Monthly Archives: May 2012

May 2012 Newsletter

  1. Green Drinks – come and have a natter each month! 
  2. Peace Day Pilgrim Launch Event. 
  3. Tavistock Garden Festival 2012. 
  4. Food and Energy Group Update. 
  5. Inner Transition – Engaging Hearts and Minds. 
  6. Introduction to Permaculture! 
  7. Ted-x Exeter – from Kate Royston. 
  8. Devon Waste Plan and Food Waste Roadshows. 
  9. Network Training. 
  10. Apple Blossom in May. 
  11. Herbalist Courses. 
  12. A Reminder about Transition Plymouth Film Nights. 
  13. Wood Pellets and Briquettes. 
  14. Gardening with Arsenic – the Debate Continues. 
  15. James Lovelock. 
  16. Forthcoming Dates.
  17. STOP PRESS – Late postings.

1. Green Drinks – come and have a natter each month!

June Green Drinks – come and join our Green Drinks on Tuesday 12th June (19:30 till 21:30) at the Market Inn, corner of Whitchurch Road and Pixon Lane in Tavistock. This month we have a ‘special guest’!

Freed Range deliveries go electric with the MegaVan – Come and check it out at Green Drinks

From Liz and Nick Whitwell:

We’re currently 2 weeks into our month long trial of the MegaVan and, despite a few teething problems, we’re absolutely delighted with it. Our 2007 plate MegaVan ( ) is able to run from Crapstone to Mill Hill and back again, delivering eggs on the way, on a single charge. The hills obviously have an impact on speed and range, but we’ve worked out a route that will hopefully be of least inconvenience to other road users, and it’s doing exactly what we hoped it would. We really hope to bring it along to the June Green Drinks so that you can have a look for yourselves and ask us any questions. We’re so impressed, we’re already thinking about a MegaCity car for the family, and hopefully we’ll soon have our own logo on the side of the van. In the meantime, give us a wave if you see us! For more info contact

2. Peace Day Pilgrim Launch Event

Dear Friends,

You are cordially invited to an evening of Peace, Passion and Pilgrimage. It is the launch event of Peace Day Pilgrim, a 1200 mile walk, without money, through the UK & Ireland to raise awareness for Global Truce 2012.

The event includes the following guest-speakers:

Satish Kumar (Resurgence Magazine) who walked over 8000 miles in the 1960s, from Delhi to Washington, to campaign against nuclear proliferation.

Jeremy Gilley – Founder of Peace One Day and the driving force behind the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.

Maxim Laithwaite – Peace Day Pilgrim who is walking 1200 miles this summer to raise awareness for Peace One Day and Global Truce 2012 on 21 September.

There will also be a chance to see one of the Peace One Day films and have a gather to catch up with friends and listen to some acoustic jazz from Mr Miller.

The event is based on a suggested donation of £5 towards Peace Day Pilgrim and will be held at the Wharf, Tavistock at 7pm on Saturday 26 May. To book a tickets please email or telephone 0845 345 5077. Tickets can also be booked via the Wharf, either in person or on 01822 611166 (booking fee applies if you book over the ‘phone).

More info on Peace Day Pilgrim can be found at:

Kind regards,

Maxim, Peace Day Pilgrim

We are running a small Transition Tavistock stall at this event so please come and say hello, especially if we haven’t met! Rebecca Garland and Ian Daniels.

3. Tavistock Garden Festival 2012

Tavistock Garden Festival 2012 will be held in and around the Pannier Market on Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th June (Jubilee Weekend) from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm. Transition Tavistock have booked a stall at the event and would be interested in hearing from anyone who could come and help us man it, even if only for an hour. Please email us by Sunday 27th May if you are able to volunteer and then we can draw up a rota.

Also: there’s not much time to get your entry forms in for the Tavistock Garden Festival Container Garden Competition – Deadline 18th May!

