Thank you for recent events – and film heads up

A quick note to say thank you to all the people who have supported and attended our two recent weekend events.  They were both great successes!

The Potato Day last week went very well and we were in profit by 9am. Our income was boosted by refreshment sales in the Baptist Church hall on the Saturday morning, so many thanks to the team there as well as on the market stall. The profits from Potato Day go towards paying for Transition Loughborough’s annual expenses – things like the event insurance and rent for the community allotment. By doing this we aren’t relying on grant incomes for basic operational costs, which can some times be difficult to get or limited in what they can cover.  It allows us to give free or low cost entry to other events throughout the year. Of course we’re also helping local gardeners get reasonably priced seed potatoes, onions, garlic, seeds and supplies . We hope you all enjoy the resulting crops later in the year, and we look forward to seeing your photos.

This weekend saw our bumper repair, energy advice, upcycling and seed swap event take place in Fearon Hall.  It was very well attended and we saw lots of smiling faces! Many thanks to all who volunteered their time to help – and we’ve had several people contact us wanting to volunteer for future events which is great. And thank you to the folks at Fearon Hall for hosting us once again. We were teamed up with the folk from Leicester Fixers who run their own regular electrical repair events in Leicester, and we talked with people from other towns who came along to see what we do that they can replicate in their localities.

Blue - a documentary film on ocean pollutions, habitat loss and species extinction.

Blue movie poster

And now for a quick heads up for an environmental event that Transition Loughborough isn’t organising, but which you might be interested in.  On Wednesday 20th March, 2019 at 6:30PM a group are aiming to show the environmental documentary film Blue at the Odeon in the Cattle Market in Loughborough. Blue looks at how the oceans are broken, and what we can do to fix them. The last forty years have seen a massive loss in marine life, and we’re on course to having more plastic than fish in the seas with the next thirty years. Pollution, loss of habitat and species extinction are all problems that the film looks at. The organising group (which includes some Transition Loughborough members) need 40 people to reserve tickets in order to make it viable – you can reserve yours online here.

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Stop press additions to Saturday’s event

Just a quick posting to give everyone a heads up about some last minute additions to the event we’re holding between 10am and 1pm at Fearon Hall this coming Saturday (2nd February 2019).

Firstly we have another new volunteer repairer join our team this week who will be able to tackle basic bike repairs and troubleshooting. We’ve had bike repairers at Repair Cafes in the past which have proved popular, so it’s great to have Jonny coming along to concentrate on bikes this weekend. We’ll also have repairers covering electricals/electronics, toys, garment repair, general repairs and tool sharpening, as well as a stall demonstrating how to “upcycle” household items to give them a new life.

Cycle maintenance workshop

A Transition Loughborough bicycle maintenance workshop

Secondly Caroline has offered to do a third talk at 11.30am called ‘Stay Warm at Home This Winter’.  It will cover saving money, switching suppliers and help available for people struggling with energy bills. Caroline will also touch on energy efficiency options that can save money whilst also cutting your carbon footprint. This talk is in addition to the one-to-one energy advice stand she’ll be running for the the rest of Saturday morning at the event. The other two talks we have on Saturday are by Marie from Leicester Fixers at 10:30am on encouraging the spread of repair education at home and in schools, and a talk on growing exotic vegetables given by Hiron at 11:00am. All the talks are free (as is entry to the events as a whole).

The last addition to the previously announced plan is the possibility (weather permitting!) of having the neighbouring wildlife garden attached to Fearon Hall open. Gardeners coming along for our seed swap are encouraged to pop “out the back” for a few minutes and see what the team working there have achieved. You can even lend a hand!

It’s worth mentioning for gardeners that we’ll also have the remaining “buy on the day ” seed potatoes from last week’s successful Potato Day available for sale. Not many left mind, so please get there early if you missed out last weekend. These will be alongside the free seed swap with Martha.

