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Seed Gathering Season Events

18 Sep 2009 16:00:23

Autumn is a wondrous time to walk through the forests and parks of the UK. The vast array of warmer colours - yellows, oranges, pinks and red of every shade - ease us out of summer and ironically warn us of cooler times to come. It's a time, that some would argue, is the best to stroll the great parks and woodland paths of the UK. It's also an excellent time to gather seeds, fruits and nuts to eat or grow for next year.

And guess what? The Tree Council is encouraging us to do just that. From the 23rd of September until the 23rd of October these tree care campaigners have lined up a full month's worth of events to get people out and about, wandering and collecting.

With the help of the National Trust and local councils there are currently nine events registered in Devon, East Sussex, Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Somerset, Suffolk, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, County Down (Northern Ireland). Depending on which one you attend you could be foraging for acorns, conkers, berry seeds, nuts, haws, hips and sloes from native trees, shrubs and orchards. The event in Ipswich, Suffolk will be showing people how to plant and pot their seed findings so they can take them home to grow.

There will be guides, tree specialist and the occasional expert apple identifier to walk you through the harvest ready forests. Some seed gathering events will be free; others a couple of pounds. For dates and further details visit the Tree Council website.
0 Comments | Posted in Events General By Nicki

Organic Food Festival 2009

28 Aug 2009 16:00:18

One of the best things in life is good food. One of the best things about Organic Fortnight is the Organic Food Festival in Bristol. Not only is it a chance to taste the best of organic mouth watering creations but also a chance to learn more about the ways we can all help to build a sustainable global community.

Hundreds of delicious samples will be on offer in the street market and food pavilions. Riverford Organic Vegetables, The Village Bakery, Doves Farm Foods and The Chocolate Alchemist are some of the food vendors who will be exhibiting and offering their tasty treats at the festival. There is also an Organic Bar (stocked with plenty of organic wines, ales and ciders) and the Bordeaux Quay Cooking Demonstrations where the UKs best chefs will be showing us how to make easy, affordable organic dishes.

The Organic Gardening Pavilion will provide tips on how to create and then get the best out of you very own organic veggie patch. If you don't have a garden at home allotment networks will also be there to offer help on finding and working your own plot of land.

The festival also a dedicated area to organic and eco living. From the best organic skin care and cosmetic brands (Green People, Madara, Spiezia) to the most beautiful ethical clothes and home ware products (Greenfibres, Luma and Abaca Organic).

Date: Saturday 12th September (10am-6pm) and Sunday 13th September (10am-5pm)
Where: Bristol Harbourside
Cost: £5 entry, free for Soil Association members and children under 16.
0 Comments | Posted in Eco Issues Events General By Nicki
Ovarian cancer claims the lives of 70% of women diagnosed as it is a cancer often detected too late for effective treatment. In the UK it is the most common and most fatal of all the gynaecological cancers.

The Gynaecological Cancer Centre at St Bartholomew's Hospital is leading the way in ovarian cancer research and treatments, recognised internationally as a ‘Centre of Excellence' for the work it does. Like most research centres it requires funding and our help to continue this vital work.

The London Charity's ‘Food for Thought' fundraising dinner event has been set up to help us raise money in quite the delectable way. Food for Thought involves hosting your own dinner party anytime in September with the purpose of asking guest to donate to the cause. It need not be an illustrious affair - a breakfast or tea party would work.

The research centre is hoping to raise £30,000 with Food for Thought. This can be reached if 120 people host a dinner party for 10 and each person donates £25. The target is definitely doable - with the donation cost at the amount most spend to go out for a nice dinner.

If you'd like to register your even and sign up for hard copy invitation and donation envelopes or e-invitations click here to visit the Barts ‘Food for Thought' website.
0 Comments | Posted in Events General By Nicki
The French contingent of the So Organic team is taking part in a fun run to raise money for Trees for Cities, a charity that works at greening urban spaces all over the world for leafier places to dwell. Their mission is "to advance the education of the public in the appreciation of trees and their amenity value, and in furtherance of this the planting and protection of trees everywhere, and in particular inner city areas".

Tree-Athlon is a 5km run. There are 3 being held across the UK this year - one in London, Leeds and Manchester.

Projects Tree for Cities have initialized include establishing wildlife gardens at schools and protecting woodlands across the country. Other than greening UK cities the charity is planning to go international and help plant fruit trees and indigenous plants in Peru, Addis Ababa and Nairobi.

The London run is scheduled for the 19th of September at beautiful leafy Battersea Park. Participants wear bibs with a personalized Tree Wish to encourage sponsors with their individual tree goal. All those who run in the London Tree-Athlon receive a sapling to take home and plant.

Entry to run is £20.00 which of course goes to towards the charity's activities. But you can also create a Just Giving page like Christelle. If you'd rather sit than run under the trees perhaps you'd like to sponsor Christelle on her leafy quest. She's aiming to raise £500. Her sponsor page is if you'd like to make a donation.

Alternatively if you'd like to become a member of Trees for Cities they offer four membership packs starting at the Sapling Club Membership (‘for growing kids') at £1.50/month which will plant one tree a month to a Family Tree Membership at £6/month which will plant six trees a month.
0 Comments | Posted in Eco Issues Events General By Nicki
Is this something to be encouraged or shunned? At first it seems a little scary to this city dwelling, garden admiring (not so good at the planting and picking yet), organic buying type such as myself.

I'd read articles on foraging in progressive eco thinking magazines like the Ecologist and Resurgence, but never really considered making a picnic lunch activity of it. But then I spotted, in the local What's On guide Greenwich this summer, a Guided Walk (but wait there's more) for Edible Wild Plants and Herbs.

On the walk you will learn from an expert how to forage for wild food in Greenwich Park (who would have thought!). You will also receive a few recipe tips to prepare your food finds with.

Being so local I think I may give this one a go. After all you've got to try it before you truly know whether you like something -a bit like a try before you buy but you don't have to buy! Note to self: don't watch movie Into the Wild before you go on edible wild plant walk. (You'll have to watch this brilliant film yourself to know why - I'm not one for spoiling the ending!)

The walk is being hosted on Wednesday 19 August from 10.30am to 12.00noon. The meeting point is Greenwich Park, Charlton Way. For more information visit
0 Comments | Posted in Eco Issues General Events By Nicki