01 December 2016

Harvest 2016

When we started the Seed Share Programme two years ago we didn't realise how successful it was going to be and didn't know how we were going to capture all of the information.

After a week or so of banging our heads against a brick wall, we came up with an idea about a spreadsheet containing the values of each food we had grown. We chose a middle of the road supermarket to get current market prices from and started to fill out the formulas on our spreadsheet. We then also needed to know roughly how much fruit would be produced from one particular plant and we got this information from a number of online sources including Square Foot Gardening. From this we were able to estimate the number of fruits per plant and their average weight. And hey presto we were able to calculate the quantity and the market value of the harvest.

This year our harvest figures were amazing. Through the events and engagement days that we organised we calculated the value of the edibles that we gave out to the local community was worth over £3,700. The amazing groups and community gardens that we have developed and supported achieved almost £15,000 worth of food that they harvested.

On a sad note, the honey harvest was lower than the previous year's as we lost an entire colony during 2016. However, given the poor weather during the 2016 growing season, we were pleased that the total value of the harvest figure was on a par with the previous year's.

We're already planning for 2017 and thinking of ways to increase the harvest even further.

25 November 2016

Cullen Green to have a makeover

Cullen Green is a green area at the top of Cullen street and Smithdown Road. We have been asked by the council if we would be able to help revamp this site so that all the locals can enjoy this space.

We designed a number of basic plans and today we started with taking down the fence. It was a chilly start to the morning but we warmed up in no time at all.

Watch this space for more details.

24 November 2016

Sharing Experiences with Wales

Big Lottery in Wales has recently launched a programme which is similar to the English 'Communities Living Sustainably' and L8LS was asked to speak at the latest event for applicants to the programme.

Welsh applicants to the 'Create Your Space' programme gathered near Newtown to discuss and refine their project ideas, whilst getting some tips for success. They will soon be submitting their final proposals to Big Lottery and the best candidates will be awarded a share of the £8.8 million budget to deliver their 7 year projects.

What L8LS might look like in Wales
Lindsey and Chris spoke for half an hour or so about the L8LS project and, in particular, the early stages of the project and the lessons learned:
  • Development of the project partnership
  • Community engagment
  • What's worked, what hasn't
It was a fascinating day, listening to excited applicants' project ideas. We were both transported back to the early months of 2012 when our own L8 Living Sustainably was just a project idea. Who would have imagined the huge progress we would have made in just three and a half years!

14 November 2016

Community Living Room in Cullen Street

In 10 November despite of the weather we invited residents from Cullen street area to a hot soup  and to discuss about the importance of the saving energy and recycling. Was also a good opportunity to discuss about Cullen-Green gardens and how they see this place  in the future.


02 November 2016

Find Your Identity - Be Young Be Roma

Between 24-28 November, in Cullen Street we organise activities for the children's.  
We start with the draw of what mean for them the word Roma and what is Tigan. After this we spoke about the Roma history and the culture to understand why is more good to call us Roma and no gipsy, tzigania or tigan. Was a day with a lot of emotions. We learn "Gelem Gelem" that is our anthem and that we are a nation with a flag and a international language. They were very enthusiasm to hear that we come from India, but also surprised that in Romania our ancestors were for 500 years slaves. In the same day we spoke also that we need to be proud that we are Roma and we start the week with the slogan Be Young Be Roma.