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Repairing, restarting, upcycling, seed swapping and energy advice event

On Saturday 2nd Feb 2019 in Fearon Hall from 10am to 1pm we will be running a bumper event that covers a number of Transition related topics.  A little something for everyone… so read on to find out what may interest you.

Firstly we will be partnering with the Leicester Fixers group to hold another of our popular Repair Cafes. As before if you have something that is broken, that you don’t know how to fix and that you are just going to throw away, bring it along to see if one of our volunteer tinkerers can show you how to repair it. We can do many repairs for free there and then, but if not the repairer will explain what parts might be needed, where to get them, how much they should cost and how you can fit them.  You need to stay with the item you want fixed (this isn’t a repair shop where you can drop things off and pick them up later – our repairers will want to talk to you and show you things!) and whilst there are obviously no guarantees we’ll do our best to fix things. A new addition this time is a “toy hospital” which may be able to resurrect toys that didn’t quite survive from Christmas into the New Year!

To complement the repairing, we’ll have the Emily from Upcycle Your Life on hand to demonstrate how items that are normally wasted may be able to have useful second lives around your home. There’ll be information  on reducing waste & saving money available and maybe some giveaways too..

Alongside the Repair Cafe, Marie Lefebvre from Leicester Fixers will be giving a short talk at 10:30am on encouraging the spread of repair education at home and in schools. If you have children or are a teacher, this talk will be of great interest to you. Having our young people pick up both repair skills and a culture of repairing rather than buying-and-dumping is something we need to work on to give us a sustainable future. There are already moves afoot in worldwide to get repairability of products given more emphasis during design & manufacture, as we need to ensure less material is consumed and heads to landfill.

Moving on from repairing, we will have our annual Seed Swap running all morning. This is usually very popular with local gardeners and is very simple. Just bring along any old, unwanted, duplicate, part used or self saved seeds that you have, drop the packets on the swap table and then have a rumage to see what seed packets you’d like to take away. No money changes hands and it’s a great way to weed your seed tins whilst picking up interesting new seeds to sow this season. You can bring and take as many packets as you like – you don’t need to do a one-for-one swap. Our gardening expert Martha will be on hand to help with growing and sowing advice.

To fit in with the seed swap, another talk will take place at 11am when Hiron will be telling us how to grow and use more exotic vegetables in the UK. This will interest our Food & Gardens supporters, who may find some exotic veg seeds in the seed swap! We have had people grow all sorts of Asian vegetables at our Community Allotment plots off King George Road, so we know exotic veggies can grow in the town.

Last but not least, Transition Loughborough’s Energy Group will be represented by Caroline from Marches Energy Agency. She will be able to give you expert advice and information on home energy issues. Want to improve the energy efficiency of your home? Wonder if you can apply for a grant? Or want to save money by switching energy supplier but don’t know how to? Caroline can help!

Entry to this event is free so come along and get help with repairing, upcycling, growing and improving your home energy.

 

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Potato Day 2019 is nearly here!

A last reminder that between 9am and 1pm on Saturday 26th January we’ll have our Potato Day 2019 stall on Loughborough market, located between Lloyds bank and the circular seating area. If you’ve made a pre-order you will need to come along then to pick up what you’ve ordered, or arrange with someone to pick them up on your behalf.

We will also have limited quantities of seed potatoes and onion sets for sale on the day on a “first come, first served” basis.  These can sell out quickly, so if you missed out on pre-ordering be sure to come along early. We will also have some of our recycled material shopping bags for sale if you need something to carry your potatoes home in.

Nearby in the Baptist Church hall off Baxtergate we will have some volunteers serving refreshments and cakes.  All profits from Potato Day and the refreshments go towards running Transition Loughborough for the rest of the year, so all purchases are gratefully received.

 

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Heads up: bumper event coming on Saturday 2nd Feb 2019

Make a note in your diary: Transition Loughborough will be holding a bumper event in Fearon Hall on Saturday 2nd February 2019 from 10am to 1pm covering repairing, upcycling, seed swapping, growing exotic veggies and home energy advice.  More details soon!

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Potato Day is approaching!

