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 | 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!