Transition Café – Voices of Transition
To begin the evening we enjoyed a friendly chat over the “bring and share”, which is how we start every monthly event. Home made food of soup, bread, cheese and dessert. Always a treat.
Once our announcements were shared about key events and news of the sustainability movement in Liverpool we got comfy to watch the inspirational film “Voices of Transition”.
The 2014 film which looks at the process of transition, ways in which we can get together to look at setting up working groups and address the different aspects of local resilience – in particular food, energy and transport.
Rob Hopkins, co-founder of Transition Network, speaks about the positive benefits of learning new practical skills together and how it can enrich our lives. He also talks about the benefits of moving towards a local economy, showing examples including four people who have worked together to establish a local market economy around food production and the pleasure it has given them.
One of which, the Bristol based permaculture designer Mike Feingold, encouragingly shares his apple producing process. He focuses on the idea that nothing is wasted when he produces his pressed apple juice. If it’s left for a few days he said he can’t help it turning into cider. Then if the cider goes wrong he will obtain cider vinegar, and then the grade below that is a useful vinegar for cleaning. His infectious expression of bliss ignited us all with passion to go make our own.
The film also explored the benefits of local production as an important way of reducing food miles along with the nutritional value of establishing local box schemes which both provides cheaper food by bypassing the local supermarket and improving nutrition by providing it fresh, straight from the field.
The community allotment and many hands schemes are examples where local people work together taking it in turns to support each other. One positive by-product is that it promotes a community spirit. It also establishes a system that can help in strengthening us a little against future shock.
It touched on the political system including the WTO which undermines food sovereignty, to the detriment of poorer nations for example in Africa.
The final part looked at the way in which Cuba has managed to develop, its unique “post-industrial” farming system which exchanged large scale production methods and hi-tech equipment for low tech alternatives using local animals for fertiliser and a well-chosen selection of nourishing plants.
Adopting a local market garden model growing 80% of their food close to towns and based entirely on an organic model. Growing their own plants to act as natural insecticides and using the permaculture method of mixing their crops to maximise production. It also employs local people in both the production and preservation of food.
After the film we discussed some of the issues raised and in particular those with local relevance. You can see the topics at the end of the original blog post here
Next Months Meeting will be sharing stories of transition where people will be encouraged to write no more than 360 words of their little stories of adapting to a more low carbon way of living.
Rather not wait til then, check out the Little Stories project here
We meet the second Wednesday of each month at Quaker Meeting House on School Lane L1 from 6.30pm.