On Saturday 26th January 2019 our annual Potato Day stall will be in Loughborough market to distribute the pre-orders of seed potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, beans and peas that people made before Christmas. We’ll probably be located between Lloyds bank and the circular seats at the Churchgate end of the market. If you made a pre-order with us, please come to the market between 9am and 1pm to pick up your goods. If you can’t make it yourself, please try to arrange with a friend or neighbour to pick them up on your behalf, as we don’t have a large amount of frost free storage space available in order to keep them safe for you.

As well as pre-order deliveries we will have for sale on the morning a limited quantity of seed potatoes available on a first come, first served basis at 20p per tuber and a few packets of red and white onion sets. Our members will also be providing hot refreshments and cakes in the nearby Baptist Church hall (off Baxter Gate).  All the profits from Potato Day sales and the refreshments go towards helping pay for Transition Loughborough costs for the rest of the year (room hires, event insurance, community allotment rent, etc) so that we aren’t relying on grants for our basic operation.

As an advance “heads up”, the weekend after Potato Day will see our next event. On Saturday 2nd February we’ll be holding a Seed Swap in Fearon Hall from 10am to 1pm.  This will be shared with repair cafe/restart, upcycling and energy advice stalls, and there will be a talk on growing exotic plants and another on encouraging repair ethos and skills in schools.

The Seed Swap is a chance for you to bring any excess/old/unwanted/self saved seeds, place them on the swap table and then see what is there that you might fancy growing.  Seed swapping is usually a very popular event with local gardeners and we end up with quite a range of vegetable, herb and flower seeds. If there are any potatoes left unsold from Potato Day we’ll also bring those along to sell (though don’t rely on that – in previous years we’ve sometimes sold out before lunchtime on Potato Day!).

The repair/restart aspect of the event will have people on hand to try to help you fix any broken items that you’re about to throw away, and the upcycling fok will be demonstrating how you can divert things from waste to be useful for new purposes.  We will also have people on hand from March Energy Agency to provide energy efficiency, saving and supplier swapping advice and help.

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Christmas Tree Festival and Potato Day pre-orders

A couple of quick reminders of what’s going on in Transition Loughborough at the moment:

Christmas Tree Festival

Firstly we have a tree in the All Saints with Holy Trinity Church annual community Christmas Tree festival. The church is open to visitors from now until Sunday (see times in the poster below) with a £2.50 entry fee for adults and free entry for children. Our tree makes use of reused, repaired and recycled materials to show that Christmas doesn’t need to be a festival full of single use plastic and wasteful consumption. We also have our recent Community Heroes award certificate and information material on hand.

Potato Day Pre-order Deadline

Secondly, we are getting very close to our 6th December cut off date for pre-orders for our Potato Day. If you want to order from our full range of seed potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, beans, peas, green manures and other veg growing sundries, you need to get orders made by 6th December, otherwise sadly we won’t be able to accept them. So please get your orders in online or by sending us a completed order form ASAP.

Potato Talk Text

Talking of Potato Day, after the recent very successful Potato Talk by Karen Gimson at Fearon Hall, Karen has kindly provided us with the text of her talk. So if you couldn’t make it to the talk, you can now catch up with her great information, hints and tips by downloading the PDF version. There also still time to make a donation to help Rainbows Hospice too!

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Potato Day Seed Orders and Christmas Trees

Transition Loughborough have two projects under way during November that you might be interested in.

Firstly we’re in the midst of taking pre-orders for our Potato Day in January. You can order seed potatoes, beans, peas, onions, shallots, garlic, green manures and potato growing accessories from our friends at Transition Chesterfield by going to their Potato Day website. The pre-orders will be collected from Chesterfield in late January and then distributed from our stall in Loughborough Market on Saturday 26th January. You have until 6th December 2018 to place your pre-orders – after then it’s too late!

