Pop-up plant stall a success

Today the plant stall organised by Martha in aid of Fearon Hall has raised £120 – thank you for everyone who braved the rain to staff the stall and come and buy plants!

The weather on Saturday is forecast to be nicer, so Martha and Steve are looking to run another one from 11am to 1pm this Saturday outside Fearon Hall. This time they’ll be raising funds for a combination of LAGS student gardens and Transition Loughborough.  So if you missed out today, you’ve got a second change at the weekend!

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Pop up plant sales stand at Fearon Hall

Martha and the folks at the LAGS group on the University campus have been selling plants they’ve been raising in their polytunnels to raise funds for both LAGS and Transition Loughborough food & gardens group.  They’ve managed to do this in a socially distanced way by delivering the plants and leaving them outside houses for people to pick up. So far they’ve raised £656 via their “virtual plant stall”, which is great news!  Thank you to everyone involved. Our share of this funding will hopefully help re-cover the Transition Loughborough community allotment’s polytunnel that was wrecked in the storms back in January/February, as well as possibly providing a solar powered pump to lift water from the brook to the gardens.

After receiving more good plants from friends and potting up more of their own, the folk at LAGS feel that they can try out a one-off real plant stall next week. Martha has been in contact with Meg and Dawn from Fearon Hall, and they have agreed to let the LAGS crew have a table outside Fearon Hall next Thursday, 18th June, from 11am-2pm, where they will present all their flower and veg plants for people to buy. This time, all the donations will go to Fearon Hall. They will make sure that physical distancing is observed at the stall as well.

So if you want some nice flowers and vegetable plants for your garden, nip along to Fearon Hall over lunchtime next Thursday and pick some up!

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Carbon Literate Charnwood Course Moved Online

Sadly we had to cancel our planned Carbon Literacy Course events this Spring and Summer because of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting social distancing. However Caroline has been working hard to turn the face-to-face course into one delivered online. Thank you Caroline!

We’re now planning on running the first online version of the course in the coming weeks. The one day face-to-face event replaced by three 2 hour Zoom videoconferencing sessions on three Thursday evenings on 14th, 21st and 28th May.

The course gives the equivalent of a day’s worth of accredited learning to equip our community to bring about the rapid reduction in carbon emissions required in the next few years.

We’ve offered the online course first to people who had already booked on the cancelled face-to-face events, and Transition mailing list members, but there are a few spaces left on the first group of online sessions we’re running.

So if you’d like to find out more about reducing carbon dioxide impacts, and maybe use the pandemic lockdown period productively, see the link below to book a place on the course:


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Carbon Literacy Courses in April & May postponed

As with many events taking place this Spring and Summer, we’re having to postpone our Carbon Literacy Courses planned for April and May until later in the year due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.  We’re also investigating the option of developing an online version of the course as an alternative.

People who had already booked on the courses have been contacted, and we’ll let everyone know as soon as possible what the new plans are for delivering them to you.

Sorry, but it’s better to be socially isolating and safe at the moment.

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Reminder: Repair Cafe & Seed Swap this Saturday!

Just a quick reminder that this coming Saturday (22nd February 2020) we’re holding another of our Repair Cafe events at Fearon Hall in Loughborough, combined with a Seed Swap for the gardeners.  The doors open to the public at 9.30am and we’ll be running for a couple of hours, shutting up shop just after 11.30am so that we can tidy the Hall up for the next users. The events are free, and all are welcome to pop along.

As usual we’ll have range of repairers and tinkerers available for the Repair Cafe, with people able to do sewing mending, give your bicycle a bit of attention, take a look at electrical items and do various gluing and mending. Remember its trying to repair items that you would otherwise throw away and replace, so no precious family heirlooms or Ming vases please!

We’ll also have someone who can sharpen secateurs and loppers for the gardeners that are attending the seed swap.  At 10am we’re having a talk by Marie Lefebvre about the “Right to Repair” and how regulation changes may help us get products that are easier and cheaper to repair than replace.

For the Seed Swap side of things, we’re encouraging anyone with old or excess seed packets (including out of date, partially used and self-saved) to bring them along, pop them on the swapping table and then see if there are other seeds they fancy taking away. No money changes hands, but lots of seeds usually do!

Note: We’re going to make sure that we have a supply of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer and tissues/wipes available as we’ve have some people concerned about the spread of Coronavirus.  As far as we know its not currently spread widely in the UK, and Public Health England currently says that “the risk to individuals is low“, but we’re doing our bit to hopefully keep it that way!

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Repair Cafe & Seed Swap on 22nd February 2020

We’re holding another of our popular Repair Cafe events in Fearon Hall from 9.30-11.30am on Saturday 22nd February 2020. If you have something that is broken that you are about to throw away, why not bring it along to see if one of our repairers can fix it? All we ask is that you stay with the item being repaired so that you can be asked questions about how it has gone wrong and learn how the fix is made. Even if we can’t do the fix on the day our volunteer repairers can usually indicate if a fix is possible and if so what parts might be needed, how to source them and how to get the repair made.

