July 2012 Newsletter

An Olympic opportunity for would-be torch-bearers
Olympic fans are being offered an exciting opportunity to run their own mini-relay with a genuine Olympic 2012 torch, to raise money for the Queen’s Avenue Playground project.
A local Olympic Torch-bearer is lending the Queen’s Avenue Park Action Group and Transition Shipston their torch to enable local residents to run mini relays around the park in exchange for a donation. The suggested donation is £3 or £10 per family of four.
QAPAG chairman, Polly Taylor, said: “Were thrilled to be able to offer families such a wonderful opportunity to run with an official Olympic torch and have their photo taken with it. The Olympics is about exercise and activity, which is what we’re trying to promote by establishing this new playground. We hope to see as many people as possible taking part and helping us raise money.” All proceeds will go to the Queen’s Avenue Park project which includes new play equipment and a community orchard.
The torch-running event is taking place at the existing Queen’s Avenue Park from 11am to 1:30pm on July 15th. Other activities are also planned and there may even be medals on offer.
To find out more, please contact Polly Taylor on 661154.
(NB this event is not part of the official Olympic relay)
Locally Grown Vegetables to your door
Growing more food locally is an important part of what Transition Towns are about. Clive Stockton has been growing food locally on his 10 acre market garden at Todenham for the last 10 years. He produces seasonal vegetables and raises pigs, sheep, chickens & geese.
We first met Clive when he was selling his produce on the Country Markets stall at the Harvest Fayre in Shipston last September. Since then Clive appears at our door every week on Friday at 3.45 in his little red van with his freshly picked veg, eggs & meat. He also delivers to houses (and a few pubs) in Shipston and other villages in a 10 mile radius as well as having a stall at the Country Markets in Moreton every Thursday morning.
Clive says his produce is almost organic. He does not use herbicides or pesticides on his crops but he does use some herbicides on the paths as weed control. For fertiliser he mainly uses the manure from his pigs and chickens but does have to buy in a small extra amount. The shape and size of the veg isn't always as perfect as a supermarke'ts but he beats them hands down on price, food miles and shelf life.
Despite getting up at 5.30 in the morning Clive turns up with his delivery 11 hours later often wet and cold but with a smile on his face. The veg in the van will have travelled all of 3 miles... you can't get much more local than that!
To Contact Clive phone: 07873 420440
Norgren Planning Application - REJECTED UNANIMOUSLY‏

If you hadn't already heard the Cala Homes Planning Application for housing on the old Norgren site was UNANIMOUSLY REJECTED by the Stratford District Council planning committee earlier this month. This was a great victory for Shipston Heart Alive! Campaign and others who oppose the application, as the Council Planning Officer had recommended acceptance of the application.

Nearly two hundred people turned up at the planning committee held in Ettington earlier in the month to support Jane Brabyn and others who put the case against the development from the floor. They said that what Shipston needs is more employment not houses and that the development would have a negative visual impact. However, Jane said that “Cala Homes are likely to appeal so though the battle was won, the war will most probably continue”.
The application from Ainscough for the Campden Road development including a supermarket is likely to get to the planning committee in September... there is still much to do. If you would like to help with the campaign the next meeting of Shipston Heart Alive! Campaign committee is on Wednesday August 15th at 7.30 in The George Hotel - All welcome.
 Shipston Harvest Fayre – Sunday 30th September 2012
For the second year running Transition Shipston & Surrounding Communities is organising the Shipston Harvest Fayre in Shipston Town Centre. As last year the priority will be given to stalls selling local food and produce. Traditional music will continue through the day. As well as celebrating the harvest the aim of the event is to encourage the growing of more local food and making it available in local shops. The Fayre will be open from 10.00 to 2.00 on Sunday 30th September. If you are a local producer or retailer and would like a stall there is an Early Bird Booking offer (before 31st July) of £23 for commercial stalls and £10 for voluntary (non profit-making) stalls. After that prices go up to £28 and £14 respectively. For more details contact:
Dave Passingham 01608 661816 davepassingham@hotmail.com
If you are planning to start a wormery, or wishing to restock an existing one, would you like some worms? These little creatures like nothing better than to chew through your uncooked organic waste (vegetable peelings,eggshells, etc) and create soil-improving material to mix in around your vegetables and plants, and a rich liquid fertiliser to enhance it. Also, if you shred your private papers, it is the perfect way of disposing of the shredded material, good for you and the worms love it. In fact adding dry carbon to your wormery is necessary.
There are loads of websites giving advice about wormeries. I have added a link to one of them below. You can buy a custom-built wormery for a wide range of prices, or create one using plastic boxes that fit into each other. Just drill holes in the bottom to allow drainage from one into the other for the rich liquid worm juice (pee) to flow through. Make sure there is only one outlet from the bottom box and put a container underneath to catch the liquid.
They are very easy pets. You don’t need to walk them and they sit happily chewing for weeks while you go on holiday or are too busy to bother with them. In fact they do better with periods of being undisturbed. I collect my veg peelings under the sink for a week before taking them out. The worms prefer their food cut small or beginning to soften as their little teeth can get into things easier that way.
I have found it huge fun watching the little things at work and there is great satisfaction when you get the balance right and they start breeding like crazy. A good way to get children interested in recycling and the wonder of the natural world. Suggested reading for questions : http://www.wormcity.co.uk/wormfaq.htm
Pat Harris

Read Rob Hopkins' reflections on George Monbiot's announcement that "we were wrong on peak oil":
George Monbiot announced in the Guardian on Monday “We were wrong on peak oil. There’s enough to fry us all“, an article which concluded “peak oil hasn’t happened, and it’s unlikely to happen for a very long time”. Read more...http://transitionculture.org/2012/07/04/transition-reflections-on-george-monbiots-announcement-that-we-were-wrong-on-peak-oil