The small profit we make on each of these orders helps fund Transition Loughborough projects for the rest of the year, so not only are you getting great value vegetable seeds but you’re also helping the group pay its way through 2019. When ordering please remember to let the Chesterfield folk know by email that you want your order delivering to Loughborough. For more information about Potato Day and ordering, see our dedicated Potato Day 2019 page.

 

The other project that we working on during November is our entry to the All Saints with Holy Trinity annual Christmas Tree Festival.  Our tree is trying to demonstrate the ethos behind Transition Loughborough and so is using decorations made by local people from upcycled materials, borrowed LED lights and a tree that is not the conventional plastic artificial tree or imported cut down spruce! We’ll be adding messages about Transition projects and ideas, and have leaflets around it for people to find out more about Transition. See the photo below from Janet Smith of the bare skeleton tree ready to decorate. If you want to help add to the tree we’re hoping to run another session of upcycled decoration making at the Purple Pumpkin Patch on the evening of Monday 19th November. The tree has to be ready by 22nd November and the festival itself runs in the church from 28th November to 2nd December.

Lastly a reminder that our friends in the local Fairtrade group are holding their annual Fairtrade Fair this coming Saturday, 17th November at Loughborough Baptist Church from 10am to 3pm. There’s bound to be some great ethical gifts available that will make lovely Xmas presents.

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Potato Day pre-ordering now open!

Good news! Our chums at Transition Chesterfield have opened the online Potato Day pre-ordering website that we share with them, so you can now order seed potatoes, peas, beans, onions, shallots, garlic, green manures and various garden sundries. The sundries include The Crop Club recycled coffee-sack potato planters – a new offering this year from a Loughborough social enterprise.

Seed potato price is 14p per tuber for pre-ordering only. If you want to take advantage of the full range of potato varieties on offer at this price, along with the other seeds and sundries you will need to visit www.potatoday.org.uk before 6th December to make your selections.  To ensure delivery to Loughborough, please ensure that you reply to info@potatoday.org.uk after placing your order to say you want your order delivered to Loughborough – otherwise it will turn up in Chesterfield!

For those of you who prefer a paper order form and paying by cheque posted to us, we have a paper order form. These can be picked up from Transition events before 6th December or downloaded and printed out.

To get you in the mood for potato and seed ordering, don’t forget that on Saturday 27th October 2018 we have Karen Gimson joining us at Fearon Hall to give a talk on potato growing. Karen is a regular on BBC Radio Leicester offering gardening advice and answering listeners’ questions. Karen is a garden designer, a trustee of Hardy Plant Society, and a Rainbows’ Ambassador. She’ll be talking to us about her life as a garden designer; growing vegetables organically,  using the no-dig approach and, in particular, growing potatoes.

The event starts at 10:15am in Fearon Hall and is free, although we will be accepting donations for Rainbows Hospice at Karen’s request. To find out more about Karen’s gardening, check out her blog at: bramblegarden.com. Fearon Hall also has a Upcycle Your Life stalls on that morning, so there’ll be lots to see and do there.

We also have a poster available for the talk which we’d love you to share with friends, co-workers and local gardeners.

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Radio interview and Fruit Routes this weekend

Two quick items this week. Firstly our very own Steve King was interviewed this morning on BBC Radio Leicester. This was as a result of the Charnwood Borough Council “Community Heroes” awards.  If you missed it the show is on the BBC radio player website for a while – its 2 hours and 25 minutes into the 16th October 2018 breakfast show.  Steve talks about why Transition Loughborough does apple pressings at community events at this time of year and explains how the Charnwood Chai project was set up to help combat racism by bringing people from diverse communities together over a cup of tea.

On Friday and Saturday Steve and the apple press will be out again at the University’s Fruit Route autumn events. As well as the apple pressings there will be a “bake off” competition, walks around  the Fruit Route, workshops & dicussions, and a Saturday evening gathering around a bonfire at the students’ Landscaping and Gardening Society garden (to the rear of car park 5 and near the Spinney Hill Drive entrance in the centre of the campus).  Here’s a flyer with more details of the various events taking place over the two days:

Fruit Routes 2018 flyer

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