Cohousing Talk presentation

On May 11th Julian Howell gave a short talk about cohousing projects and a very clear ‘how to’ to help groups to get started. Julian Howell is a founder member of Sussex Cohousing a Brighton-based community in the making.

After the talk there was a lively discussion about what people were interested in doing locally.  There was an interest in finding ways to live together in a supportive and collaborative way or living with a deeper connection to nature by sharing land. We hope the conversation continues and cohousing projects or land sharing projects can be realised in and around Hastings, a town where good quality affordable housing is hard to find.


Download Julian’s talk here:

About cohousing 2018 – Julian Howell


Sign up to the Hastings Cohousing discussion if you are interested in joining a conversation about cohousing in the Hastings area  – a closed group on Groups.io.


New Economics Foundation have recently published this guide to help groups looking to build community-led, affordable housing development in their area overcome one of their greatest obstacles: acquiring land.

 

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Help keep Hastings Pier in community ownership

Friends of Hastings Pier have been pushed into a corner by an Administration process that is unsuitable for a community-owned asset. They have put forward alternative plans which are exciting and realistic but been told that they won’t take the bid seriously unless we have £1M available. That’s why they’re pushing this crowdfunder. Raising half a million pounds now from individuals and organisations will keep us ‘in the game’ and encourage other funders to invest alongside you to make our Pier a success.

Hastings Pier has been a beacon of community-led regeneration, a pioneer in the world of community shares, and an inspiration to community groups across the country. The hazard faced is not just for Hastings; if the People’s Pier fails perceptions of community ownership will be badly damaged, even though community ownership was never the problem and is definitely part of the solution.

Please help in any way you can – most obviously and most immediately by clicking the link and then spreading the word.

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/fohp2018

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Helps us win Tesco’s #BagsofHelp fund

Our new project Meet you by the Mosaic has been shortlisted for a public vote in Tesco’s #BagsofHelp initiative!

We want to work with the local community and a local artist to develop a mosaic near the front of St Leonards Warrior Square station.

Please vote for Meet you by the Mosaic in stores during the months of March/April to help us secure a grant of up to £2,000.

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New funds for our community garden

Great news. We were successful in our application for a Sustainability & New Economy Grant from Quakers UK.  We will receive £200 to help fund the development of our community garden at St Leonards Warrior Square station, specifically around the water collection.

There is no water supply close to the garden and we so for the past few years volunteers have been carrying buckets of water across the foot bridge to top up water needs over the spring and summer months. We’re really excited to be able to take control of the water supply by purchasing some large water butts for the north platform. These will allow volunteers to spend more time focusing on planning,  designing and planting.

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1066 Local Energy newsletter out now

Read all the latest events and news from the 1066 Local Energy Campaign, including upcoming training events such as draught excluder making and solar panel workshops, energy advice events and an inspiring video interview about the difference a local energy system could make for our community. Read the newsletter here and sign up to the mailing list too!
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Your Plants Will Grow High Next Spring When You Use These Autumn Gardening Tips

By Clara Beaufort

Horticulture knows no such thing as time off. There’s work to do right now if you want your flowers and vegetables to enjoy lush, healthy growth when warm weather returns. Use the tips in this post as your guide to gardening success.

Clean up the Dirt

Start your autumn chores by removing dead or dying plants from your garden beds. Give the remains a close look-see for evidence of mold or blight. If you see such signs, then burn the infected plants. If you don’t, then add them to the compost pile so they can work for you all winter long. Remove any foreign matter and give the soil a good, deep raking or tilling to break up clumps and aid aeration. Taking these steps now will lay the groundwork for next year’s harvest, according to the experts at Mother Earth News.

Mulch in Moderation

Too much of anything is a bad thing; that includes mulch. You should add a thin layer to your beds on top of 1-2 inches of compost. Anything more can actually work against you by preventing the cold from killing mold and blight.

While you’ve got your hands in the dirt, remove the roots of weeds like Bermuda grass and nutsedge. Otherwise these pests can overwinter in your garden to menace you next year, according to the gardening gurus at DIY Network.

Water Ahead of Time

Hard winter soil can block rain and melting snow from nourishing the roots of your trees and shrubs, according to Better Homes and Gardens. So get the jump on frost by giving these plants a generous watering now. This will act like the hump on a camel’s back, providing much-needed moisture throughout the cold season.

Don’t Forget Your Lawn

Autumn is for fertilizing your grass. Turf can store nutrients over the winter, digesting them in a gradual process that will help to ensure greener results next spring. You should aerate your lawn before winter cold sets in.

Consider Planting Cover Crops

Plants like hairy vetch and cereal rye can safeguard your soil over a long, severe winter, making them good choices for cover crops. Just make sure you till them into the ground next spring before they go to seed. This is a favorite trick of organic gardeners, according to Rodales. The seeds are small and even modest rainfall can help to establish them in the soil, making this idea almost effortless to implement.

