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 18 June, 1-4: Wild hogweed asparagus

Posted: June 14th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | No Comments »

baby common and giant hogweed

Boom! It’s that great tasting hogweed. Never heard of it? You don’t need to hear about it, just eat it. It’s one of our top most delicious wild foods.

Come on, we got another wild food workshop all lined up. We’ll do a little studying, to tell it apart from giant hogweed (heracleum mantegazzianum), which is poisonous to touch. It gives you full on peeling, blistering sunburn to make you feel like a proper Brit on tour in August. Then, onceonce that’s worked up an appetite in you and put you in the mood for food, we’ll steam the flower buds and serve them with butter/margarine and lemon juice.

The thrilling photo above shows young common hogweed (heracleum sphondylium), which is all there on the Grow Heathrow site, in the top left, alongside its poisonous Giant cousin in the bottom right. If you want to swot up beforehand, check out these tidal waves of fact that’ll make you very, very brainy.

So if you want to not have peeling sunburn but to eat something that tastes like asparagus, and let’s face it – who hasn’t been searching for that yin yang combo in life – you can either get some normal asparagus or come to the workshop.


AROOO @ Grow Heathrow PARTY!

Posted: October 2nd, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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The Alternative Press team are building and celebrating the last and final phase of A Room of One’s Own (AROOO) at Grow Heathrow Saturday 17th October! Come and join us for a live build, zine workshops, walks, yoga, music, open mic, and a bonfire party at sunset! 

The itinerary for the day; 

11am to 2pm – AROOO gets built! 

2-3pm – Lunch! 

3-6pm – Walks, workshops, yoga, meditation, open mic, music, drawing on AROOO…

Sunset + BONFIRE PARTY! poetry readings, potential sleepover
Feel free to bring food and drink! And donations kindly welcome!

It only makes sense that a sculpture aimed to raise awareness on the need for safe and inclusive space ends up at Grow Heathrow, where the community will continue to use it not only as an additional greenhouse, but a space to represent and champion the cause of the local community. 

Join us for our day long celebration and party. 

And get to meet the lovely residents at Grow Heathrow! 

Love all round

Team AP!
xxxx
www.alternativepress.org.uk
http://www.transitionheathrow.com/grow-heathrow/


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.

 


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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Save the date, Grow Heathrows 5th birthday 28th Feb / 1st March!

Posted: December 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education, Events | Tags: , , | 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.

info@transitionheathrow.com

 


Making Soap at Grow Heathrow

Posted: November 19th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Education | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

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What a success, mint, rose petal, oats and lavender soap, homemade at Grow Heathrow…

Soap is made using 3 different kinds of oils or fats, an alkaline substance and flavouring. This time we used coconut oil, olive oil and vegetable fat…maybe one day we’ll process our own oil from sunflowers and alkaline substance from ash or sea-shells… not to mention the bike powered mixer…

The more help we can get the better though – let us know if you’d like to come on board the Grow Heathrow providing for ourselves train..

And watch this space for Shazam round 2, winter program..Education for the Future

 

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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


Day of degrowth!

Posted: November 12th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | 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’.

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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.

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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 info@transitionheathrow.com.

Visit www.degrowth.org for a wealth of research and resources on the topic.


Making Solar Panels

Posted: October 20th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Energy, Events | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

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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!

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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.

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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!

 

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