We're grassroots Heathrow residents proving that communities less dependent on oil can be more resilient, stronger and happier. We take direct action on climate change and shrinking supplies of cheap energy by transitioning to a post-oil, community-led future for the Heathrow villages.

With Grow Heathrow still in legal limbo, here’s a run-down of what we’ve been up to lately

Posted: April 13th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Art, Cool Projects, Education, Energy, Events, Growing Group, music | No Comments »

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A judgement has still not been made following our trial last week, so while you wait, we’ve compiled a list of stuff we’ve done in the last year to keep you entertained! As always, these achievements came about from the combined effort and creativity of those who live at the site and the many hundreds who come and get their hands dirty with us.

 

-          Polytunnel up and running! Two of the disused greenhouses towards the back of site have been put back to the purpose of growing food. It produces an abundance of veg throughout all the seasons

-          New glamorous shower block complete. This has replaced a smaller shower unit, is heated by a wood-burner-radiator contraption and was built over a number of weeks with the help of basically everyone on site

-          Hayes carnival. We took part in the big procession with a plant-filled float and ran a number of stalls

-          Protests against the third runway. The past year has seen sustained protest activity against the proposed third runway and Grow Heathrow has helped support this campaign throughout. For example, the Reclaim the Power bike ride in October used us as a base

-          Grey water system. We’ve now created a natural water filtering system fed by dirty water from the kitchen

-          Alt space renovated. This is our music venue which has hosted open mic nights and other music/poetry events every few weeks

-          New compost toilets. We’re experimenting with a composting method using ‘bokashi’ and creating lots of ‘humanure’ to spread around trees

-          Biochar production. We’ve increased and improved our biochar production, aiming further towards a closed-loop waste system

-          Workshops galore. Talks and skillshares have been happening regularly through the year – from the legacy of the Russian Revolution, to fermentation, beat boxing, wood-working

-          Support for Cherry Lane children’s centre. Thanks to government cuts (BOO), a local children’s centre down the road from us is being closed. We’ve been helping them in their campaign

-          Litter picking. Litter and fly-tipping is a big problem in the local area so we’ve done a number of outings to do something to right this wrong

-          Panel discussions. Members of Grow Heathrow have taken part in discussions on environmental and social issues at: a conference on land use called Land For What?; University of the Arts, London; the V&A museum; Queen Mary’s University Centre for Poetry

-          Engagement with London food growers’ network. We’ve rekindled our participation in the Community Food Growers’ Network and are hosting their next gathering in May!

-          Heart circles. We’ve hosted heart circles to provide a space for anyone to share their thoughts and feelings and support each other

 

Grow Heathrow is always open during the day for people to come and visit and hosts lots of events during the year. Come and have a cup of tea or pick up a herb or fruit bush cutting for your garden/flat!

 


Herbal Workshop: Spring Tonic Vinegar Making, To The Roots!

Posted: March 2nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Cool Projects, Education, Events, Foraging, Gardening Club, Growing Group | No Comments »

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Saturday 5th March from 2pm

As part of Grow Heathrow’s fantastical 6th Birthday celebrations, join us on Saturday for an informative herb walk around the site with community herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmad and some Spring vinegar making, bring a jar! We will be learning about and harvesting mineral rich herbs such as nettles, cleavers, dandelion and burdock roots..


Wellness Gardening at Grow Heathrow

Posted: September 29th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Foraging, Growing Group | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Perhaps on one of the last sunny days of the summer a Hounslow based gardening group visited Grow Heathrow to join in with creative gardening workshops.

Together we gathered herbs to make herbal teas, learning about the health benefits of the different plants that grow wild (and even sometimes as weeds in your garden!) Thus the morning started with enjoying cups of tea and absorbing the essence of healing herbs in Grow Heathrow’s meadow.

Before the group had arrived, volunteers from Grow Heathrow explored the site finding edible flowers and filling a treasure chest with calendula, rose petals, chive flowers, borage, mallow and many more ready for the main session of the morning: edible flower mandala making.

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Mandala

In our straw-bale house, everyone got together with plates to make edible flower mandalas upon. It’s surprising how many different flowers are good to eat, together we talked about the flowers, how lovely they were and started to make patterns on the plate. By the end each mandala had a different characteristic reflecting the artistic flair of the gardeners. Now, for the best bit: eating the mandala! By design, mandalas are never built to last, instead the fleeting beauty reminds us of the impermanence of things; by focusing on the flowers whilst creating the mandalas, and then erasing the patterns by eating them we are also experiencing the bloom and wilt cycle that leads to the flowers making seeds.

We hope at Grow Heathrow, the Hounslow Gardening Group received seeds of inspiration to see flowers are more than ornaments and weeds are more useful than just a nuisance! Everything that grows has a use.

