Monday, February 13, 2017

Victoria's Green Matters 12th February 2017

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column on Green Issues for us:

There has been such a hoo-ha this last couple of weeks over the unavailability of certain vegetables. It is amazing to think that courgettes and lettuces could be such news worthy items!

We have, of course, been brainwashed by the supermarkets into believing that we should be able to buy anything that we want, whether it is in season in the UK or not. We import a huge amount of our fruit and vegetables because our climate just doesn’t allow us to grow lots of things. It seemed that it was the lack of courgettes that was the first thing to be reported and this because of really bad weather in Spain where the courgettes are usually grown.

We were not sorry for the people of southern Spain who were suffering an unusual cold spell, only sorry for ourselves because we were denied our supply of vegetables. We then hear that some supermarkets have actually imported iceberg lettuces from the USA – at great cost to the environment because they were transported by air and at great monetary cost to the consumer if they chose to buy them. How ridiculous this is! Where has seasonal eating gone?

There are many root and leafy vegetables available at this time of year that are grown here and the more local to your area, the better. If you want an interesting salad, try red cabbage and grated carrot with balsamic vinegar. Delicious!

We know that we must import exotic fruits that can’t be grown here – how can we imagine life without bananas? – but we really should not be buying imported items just because they are out of season here.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

French film Phenomenon 'Tomorrow' comes to Deal 16th March


'Tomorrow’ Film Showing, 
Thursday March 16th at 7pm
Astor Community Theatre, 
Standhope Rd Deal

Feeling despondent with the current climate and global politics? Already viewed by over 1.5 million people in France alone, and winner of Best Documentary at the Cesar Awards (the French Oscars), ‘Tomorrow’ has has a huge impact.

Produced by activist and writer Cyril Dion and actress/director Mélanie Laurent, it tells the story of their search for solutions to the crisis humanity faces.


It is a hugely positive, affirming and inspirational film, exploring much needed creative solutions in the fields of food, energy, transport, economics and education.
 It visits permaculture farms, urban agriculture projects, community-owned renewable projects, local currencies, creative schools, ambitious recycling projects. 
 It has been a huge boost to community-led projects, and is currently on release in 29 other countries, regularly receiving standing ovations, and leading to the formation of many new community projects.


We’re really pleased that the Transition Network has negotiated the rights to distribute the film in the UK and are happy to be able to show it here in Deal.


The Astor Bar will be open from 6pm for pre-film chat and nibbles. and there will time for informal chat after the film
The film runs to just under 2hrs and has substitles (although at 70% is in english). The tickets cost £5 - money is being used by the Astor to support it community work.

See a trailer here: https://youtu.be/NUN0QxRB7e0

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Walmer Beach to get its Spring Clean 5th March

We have our next Beach Clean at Walmer on Sunday 5th March at 9:30am (notice the earlier Spring Like Time :) ) meeting at the Sea Cafe on Walmer Green


This clean is our contribution to the 'Great British Spring Clean' being organised nationally by the Keep Britain Tidy and other environmental groups. We hope to develop the idea for 2018 in Deal and get litter picks at a number of 'grot spots'.

We will supply Pickers, Bags and Gloves - the Clean will last about 1 to 1.5hrs.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Great Launch meeting for the 'Deal Hop Farm'

We had a great launch meeting for the 'Deal Hop Farm'  - Our community Hop growing initiative at the Lighthouse on Thursday.

The packed pub had over 60 people to listen to our plans to Grow Beer in Deal. 

We had many sign-ups and the 'Farm' now stands at 44 sites in the town and district with over 100 hop plants.

The Hopinasta's will also be  running a information stall at the Landmark Centre (Cafe) on Saturday between 10am to 1pm.

The project will be taking members until the 23rd Feb.

Many thanks to everyone who came to the meeting on Thursday and the Deal With It Volunteers for organising the stalls and sign-ups and to the Lighthouse for hosting. (see our page on the Deal Hop Farm for more details or join the Facebook group DealHopFarm )



Thursday, February 2, 2017

Victoria's Green Matters 2nd Feb 2017



Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column on Green Matters for us.

There is some good news at last on the environmental front from green energy supplier, Ecotricity. This small company supplies electricity only from renewable sources and is going ahead to produce ‘green’ gas from, of all things, grass.

