South Court Environmental – Dates For Your Diary

Fruit Fools Day

Friday 28th September  Abington Lodge in ‘The Barn’.                                 6.00 – 8.00

It’s that time again. SCE has been collecting in our fruit crops from its many sites. There’ll be a dozen different fruit fools to sample. How it works is that you ‘compose your own’. Mix this fruit with that fruit (if you like). Add herbs or spices (or not). Add sugar or honey (or not). Add various creams and custards (or not). Then try again, a different combination. Which will be your top fruit fool?

This is for all ages and all-comers. It costs you £2 to join in but there’s no limit on the combinations you can try. Or come with the children – just £1 for them or less if they’ve already eaten!

And there’ll be our jams and chutneys and honeys on sale there as well, all of them produced from our local lands, all of them organic.

 

SCE’s Apple Day

Sunday 21st October     Abington Lodge: At the ‘The Barn’ and Orchard.     2.00 – 5.00

Apple Day is our celebration of all-things-apple. There’ll be thousands of apples of many many different varieties to try. With your help we’ll be juicing the apples too so there’ll be bottled juice as take-homes. Bottled sunshine! Maybe some bottled pear juice too. There’ll be honey and jams etc. on sale as well.

And events such as ‘Apple Bobbing’ and ‘Longest Peel’ and apple games to play. And if you want them some more serious bits as well: Learn how the Abington Lodge Orchard came to be there, the history and status of orchards in our area, how orchards are good for wildlife, and so on. The three SCE booklets ‘Tomfoolery for Orchards’ will also be on sale. And – just perhaps – you may decide to come and help us for the following year in our apple work and apple celebrations. You could ask us about that when you come. There is no charge for this event, though your donation will be most welcome.

 

Spuds & Sparklers

Friday 2nd November    In SCE’s Wilsons’ Orchard off Billing Rd East.         6.00 – 8.00

This is SCE’s annual ‘junior’ Guy Fawkes and Community Fire Ceremony. So bring the children. (Note that all children you bring should be under 85 years old.) Our advice is that you come with wellies, warm clothing and a torch or, better still, a lantern. There will be fireworks – nothing too scary – and of course a Bonfire. And roast spuds and probably ghost stories and other things. It would be good if you could make up some tales of your own please. Then your stories could join our own. (btw Do you know why it’s the time of year for a Fire Ceremony? You could look that up beforehand but we’ll tell you by the end of the events anyway.) £1 in the tin if you please.

 

SCE’s End-of-Year ‘Bash’

Wednesday 19th December              ‘Up In The Barn’ at Abington Lodge      6.30 – 9.00

For this year’s bash we’re in collaboration with Transition Town Northampton. They’ll be there too. Yule-tide has a long and rather topsy-turvy history and we’ll be celebrating that strangeness with you joining in on it e.g.  Ancient and lesser-known carols; our Mumming Play; some Victorian Games and Puzzles; Music and Magic. Apart from that, there is, of course, the food, the drink, and the chat. £1 in the tin if you please.

 

Want to Know More?

Tel (office hours please)  01604 630719

mobile 077 842 01352          email nalder.peter@talktalk.net

5th September – South Court Environmental

Guest Speaker Peter Nalder

We enjoyed a fascinating and eye-opening talk on the 5th September from the extremely knowledgeable (and irrepressible) Peter Nalder from the South Court Environmental group showed just how they have got to work over the last 25 years on their three themes of biodiversity, Community and Land and Organic Food.

Members were impressed with what SCE is achieving in their work with volunteers and with older people as part of the Community thread, the informed work sustaining biodiversity in their two orchards and their gardens where (Local) they grow Organic food.

The closely related Aims and objectives (by any other name) of the SCE and TTN together with the shared conviction that local action is the way to go to truly make a difference, as SCE clearly are, opens up the possibility of a closer relationship between SCE and TTN in the future.

