An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent
Transition Culture has moved
After eight years of frenzied blogging at this site, Transition Culture has moved to its new home. Do come and join us, but feel free to also browse this now-archived site and use the shop. Thanks for all your support, comments and input so far, and see you soon.
Next Thursday (April 18th) at 5pm BST sees a rather special Transition Network/Resilience.org team-up, with a webinar featuring Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone. Next week I will post details on how you can follow it, for now I wanted to let you know so you can put it in the diary and also have a think about any questions you’d like to ask them. If you have questions please put them as a comment below or tweet them to me at @robintransition. Here’s where it will happen, in this window below, so come back here, or here, on Thursday for the webinar.
What’ll we be discussing in our hour-long chat? Here’s how Joanna and Chris frame the conversation:
We’ll start this month’s Round up in Crystal Palace in London, and news of the ‘Palace Pint’. Crystal Palace Transition Town started the initiative inspire by the nearby ‘Brixton Beer’, and more than 80 people have now planted hops in their gardens as part of the scheme. CPTT have teamed up with local brewers Late Knights in Penge, who will brew a special brew using the hops and who will also run sessions throughout the year where people can learn to brew. Hops were also planted in the Crystal Palace Museum Garden and in the Grape and Grain pub’s Tipsy Garden (see pic above).
Today sees the publication of what may well turn out to be one of the most important documents yet produced by a Transition initiative. Over the next few weeks we will be returning to it, to hear a range of perspectives on it, and hope it will generate debate and discussion. The document is the ‘Totnes & District Local Economic Blueprint‘, and you can download it for free here. The Blueprint is the first attempt that I am aware of to map in detail a local economy and to put a value on the potential benefits of an increased degree of localisation. If you like, it identifies “the size of the prize” of Transition.
Here Fiona Ward of the REconomy Project introduces the Blueprint:
Today’s post is really a warm-up for tomorrow’s. Tomorrow morning, Transition Network’s REconomy Project will be publishing the first of 3 ‘Local Economic Blueprints’, for Totnes and District (those of Hereford and Brixton are in the pipeline). I think it is one of the most important pieces of work that has yet to emerge from a Transition initiative, a real leap forward in terms of arguing the case for more local and more resilient economies. For now, to give you a taste, here is the foreword I wrote that didn’t get used in the end, but which captures why I think it matters:
“Something remarkable is happening in Totnes. Something that is starting to be noticed elsewhere, something that’s a vitally needed story in communities up and down the country. Greg Barker MP, former Minister for Communities and Local Government, noticed it recently when he told Parliament “what Totnes does today, the rest of the country will do tomorrow”. The Western Morning News noticed it when they ran a lead editorial called “Hippy town comes of age”. Chef and campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall noticed it recently when he spoke of Totnes “blazing a trail for those who are interested in finding new heart in their community”.
“a volunteer-led project which aims to help Londoners grow more of their own food. We propagate edible plants which are then used on local growing projects. We teach people how to recognise plants, which parts are edible, how to propagate them, how they are grown in a forest garden and even how to cook with them”.
On the day I visited it was pouring with rain, and with it being early March there was not much in the way of plants to be seen, but I made the following short film (slowly getting the hang of it, poor audio in places is due to torrential rain on greenhouse roof) which hopefully captures some of what the project is about. See if you can spot the cameo by a mouse: