The original core group which founded TTC in 2010 has transmogrified, as foretold in our constitution, into a support and admin role providing central services such as banking, some web & social media presence and insurance.
The initial inspiration provided by TTC is now carried forward by the two main projects to come out of the core group, the Annecy Garden public edible garden and Cheltenham Green Doors open homes and gardens event.
No doubt other ideas will blossom and be supported by TTC - anyone wishing to start new projects please do get in touch with us. We've never managed to get a transport group off the ground so that would be of particular interest.
Occasional words of wisdom arising out these and other projects will be reflected here such as the excellent piece below from a recent volunteer at Annecy.
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Transition Towns initiatives are springing up all over the world, aiming to build local resilience and community co-operation as a practical and creative community response to climate change, and to reduce our dependence on oil and fossil fuels and tackle the issue of peak oil. We all know we can’t rely on oil forever, so it might be a good idea to plan what we do instead.
Transition Town Cheltenham aims to empower ourselves and others to improve the quality of life in the town and make a reduced impact on the outside world, whilst looking after the environment and each other.
Edible Park Project
TTC have worked with Cheltenham Borough Council to convert the Annecy Garden in Sandford Park (at the top of the Strand) into a public edible garden.
See the Annecy Gardens Blog (part inserted below) for the latest info and updates.
Cheltenham Greeen Doors 5th OpenHomes + Gardens Annual Event took place the weekend of 12th and 13th September 2015.
This year we had the return of a previous favourite, the PassivHaus in Eldorado Crescent, an amazing property showing just what new build standards are possible. For the first time we had a Permaculture LAND demonstration centre, a sustainable paradise with lots of inspiring ideas for both house and garden, in Gretton Fields.
|Why I came along
by Naomi Mulligan
I suppose I’m not a convention twenty-something in a lot of ways. I like radio six, dream analysis and Country File. But I think I’m on to something here.
I’d spent five years wanting a garden and making do with a windowsill. Luckily the wishing and the looking came good and I have a perfect little bit of space where I live to let the things of my predilection grow and flourish. So far the tomatoes and the roses are waning and the cherry tree has stopped growing because it’s in a pot that’s too small, like a fat man on a clown bicycle. The poppies may or not grow and poppies grow by train lines – i.e. without help and yet here I am. The strongest and most vivacious are weeds which I’ll happily allow to bring the green ratio up if they look nice.
So when my friend pointed out the notice board in Sanford Park talking about the community of volunteer gardeners, I thought a loud and booming, ‘yes.’ I was wandering around the edible beds like Charlie in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. I thought how nice it’d be to help something grow. Plus there was mention of being able to take away a bit of produce and I’m young and poor. I’d happily do a bit of work for a bit of veg.
As well as laying my hands on some free greens to line my pot and stomach, I also wanted somewhere to go after a day at work which is often a murky headache of customers and bureaucracy. “Work stuff” just isn’t real whereas there is nothing more real than Earth. Gardening grounds and it recharges you – it is earthing. The molehills that work makes into Everests shrink and you see them as if from above; and they are tiny and insignificant.
Why is my own garden left in favour of this one? Partly because it’s already been started for me, true, but I think because working in tandem is also earthing. I like to work in tandem – apart from if I’m writing. There is something to be said for working communally: company, whether another person or a plant, is nourishing.
Now on a Monday evening, usually rushing from work, I immerse myself in a world of greenery. With or without gloves hands I cut and primp and water, feeling deliciously like Edward Scissorhands, setting about to improve my surroundings and to learn all about it from seasoned gardeners. Sometimes I don’t talk a lot. Sometimes it’s just a silent collaboration between myself and the secateurs as we conspire to deadhead. Getting lost in the repetitiveness of such tasks is good. It is like a chant that induces a trance-state in meditation. Gardening induces mindfulness which everyone is banging on about at the moment and with very good reason.
The smells, the textures and the sounds are all salving to a life-weary body. House work is boring and it doesn’t always notice. Gardening will almost always give back. It grows and blossoms and then you can look at it and breathe in the beauty, or eat it.
It’s just good.