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 | 2 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.
Posted: September 11th, 2014 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Events | Tags: growing | No Comments »
Posted: September 4th, 2014 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: friends of cranford park, Harlington, Hayes, transition | No Comments »
This is an exciting month in Cranford Park.
We are celebrating the world’s biggest coffee morning in one of the smallest gardens (Sunday 14th September, 10am – 12 noon). The event is in the Secret Garden (near the information centre and stables) as part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’. We would be grateful if you could invite friends, make a cake or help on the day. There is an invitation attached.
On 20-21 September, the Berkeley stables, Secret Garden and St. Dunstan’s Church open their doors as part of London Open House weekend. There is an exhibition in the stables and members of the Friends will be in attendance to answer questions and collect memories. Sat. From 10.30am. On the Sunday (from 11.30am), classic motorcycles gather in the courtyard. Refreshments available, admission free.
Booking has opened for an open-air theatre production on 27 and 28 September (3pm).
Outline Theatre’s ‘Wheat to War’ is a celebration of local life and history, using song, dance and drama. Suitable for the whole family, the show features the coming of the Grand Union Canal, the building of the Great Western Railway and World War I, paying tribute to local heroes. Produced in partnership with the Imperial War Museum.
Tickets are £4 (four for £14, under fives free) via www.outlinetheatre.co.uk, ortel. 01895 851936.
Cranford Park is served by bus E6, road access is beside M4 junction 3/A312 on The Parkway. Parking is free, satnav TW5 9RZ.
Posted: August 11th, 2014 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Events, Foraging | Tags: food, sipson, wild food | No Comments »
The highlight of our foraging year.
If Grow Heathrow hasn’t been evicted, we’re going to bottle loads of blackberries. Bring clean empty jars and you will earn respect, win honour and know true righteousness. It’ll be the tail end but we should get lots of juicy buckets. You can taste some of last year’s (they’re great) and take some of this year’s jars home so you can fish for compliments from your family.
If we have been evicted, we’ll just go and eat blackberries. To be honest it might turn into just eating blackberries either way. See you there!
Posted: August 6th, 2014 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Cool Projects, Energy, Events, Residents | No Comments »
Come limber up for resistance
in the Strawbale house
on Saturday 9th
Jana teaches Ashtanga Vinyasa, a fast pace yoga practice where the aim is to move fluidly from one posture to the next.
Justin’s style is more about endurance, in holding postures for longer a sense of alignment is created.
please pass on the message
see you there
Another free class brought to you by Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, Sipson UB7 0JH
All abilities and children welcome.
Posted: July 22nd, 2014 | Author: Freddy | Filed under: Events, legal, Residents | Tags: access to land, sipson | No Comments »
On Friday 15th August at 8am, bailiffs will make their first attempt to evict Grow Heathrow. Four and a half years after the abandoned greenhouses in the middle of Heathrow Airport’s proposed third runway were occupied by local residents together with activists, Heathrow villagers are organising again to resist airport expansion that’s ruled out by climate science.
Residents of the 700+ homes a third runway would destroy have asked to be trained to protect their own homes. On Thursday 14th, the day before the bailiffs visit, there will be talks and workshops on how to peacefully resist the eviction and on how ordinary people successfully shelved plans for a noisy third runway. At 8am on Friday 15th, hopefully you can help protect our home from the County Court bailiffs, ready to do the same for other homes threatened by airport expansion. Grow Heathrow has been described as the ‘heart of the village’ by BBC News and ‘inspirational’ by the local MP. We are still trying to buy the land instead of having bailiffs at our home.
We need your support in the days before, on the 15th and in the months after the bailiffs come. Join us for dinner on the 14th and be on site for when they arrive. Bring a sleeping bag, tent and rollmat if you’re coming to stay, cameras or smartphones for filming/livestreaming the bailiffs and we can always use more tea, coffee, milk, sugar and mugs! We currently also have some space for new members, so if growing food and campaigning on airport expansion are your cup of tea come and find out more about how you can volunteer here long-term. Summer in the glasshouses is green and glorious with a lake down the road.
If you have any special requirements, just drop us an email and we’ll do our best to make you comfortable. If and when the bailiffs go home, there’ll be a coach heading to to the Reclaim the Power action helping protect Blackpool from fracking. (donations welcome).
Posted: July 19th, 2014 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Cool Projects, Events | Tags: art, film, No Third Runway | No Comments »
In October 2009 before he became Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The third runway at Heathrow is not going ahead, no ifs, no buts,” Within 30 months of taking power he set up a Commission widely expected to recommend airport expansion after his manifesto pledge runs out next year.
On Wednesday 18th June, more than 800 people packed into the Richmond Theatre to watch and judge the best viral films reminding Mr Cameron of his promise, and pressing the case against Heathrow expansion.
The No Ifs No Buts Film Competition staged by Zac Goldsmith MP in conjunction with the campaign group HACAN attracted well over 50 videos. Fifteen were shown at the event on 18th June.
In First Place: the residents’ film
In Second Place: the film beyond words
In Third Place: the comedy film
The 12 runners up are well worth watching.
Posted: July 7th, 2014 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Events, Foraging | Tags: wild food | No Comments »
Living in broken rotting greenhouses has its perks.
What plant books flatteringly call ‘wasteland species’ may not have the looks but as we like to say here, even a stopped clock is right twice a day. And autumn is coming up, with our Garden of Eden maze of elderberries and blackberries. There’s even a volunteer from abroad staying at Grow Heathrow at the moment who despite getting to know all of us, the site and what we do there has privately admitted she’s now really there for the blackberries; after they finish she might be off to somewhere else.
On Friday 18th July, from 1pm to 4 we’ll be pickling green elderberries. We pickled loads of ripe and less ripe purple elderberries last year but they just weren’t amazing – they taste a lot of vinegar and a little bit of that rich, slightly unpleasant ‘elder smell’ that you get when you crush elder leaves. You can try them if you come round (no need to thank us). But the green ones we pickled got gobbled up with chips as comfort food in the dark winter – crunchier and less strong. So this year we know how to prepare to liven those winter moments when there’s ten men sat around the old wood burning stove and someone brings out a guitar with four strings and delights in another repeat singing ‘Wagon Wheel’. Green pickled elderberries for hot chips (and daal)! (You can also check out the Urban Harvest info on eating elderberries)
If you want to join the party, be there.