 

Mandala 2


Plant Nutrition for Fruitful Harvests – Sunday September 20th – (14:00 – 15:30)

Posted: September 8th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Growing Group | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

Nitrogen, potassium, phosphates.. why are these relevant to how plants grow? And how can gardeners make sure plants get the food they need for healthy growth and harvests?

In this workshop participants will explore nutritional needs of plants, observe nutrient deficiencies in plants, and learn methods such as soil top dressings and making comfrey liquid feeds for free.

 


Grow Heathrows Herbs in the Post Office

Posted: April 30th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Growing Group | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

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Parsley, Sage and Chives, fresh from the Grow Heathrow meadow, given in away in the local post office on a donations basis.

Move to Heathrow?


Help us green Austin Estate!

Posted: April 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Cool Projects, Growing Group, Uncategorized | No Comments »

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If you’d like to get involved in helping your local community bloom and beautify, grab your trowels because now is your chance. On Saturday the 26th April at 9.30am, we’ll be joining volunteers and locals on Austin Estate to re-vamp their neglected raised beds and add a splash of colour to the estate.

We’ll be pruning and clearing up the beds, re-conditioning the soil, and then planting a mixture of woodland perennial shrubs and herbs. We’ll also be skill sharing on shade tolerant, low maintenance perennials for easy gardening.

There will be food and drinks provided for green fingered volunteers.

Any age or skill level is welcome and there will be lots to learn and do. Please bring tools such as secateurs and gloves if you have them. We need your help to make it happen!

We’ll be starting at 9.30am and working throughout the day, so feel free to drop in for all or just a bit of it and help us green the Austin Estate. For more information please contact info(at)transitionheathrow.com or call 07890751568


Spring at Cranford Park

Posted: April 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Gardening Club, Growing Group | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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If you have thought of volunteering in the park, now is the time! Just turn up at one of Cranford Park Friends’ monthly sessions, meeting at the Secret Garden beside the Stables, on the second Sunday of each month… the next session is this coming Sunday April 13 at 10am (see below). No experience or tools are required.

Some other event highlights for the coming months are listed below. Other news in brief:

Repairs to the Stable Block roof, weatherproofing and ivy removal have been completed by the London Borough of Hillingdon’s contractor. So the building is weatherproof at last. Unfortunately there was a break-in in the early hours of March 9, the doors were damaged and some of our tools stolen. If you have spare garden tools you could donate to fill the gap, please contact the Secretary.

Towards a Lottery bid. LB Hillingdon has shown great faith in our group’s achievements by ring-fencing £25k to fund a Feasibility Study, the first step towards a Heritage Lottery Fund grant application. It has been declared a Hillingdon Improvement Project, for the buildings and park. Winning a Lottery grant will be a long and complicated job but success could mean wonderful enhancements, of benefit to the whole community. A Steering Group has been set up and the Friends are well represented on it. We hope you will be able to help us – more details in due course.

CRANFORD PARK EVENTS 2014 All events except *are free. Address: The Parkway (A312), Hounslow, TW5 9RZ.

Sunday 13 April, 10am – 12 noon. Secret Garden Opening & Volunteering. Help us prepare the garden for summer. Refreshments will be served to volunteers. The garden will open at the same time on the second Sunday of each month (11 May, 8 June etc.). The entrance is adjacent to the stable courtyard.

Saturday 26 April, 11am. Bluebell Walk. Join Countryside & Conservation Officer Alison Shipley for a guided walk through the bluebell woods. Meet at information centre.

Sunday May 11, 10am -12 noon. *Secret Garden Opening & Volunteering. *See above.

Saturday May 17, 11am. ‘Knights, Earls & Ghosts’ History Tour. A 90-minute guided history walk around Cranford Park. Meet at information centre.

Thursday May 22, 7.30pm. Cranford Park Friends’ Quarterly Meeting. Crane Community Centre, Fuller Way, Harlington (off Cranford Drive, bus E6). All welcome.

Sunday June 8, 10am -12 noon. *Secret Garden Opening & Volunteering/Balsam Bash. *See above. On the river we join the River Crane-wide event removing Himalayan Balsam, a highly invasive plant along the river. Please wear long trousers and long sleeve shirts.

Sunday June 22, 11am – 4pm. Grand Union Canal Boat Trip on the Elsdale. *(Members of *Cranford Park Friends and families only; booking essential). Departs from and returns to Packet Boat Marina, Packet Boat Lane, Cowley UB8 2JJ. A leisurely cruise and social event for members and their families. Free (donation of £3 suggested). Please bring a packed lunch. Licensed bar also serving hot and soft drinks. On-board toilets. Includes short talk on canal history, and local wildlife. Places limited, please book with Dhush Selvarajah, tel. 077180 43105, email dhush.selvarajah@groundwork.org.uk.

Saturday June 28, 11am. Butterfly Walk. Join the Countryside & Conservation Officer for a guided walk looking at the many species of butterfly found in Cranford Park. Meet at information centre.