Peter invited TTN to consider becoming a Group Member of SCE and that is something we will consider carefully with a view to bringing this to a future meeting for discussion.

South Court Environmental have a host of events coming up, including

Fruit Fools Day on the 28th September

There’ll be a dozen different fruit fools to sample. How it works is that you ‘compose your own’. Mix this fruit with that fruit (if you like). Add herbs or spices (or not). Add sugar or honey (or not). Add various creams and custards (or not). Then try again, a different combination. Which will be your top fruit fool?

This is for all ages and all-comers. It costs you £2 to join in but there’s no limit on the combinations you can try. Or come with the children – just £1 for them or less if they’ve already eaten!

Apple Day on 21st October

There’ll be thousands of apples of many many different varieties to try. With your help we’ll be juicing the apples too so there’ll be bottled juice as take-homes. Bottled sunshine! Maybe some bottled pear juice too. There’ll be honey and jams etc. on sale as well.

And events such as ‘Apple Bobbing’ and ‘Longest Peel’ and apple games to play

Spuds & Sparklers Friday 2nd November

This is SCE’s annual ‘junior’ Guy Fawkes and Community Fire Ceremony. So bring the children. (Note that all children you bring should be under 85 years old.) Our advice is that you come with wellies, warm clothing and a torch or, better still, a lantern. There will be fireworks – nothing too scary – and of course a Bonfire.

Transition Town has been invited to South Court Environmental’s End-of-Year ‘Bash’

Wednesday 19th December

‘For this year’s bash we’re in collaboration with Transition Town Northampton. They’ll be there too. Yule-tide has a long and rather topsy-turvy history and we’ll be celebrating that strangeness with you joining in on it e.g. > Ancient and lesser-known carols; our Mumming Play; some Victorian Games and Puzzles; Music and Magic. Apart from that there is of course the food, the drink and the chat. £1 in the tin if you please.

Volunteers Needed For Ride and Stride

Ride & Stride Cycling and Walking Festival

Your Planet needs our help in whatever small ways we can and this festival is aimed at getting people fitter and healthier whilst reducing their time in a car or on other fossil fuel driven transport.

A million steps challenge together with cycling and walking information demonstrations and advice will help us to make a real, if small, contribution but, we really do need your help to make it a great day out for all.

Can you help to park cars for an hour or two? Encourage people to make a pledge to walk more and add to the million steps total? sell raffle tickets with vouchers for cycle shops as prizes? help to set up and take down? Come and be supportive on the day?

Whatever you can do would be really appreciated.

Let us know how you can help!

2nd May – Electric Cars

On the 2nd May, we welcomed Trevor Larkum from Fuel Included. Trevor brought his fully electric car for us to look at and kindly did a Q & A session for us.

As you might expect we covered all aspects of owning an electric car, including range, recharging points, costs, carbon footprint from manufacture to recycling and all the other essentials.

Perhaps more interesting for me was the move into home battery storage for night time power supply. The systems are now available to store unused daytime PV electricity instead of feeding it into the grid. With the reduction of Feed-In Tariffs (they will go all together on new installations) this goes a long way to improving the payback time especially when this is coupled with the reduction in solar panel costs! Use of a ‘Green Energy’ electricity supplier is as always, a key part of reducing the carbon footprint of any system.  Of course, nothing beats using less energy so improving insulation to in the home is a top choice.

 

Northampton: Sustainable Food City?

Access to locally produced, healthy food is a vital part of any sustainable strategy for local places.

As part of Northampton Transition Town’s work, we are hoping to have Northampton recognised as a Sustainable Food City, through registration with the international network of food cities. Read about them here: http://sustainablefoodcities.org/about

We aim to produce a sustainable food strategy for Northampton before the end of 2018, which will address the 6 key principles recommended:

  1. Promoting healthy and sustainable food to the public
  2. Tackling food poverty, diet-related ill health and access to affordable healthy food
  3. Building community food knowledge, skills, resources and projects
  4. Promoting a vibrant and diverse sustainable food economy
  5. Transforming catering and food procurement
  6. Reducing waste and the ecological footprint of the food system

To help us create this strategy we will create a vibrant network of local people and organisations representing the range of public, third sector and business organisations in our town, representing all of those interested in a heathy sustainable food system that benefits growers, consumers and suppliers alike.