As part of the Repair Cafe we have a talk at 10am by Marie Lefebvre on the “Right to Repair”.  This is a movement that is occurring worldwide where people are demanding the right to repair items they own, rather than have details and parts withheld by manufacturers. In 2021 the EU will be introducing new regulations to force product manufacturers to support repairing, and this is likely to be reflected in the UK, even though we’re no longer in the EU (products are usually manufactured for a larger market than just one country). There’ll be time to ask questions and talk to Marie after the talk – she’s an expert on this subject having just received a PhD on the topic from the University.

At the Repair Cafe we’ll have volunteer repairers who can look at issues with bicycles, clothes, electronics, toys and miscellaneous fixing-and-gluing. We’ll also have someone who will be able to sharpen secateurs, loppers and shears to help get your garden tools ready for Spring. If you’d like to do some repairing yourself we’d also love to hear from you – the more repairers we have available the better. Either drop us an email, give us a ring/text on 07936 947661 or just come along on the day and join in.

We will also be running our annual Seed Swap at the same event.  The ideas is that you bring along any old/unwanted packets of seeds, pop them on the swapping tables and then see if there are any seeds you’d like to take.  No money changes hands, and you don’t need to take the same number of packets as you brought, so it’s a great way for new and old gardeners alike to pick up seeds that they might not otherwise be able to find or afford. Any (legal!) seeds are acceptable – old out of date packets, partially used packets, self saved seeds or packets from magazine covers.  We’ll have sections for fruit/veg, herbs and flowers so there should be something for everyone.

So you can bring something to be repaired, learn about our rights for repairing our possessions and swap some seeds all the same event. See you there!

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Coming up in January 2020

Happy New Year Transitioners!

We’ve got a few things planned this month to get us going at the start of the new decade.

First up is an eco-social at The Boat Inn pub on Meadow Lane on  Monday 13th January from 7pm. This will bring a number of eco-friendly groups and individuals together to informally discuss plans and ideas for the new year over a drink.  Just turn up, buy a drink at the bar (soft drinks available!) and then join us for a chat.

Then towards the end of the month we have our Potato Day on Saturday January 25th. Between 9am and 1pm we’ll have a stall on Loughborough Market (probably near Lloyds Bank based on previous years) and as well as distributing the pre-orders that people placed before Christmas, we’ll have limited stocks for sale on the day.  These on-the-day varieties will hopefully include Arran Pilot (1st early), Charlotte (2nd early), Kestrel (2nd early), Sarpo Mira (maincrop) and Pink Fir Apple (maincrop). There will also be some onion sets and broad bean seeds for sale on the stall. All of these are strictly first come, first served.

At the same time as the Potato Day stall providing seed potatoes, we’ll also have a team at the Baptist Church Hall on Baxter Gate selling refreshments. So when you come along to pick up some seed potatoes you can also nip round the corner for a slice of cake and a cuppa!

Lastly, we’re also planning ahead for events next month too.  A date for your diary is the morning of Saturday 22nd February when we’ll be holding another Repair Cafe in Fearon Hall.  As well as the usually repairers willing to try fixing items that would otherwise be thrown away, we’ll also be holding a Seed Swap in the Hall at the same time. So you can get something fixed, get your secateurs sharpened and also swap some seeds. More details about all that next month though!

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Some November reminders…

We had another successful Repair Cafe at Fearon Hall yesterday, with lots of happy people and fixed items.  Thanks to all who came along to the event, either to do repairs, bring items needing fixing or helping organise and run the event.  We’re looking to do another similar event early next year, probably in February.

However we’ve still got lots going on here in November, so here’s a few things for you to look forward to and pop into your diaries.

If you haven’t made your Potato Day 2020 order, you’ve just under a month to decide on varieties and order online at the website set up by our friends in Transition Chesterfield. Online orders close in early December, so don’t leave it too late. Remember to email info@potatoday.org uk once you’ve made your order to confirm that you’d like to have it delivered to Loughborough for pickup, otherwise it will be waiting for you in Chesterfield in January!

On Tuesday 12th November from 5.30 – 7.30pm at the Purple Pumpkin Patch on Ashby Rd we’re gathering together to make decorations for the Transition Loughborough Christmas tree.  This will be our entry into the annual Christmas Tree Festival held at All Saints church (the church near Fearon Hall). This year the ornaments on our tree will contain seeds in recycled packages, which we’ll be giving away to get local people growing in 2020. Come along on Tuesday evening to the shop to help make seed envelopes, and please bring any colourful magazine pages, waste ribbons and oddments of string that could be use to make and decorate the packages.

On 23rd November between 10am to 3pm there’s the Fair Trade and Green Living Fair at the Baptist Church in Loughborough. This is an annual event that lets you buy ethical, Fairtrade and eco-friendly gifts ready for the Festive Season. As part of this event, Transition Loughborough volunteers are hoping to encourage more sustainable gift wrapping – so come along and say hello!

Transition Loughborough entry for the 2019 Christmas Tree Festival in All Saints with Holy Trinity Church.


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Community Gardens Bloom Award

On Tuesday Martha and Steve attended an “It’s Your Neighbourhood” Britain in Bloom awards event to represent our King George Road community allotment plots in the “community gardens” category.  We achieved a “Level 3 – Advancing” status this year, with a report on a visit to our allotment site back in August.  Martha has kindly scanned the report so we can all see it:

We also received £25 which will be put towards compost for growing more plants in 2020.

So well done to everyone has been involved with the community plots this year!

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