Handling Hardscape Maintenance

The term “hardscape” refers to stone walkways, retaining walls, and other non-organic elements of a garden or landscape design. While less fragile than living plants, these structures do need annual care. This should include:

  • An autumn inspection to correct imperfections that could lead to trouble down the road. For example, a crack in a walkway might seem like a small thing. But it may become a trip hazard should water enter it and freeze, forcing the stone or masonry to expand. You should also look, not only for cracks, but for soil or stone cavities alongside or under hardscape. Otherwise wintertime precipitation could fill the gap and turn to ice, creating a problem called “frost heave” which can damage or even destroy hardscape.
  • A general sweeping to remove foreign matter, followed up with a washdown from a garden hose or pressure washer. This will discourage the growth of mold or mildew, which can deface hard surfaces.

Performing these needed steps will protect your garden and your landscape features from winter’s wrath. So give it your best, then brush off the dirt off your pants and start planning for next spring.

 

Guest blogger: Clara Beaufort

Gardenergigs.com

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Writers in conversation at the Beacon, Hastings

Join Transition Town Hastings and Energise Sussex Coast for an exciting evening featuring two writers with their eyes firmly fixed on climate change, the Anthropocene and, of course, language. Nicholas Royle and Alex Lockwood will be reading from their recently published books and will take questions around the topics discussed. The Beacon will also open their kitchen for a special vegan dinner that can be bought after when the conversation can continue.

See the event page for more details and a link to book tickets.

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Green space for Ore Community Land Trust

Ore Community Land Trust (OCLT) has a stated purpose of  “Seeking to acquire land in the Upper Ore Valley to save and enhance urban woodland and green space for community use and to protect animal habitat”.

OCLT was set up in 2009 and is now registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). This widens their scope as they are keen to take on other green spaces and woodland in the Ore Valley, although their primary aim is to bring Speckled Wood into community ownership.

The organisation’s recent AGM reported the following activities:

1) HBC is planning to transfer the green spaces in the Ore Valley over to OCLT.
2) OCLT are in the process of buying a container as a volunteer base in Speckled Wood. They need more volunteers to support this.
3) OCLT are working with TCV to organise some green gyms in Speckled Wood. The first one will be for women.

Read more in the Ore CLT Annual Report AGM 2017

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Hastings Sustainable Transport Forum

A number of local community groups working on issues relating to transport and the environment have been looking at ways of sharing information, working collaboratively and to act as a focal point for consultation and engagement on matters related to sustainable transport with other public and private bodies. more “Hastings Sustainable Transport Forum”

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Gardening And Your Health: How Working In The Dirt Can Have A Positive Impact

Gardening is a favorite pastime for many people, but it’s not just a hobby that yields pretty results; it’s also a great way to get in shape and improve your mental health at the same time.

Working in the sunshine, creating something beautiful that also has tangible rewards, and doing something physical after working in an office or other fairly inactive environment can have many benefits for your health, not the least of which is the fact that you get in a workout every time you go into the garden. Bending, kneeling, stretching, weeding, watering, planting, and reaping all take a measure of physical strength and endurance and allow you to work several muscle groups at once, which makes it a great activity for those living with arthritis or joint pain because you can customize your movements and only do as much as your body will let you.

Of course, having a garden also benefits the planet in many ways, so you really can’t go wrong. If you’ve never thought of yourself as someone with a green thumb, now may be the time to reconsider and get to planting. Here are some of the best benefits of having a garden and tending it.

You get to work outside

Working outside in the sunshine gives you a boost of vitamin D, which has been shown in studies to help with stress, depression and other mood disorders. Gardening allows for plenty of fresh air while giving you the option to work only as hard as you want, so it can be done by just about anyone, regardless of their abilities or mobility concerns.

You’ll eat healthier

If you choose to plant edibles in your garden, pick things you know you’ll eat so that nothing goes to waste. Tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and peppers are all great options that are relatively easy to grow depending on your climate, and you can harvest quite a few of them. Think about foods that you can grow nearly year-round, as well; beans, broccoli, turnips, and squash are great choices for a fall harvest.

If you’re interested in year-round crops, you might also consider building a solar greenhouse that will help you keep your plants healthy and abundant during all kinds of weather. Make sure you have the space in your yard and check with the city to see if you need a permit to build.

You can boost your mental health

Many people who garden report a positive boost in their mental health, especially people who spend a lot of time in an office setting or don’t get to work with their hands much. There’s something relaxing about working in the dirt and knowing which move comes next, spending time choosing the right plants and watching them grow under your care, and it can help boost your self-esteem, as well.

It can help your memory

Seniors who garden are more likely to battle the risk of Alzheimer’s and other cognitive function disorders because the act of working outdoors and planting helps the brain stay active and vital. Not only that, but many studies have shown that people who work in the garden have a reduced risk of stroke.

Remember that gardening can include heavy lifting and other physical work, so ask for help if you need it. Always wear sunblock and wear light-colored layers of clothing in the summer to stay cool. Being prepared and careful will help you get the most benefits out of working in the dirt.

Maria Cannon © 2017

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