We will gradually add partnership supporters as they are recruited.

If you want to join the network, or get involved, contact David Garlick, email: TransitionTownNorthampton@gmail.com

‘Grow your own – reconnect with the natural world – improve your well being

Grow Local – shop Local – grow the Local economy’

4th October – End Hunger UK

This Wednesday, 4th October, we welcomed Rachel McGrath.  Rachel is the Grant Director and Deputy CEO for the Northamptonshire Community Foundation and has supported UKCF, the national network of Community Foundations in developing a resource for foundations to measure the impact of grantmaking. Rachel is also working with the Northamptonshire Food Poverty Network and we will send you an update to them explaining how you can help. Committed to responding to the needs of people on the ground, however, understanding that this should only be a short-term need.

Rachel spoke eloquently about the work of The End Hunger UK Campaign and the work they are doing to raise support for the School Holidays (Meals and activities) Bill that Frank Field M.P. has presented to Parliament.  Philip Hollobone M.P. is the only Northamptonshire M.P. that has pledged to support the Bill although 126 in total have signed up. The Bill is due for its second reading on the 19th January 2018 so you have plenty of time to contact your local MP and ask him to support the Bill something that we can do which would help enormously.

In the discussion that followed Rachel highlighted the great work being done by over 2000 foodbanks who together with other community groups are seeking to offer immediate help to those in need. What is needed is a living wage and a Benefits structure which enables recipients to both ‘eat and heat’ and not leave them to make a choice between the two!

Check out the website ‘feedingbritain.org’ for more information.

6th September – Elsie’s Cafe

On the 6th September, we were joined by Shena Cooper of the Real Junk Food project. Shena told us all about her group’s successful work in gaining access to food that would otherwise end up wasted and making sure it was used. Shena explained how much good food was being thrown away as ‘use by’, ‘sell by’ and ‘best before’ dates were safeguarding consumers but resulted in perfectly usable food being thrown out too early.

Shena also explained that the major supermarkets could do more to make such food available rather than send it to landfill and while they all offered help only Morrisons were fully engaged in the scheme. Elsie’s café in the Community Centre on the Exeter Road estate would love to see you for a ‘pay as you feel’ lunch (remember they have expenses even though they are volunteers) See their website for opening times.

 

Study reveals your nitrogen footprint – and who it is impacting (Guardian)

You’ve heard of managing your carbon footprint. But how about your nitrogen footprint? Emissions of reactive nitrogen into the environment have increased more than 10-fold over the past 150 years, contribute to deaths from air pollution and water pollution, and have countless other impacts including acid rain and degradation of ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef.

Now, for the first time, researchers have calculated the average nitrogen footprint of people from 188 countries, as well as where exactly they cause that pollution, helping pave the way to policy that could help the world reduce its emissions of reactive nitrogen.

Almost 80% of the atmosphere is made of nitrogen in the form of N2. But in that form it hardly interacts with other chemicals – so it is not useful for humans or plants, and it is not harmful either. And for most of Earth’s history, pretty much the only way N2 could be turned into a reactive form like ammonia or nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) was either by bacteria, lightning and legumes.

Energy at an industrial scale

Driven by rapid expansion in developing countries, new installations of carbon-free renewable power plants in 2014 surpassed 100,000 megawatts of capacity for the first time, according to the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report. It appears that renewable energy is now entering the market at a scale that is relevant in energy industry terms – and at a price that is competitive with fossil fuels.

For more read the full article on Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/vital-signs/2015/apr/20/renewable-energy-global-trends-solar-power