Posted: February 5th, 2015 | Author: Musicraft | Filed under: Cool Projects | Tags: art, community, Residents, sustainability, transition | No Comments »
There’s a new project starting in the Heathrow villages, called Harts, using community led arts of different mediums to combat the blight from the airport, encourage a more cohesive community, and cultivate a happy, healthy and sustainable community, for the long term.
Get involved at this launch project planning event!
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 24th, 2015 | Author: Sam | Filed under: Cool Projects | Tags: charity, cycling, palestine | No Comments »
Edinburgh to London: step on your bike and stand up for Palestine in tandem with 1,000 other fellow cyclists. Combine the challenge of cycling from Edinburgh to London with fundraising in support of a Palestinian children’s charity.
THE BIG RIDE will follow a stunning route from Edinburgh to London, clocking up an impressive daily mileage. From the Scottish Lowlands and Northumberland we cycle through Yorkshire and then head gradually southwards to London cutting a path through the middle of England. Following national cycle routes, we avoid the busiest and fastest roads in favour of natural surroundings, satisfyingly challenging distances with stops in some great cities along our capital-to-capital journey.
Event organiser Dermot MacWard describes his vision for the event:
“My friend Musheir El Farra lost 8 members of his family (including 5 children) in the recent war in Gaza. His sister Dr. Mona El-Farra the Vice President of the Red Crescent society for the Gaza Strip and Director of Middle Eastern Children Alliance has asked for help. Mona wants us to help raise awareness of the situation in Palestine and also help the children’s projects she’s involved with in The Gaza Strip.
Consequently we’re planning for 1,000 cyclists to join us in one of the largest mass participation cycling events of its kind in Britain. If you do nothing else this year – dust off your bike, pump up your tyres and oil your chain for a fabulous week of pedalling and help the people of Palestine.”
Read the rest of this entry »
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: January 15th, 2015 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »
Who would have thought it? It’s been 5 years of growing tomatoes, learning how to use renewable energy, protecting from planes, pollution and capitalism and finding out about what community really means.. so it’s time to party…
Saturday 28th February 11am till late:
5th BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION! Expect workshops, guest speakers, fun and games, pizzas, live music, tours, the cake competition, late night djs, and more.
Friday, 27th February 7pm:
Sunday 1st March 3pm:
Post-Birthday Artistic Performance
Any Help Appreciated
Help us start the next 5 years with a bang by joining in with preparation throughout January and February.
We need help fixing, building and painting on site, cooking cakes and spreading the word.
Come to the Grow Heathrow site and join in with tasks, especially on a Thursday as that’s our community work day.
On the day, we’ll also need help cooking, entertaining the littluns, playing music and more.
Plus, don’t forget to come along to one of the many workshops running at Grow Heathrow over the next few months as part of Shazam 2!
What to bring
Cakes, instruments, activities, stories.
Warm clothes, a tent, sleeping bag and roll matt (we can provide some bedding and sleeping space under cover).
Warm food will be provided throughout the weekend, but any extras are appreciated.
Get in touch
Posted: January 14th, 2015 | Author: Ali | Filed under: Education | Tags: food, preserving, workshops | No Comments »
Britain is completely missing out on the benefits of fermented foods. I read that in the Guardian last summer. Kate Moss or someone equally iconic had said so, thus I resolved to buy a jar of sauerkraut that followed me from Edinburgh to Nottingham to Lincoln and then got lost. Although my love affair with fermented foods was brief, the fact still stood, unlike our European counterparts, here in the UK, we are missing out on eating ‘live’ food, and as a result we are missing out on a myriad of health benefits.
Now, for me fermented foods had always been synonymous with sauerkraut, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. In the main space at Grow Heathrow, there is a shelf that was obviously once meant for jams (it’s wittily labelled “Anarchy Spreads”) but has been laden with dusty jars of fermented foods for goodness knows how long. Indeed at the end of February Grow Heathrow will be half a decade old (come to our birthday party on the 28 of February and 1st of March!). So maybe that’s how old our ferments are too! I found that very intimidating it and took Annie, the fairy god mother of fermenting, to quell my fears in her Fun and Easy Fermenting workshop as part of our Winter Shazzam program at Grow Heathrow.