Saturday August 2. Cranford Park Remembers. A friendly day for all the family with a medieval encampment, a memory wall where you can leave your park memories, activities for kiddies and more. The 18th century Stables and St. Dunstan’s Church will be open; tea garden refreshments. Details to follow nearer the date. Volunteers will be needed well in advance.

Saturday/Sunday September 20 and 21.* Open House London 2014.* Cranford Stables & Secret Garden and St Dunstan’s Church open. Members of the Friends’ History & Conservation working party will be in attendance.

Saturday/Sunday September 27 and 28, 3pm. *W*heat to War 1780-1918.*Celebrate local life in this hour-long outdoor spectacular for the whole family. Outline Theatre performs popular songs, dance and drama. A moving tribute to our local Great War Heroes, marking the centenary of World War I. Tickets £4 or 4 for £14, Under 5′s free; book online at www.outlinetheatre.co.uk. Box Office, tel. 01895 851936.


Growing Sundays

Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Growing Group | Tags: | No Comments »

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Come along to Grow Heathrow every Sunday to help us return the Berkeley Nurseries site back to its intended purpose – a thriving market garden that will provide our community with locally produced, organic fruit and veg as well as a venue for new and interesting projects and workshops.

All ages, abilities and gardening experience welcome! Find out more about Grow Heathrow and how to find us here. You can contact us on 07890751568 or at info[at]transitionheathrow.com.

>> We are also hosting an Introduction to Gardening course (sign up by 9th March). Find out more here


Introduction to Gardening – course at Grow Heathrow

Posted: February 28th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Gardening Club, Growing Group, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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Come and learn how to grow abundant and healthy fruit and vegetables in an organic way at the Community Market Garden GrowHeathrow this spring!

What? This course is for those who want to gain basic horticultural skills, build knowledge and confidence of organic foodgrowing within a community garden context or at home in your garden. Designed to build basic and technical skills through a combination of practical training within the Grow Heathrow growing space along side supported theory sessions on these methods of growing.
When? Running through 5 sessions from March – July 2014;      10am-4pm Lunch provided. One Sunday a month confirmed dates;
  • 16th March
  • 20th April
  • 18th May
  • 15th June
  • 20th July
Where? Grow Heathrow site with potential trips to local allotment and growing sites. Site address; Grow Heathrow, Vineries Close, Sipson, West Drayton, UB7 0JH

Course Content that will be covered over the 5 sessions:

  • 1. Planning a Growing Space; Organic vegetable garden design techniques including site and location, crop rotation and companion planting.
  • 2. Soil Care; study of different soils, and soil cultivation techniques; a look at composting, mulching and green manures for soil care.
  • 3. Propagation; Indoor seed sowing techniques, and how to prepare ground for sowing and planting. seedling aftercare
  • 4. Seasonal garden maintenance; specific techniques for vegetable and fruit production. organic weed management, home made organic fertilisers, appropriate tool -use    and ongoing care.
  • 5. Inviting Wildlife; enhance biodiversity in the garden to help with pest and disease management. Basic plant identification

Suggested donation for the full 5 sessions £30 for food and printing costs (open to sliding scale donations according to what people can afford, contact for more information)

Each session will build on the previous ones  so commitment and attendance for the full course is required. Drop-in gardeners are welcome at our Growing Sundays, the ‘Introduction to Gardening’ course is for people who can attend all sessions.

Spaces are limited, please send confirmation by the 9th March. We’d especially like to hear from people living in the local area and who’ve been involved with GH in the past, but all are welcome. Get in touch with any questions or come to Grow Heathrow’s 4th Birthday on Saturday 1st March, you can speak to someone in the Growing Space and have a look around the site.

We’re really excited to be able to offer this course, we look forward to hearing from you!

Contact: Aimee Lormand, 07592945249 aglormand@gmail.com or info@transitionheathrow.com


Reviewing and Renewing with the Growing Group

Posted: November 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Gardening Club, Growing Group | No Comments »

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Winter Solstice, the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year, signifying the return of the sun, and with that – life.

Grow Heathrow has chosen December 21st as a fitting day to have a Growing Group Reviewing and Renewing Session where we can reflect on last years growing projects, review our practices and renew our enthusiasm and inspiration to take us into the new year with new life.

We’ll be discussing how we work as a group, our vision for the next year and how we’re going to make it possible. We would love your help and inspiration to continue to make our community garden an abundant and vibrant place to be. It will be a space for creativity and imagination, using permaculture teacher Looby Macnamaras Design Web as inspiration for our conversation. We’ll begin with a walk around the growing spaces to reflect on and celebrate our successes last year and end the day by celebrating with a wonderful Winter Solstice meal with friends. Every ones voice is important in saying what you would like to see from your community garden so the more the merrier.

We’ll be starting at 10am, with a break for lunch, and aiming to finish by around 4pm for celebrations. For more information please mail info(at)transitionheathrow.com

We hope to see you all there.