Posted: February 9th, 2015 | Author: Emma zeen | Filed under: Art, Bike, Cool Projects, Education, Events, music | No Comments »
Last weekend we hosted 2 workshops – one practical for transporting our goods, one calming for our spirits and minds.
Saturday 31st - Up-cycling a Shelving unit into a Flatbed Bike trailer.
Who would have thought of the possibility of transforming a bunch of shelves into a bike trailer? Well we’ve done it!!!
We’ve proven that you can create a quality bike trailer with a team of eager people and a bunch of materials received mostly from donations.
All parts were free except for the tow arm and a few nuts and bolts.
A whole day of planning, cutting, bolting, sawing and hugging warm cups of tea paid off and now the shelves are in use once more…… as a trailer.
The creation has been purchased by Thor, giving it a new loving home.
All the proceeds from this workshop have gone straight back into grow, helping us continue with further workshops and general sight stuff.
….The trailer has since been named Sady, after Thor’s dog who past away a while ago
Sunday 1st Feb – Intuitive Painting and Sound Healing workshop
After the previous days busy building day, Sunday became a day of calm and peace with our office being revamped into a meditative healing and painting space for the day..
With a range of percussion instruments, our bodies resonated with the sounds being created bringing us into a meditative, relaxed state.
There were no fixed music or rythm. We all played the instruments according to how we felt, being free to pick up any instrument and experiment and see what sounds are created.
Alongside being submerged in our acoustic senses, we were tactile with paint, chalks and pencils; releasing our energy onto paper . We did some mark-making going with whatever our minds felt right at the time. Our calming bodies drew squiggles and splodges not having to care whether each movement of our hand is a precise action or not. We let our creations be abstract, with no specific concept or object to draw. We expressed our inner child and allowed ourselves to be messy.
Thanks to all the facilitators for delivering this weekend of workshops and thanks to all the participants for attending. It was a truely fascinating and relaxing weekend.
Posted: February 9th, 2015 | Author: Ali | Filed under: Events | Tags: grow heathrow, volunteers | No Comments »
You must have heard the news by now: Grow Heathrow is celebrating it’s 5th Birthday from the 27th of Feb to the 1st of March. In the lead up to this milestone event – we need your help!
Monday 16th Feb – Friday 27th Feb we’ll be creating spaces for workshops and sleeping, building a new woodshed, gardening, beautifying the site with signs and paints, wood chopping, preserving and more. Sleeping space, food and revolutionary company provided
So, it’s all hands on deck and any help during this time would be much appreciated. Give us a shout on our email – email@example.com – or call – 07706 602 284 – to let us know if you plan on coming down.
Don’t forget, there’s also loads of Shazam events to get involved in, Community workday every Thursday and roles to get involved with longer term.
Here’s to 5 years of beautiful resistance, and many more to come!
Posted: January 30th, 2015 | Author: Ali | Filed under: Events | Tags: activism, grow heathrow, permaculture, subvertising | No Comments »
Another busy weekend of Shazzam workshops have been and gone here at Grow Heathrow.
On Saturday we had a workshop by Rose and Aiemee on Permaculture, planning, propagation and planning. And then on Sunday, to continue our “p” theme, there was a workshop on propaganda – otherwise known as an introduction to subvertising.
Saturday’s workshop was well attended by residents of Grow Heathrow, their family members and the wider community. The workshop went through the theory of permaculture – focusing on the ethics (Earth Care, People Care and Fair Shares) and principles behind the practices. There were a range of different levels of gardening experience in the workshop – from complete newbies to experienced growers, which meant there was plenty of knowledge exchange within the group. We also looked into some of the ideas behind soil care, a key part of growing practice, and crop rotation.
Preparing this years beds
We didn’t just spend our time talking though, but got out into the Grow Heathrow site to look at how permaculture design principles have been incorporated into many aspects of the way things work. We also got our hands dirty and weeded some of the beds in the meadow, ready for the coming growing season.
Feeling inspired by this workshop, a few people got together after the workshop and began planning this years growing at Grow Heathrow. We’re excited for what this season might bring and if you want to get involved in any capacity feel free to get in touch or come on down!
Sunday’s workshop on subvertising was also well attended with people coming from as far a field as Brighton to take part. In this workshop we discussed a variety of things from the problems associated with advertising to how to go about fighting back against the daily assault on our senses. (Did you know the average Londoner sees around 3500 adverts a day?).
Then we got practical and experimented with a variety of subvertising techniques on some fake billboards that were dotted around the Grow Heathrow site. Participants came up with some really creative ways to subvert problematic messages and said they enjoyed the chance to practice these techniques in a safe environment.
Another busy weekend down… let’s go for it all again this weekend! Come along fro Build A Bike Trailer tomorrow and then Intuitive Painting on Sound Healing on Sunday.
Go go go!