Permission has been granted for them build their first ‘Greengas mill’ and there are more requests for permission in the pipeline, including plans for two gas mills on the site in Lancashire that the government has earmarked for fracking, against the wishes of the local council and community.

Gas will be produced by the anaerobic digestion of grass. This is the decomposition of organic material without the presence of oxygen, resulting in the production of bio-methane gas which will be ‘scrubbed’ to remove some of its carbon dioxide. As this gas is from newly grown grass, carbon dioxide has been sequestered by the crop during its growing time and the carbon dioxide produced when it is burnt will be sequestered by the next crop. It is not like fossil fuels which have been removed from the ground.

The grass will be sourced from marginal land and lower quality arable farmland. The material that is left after the gas has been removed is an excellent natural fertiliser which will be returned to the fields to improve soil quality and to reduce the need for chemical fertilisers.

We already produce green gas from waste food and animal excreta up to about 5% of our needs so making green gas from grass will cut carbon emissions, make the UK energy independent, support food production by improving soils, create wildlife habitats and support farmers.

Deal Hop Farm - Community Hop Growing Project

Deal With It – Transition Deal is launching a Community Hop Growing project in the town: the Deal Hop Farm

We hope to create a patchwork hop farm made up of peoples’ gardens, allotments, and community gardens & spaces in the town. There are several similar successful schemes around the country. So far we have about 20 people interested including the English Heritage’s Walmer Castle.

We are also teaming up with Ripple Steam Brewery to help produce the beer and mentor the club on the brewing side. It may take a couple years to make our own crop viable for a commercial brewer but the end objective is to produce a locally grown Deal Beer.

We have a stall in the Landmark Garden on Saturday 4th Feb and a Launch meeting at the Lighthouse on the Strand on Thursday 9th feb at 6pm where you can find out more.

Our leaflets on the project can be found at The Lighthouse, the Green Berry, the Freed Man, The Just Reproach, The BoHo, Farrier, Das Bar, Landmark Centre, Town Hall, Golf Rd Centre


More details on our page here and at  facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/DealHopFarm/

Membership form link

Monday, January 30, 2017

REconomy workshop 25th Feb London

REconomy L.I.F.T. (Local Innovation For Transitioners)

Transforming Local Economies from the roots up

Saturday 25th February, 1.30pm - 6.00pm followed by drinks

Venue: The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, Kennington SE11 4TH

Keynote speaker: Andrew Simms (New Weather Institute, new economincs foundation)

This REconomy Event is designed by and for Transitioners whether you are new to REconomy or have established REconomy projects in your Transition Town. Hear from current REconomy projects by Transition Towns in London and the South East covering food enterprises, community energy and loads more, find REconomy buddies for future conversations through structured networking, and develop your REconomy skills in skills surgeries.

A celebration of the diversity in REconomy activity across London and the South East to enable us to imagine a new economy and skill-up to make it a reality.

Additional contributors:

Duncan Law - Transition Town Brixton

Catherine Ross - Transition St Albans

Sarah McAdam - Transition Network

Jo Taylor - REconomy Project


Sam Allen - REconomy Project


Hilary Jennings - Transition Town Tooting

Michael Stuart - Transition Kensal to Kilburn

Tom Steele – Kentish Town Vegbox

Join the new Transition London and South East Hub and the REconomy Project for an afternoon workshop.


Be inspired by leading new economy thinkers and do-ers


Develop your vision and thinking on local economic transformation


Get practical insights from Transition groups who have food, energy, transport and property enterprises up and running


Explore the opportunities for local economy action in your area


Be part of hands on workshops to build your enterprise development skills


Meet and exchange with fellow Transitioners from across London and the South East

Supported by Friends Provident Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust

FAQs

Who is the workshop for?

The workshop is for members of Transition groups from London and the South East

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Awesome Deal Beach Clean today

We had a fantastic response to our first Deal  Beach Clean of 2017 - over 42 people volunteered their time and we had lots of families, scouts, WI and Rotary club members involved today. 


In a little over an hour we collected over 85kgs of rubbish - a lot of small plastic, fishing line and even some congealed palm oil solids which are poisonous to dogs was found.

Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers x

The next beach clean will be part of the 'Great British Spring Clean' on Sunday 5th March at 9:30am meeting at the Sea Cafe on Walmer Green.

We are also going to participate in the Great Nurdle Hunt on next Sunday 5th Feb meeting at Deal Pier at Noon. We are going to see if we can find any at the low water level of the beach

Nurdles are small plastic pellets about the size of a lentil. Countless billion are used each year to make nearly all our plastic products but many end up washing up on our shores.


HOW DO THEY END UP AT SEA?
Spills and mishandling by industry can mean nurdles end up at sea. Our planets oceans are now accumulating nurdles in worryingly large numbers.
  
WHY ARE NURDLES HARMFUL?
Unlike large pieces of plastic marine litter, nurdles are so small that they go largely unnoticed.

However scientists are becoming increasingly concerned about their effect on our delicate marine ecosystem.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Deal With It - HooHaa Saturday 28th Jan


Thank you to everyone who came to our annual gathering - the HooHaa - on Saturday. Great to see everyone. 

Deal With It - Transition Deal is in pretty good shape - we had a good year raising funds for our activities thanks to Deal Folk by the Sea, School and Adrian & Sue Sullivan's Open Garden last June. We are very grateful to them for their support.

It has allowed us to buy flags and pickers for our beach cleans, flag for DWI and fund things like the Transition Supper and launching the Deal Hop Farm.

We have had busy year with holding 8 beach cleans, involving some 176 volunteers with over 300 volunteer hours and some 420kgs collected. We held three Seedy Saturday's and a Winter Solstice celebration.

Meetings on Climate Change conference at the end of 2015, worked with Kent Wildlife Trust on their Guardians of Deep project, we supported DDC's Youth volunteer week and Coastal Towns Group. We had stalls at the Smugglers Festival on Walmer Green.

We had a Transition Supper with inspirational speaker Naresh Giangrande from Totnes Transition. This inspired us to look at a community hop growing/brewing project and a repairs cafe for 2017.

Locally our colleagues in Dover Transition have been a welcome addition to the district and we are developing good contact with new Transition Hub in London & SE.

2017 has already started well with a film show of the french film Demain, Beach clean and launch of the Deal Hop Farm...


Friday, January 27, 2017

Kent Wildlife Trust gets funding for Kent's Coast

Great news that Kent Wildlife Trust has won funding for its Guardians of Deep project around Kent's Coast


Guardians of the Deep: £446,100 grant

The Guardians of the Deep is a three-year project that aims to engage communities, businesses and visitors by raising awareness of marine habitats and promoting an active and ongoing guardianship role to protect them for the future. Almost the entire Kent coast falls within a Marine Protected Area (MPA) and will feature eleven Marine Conservation Zones by 2018. Kent’s marine habitats are considered at threat from the fishing industry, invasive species, pollutants and regression of coastal defences.

The project will be run by Kent Wildlife Trust in partnership with Thanet District Council, Medway Council, and Kent County Council and will divide the coastline into three sections – the White Cliffs of Dover (from Folkestone to Deal), North East Kent (from Deal to Whitstable), and Medway and Swale. It will comprise five key activities which will involve 60,000 people in marine awareness activities:

Coastal guardians –360 community champions will run marine events and identification surveys to be shared with coastal heritage protection bodies

Undersea explorers – workshops will be held with young people raising awareness of marine habitats, water safety, and snorkelling skills

Wild beach – a programme of coastal learning activities for 60 schools and youth groups covering geology, biology, social history and the value of marine heritage

Coastal connections – a digital campaign aimed at reaching up to 150,000 members of the public

Coastal Citizen Science – volunteers will be trained in survey and species recognition and 60 ‘coast-busters’ will deal with non-native species identified


full story at:
http://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/national-lottery-invests-365m-land-and-coastal-projects

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Victoria's Green Matters - 26th January 2017

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

This post Brexit time is a difficult one for farmers. They have become so heavily dependent on European subsidies that they must constantly worry whether those subsidies will be replaced by the UK government. European directives that have protected our wildlife and their habitats may disappear in future and we can’t rely on our government to continue these protections. It doesn’t paint a very pretty picture, does it?

