Thursday, 25 November 2010

Eat your weeds

Sat 20 Nov 2010
We enjoyed a foraging ramble in Crouch End Open Spaces, (even found a bay tree), then went back for a tasting session, washed down with home-grown fennel tea.
Very satisfying eating our freshly picked salad in late November... let's see how we do in December!
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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Church Farm, Ardeley's 'More than a Box' Scheme

There’s a farm called Misery, but of that we’ll have none
Because we know of one
That’s always lots of fun (Ha ha!)
And this one’s name is Jollity; believe me, folks, it’s great
For everything sings out to us as we go through the gate

All the little pigs, they grunt and howl etc, etc


Yes indeed, Church Farm is a jolly farm.  If you visit, you will meet the farm you once knew from childhood stories and games.  Animals graze on fields planted with a well tried mix of grasses and flowers, creating a rich mosaic of colour and textures.  Glancing through a hedge to the field next door, the contrast is striking: all there is to see is the uniform expanse of an industrial monoculture.

The farm covers 175 acres which includes 30 acres of woods, 10 acres of orchard, and 2 acres of nesting grounds.  There are around 150 sheep, cows and pigs, and the farm, which is also a family business, prides itself on its long tradition of rearing rare breeds.  The number of poulty is in the thousands, but here again the hens and turkeys are allowed to range freely in designated places such as the orchard. One of the delights of the farm is the piglets, who can be seen playing and scrapping with each other in the feeding area. As the visitors leave, the hope is that they will have been reminded of the very real connection between land and food.

In the meantime, there is a farm called Misery.  It hasn't been built yet but the planning permission for Nocton 'Mega Dairy' in Lincolnshire was passed yesterday, with the concession that they will have 3,770 cows instead of the 8,100 of the original proposal. These cows will rarely see a blade of grass. The intensive system leaves them open to many health problems, including lameness, mastitis and bacterial infections.They will be expected to produce 10,000 or more litres of milk each per year.  In energy terms, that is the same as a human being running a half marathon every day for ten months of the year.

Compassion in World Farming are running a campaign to raise awareness of this first attempt at industrial farming and you can contact them on the address below.  But you can also choose to source your food from a place whose aim is to 'treat the land, wildlife and animals, as they should be treated, and grow great food'. 

You can find out more about the Church Farm and Crouch End box scheme by popping into the Haberdashery, Middle Lane on Thursday between 5.30 and 7pm.

For more information on the Church Farm Box Scheme:

For more information on the Nocton Dairies:
The lyrics are from the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Ooh ah Cantona

You may have read over the weekend about Eric Cantona's latest interview in which he called for people to withdraw their cash from their banks en mass. The Guardian reported it here. The film of the interview has become a You Tube hit and spawned a campaign for a protest withdrawal.

Some commentators have pointed out that such a protest would have little affect because of the limited funds high street banks actually carry and that it would have no impact on the investment banks that were instrumental in causing the current crisis. Fair point, but there is a clear piece of direct action you can take if you are disgruntled with you bank, assuming of course you bank with one of the 'big' names. Switch you account to an ethical based bank operating on a mutual or cooperative basis, or a local Credit Union. This is a clear message you can send out to support the move toward a responsible and fair financial system.

Supporting a Credit Union is particularly beneficial as it is their aim to bring affordable credit facilities to the poorer members of our communities who are often denied access to conventional banking and are forced into the hands of loan sharks and other forms of highly undesirable money lending outfits. There is a move to establish a Credit Union in Haringey and you can pledge your support for it here.

So go on strike a blow for fair banking, support your local Credit Union and put your money where your mouth is!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The Fabulous Haringey Fungus Foray - 31 Oct 2010

Fantastic free fungus foray, held every Autumn by the London Natural History Society.
And at the end of the day they cook and serve the edible ones!
If you're keen on mushrooms, here's the group for you:

Flash apple mob!

guerilla juicing by the clocktower in crouch end on 18 sep 2010, to publicise apple day
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Harvesting apples & pears in Bruce Castle Park 2 Nov 2010

to join in, see

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Monday, 1 November 2010

Down with Waste! Skill Share 7 November 2010 @ Tottenham Chances

DOWN WITH WASTE! @ Tottenham Chances, 399 High Road, N17 6QN

11:00-1:00 Autumn Gathering
Meeting of the Sustainable Haringey Network – next steps

1:00-2:30 - LUNCH
(delicious food to share together)

2:00–4:30 Skill Share Workshops & discussions

4:30—5:00 Closing Circle


* Fashion show of second hand clothes
* Children’s workshop on recycled art
* Quiz on what does and doesn’t go into
council recycling green box
* Knitting using yarn made from plastic bags
* Build a pirate ship from a plastic milk bottle
* B.Green: design new clothes recycling your jeans
* Display of bookmaking re-using A4 paper
* Children’s workshop drum making and
playing from recycled materials
* Furniture & art displays from recycled
* Presentation on “cutting waste, cutting
carbon and creating jobs”
* Model-making demo from rubbish by 8 year old Josie Smith
* Film: Material Resource Facility (where green box items are sorted)
* Trouble shooting workshop for computers and electronic equipment
* Treasure basket for babies and toddlers

4.30—5.00 - CLOSING CIRCLE

Organised by and for local residents -