Posted: January 23rd, 2015 | Author: Ali | Filed under: Cool Projects, Events | Tags: activism, events, grow heathrow, resistance | No Comments »
Last weekend saw a jammed packed schedule of Shazzam workshops.
We kicked off the weekend with the Radical Chat where Class War came down to discuss their Poor Doors protests in the East End and why they’re standing in this year’s general election. After a great powerpoint presentation, Jon from Class War answered a lot of interesting questions including being grilled about how he think’s he can represent anyone in parliament. Obviously, he’s an anarchist so he explained that the election isn’t an attempt to get in to parliament (infact he said he doesn’t want to get any votes) but instead is a way to take campaigning to the streets and making the most of the spectacle of the election. After a while we ended up discussing resistance and politics more broadly and we’re really looking forward to next month’s installment of Radical Chat, hosted by Action East End.
Saturday saw the bike workshop back in action. A few locals got their bikes fixed, we fixed a Grow Heathrow resident’s bike who now knows a bit more about axels, and we got a bike ready for sale. Now we’re looking forward to the ‘Build a Bike Trailer’ workshop – there’s still some spaces on this so get in touch – via firstname.lastname@example.org – if you want to come along.
Then finally on Sunday we had the pleasure of hosting Campaign Against the Arms Trade, who gave a talk about their latest campaign ‘Arms to Renewables’. This was really informative about the extent of spending on arms – which is essentially only making money due to massive government subsidies – and the huge potential for positive investments in renewables – which require the same kinds of skills and expertise as making weapons. The workshop was a great opportunity to share knowledge between anti-arms campaigners and environmentalists.
Phew! What as busy weekend… now let’s do it all again this weekend with Permaculture on Saturday and Subvertising on Sunday.
Hope to see you there
Posted: December 12th, 2014 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Events | Tags: community, harmondsworth, Residents | No Comments »
On Saturday 29th November, Harmondsworth held its annual Victorian Christmas Fair at St Mary’s Church. This was a great chance for the local community to get together, with a variety of different stalls and events.
Grow Heathrow, in collaboration with the local Scouts group, organised a Conker-tition. This was a knock-out tournament of conker smashing, but with a twist. The winner of each round was encouraged to graciously make a pedal powered smoothie for the loser. Loads of local kids got involved with the games and everyone had a cracking time, whilst enjoying healthy eco-friendly treats at the same time.
After the main day’s activities were done, we all moved down to the village green for carol singing followed by the turning on of the Christmas lights by local MP John McDonnell. Grow Heathrow were really pleased to be out and about in the community and be a part of such a wonderful day.
Posted: December 1st, 2014 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Education, Events | Tags: art, transition, workshops | No Comments »
We’re holding out for that chilly start of Spring and hoping we’ll be able to mark our 5th year in this incredible place.
Grow Heathrows birthday is on the weekend of the 28th Feb / 1st March so save the date and keep your fingers crossed that we’ll be celebrating together.
What do you want Grow Heathrow’s 5th Birthday to look like?
We want your thoughts and involvement, so get imagining. We’ll also be looking for people to get involved in preparing, cooking, creating, teaching etc, so have a think about what you could offer on that weekend / the week run-up. More info soon.
Posted: November 13th, 2014 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Bike, Events | Tags: bikes, food, grow heathrow, organic, workshops | No Comments »
This Saturday in Grow Heathrow, we have 2 activities to choose from:
12-4pm: Bike Workshop. Come and repair your own bike, or learn how to repair bikes in general.
1.30-4.30pm: Organic is affordable! A workshop about organic food, and especially how to buy and cook in such a way that you can keep it affordable for yourself.
In the latter we’ll be discussing the benefits of organic food, why it costs more, how to change your cooking and shopping patterns, how to store food, and more. There will be tasting and learning new foods and we’ll exchange information about where to get affordable organic food.
Come and have a fun day with us! Do let us know if you’d like to attend either workshop so that we have an idea of numbers for lunch: email@example.com.
Posted: November 12th, 2014 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Events | Tags: degrowth, grow heathrow, workshops | No Comments »
On Saturday 25th October we held a full day workshop at Grow Heathrow, exploring the concept of degrowth.
The day was well attended, with around 20 participants taking part including residents of Grow Heathrow, family members and visitors. We began the day by discussing what degrowth means to each of us. This generated a variety of ideas and related discussion.
The group identified that degrowth is a holistic term and aims at moving society away from an obsession with economic growth, placing the focus instead on well-being and ecological sustainability. Degrowth is very much about ‘living well with less’.
We were also able to dispel some myths about the idea of degrowth. For instance, it needn’t entail a smaller economy but instead a shift away from the economics altogether, and that there is no such thing as sustainable or green growth that can go on forever. Furthermore, whilst some of us perceived the term as pejorative, we discussed its use as a “missile word” which can be thrown into a debate to stir up stale ideas about sustainability and economics.