Farming is in a ‘mixed up’ state. The vast agri-businesses that exist around the world continue to poison the soil with a mixture of pesticides and herbicides which are no longer as effective as they once were. Newer and more powerful chemicals are sought and huge agrochemical businesses get richer on the proceeds of their research. But these agri-businesses only produce a small proportion of the food needed to feed the world’s growing population and in the process they continue to pollute our rivers, cause soil erosion, destroy pollinators and other wildlife and devastate the features of the countryside. They also contribute a third of all manmade greenhouse gas emissions.

The most productive farms are the small, family farms usually run organically and with wildlife in mind. Leaving the EU should be the chance to get away from the destructive cycle of agri-business and refocus taxpayers’ money to deliver more for people and nature.

Our post Brexit policy should be to invest in producing the things we all need – clean air, clean water, healthier intact soils, flood reduction, wildlife and beautiful places to enjoy.

Victoria Nicholls.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Goodwin Sands - Save our Sands - Latest Campaign news

New Video from SOS Goodwin Sands


Video: https://youtu.be/CcAZSBi8Elk 

Campaign Update:
Historic England have requested Dover Harbour Board to undertake a magnetometer survey of the proposed dredging zone. This is excellent news as it should detect the presence of any ferrous objects such as aircraft engine blocks, ships' fittings or unexploded ordnance (UXO) buried up to 2m deep in sand. The downside however, is that a magnetometer cannot identify disartuculated aluminium aircraft parts or human remains, two of the campaign's prime concerns.

Meanwhile, the fragile foreshore of East Kent continues to concern. Professor Rob Duck, Emeritus Professor of Geoscience at the University of Dundee, recently paid a flying visit and was visibly shocked by the vulnerarability of this stretch of coast. He is convinced that historic dredging is a contributory factor to the current state of erosion. He feels that unless Dover Harbour Board can prove categorically that future dredging will not exacerbate the situation, it should not be allowed to go ahead. Dover District Council, Kent County Council and the Environment Agency continue to completely ignore the issue, for reasons best known to themselves.

Finally, the petition has very nearly reached 13,000 signatures so please do keep sharing!

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/goodwin-sands-sos-stop-the-dredge

http://goodwinsandssos.org/

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Victoria's Green Matters - 19th January 2017

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

It’s the time of year that seems to highlight just how much our society wastes. It is not just food which is the worst waste of all but, additionally, packaging and wrapping from the Christmas presents. Let’s hope that we have all recycled as much as we can!

Since the last campaign against food waste, there has been some minor success in reducing the amount of edible food thrown away, particularly by the large supermarkets. It is good to see that 8 out of 10 of Sainsburys supermarkets now donate their waste food to projects caring for needy people but how much better would it be if there was no waste at all?

New figures recently issued by the recycling advisory body ‘Wrap’ show that the average household now throws away £470 worth of food per year that could have been eaten. This avoidable food waste generated 19million tonnes of greenhouse gases throughout its lifetime. Preventing this pollution would be as effective as taking one in four cars off the road.

Between 2007 and 2012, avoidable food waste reduced by 21%; this was in part due to rising food prices and better advice regarding ‘use by’ dates in conjunction with the campaign to raise awareness. Unfortunately, this progress has stalled somewhat with the reduction in food prices and the rise in wages since 2014 has curtailed the incentive for people to cut waste.

We all need to be doing more to cut food waste. Don’t be tempted by offers to buy food you don’t really want or need – the days of the ‘bogof’ have ended but if food is sold very cheaply, the chances are that it won’t be very good and will end up in the bin!

Victoria Nicholls.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Deal With It HooHaa 28th January 2017

Deal With It - Transition Deal has its Annual Gathering (Our 'HooHaa' - like a AGM but with considerably more cake) on Saturday 28th January at 1:30pm meeting in room near the cafe at the Landmark Community Centre (129 High Street Deal)

We will have an photo exhibition of what we did in 2016 from 25th January to 2nd February, The HooHaa will take a quick formal business and elect our three officers (Coordinator, Secretary, Treasurer) but most of the meeting will be what we want to do in 2017.

Anyone can attend and suggest ideas. If you are interested in getting more involved or have a specific project you want to get off the ground please get in contact at info@dealwithit.org.uk .