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.

Sat 5 Sep, 1-5pm: Elderberry vinegar workshop

Posted: July 7th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Foraging | Tags: , , | No Comments »

foraging workshop

Along with steamed hogweed buds (and blackberries), the other favourite foraged edible at Grow Heathrow is elderberry vinegar. Come on Saturday 5 September from 1 till 5 and join us.

As always, we’ll big you up and thank you loads for any/as many clean empty jars as you can bring :). So – elderberries. This widespread, delicious wild food has been one of Britain’s best loved hedgerow treasures for centuries, brewed into a unique smooth, rich and port-like wine with a flavour unmatched by anything on supermarket shelves (see recipe). The tree (sambucus nigra) is easy to identify if you’ve smelled the sweet elderflowers around May and June; they turn into drooping clusters of shiny purplish-black elderberries hanging down from purple stems from mid August till October.

Its best kept secret is definitely elderberry balsamic vinegar. This is fun, quick to make and leaves you with a result  that transforms cheap vinegar into posh balsamic: a bit like Jesus turning water into wine, but more directly useful for climbing the greasy pole of Britain’s entrenched system of class hierarchy.

Strip the berries from the stems using your hands or a fork; compost the stems. Take a litre of British cider vinegar (ie, the perfect amount for a small portion of chips) and add a kilo of elderberries. Chuck them together in a covered stainless steel, glass or enamelled container for a week. Then strain, put the liquid on the hob, let it simmer for ten minutes and bottle. Now order a small portion of chips to go with your litre of vinegar and enjoy. Congratulations: the balsamic vinegar in front of you means you’re going up in the world!

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.

You can also check out the Urban Harvest info on eating elderberries.


Fun and Easy Fermenting at Grow Heathrow – A Tasty Kick Off to Shazzam!

Posted: January 14th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Education | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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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.

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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.

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Bike Workshop & Organic is Affordable Workshop – Saturday 15th November

Posted: November 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Bike, Events | Tags: , , , , | 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: info@transitionheathrow.com.

Workshop flyer


New Video: “You can’t evict an idea”

Posted: August 29th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Action, Film, legal | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Grow Heathrow: Resisting Eviction from Sean Richard on Vimeo.

Nearly five years later the group has cleared 30 tonnes of rubbish and runs a popular community space called Grow Heathrow with a bicycle workshop, food-growing club, renewable energy courses, and an art space.

On Friday the 15th of August, after a three year court battle, bailiffs arrived for the first time to evict the group and were met with nearly 200 people supporting Grow Heathrow to continue the project.

The bailiffs will be returning soon and the members of community garden are preparing with various resistance tactics. The group are trying to negotiate with the owner to buy the land with the support of John McDonnell MP and the Sipson Resident’s Association.

To follow their story see:

transitionheathrow.com @transheathrow

GrowHeathrow

Video by film-maker Sean Richard


Bottled blackberries: Fri 22 Aug, 1-4pm

Posted: August 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Foraging | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Grow Heathrow

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!


Smoothie Bikes with Com.cafe

Posted: May 26th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Energy, Residents | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

Yet another amazing day of making homemade smoothies on the bicycle powered blender with Transition Heathrow the Com.Cafe!

Com.Cafe come to Grow Heathrow for seed sewing Thursday 29th May

 

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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?


New weekly potluck

Posted: July 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: , , | No Comments »

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Everyone is welcome to our weekly Sunday potluck, beginning July 28th. Come ’round at 6:30pm, after our all-age Growing Club from 2 till 6.


Picnic and public meeting

Posted: July 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events, Residents | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

 

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You are invited to a picnic and public meeting to discuss the future of Transition Heathrow.

Join us tomorrow, Tuesday 23 July at 6.30pm at Grow Heathrow.

Bring food and drink to share, plus your thoughts on the future of the project in light of our recent Court of Appeal verdict and the airport’s new proposals for expansion.

For how to find us, follow this link.

See you in the meadow!


Chicken Weekend

Posted: May 24th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

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On 25 and 26 May we’re preparing a comfortable and safe space for the chickens to come and live. We’d love you to spend the weekend with us and get involved in clearing the space and making it beautiful, as well as being part of the Grow Heathrow family and getting to know us and the site.

Main tasks for the weekend are:

  • Tatting materials to build a fence with
  • Erecting a fence around the site
  • Making a gate
  • Beautifying the space
  • Coppicing hazel and creating a polytunnel

We’ve got plenty of sleeping space in our guest cabin but if you want you own space you can bring a tent – there’s loads of camping space. Food, drinks and fun will be provided but it’s nice if you can chip in a couple of quid towards this and general running costs of the site. If you happen to have any battery powered drills or general tools you’d like to bring that would be great.

We’re off grid in terms of energy and rely on our 2 wind turbines and solar panels, so it’s an excuse to turn your phone off and spend some time outside. Hopefully we’ll have some summer sunshine to see us through.

Bring friends, family, all those you love and a smile and come help us prepare for Heathrow’s next feathered residents.