Later in the day we brainstormed a comprehensive list of problems associated with economic growth, such as climate change, resource wars, corporate monopolies, even anxiety and stress. These enabled us to consider the ‘sources’ of degrowth, the positions from which we can critique a system based on economic growth as well as proposing sustainable alternatives. We then discussed how we might get to a degrowth society, with a general sense that a combination of various reforms, educational changes, personal choices and direct action will all be needed to make such a radical shift.
In the last session we did a card game simulation of different forms of currency and exchange. We simulated four scenarios: bartering, alternative currency, debt-based currency, and gift economy. This gave us an insight into how structural features of our monetary system affect how we behave, how inequality is created and why there is a built-in necessity for growth due to interest on bank loans.
Following the day’s workshop there was interest in continued discussion on degrowth. There is already a possibility that the same workshop will be run again soon in central London. We’re also currently planning our next round of workshops (Shazam #2) at Grow Heathrow, and this could see more sessions linked to the idea of degrowth – so watch this space! If you’d like to be involved with these discussions or have an idea for a workshop, feel free to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit www.degrowth.org for a wealth of research and resources on the topic.
Posted: October 20th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Energy, Events | Tags: skillsharing, solar, workshops | No Comments »
Guest blog by, Rachael Anne Roberts, workshop participant and volunteer at Grow Heathrow
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Grow Heathrow, a place of beautiful greenery and a worthy cause to fight for, not to mention to friendly residents who happen to have immense cooking skills! And if that all wasn’t reason enough, there was a certain workshop drawing me to the site: Learning How to Build Your Own Solar Panel, run by Demand Energy Equality.
I was unsure what to expect from the workshop. Before visiting the Grow Heathrow website and seeing the list of workshops, I was unaware that it was even something that could be done by hand.
The workshop was put on by a lovely lady called Emily Donavan from Demand Energy Equality. She taught us the science behind how solar panels work as well as how to actually build them, a process that I was soon to learn was a lot simpler than I had expected! Fun science fact that I was reminded of: Power = Voltage x Current!
We were making fairly small, 18 watts solar panels, enough to charge a phone but not quite a house. Which makes it the perfect, simple, and not to mention handy, accessory to any home. The material of the solar cells that we used to build our solar panel was made out of thin silicone and if held too tightly, would crumble in your hands. Cautiously soldering the metal strip over each solar cell to attach the current to each, there were a few cracks and mishaps, but Emily’s patience and light hearted attitude never faltered. And she had expected this and brought plenty of spares!
Next came the gluing the solar cells to the glass and placing another glass panel over the top of it, using more silicone glue to seal around it, keeping the glass panels in place together. Making a solar panel was so much fun, but requires a steady, gentle hand. I began to feel guilty of the amount of solar cells that was being wasted when cracked. However after a few breakages, we started to get into the rhythm of solder, solder, glue, glue and the whole process of making a solar panel became far less complicated than I had previously imagined.
The whole process took a lot longer than previously expected but we were all having so much fun, it was not an issue, in fact we were al more than happy to stay at Grow Heathrow for longer. Although a fiddly process, making a solar panel by hand is rewarding not just in the sense of a unique achievement, but also that you now have free, renewable energy which you were able to achieve by yourself – saving more money and is even better for the environment!
My home made solar panel turned out a lot better than I had expected. I decided to donate it to Grow Heathrow, since I figured that they may make a better use out it then I will. I had such an amazing weekend at Grow Heathrow that I have been to visit again since the solar panel workshop and will most definitely be going again soon. After all, I need to see how my home made solar panel has been put to such a good use!
Posted: October 5th, 2014 | Author: Ali | Filed under: Education, Events | Tags: degrowth, grow heathrow, workshops | No Comments »
Day for Degrowth: 25th of October, 10.30am – 6pm
Cost: Free, including lunch on a donation basis.
Degrowth is a concept that brings together activists and academics in order to understand the multiple crises (economic, social, environmental) affecting our planet. Economic growth has been a highlighted as a root cause of these problems and a variety proposals for a ecologically and socially just societies have been put forward.
In September this year over 3000 people attended the 4th International Conference on Degrowth in Leipzig, Germany. This was an exciting event, with over 500 workshops, talks, and artistic presentations and shows the level of interest in degrowth to be increasing rapidly.
Unfortunately, conversations about degrowth in the UK have been rather thin on the ground. Until now.
Join us at Grow Heathrow for a day long interactive workshop introducing the topic of degrowth. We will aim to cover basic questions such as What is degrowth? Why is growth a problem? How do we get to a degrowth society? As well as providing a space to ask what should come next in terms of degrowth in the UK.
There is no limit on the number of places but as the workshop is all day lunch will be provided – so please email email@example.com to give us an idea of numbers.