Spring Newsletter

Spring Newsletter

Welcome to Spring!
Spring officially started this week, and Transition Belsize has some exciting news. The Royal Free Hospital has very kindly given Transition Belsize a plot of land for food growing. It’s in the Heath Strange Garden above the hospital car park. The plan is to plant fruit trees, fruit bushes and medicinal herbs, and to install raised beds so that the children at the hospital primary school can learn how to grow food.

This Saturday we’re taking delivery of five tons of compost and need all the help we can get to move it into the garden. If you help out, you can take some for your own garden or balcony too! Then on Sunday we’re planting fruit trees, and later on we’ll be planting medicinal herbs and installing raised beds. If you have any medicinal herbs in your garden that you could donate, then please get in touch. On Saturday 14th April we’ll be running a free workshop on building raised beds. See below for all the details.


Compost Moving
Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th March
Permaculture Site at the Heath Strange Garden, above the car park, Royal Free Hospital, Rowland Hill Street, NW3 2PF
We’re taking delivery of five tons of compost! It’s being delivered to two parking spaces on Rowland Hill Street, near the George pub on Haverstock Hill. We really, really need help to move it on to the food growing site so if you can help any time on Saturday from 10am to 2pm or on Sunday from 11am to 5pm, then please do come along. We have to shift it by the end of Sunday. If you help out, then we’re more than happy for you to take free compost for your own garden or balcony or window sill. We should have plenty to spare!

Fruit Tree Planting at the Royal Free
Sunday 25th March – 11am-4pm
Permaculture Site at the Heath Strange Garden, above the car park, Royal Free Hospital, Rowland Hill Street, NW3 2PF

We’ll be planting the fruit trees (two types of apple, a hazelnut, a cobnut, a plum, a cherry and a pear) and fruit bushes (blueberry, raspberry, tayberry, loganberry, wineberry, thornless blackberry and edible honeysuckle). These have been very kindly donated by Thornton’s Budgens of Belsize Park and by Alara Wholefoods. If you’d like to help or learn, then please do come and join us. If you have a wheelbarrow and/or a spade and/or a large bucket and/or empty bags and/or gardening gloves that you could bring, then so much the better!

Want a Cob Oven at Your School?
The Transition Kids group are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a grant from the Budgens Pennies for Plastic fund to build several cob ovens in our local primary schools. Made from a mix of clay, sand and straw, a cob (pizza) oven is a great way to teach schoolkids and the whole school community about low carbon building, local food provenance and energy generation – topics which fit the whole school curriculum from DT to literacy, including the most important lesson of all – fun! If your local school is interested in having a cob oven built, then email kids@transitionbelsize.org.uk. The schools will also receive a fantastic pizza-making workshop from our Transition Kids creative team.

Creative Monday Afternoons
Every Monday – 2-4pm
Oliver's Café, 92 Belsize Lane NW3 5BE
Come and join Caroline Chan, who has a passion for all things handmade and homemade, for an afternoon of creativity, sharing and learning crafts such as knitting, crochet, handmade animals and birds and any other craft ideas you'd like to share. And of course tea, coffee and delicious homemade cakes will be available too!

Free Draught Busting Workshops
Friday 30 March – 1-4pm
Beat the winter chill with free draught busting workshops for Camden residents. Our hands on workshops are delivered by the Transition Belsize Draught Busting Team and are held locally in a Camden home. During the workshop you will be shown how to install high quality draught proofing materials around sash windows and doors. Every attendee will receive £20 worth of free draught proofing to get started on their own homes. Anyone hosting a workshop will receive £40 of free draught proofing materials.
Booking is essential – for more information click here:

TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Friday) at the Premier Inn Site
Every Friday from 8th April – 4-7pm
Last year the Transition Belsize Food Growing group installed raised beds in the corner of the Premier Inn Hotel car park on Ornan Road. The site was and is a huge success. A group of local residents maintain it and harvest food from it. Hotel staff are very proud of it. Hotel guests and passersby visit it. Rainwater is collected from a nearby wall to water it. Food waste is recycled through two wormeries and returned to the site as compost. It’s wonderful example of both Transition and permaculture in practice. 
Now that the evenings are growing lighter, the Premier Inn group are restarting TGIFATPIS (Thank Goodness It’s Friday At The Premier Inn Site)! Feel free to join them if you’d like to help out, or to learn about food growing and permaculture, or simply to visit and chat.  
For more information, email Alexis and Sarah at food@transitionbelsize.org.uk.

Raised Bed Workshop
Saturday 14th April – 2-5pm
Permaculture Site at the Heath Strange Garden, above the car park, Royal Free Hospital, Rowland Hill Street, NW3 2PF

Join us for this free workshop to learn how to create beautiful raised beds. We're building these ones for the children at the Royal Free primary school so they can grow food. Please email food@transitionbelsize.org.uk or use the link below to sign up.

It’s a Bug’s Life…
Sunday 29th April – 2-5pm
The Fruitery, St Peter’s Church, Belsize Square, NW3 4HJ

Calling all creative worm loving, bug hugging, pond life poking kids! Come and build mini bug habitats at The Fruitery - and let's have wild time. Please wear messy clothes.

Cycling Campaign and Big Ride
Saturday 28 April
The London Cycling Campaign has launched Love London, Go Dutch, a call to the 2012 mayoral election candidates to commit to continental-standard cycling infrastructure in the capital. Sign their petition http://lcc.org.uk/sign-go-dutch-petition. On Saturday 28 April, they’re organising London's biggest-ever bike ride calling for safer streets for cycling. Find out more http://lcc.org.uk/articles/lcc-announces-the-big-ride-uks-biggest-ever-mass-cycle-calling-for-safe-and-inviting-streets-for-cycling

Container Growing – Train the Trainer
Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May – 10am-5pm
Do you want to learn how to run workshops on container food-growing for your community or estate? If so, this is the course for you! Participants need at least one year's experience of growing food in containers. The course is run by Mark Ridsdill Smith, founder of Vertical Veg. http://www.verticalveg.org.uk/
More information: http://www.capitalgrowth.org/training/trainthetrainer/