This competition is free to enter and containers will be judged by invited guests on best use of plants, originality and overall design and desirability. The finished container can be anything in which plants can grow successfully (i.e. have free drainage etc). The filled container must be freestanding and reasonably portable in order that it can be moved to the Town Hall site without the use of machinery. There are no planting rules, plant up to your taste and imagination!


• Best use of plants

• Best colour combination

• Originality

• Overall Best in Show

Entries for this competition can be delivered to the Town Hall between 8:30am-10:30am on Sunday 3rd June 2012. All entries can be collected after 2pm on Monday 4th June 2012. Judging will take place at 11am on Sunday 3rd June 2012, the judges’ decision being final. Prize winners will be announced as soon as judging has been completed.

Prizes to be awarded

1st (in each of the 3 categories)

2nd (in each of the 3 categories)

3rd (in each of the 3 categories)

Overall “Best in Show”

You can submit your entry via email; we just need some basic info

• Your name/organisation name
• Brief description of your container garden including plants/products used

• Contact details

01822 613529

4. Food and Energy Group Update

The Food and Energy group met at the Eadie’s on 26th April.

Food: We discussed progress with Garden Share. Jacky and Kit now have everything ready and we’re looking forward to publicising this further at the Garden Festival. We would also like to progress a Community Garden somewhere in Tavistock. We’ll be talking to the Town Council to see if they may be able to help. We also hope to be able to support Tavistock in Bloom.

Energy: After much discussion we concluded that our attention should focus on establishing an Energy Shop in Tavistock – offering advice on energy saving and renewable energy. This would provide a good base to develop a growing Community Energy network across the area. We are setting up an Energy Shop working group to progress this. If you’d like to be involved please contact Kate at Peter Smith and I had an inspiring meeting with Stephen Frankel, his wife Lizzie-Jane and others at the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network’s Energy Shop recently. This convinced us more than ever that this should be the way forward!

If you’d like to get involved with the Food and Energy group mail: Next meeting date still to be confirmed.

5. Inner Transition – Engaging Hearts and Minds

It can be difficult to engage hearts and minds when discussing Transition issues. People tend to feel that nothing they personally can do will make a difference because the issues are so huge and frightening, and that it’s probably “too late” to do anything now anyway. At the first meeting of Transition Tavistock’s new ‘Hearts and Minds’ group (now renamed ‘Inner Transition’) we looked these fears squarely in the face.

We know that we need to create alternatives for when the current system collapses, and instead of feeling isolated and competing for limited resources, we need to work together and share what we have. At the moment society is set up to divide and pigeonhole people and this is a barrier that we want to try and break down. In the future, we believe, real security will come from community.

Much progress can be made by everyone taking small steps. The cost in time , money and commitment need not be great. It’s the cumulative effect that matters. Would you like to join us in trying to achieve this? The next meeting will be held on Wednesday May 23rd at 5 Campion Rise, Tavistock, and we will be discussing the ‘Festival of Transition’ idea from the National Transition website – (If this sounds familiar, it was featured on page 8 of the April newsletter.)

Future topics for discussion include setting up an Arts Group, and starting a Listening Project, but if anyone has any more ideas to add, please let us know.

6. Introduction to Permaculture!

A further reminder about Rebecca Harris’ offering an ‘Introduction to Permaculture’ course on 13th & 14th October 2012, 9am to 5pm at 4 Canal Road, Tavistock.

For more information, please e-mail Rebecca at

7. TED-x Exeter – from Kate Royston

TED Talks – ‘.Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world’ are a great source of information (

TED-x is a series of events held across the world.

Peter Smith, Chris Simpson and I spent an inspiring and thought provoking day at TED-x Exeter on 20th April at the Northcott Theatre. A full day of punchy lectures which are all still available here: If you have little time we would recommend Kevin Cotter’s 2 minutes on local food.

The four sessions and speakers are listed below. Although they were all excellent I have added a few comments to some of them.

Session 1: The Big Picture

Satish Kumar: Soil, Soul and Society – A good introduction. The three fundamentals we should live by. Soil because we are nature. Soul – we must be in touch with this to fulfil our potential. Society – we must embrace diversity not division! SEE SATISH KUMAR AT THE WHARF on 26th May!

Tony Juniper: What has Nature ever done for us? – Also the title of Tony Juniper’s new book. Tony was discussing the importance of eco-system services, the importance to the economy that nature is working and the impact when the natural balance is disrupted. Very insightful! Natural History GCSE should be compulsory for all!

Peter Cox: Climate Change: Thinking outside the Low Carbon Box – It’s methane we should be worried about!

Antony Turner: Making Greenhouse Gases Visible – very interesting ways of presenting greenhouse gases pictorially!

Kevin Cotter: Food: A local view – highly recommended.

Session 2: Connection

Ted Talk – Nic Marks: The Happy Planet Index

Bandi Mbubi: Congo Calling – recommended viewing to understand how important it is that we treasure our mobile phones … and endeavour to buy ‘conflict free’ phones. Many thousands of people are needlessly dying for the sake of the precious metals needed to make them. Mobiles are vital to us all but a way must be found to stop them fuelling conflict.

Scilla Elworthy: How do I deal with a Bully, without becoming a Thug?

Mike Dickson: What is Enough? – A very interesting perspective on how to become more content with what you need and how to spend your time at work and pay. Recommended!

Alistair Macintosh: Volunteering: A local view

Session 3: Living Sustainably

TED Talk – William Kamkwamba: How I Harnessed the Wind – a very inspiring story of the transformation of a village

Lily Lapenna: It’s not all about Chicken and Chips – Lily works with young people to help them develop and understand personal finance and banking. She has helped set up a network of school banks. Important for all young people!

Andy Robertson: Sustainable Perspectives on Video Games

Rob Hopkins: My Town in Transition

Session 4: Sustainable Futures

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: Little, Local and Often

Polly Higgins: Ecocide: the 5th Crime Against Peace – a truly remarkable campaign by a lawyer to establish the crime of ecocide and get it recognised as the 5th crime against peace.

Chris Anderson: The City 2.0

8. Devon Waste Plan and Food Waste Roadshows

A chilling message for food waste haters!

West Devon Borough Council’s Recycling and Waste team will be taking their road show out across the district this Spring and Summer to spread the message: Love Food Hate Waste.

Food waste is a major issue. We throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, costing us £12bn – or £50 per month for the average household. This is not helping the environment. If we stopped throwing this good food away – and most of it could be saved and eaten later – it would save the equivalent of 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the same as taking one in five cars off the road.

To help you reduce food waste and save money we will be offering tips and ideas at our road shows around the area. You can also take the “big chill quiz” where you’ll discover how friendly you are with your freezer.

Apart from finding out how to reduce your food bill, there is also the chance to win a hamper full of food storage and kitchen gadgets, in a competition to be drawn in the autumn.We are also on hand for any of your recycling service enquiries…why not come and see us at any of these venues:

May 18 – Broadwoodkelly Outreach, Village Hall 10.30am – 12 noon.

June 1 – Exbourne Outreach, The Burrow Café, 10am – 12noon.

June 14 – Belstone Outreach, Village Hall 10am -12 noon.

July 14 – Okehampton Community Day, The Charter Hall, 10am – 1pm.

July 17 – Hatherleigh Market, 9am – 12.30pm.

July 27 – Chagford, Library 10.30am – 12.30pm.

August 9 – Okehampton Show, Showground 11am – 2pm.

August 16 – Chagford Show, Showground 11am – 2pm.

August 17 – Tavistock, Bedford Square 11am – 2pm.

September 1 – Tavistock Community Day, Bedford Square, 10am – 1pm.

