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

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Rooting in Tooting project: CARAS Youth Club members explore 'Border Control' show garden at RHS Hampton Court Palace flower show

For over a year TTT has been facilitating Rooting in Tooting project activities with diverse groups of all ages via the Tooting charity CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum-Seekers).

Yesterday we accompanied a group from the CARAS Youth Club to explore the build of the Border Control show garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show which opens on 5 July.
Not 'herbaceous borders'.... the garden is aiming to illustrate the physical and emotional challenges and successes faced by refugees: goals, barriers, borders, setbacks, surprises, hopes and fears.

The show garden is the creation of 2 designers Tom Massey and John Ward, and supported by the UN Refugee Agency. Thanks to you all for the hospitality and discussions!

Photo: Paul Wu UNHCR
The young people met Mark Tran from The Guardian, and here is a link so you can read his article published today, titled Hampton Court Palace flower show to highlight plight of refugees.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Tour de Tooting - workshops, a film night, a parade!

Tour de Tooting Creative Director Lucy Neal

With less than 2 weeks until Tour de Tooting, are you ready for a wonderful wheeled parade through Tooting, followed by a sharing picnic on Fishponds Fields?  Pop 3rd July in your diary!

Maybe you've found one of these mysterious #tourdetooting tags on your wheels?

Maybe you've been to one of the wheelie workshops we've held so far? No! Don't worry! There are three more workshops to come. They're all free and everyone is welcome - whether you have wheels or not. Join in the fun!
  • 26 June - wheel decorating and bike workshop, 12.30-5.30pm, Bruce Hall
  • 01 July - wheel decorating at Fransciscan School's Festival, 4-6pm
  • 02 July - wheel decorating and bike workshop, 11am-4pm

Report from the seventh weekend of Growing Tooting 'grow your own food' classes

Here's the report from the seventh weekend of our Growing Tooting 'grow your own food' local fortnightly classes. We've been offering these in Balham, Tooting and Wandsworth since April.

The common themes this week have been exploring more ambitious planting schemes, visiting other local gardens, and looking at forest gardening.

So: here's a group planting a 'Three Sisters' bed in Balham: 
That means establishing a bed with three complementary crops (sweet corn, beans, pumpkin) which combine well in terms of habit, shade needs and care. It's a fascinating traditional native american method making good use of limited cultivated land.

The Tooting group visited the Tooting Community Garden
Here they are comparing our bread wheat with an experimental bed of teff, a 'wonder grain' from Ethiopia.

One of the Wandsworth groups
visited members' allotments in King George's Park.
That's a nice scene!

This fortnight's Seventh Growing Tooting Handout is available to everyone by clicking here.
The focus is Forest Gardening: as a development of the permaculture conversations in the 6th weekend of Growing Tooting. It's a fascinating method where short-term crops are not planted, and the plot is managed to produce from perennial ground cover plants, bushes and trees.

That's very different from the experience most of us have on our allotments or balconies! 

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Restart Party on Tuesday

Broken electrical or electronic items that you don’t want to throw away? Good at fixing or mending stuff or would like to learn how? 
Come to a Restart Party! 
and help keep stuff out of landfill. The next Restart Party in Tooting is this coming Tuesday 21st June at 7pm.
Restart Parties are the antidote to the thowaway society, why bin your sickly electronics when they could easily live a bit longer with some TLC?  Laptops, cameras, kitchen appliances, gadgets etc. - we will try to mend anything or at least tell you what's wrong and what to do next and it's all completely free!

#TourdeTooting At Tuesday's party you can also get your bike checked out by Dr Bike as part of our Tour de Tooting preparations.  So bring your wheels as well as your electronics!

Do remember that Restart Parties are a community self-repair space where you take responsibility for your own electronic items and data, so please don’t forget to take any back-ups beforehand, if relevant.  Also, if possible, do please arrive during the first two hours to allow time for fixing! 

The next 3 Restart parties in Tooting, all at Mushkil Aasaan, 220 - 222 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7EW are scheduled for :
> Tuesday 21st June, 7 – 9.30 pm 
> Tuesday 9th August, 7 – 9.30 pm 
> Saturday 12th November, 2 - 5pm 

More info about Restart including details of regular skillshares at 

Monday, 13 June 2016

Happy 8th Birthday to Transition Town Tooting!

Celebrating eight years of Transition Town Tooting!

Thanks to everyone who came to our Annual Celebration

Last Friday, we turned our AGM into ACE - our Annual Celebratory Extravaganza - to share and celebrate what we've achieved, and to look forward to 2016 and beyond.

Volunteers, beneficiaries, partners, project leaders, friends, neighbours and interested local people came together at Rechere's on Tooting High Street. We ate well. We talked and made new friends. We formed teams to take part in one of the hardest quizzes in TTT's history! And we gathered around our enthusiasm for making change in how we live, where we live, in light of climate change.

Celebrating and sharing

Thank you to everyone involved this year and in the last eight years!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Pedalista Workshop - This Tuesday!

Could you be a leader in making, could you become a Prime Pedalista? 

Hello Pedalistas*

Tour De Tooting is fast approaching.  Pedalistas of Tooting will be looking to get making and decorating throughout June in preparation for the Parade of Wheels on the 3rd July.

This Tuesday, Tour De Tooting are hosting a workshop of making and decorating to prepare you to share techniques with friends, family, community groups , school pupils and more.

Could you be a leader in making, could you become a Prime Pedalista?

*A Pedalista is anyone who is excited by the idea of celebrating the freedom and liberation of the wheels in their lives.

Tuesday 7th June
6:30 - 8:30
Work and Play Scrapstore, Hazelhurst Estate, 13 Blackshaw Road, London SW17 0DA

Friday, 3 June 2016

Growing Tooting - the sixth weekend of our local grow-your-own food workshop series

Last weekend we enjoyed the sixth crop of fortnightly 'triple-header' Growing Tooting workshops - one each in Balham, Tooting and Wandsworth. (Plus there's the fourth series: an extra Wandsworth group running on the intervening weekends).
As ever, thanks to Martin for the energy and co-ordination!

What did we do this week?
As a comprehensive gardening topic we looked in detail at Permaculture - a growing approach that aims to integrate natural systems with social and individual needs for food, clean water, energy... (click here or here for two in-depth web resources).

To make that practical, in one group Donna presented her own garden as a case study.

She filmed a video of the back garden, plus photos of the front, for us to get an idea of the spaces and how the garden fits into her life.

Donna's team of advisers - an unusual opportunity!

'Observing' before diving in is as useful in gardening as it is in swimming. Thank you Donna!
How is the potato progressing?
Secondly about observing - in our classes we encourage participants to be 'grower scientist - investigators' alongside enjoying being outside and putting good food on the table.
Here's an example from someone who likes to measure and celebrate her plants' progress! Why not try it - you learn a lot.

We have our latest Growing Tooting Handout 6 available - click here to download. The handout includes interrelated features of good common-sense gardening (and of permaculture):
  • Attracting wildlife to control pests
  • Mulch
  • Compost
  • Mycorrhizal soil fungi
  • No-dig gardening