Her wonderful and breezy approach to the art of creating this incredibly healthy food completely demystified sauerkraut and other fermented foodstuffs. On a lovely sunny January Sunday, we kicked off our winter season with Annie’s workshop. And what a treat it was. Annie brought a wide variety of ferments to show us: from hot sauce to addictive kimchee, and also offered the opportunity to taste more traditional and seasonal ferments. Of course I was immediately drawn to the more creative jars, like the kimchee, yet actually ended up making old-school red cabbage sauerkraut. My buddies around the table were creative or conventional to varying degrees, two boys combining powers to make rainbow sauerkraut, which included a turnip and fruit.
Over all, the workshop was a blissful way to learn about food. Annie proved to us that fermenting really does boil down to three simple steps and a handful of salt which will create something yummy. What a tranquil start to Shazzam and a tasty start to the year! I couldn’t have been more lucky.
Posted: December 13th, 2014 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Action | Tags: activism, climate change, coal, solidarity | No Comments »
Responding to a recent call out, Grow Heathrow sent wishes of solidarity to Hambacher Forest on Thursday.
Hambacher Forest is a camp comprising four occupations in the Rhineland of Germany, which is protesting against the expansion of one of the largest opencast brown coal mines. The mine is a disaster, not only in terms of the impact on the climate from this dirty fossil fuel, but also for the local residents of the nearby villages that would be destroyed to make way for the mine’s expansion. In addition the natural ecosystem would be totally devastated.
In recent weeks activists in Hambacher Forest have been carrying out a number of actions against the felling of this ancient forest. There have been a number of arrests and one of the tree-occupations was evicted at the beginning of December.
You can find more information about the occupation and the recent actions at Hambacher Forest’s website.
Grow Heathrow wishes to show support for the continued struggles in Hambacher.
Love and Solidarity
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 5th, 2014 | Author: Eddy Gums | Filed under: Action | Tags: activism, consultation, Plane Stupid, protest, sipson | No Comments »
This Wednesday the Heathrow Park Inn Hotel hosted the Airports Commission’s most recent public consultation on the proposed plans for expanding Heathrow Airport. Local MPs, councillors, campaigners and businessmen gave speeches expressing a range of views regarding the plans, some in support of an expansion and others in vehement opposition.
Headed by Sir Howard Davis, the Airports Commission has been charged with identifying the best course of action for dealing with Britain’s supposed need for a hub airport to compete with other European airports. The panel was presented with the two proposals relevant to this area: a proposal from Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) for a third runway to the northwest of the airport, and independent promoter Heathrow Hub’s rival proposal to lengthen the North runway. These sit alongside a third option to expand Gatwick, due for public consultation later this month.
The panel listened as local MPs John McDonnell and Zac Goldsmith drew attention to the huge scale of the affect an expansion would have on people living in West London. An estimated 4000 homes would be either demolished or rendered unliveable, leading to the break-up of local communities, and hundreds of thousands of people more would be directly affected by greater noise levels and pollution.
HAL CEO John Holland-Kaye’s many promises of fairly mitigating the harms that future generations will face from an expanded Heathrow airport were brought into doubt by Christine Taylor of Stop Heathrow Expansion, who drew attention to HAL’s statement from the Terminal 5 inquiry in 1999 that a third runway should be “ruled out forever”. Moreover, HAL has consistently failed to address the problem of air quality despite pollution levels being higher than EU regulations. The assumptions behind their advertising campaigns’ assurance that Heathrow’s expansion would boost Britain’s economy by £100 billion have been seriously questioned in an independent report by Prime Economics.
Last week an article in the Sunday Times accused the interest group Back Heathrow of “astroturfing”, feigning to be a grassroots residents organisation representing local people yet funded in the £100,000s by Heathrow. Gatwick Airport’s chairman, Sir Roy McNulty, has accused the group of scaremongering by suggesting in a questionnaire distributed to 750,000 households that without expansion Heathrow would close, as reported on Wednesday in both The Guardian and The Telegraph. In the commission hearing Zac Goldsmith also commented on HAL’s smear campaign against councillor Ray Puddifoot, accusing Heathrow of funding a campaign to undermine the democratic process. When asked by John McDonnell if Heathrow would cease funding of Back Heathrow, John Holland-Kaye avoided giving a definitive answer.
During the consultation climate change was low on the agenda, with only one mention that carbon emissions were relevant to the discussion. The UK Climate Change Act requires legally binding reductions in greenhouse gases, yet increasing air traffic will seriously undermine the aviation industry’s commitment to this goal. In a desire to stimulate debate about the true viability of airport expansion, two environmental activists from Plane Stupid held up a banner from the hotel entrance canopy that read ‘Any new runway is Plane Stupid’, as reported in the local Uxbridge Gazette.
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.