The Devon Waste Plan – Preferred Strategy, Site Options & Draft Policies will be

available for you to view and comment on between the following dates:

Start date: 10/05/12 18:40

End date: 03/08/12 18:23

Please select the following link to view this event:

9. Network Training

Learning how to “Thrive” in uncertain times could be your most important asset: Transition Network’s new training – Totnes, 16-17 June 2012

There is no shortage of bad news, but what about the untold stories of hope, positive action, and opportunity? This weekend will be packed with ways for you to create thriving, prosperous relocalised economies along with the skills for doing to enable it to happen. These two days are an inspiration and practical immersion in the culture of transition we are in. Whatever your interest, whatever your passion, this training is designed to help you through the difficult bits, and to build positive ways forward.

You will meet others who are facing similar challenges. The training will embody the Transition movement’s spirit of co-creation in a wide ranging exploration of what has been achieved and what is now possible. We will be specifically looking at how to sustain momentum in your Transition Initiative and personally, how to get more people involved, and how to translate that involvement into active engagement. We hope to see you there!

Trainers: The training will be facilitated by Naresh Giangrande, co-founder of Transition Town Totnes and Transition Training, and Mandy Dean, who has been a teacher and trainer for over 15 years and has worked in sustainable land use research, horticulture and vocational training and is also qualified as a medical herbalist.

Costs: We are trying out a new financing model, inspired by the “Gift Economy” and Transition Portugal. All we ask for is a payment of £40 prior to the course (as a deposit). The actual full cost of the training weekend is around £105 (depending on number of participants), but we leave it up to each participant to decide after the course, if and how much they can afford or want to contribute to this course as a way of gratitude and support of its continuity in the future.

Where & When: The venue will be Birdwood House, in the heart of Totnes, about 10 minutes walk from Totnes Railway station. Dates: Saturday, 16 June to Sunday, 17 June 2012 from 9:30am-5:00pm

Contact if you have any questions.

10. Apple Blossom in May

This item is from Tess Wilmot of Dig for Devonport. All Ways Apples, funded by Awards for All, celebrates natural abundance by increasing the local harvesting of apples in the City of Plymouth. For further information please contact or phone Tess on 07531 506 481.

Look out for apple blossom this month – it is really beautiful! Many different trees are in blossom now, but if you familiarize yourself with apple blossom flowers you will soon be able to recognize an apple tree on sight. Why not photograph the blossom or if you are artistic draw or paint it to help you remember? Various apple varieties flower at different times. Experts talk about this as pollination groups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Group 3 apples can be pollinated by apples in group 2, 3 or 4 as their flowering seasons overlap.

Apple Blossom Walk Saturday 19th May. Contact me if you would like to visit the wonderful ‘Mother Orchard’ at Cotehele. After a 30 minute train journey up the Tamar valley from Plymouth, we will have a gentle walk down through the village of Calstock. We will then make our way along the estuary before going up through the woods past the house and to the orchards. It will be a great opportunity to find out lots more about apples, orchards and nature.

We will look for signs of wildlife along the walk and see what wild food is in season. Wear suitable clothing and footwear and bring a packed lunch. We will be catching the 10.59 train from Plymouth (11.02 from Devonport). If we travel together on the train it can be much cheaper – multiples of four people get the train fare down to just £2.20 each! Excellent value. So please bring your friends and families! Please contact me for more details if you want to come.

Summer Pruning with Adam Montague: I am organizing a date for Adam to come to Plymouth to show how to prune fruit trees in summer. We will learn how to train and prune apples to grow in small spaces, using attractive techniques like espaliers and cordons. This will also include advice about other fruit trees, including the fruits with stones (plums, apricots, peaches, etc.), which should only be pruned in summer. If we do not find a venue with lots of different examples to work on, we may start at Diggin It in Stoke where there are cordon apple trees and then go by mini bus to visit other gardens with good examples.

Sunday 2nd September – Devonport Park Fun Day – All Ways Apples’ first apple pressing of the season – come and help and taste the juice from the earliest apples.

October – Apple Picking – There will be opportunities to help harvesting in the weeks leading up to this year’s All Ways Apples festival. We are also working in partnership with Sail Trade to bring apples down the river by boat.

