The story of transition, part two.

More of the fun collection of short films about Transition.

A series of 10 delightful short films, courtesy of Transition Culture – For the introduction and the first three films, click here.

Film Four – An Egg Origin: Transition Town Forres’s Community Garden

Like many Transition initiatives, Transition Town Forres (TTF) saw the rebuilding of food resilience as a key part of its work. It sought to bring land into community management for new food production. TTF was invited to negotiate a lease with Moray Council for 0.59ha (1.45 acre) of horticultural land starting on the 1st April 2009.

With an 11 year lease, work began on the site. Rather than divide it into the traditional rectangles of allotments, it was divided into circular allotments, called ‘pods’, each one 250m2, and shared by 4-6 people. The garden now has 75 gardeners, 60 local scouts and 26 chickens (hence the egg). Participation is from a broad cross section of the community, and the dropout rate has been less than half that of other local allotments. The next step that is planned is a Farmers’ Market in the town.

Film Five – Mini Draughtbusters Origin: Transition Belsize’s Draughtbusters

Transition Belsize, one of over 40 Transition initiatives active within London, was inspired by ‘Draught Busting Saturdays’ created in South London by Sue Sheehan and a group from Hyde Farm Climate Action Network. They started working with Camden Council to deliver Draughtbusters in Belsize. The idea is a simple one. The area has many Victorian homes with leaky sash and casement windows.

Up to 15 people meet in someone’s house and learn to draught-proof by working on the host’s house. The host gets given £50 of materials, and the participants £20 worth each. It has proven very popular, and 15 local schools have also been draught-proofed by keen Draughtbusters. It has now spread to many other London Transition groups, just one example of how Transition groups can incubate ideas that can then be rapidly replicated by others. Our object here is a miniature version of the Draughtbusters team: Patrick (doing the door) and Sarah and Lauren (working on the window).

Film Six – A Clove of Garlic Origin: The Green Valley Grocer, Slaithwaite

When the local greengrocer went out of business, members of Marsden and Slaithwaite Transition Towns (MASTT) in Yorkshire wondered if perhaps the community might take over the running of the shop. They realised this would only work with the support of the community so they held a public meeting where people expressed enthusiasm for the idea.

Time was tight, so they set up an Industrial and Provident Society and designed a share launch which was unveiled three weeks later. The goal was to raise £15,000, and this was achieved within 10 days.

From initial idea to the shop opening? Two months.  The shop is now a busy thriving community enterprise, and MASTT is setting up a growing co-operative called ‘Edibles’ to supply the shop with local produce.

Early on in running the shop, they found that all the wholesale garlic available to them was imported from China, and so they set up the Green Valley Grocer Garlic Challenge, making garlic cloves available to customers at cost and offering to buy back whatever people produce, with the aim of making Slaithwaite self-sufficient in garlic within two years (well you have to start somewhere…).

The final four films will be shown shortly after Christmas.

2 thoughts on “The story of transition, part two.

  1. I wish there were more local co-operatives.. We may find in the future we have to start and pull together more.. A very interesting read Paul…

    May I also wish you both a Very Happy Christmas.. and enjoy your holiday break.. Sue.


    1. Sue, there’s no doubt in my mind that co-operation at a community level is going to be critically important pretty soon in the affairs of man! And a Happy and Peaceful Christmas to you and all your loved ones. Paul


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