had to move them online because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We did the first course over 3 evenings via Zoom, and are now part way through the second course with many people from All Saints church eco group. Emma Ward was on the first course and as she is a local councillor she’s arranged for Caroline to run an extra course for the council themselves (her pledge at the end of the course was to set this up!). We plan a third, potentially online, course, but the 4th course we’re going to definitely hold face-to-face for those people who can’t/don’t want to use video conferencing.
Luke introduced himself and his involvement with sustainability at the British Gypsum site in Barrow. He and Ruth both said they were interested in taking part in the next online course – Caroline will make sure they get an email to let them know dates when we’ve arranged it. Other people in TL can help be spreading the word when we have the next dates arranged.
5. Hear from existing CLC participants about their pledges
Mo talked about her pledge to bring together a large compost project as part of her Master Composter role and also interest from Fearon Hall & All Saints eco group. Martha asked if Mo/Suella/Bertil could run a composting workshop, as many people had issues with not knowing about how to compost during the pandemic lockdown. Mo and Suella said yes!
Jon described his pledge to talk to the University to consider “choice editing” beef and lamb from menus to reduce the carbon footprint of the meals served on the campus.
6) Talking about how we go about doing the usual events that happen in the next 6 months.
Should we plan as normal and then adapt depending on the guidelines at the time? Cancel things altogether or plan as if things will still be as they are now such as 2m distancing? Difficult to tell at the moment because things are still very uncertain. These are the events that haven’t been mentioned elsewhere:
• Apple pressing – have all the events we go to been cancelled?
Martha said it wasn’t clear what was going to happen to the Fruit Route events on campus this Autumn. Many other events we normally attend are already cancelled (for example Caroline’s church harvest festival).
Steve had suggested we could do apple pressings and bottling either “privately” or in a socially distanced way. If we do the latter we could tell people to bring their own bottles – could be done as a “pop up” outside Fearon Hall and/or at LAGS? The problem would be handling bottles people bring in on the day – that’s probably a no-no under Covid Safe recommendations. Socially distancing around the press could also be tricky – at events people crowd around it, especially excited children. Would need a risk assessment and careful planning. Martha and Jason to talk to Steve about options on Wednesday evening when they see him at the allotment.
• Autumn Fair – is Fearon Hall running anything?
Looks like lots of events have been cancelled. The Hall is only just starting to reopen.
• Launch of Potato Day – do Chesterfield have any plans?
Transition Chesterfield are doing pre-orders only this year as they shop they run would be impossible to run in a socially distanced way. The charity stall on Loughborough market may not be running at the moment because the market has to be more spread out. We could do pre-order only, with pre-booked time slots for collection from somewhere like Fearon Hall. What would happen if we have another lockdown? We managed to have plant sales in a socially distanced way during the lock down, so that should be OK for pre-orders. Janet pointed out that we don’t want to have stock we can’t sell, so pre-orders are probably the best option.
• Involvement with Fair Trade and Green Living Fayre.
• Eco Social / Winter Feast.
Nobody knew if these were going ahead. The Christmas Tree festival is definitely cancelled. Similarly with the Food for Life event – we don’t know what’s happening in October at the moment and whether that could tie in with Fruit Route events if they happen.
• Then in the new year – Seed swap, Repair Cafe, etc.
Too far away at the moment as we’re not sure what the state of play will be in 2021. May have another lock down by then! Best discuss as a group later in the Autumn.
Date/type of next meeting?
Caroline then asked if we’d like another Zoom meeting. Yes, probably in a month or so. Caroline will do a poll for times, etc again.