Making Change in How We Live, Where We Live, in Light of Climate Change (FOR TWELVE YEARS!)

Monday, 29 June 2015

Growing for the Foodival

Are you growing for the Foodival?  Unfortunately so are the caterpillars! They are causing havoc on the local cabbage patches!

Foodival is TTT's sustainable celebration of local growing, local cooking and all things food related, taking place this year over the weekend of September 12th & 13th.

There will be a competition for weird looking vegetables, something on fermentation, a schools cook off challenge, plenty of entertainment, including I am reliably informed a giant pea, as well as the usual features such as Top Tooting Cook and dishes to sample cooked by local restaurants.

Keep an eye on the Foodival blog for the latest information and keep growing for this year's event despite adversarial critters! 

No, not these people ... they are donors of home grown veg & fruit snapped at a previous Foodival.  Recognise anyone?  Fancy joining in this year?

Yes You Can!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

What would a low carbon future look like?

The first session of six in our ninth Carbon Conversations series took place this week.
We dug into motivations for reducing our carbon footprints, who is responsible for addressing climate change and what a low carbon future might look like.

Each week, a different person taking part will report on the themes of each session, giving you a flavour of the series as a whole, while picking up some tips on how you might be able to reduce your own carbon footprint.

Carbon Conversations facilitator, Ben Cuddon, gives us his impressions of the first session.

We took some time this week to look at who is responsible for addressing climate change, and the question was raised of how far individuals can make a difference. There were certainly different opinions - some thought individuals could make a real difference; others weren't convinced. 

We discussed how business and government can take meaningful action and whether legislation or ethical convictions will be the driving force for change.  The question of whether moral or legal change comes first is a fascinating one to think about!

Group members shared thoughts over how the problem could be solved. Whether our entire economic model (free-market capitalism, endless economic growth) was the essential problem, or whether climate change could be solved within capitalism, through technological innovation.

We thought about why we want to reduce our carbon footprints and why it’s important. A range of opinions emerged – from the importance of the equal distribution of resources around people to the importance of reducing the world’s overall consumption of resources. Most people seemed to agree that activism on climate change brought people together through a sense of shared purpose, and that this made it exciting and fun.

Finally we tried to imagine what a low-carbon future world might look like. Some of our ideas were easy to imagine - less long-distance travel, more vegan and vegetarian food, less material consumption. Others were more surprising. I liked the idea of making insects and garden creatures a bigger part of our diet. Worm stew anyone?.

Worm stew
Worm stew (

Calculating your carbon footprint

Each member of the group also calculated their carbon footprint, so they can start to explore areas where reductions are possible. If you'd like to calculate your footprint, head over to Carbon Collaborations, where you'll find a range of calculators including some for children.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Urban Heat in Tooting

Today we facilitated our first workshop on a new project in Tooting which aims to explore how communities can best deal with the impact of heatwaves. Called "Urban Heat" the project is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and run by the Policy Studies Institute at the University of Westminster (See for more details).

In an age when average global temperature is on the rise, the workshops will look at the effect of heatwaves on communities, particularly with regard to more vulnerable members of our society. Tooting is one of three locations chosen to participate alongside Hounslow (with South West London Environment Network) & Hackney (with Age UK). 
Workshop held at CFC in Tooting today
In parallel, the project will also be working with the local councils, emergency services, and other public bodies to see how actions for and by the community could feed into their emergency plans.

Today was a successful first foray into this area, on an appropriately warm day, if not anywhere near the heatwave threshold for London of two consecutive days at 32°C or above.  We look forward to the second workshop on July 1st and aim to disseminate some of the findings and developments via this blog.

If anyone reading this is interested in taking part please do contact Charles to find out more via

Monday, 15 June 2015

A lovely Tooting Community Garden Open Day

Our Open Day on Sunday 14th June was full of contrasts. A damp and quiet start with a steady trickle of visitors, good conversations and storytelling with Aesop Grimm gathered pace in the afternoon as the sun came out. We cooked delicious treats prepared by the Tooting Field Day group on the charcoal fire, while fanSHEN's The Apple Cart was performed all around us, with the Furzedown Oak sculpture underway and our plastic bottle greenhouse being raised by many hands (it was great to have tall visitors for some of the key jobs...). 

By the end of the day all was quiet again, and the morning felt a very long time ago, a different time and place. That's what is great about the social and growing microclimate of the Community Garden!

To share our own first reactions, we've posted a slide show below. We'll return to some of the themes of the day again - the garden as a place for nature, to be outdoors, for learning, for creativity, for growing and cooking, and for enjoyable company of all ages. 

Enjoy the photos and come and visit again or for the first time. We're open every Sunday between 11:00 and 1:00 for our welcoming sessions at 5 North Drive, SW16 1RN.

And for the diary, the free July Field Day is on Saturday 12th. Details are here online.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Annual Tooting Community Garden Open Day Sunday June 14th 11am - 5pm

All welcome to our free Garden Open Day!

There's plenty to join in with:
> For the third year running we're part of the Open Gardens and Squares London-wide weekend.
> Aesop Grimm is telling intriguing stories.
> We're linked in with the local Furzedown Festival, and the Furzedown Oak Community Project will start to shape a sculpture.
> fanSHEN come to the Garden with the June Tooting Field Day: we'll be cooking on charcoal, and fanSHEN will perform their show The Apple Cart.

And: you can simply relax, chat and enjoy the space

Timings and details:  
For more details on the Field Day arrangements for preparing treats to cook, please click here

We'll be posting any late news on the Open Day on our Tooting Community Garden pages on Facebook.
Any queries? Please email us here
To download the Open Day poster, please click here.

Here's where we are
Off Tooting Common on the south side at 5 North Drive, SW16 1RN:
We look forward to seeing you!