At his workshop in Lewes last month, Rob Hopkins called the supermarkets "extractive industries" because they export wealth from the town. It can be estimated that Lewes people spend about £21 million pounds a year on food. (1)
Most of that, maybe £16 million, does still go to the supermarkets despite the growth of the Farmers' Market and Food Market.
Rob talked about the enormous potential of diverting even a tenth of those millions to local businesses. Think what a transformative effect even £2 million would have in terms of local jobs - and much of this money would again be spent locally.
Spending £10 in a local shop is worth £25 to the local economy because of local re-spending. And local food shops employ three times as many people for the same amount of turnover.
It is possible to obtain virtually all food needs in our local independent shops and markets. See Where to buy And price need not be a barrier for many people - see Lewes Food Market's price comparison
The practice of community currencies is at a crucial point in its global history - never before have there been so many initiatives, models, theories and widespread hopes in the field as today. People are turning to currencies as solutions for social, economic and environmental challenges in their communities - whether communities of traders, local residents or health and social care providers.
By creating new ways to exchange time and goods, new currencies provide a valuable addition to conventional money and the narrowly profit orientated economies it supports. They allow people to build connections that don’t depend on how many pounds you might have in your wallet, purse or bank account. Thanks to advances in technology and a big increase in the awareness of the need to form economically and environmentally sustainable communities, discussions on how to make money work better for people are now entering mainstream policy debates. READ MORE
The East Sussex Credit Union (ESCU) are definitely a local good news story, based on the negativity and horror stories that we have seen lately. These include the serious operational and general issues surrounding high interest lenders and loan sharks and the horrendous effects that their actions are having on unsuspecting borrowers. Read more...
You might like to read this inspiring edition of the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) journal Clean Slate; it covers all the bases about climate change, divestment and our response. Recommended by Ann Link of TTL.
A big thank-you to everyone who supported Transition Town Lewes' seventh birthday at the wonderful and unique Zu Studios on 12 June.
|A packed venue heard from Transition founder Rob Hopkins (left) on how ‘just doing stuff’ really can make a difference (and got a whistle-stop tour around the greater and lesser-known similarities between Lewes and Totnes. Did you know both towns are exactly 6 miles from the sea? Thanks Rob, neither did we.)|
East Sussex Bach Choir provided some rousing community song while legendary prog-rocker Arthur Brown performed two specially-penned songs in aid of Phoenix Rising's alternative community development bid for the North Street industrial site. READ MORE...
Read Rob Hopkins blog: We kick off our month on 'Transition and Celebration' with 10 Tips for great Transition celebration...
Ovesco secured an award worth £10,000 at the Ashden Awards ceremony on the 22nd of May for its work on renewable energy in Lewes District.
|More on the Ovesco IPS website...|
In 1972 a report was published by the Club of Rome, called Limits to Growth. The writers of the report had decided to come out with something that's perfectly obvious but no-one wants to hear: you cannot have perpetual growth in a closed system. Mankind must reach the limits to growth on this planet eventually; the only question is when.
The report was updated most recently in 2008. I attended a meeting of the All-Party Policy Group on Peak Oil (APPGOPO) at the House of Commons in 2011 when it was shown that the predictions contained in the report closely matched actual events including oil and commodity price rises, food shortages and general economic indicators including the 2008 crash. Read more...
Gardening in June reflects the essential cussedness of life. The warm weather, sunshine and longer days bring one's beds to life; also, of course, they cause weeds to flourish. One is reminded once more that gardening is not an event, but a process. Never sit down and tell yourself that you have done the weeding - you have done Tuesday's weeding, and tomorrow there is Wednesday's weeding to do, and then there are five more days of the week. Read more...
Our local credit union is expanding - more savers are needed so that we can help more people avoid loan sharks and payday loan companies.
Members can now save up to £25,000 and know that their money is being used in the local community. Savers who are under 16 get 2% gross interest, and remember that you can now join onlineTo find out more, call us at 01273 234 858 or email email@example.com
|If you find the full IPCC report on Climate Change too much to read, here is a good summary prepared by local resident and expert, Tom Crossett.|
The new issue of the Lewes Pound will launch officially on 3rd May and will be available at our regular stall in the farmers' market and at a special stall in the LDC tent at the Chalk Life Festival up on Landport Bottom, as well as at the Southover Fayre at the Priory on 10th May.
The 3rd coincides with the start of the festivities around the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes and this is referenced by some of the notes. More...
|"A cucumber," said Dr Johnson, "should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing." I am inclined to disagree. Very good in a raita, of course, and goes curiously well with peanut butter. They are supposed by herbalists to purify the blood, but I have never quite understood what this means. More...|
|Aquaponics is a sustainable / closed circuit way of growing fresh vegetables, herbs and fish together symbiotically. More here...|
If you’d like to learn more, Aquaponic Life are a not-for-profit company who are running ‘Introduction to Aquaponics’ and ‘DIY Aquaponics’ courses in East Sussex, they aim to help inspire communities to reconnect with the nature of food and become more self-sufficient. Contact Neil or Emerald at Aquaopnic_life@icloud.com
More food growing tips from Jon...
|We never did get a winter, did we? Autumn went on forever, and now spring seems to be here. Mild, wet and windy weather has brought some beneficial effects for the gardener; however, it probably means that we will have a bumper crop of slugs.|
Now, to my mind, slugs are attractive little creatures, with a rather interesting love life... more
One of the things Transition can bring is the ability to turn 'living with climate change' into inspired and positive action. We asked Chris Rowland of Ovesco to tell us his story...
A ready-to-use factual service that brings you the latest news of climate change science. You can sign up for emails here...
Read Farming on sand by Kieran Cooke.
Lewes Food Group buy food in bulk from Suma every 2 months.
Good Quality, Ethically Sourced & Organic Food at wholesale prices.
|The Lewes Pound is delighted to be sharing in the growing excitement in the build up to the commemoration of the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes in May 2014.|
We are working to bring out the new issue of our notes slightly early so as to coincide with the beginning of the fortnight of Battle-related events starting on 3rd May and hope the designs will reflect some of the themes. More on the Lewes Pound website...
Lewes Town Council is developing a Neighbourhood Plan, and has invited TTL to join a community steering group which will define its vision, priorities and content. If the Lewes community and council accept the Plan, it becomes statutory planning policy and any development in the area will need to conform to it. This could be an opportunity to encourage and promote sustainable design and construction, reducing energy demand in existing buildings, local community energy, sustainable transport networks, local small businesses, and more!
TTL is forming a small group to explore responses to the Plan as it evolves over the next year, drawing on Transition Town principles and practice. If you would like know more or to join the TTL group, please contact Dirk Campbell on 01273 479018.
By Ann Link and Juliet Oxborrow
Late November saw Guardian journalist Duncan Clark speak to a capacity audience about his book The Burning Question at a public meeting organised by Transition Town Lewes.
|The Burning Question explores how the world has any chance of keeping within the critical 20C temperature rise agreed at the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks, given that carbon emissions keep rising exponentially.|
In his talk, Duncan explained that burning fossil fuels has so far put 2,000 billion tonnes of CO2 into the air. To have a 50/50 chance of staying within the two-degree limit, the world can afford to emit only an additional 1,600 billion tonnes of CO2 (or just 700 billion tonnes for a 75% chance). Read it here...
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