Sustainability on Sea festival this September!

Transition Town Hastings and Energise Sussex Coast are jointly coordinating a new festival all about sustainable practices in the local area.

Join us on Sept 21-30 for some inspiring events including nature walks, talks, demos, debates and tips on reducing plastic, a DIY solar workshop and more. We are also proud to promote events by local groups such as Sussex Wildlife Trust, Surfers Against Sewage, OVESCO, Hastings Furniture Service and Pier to Eternity.

The aim is to promote a sustainable future encouraging positive behaviour change and supporting and promoting those who are playing their role towards this goal.

The festival finale event is a Big Green Fair on the Stade Open Space, Stade hall and Classroom on the Coast. The day will include talks, demos, art workshops, food workshops, bike checks, music, local information stalls and eco products for sale. Not to be missed!

See www.sustainabilityonsea.org.uk for more details.

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.

 

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.

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

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