Plans are also underway for another of the popular All Ways Apples festivals on Wednesday 31st October at Devonport Guildhall. The apple press will be busy again with people of all ages getting involved. In the Guildhall there will be lots of creative ways of using apples – crafts, arts, stalls, food, information and more. We will need volunteer help on the day, so if you would like to be involved please let me know. Grow your own Pumpkins – as the event is on 31st October, Halloween, there will be a bit of a Halloween theme this year! There will be a prize for the best carved pumpkin and locally grown pumpkins will be especially welcome. If you enjoy growing pumpkins, bring one along to the competition.

11. Herbalist Courses

From Diana Lee

The IRCH Summer School will be held here on our smallholding again this June and some of the seminars are open to members of the public. All sessions are run by practicing herbalists who specialise in their field and are tutors for the IRCH (

I am also running a number of herbal day courses which includes plant ID and some hands on so you take away some remedies! If you mention “Tamwed” when booking this course I will donate 10% to the charity who I work with on a herbal garden project in India.

Best wishes, Diana,

Registered Medical Herbalist (also Holsworthy Organics)

Ceridwen, Pyworthy, Devon, EX22 6SW

01409 254450

12. A Reminder about Transition Plymouth Film Nights

On the first Monday of each month “Movie Mondays”

Films with an eco slant presented by Tim Francis

7.00 pm opening for 7.30 start at 171 Armada Way Plymouth

Contact Tim on 07413 541258

13. Wood Pellets and Briquettes

My name is Herbert Hooper, my son and I run a company who manufacture wood pellets/briquettes for heating and other uses.

We are based about 7 miles from Okehampton just off the Whiddon Down exit on the A30, a local company using west country suppliers of raw materials for our products.

Please feel free to enquire for more information.

Kind regards

Herbert Hooper

14. Gardening with Arsenic – the Debate Continues
From Pammy Riggs:

I had a conversation with someone who had recently moved to Tavistock. She was reluctant to grow vegetables because of the arsenic problem but was happy to have chickens in the garden and proposed selling the eggs. I don’t actually know how acute the problem of arsenic is, but it is a fact that hens do store various localised ingredients (this helps protect a chick and affords it some measure of immunity in the case of disease challenges) in the yolk of an egg.

I wonder whether a hen pecking around in an arsenic laden garden, eating worms etc. might also concentrate it in the fatty yolk? Does anyone know? is there any research?

15. James Lovelock on Radio 4
James Lovelock was featured on Radio 4’s The Life Scientific last week. You can still catch up with it here:

16. Forthcoming Dates

May 2012
Peace Day Pilgrim Launch Event Sat 26th

June 2012
Garden Festival Sun 3rd and Mon 4th
Green Drinks Tues June 12th
Deadline for items for June newsletter Sun June 17th

July 2012
Green Drinks Tues July 10th
Deadline for items for July newsletter Sun July 15th
Smallholders Weekend, Cotehele Sat/Sun July 28/29th

17 STOP PRESS – Late postings

A bit of energy saving trivia – When does off mean off.

A recent discussion in the New Scientist suggested that the industry should add a switch to electrical devices that ensured no power flowed through the device when switched off. It prompted another reader to point out that this was already the case. There are two internationally recognised symbols to distinguish between an on/off button and a standby button. A true on/off button uses the symbol of a circle with a vertical line in it. A standby button uses a circle with a gap at the top and a vertical line cuts through this gap. Just because there are no lights on the device, does not mean its not using any power.

I checked with a the stack of devices under our old TV. The Freeview receiver, the freesat receiver and the dvd recorder only had standby buttons. The old TV had an on/off button. The DVD recorder only went to standby and with no lights on you would expect it to not be using power. Fortunately we switch all these off at the wall switch every night. Something we should all get used to.

Shake and Fold – How to save millions of tons of paper.

Kate Royston praised the good talks given by TED at TED-x in Exeter back in April but I recommend you all subscribe to the TED website to get the latest lectures from around the world. If not you might You might miss little gems like this video teaching the audieince how to use a paper towel. Remember “Shake and Fold“.