Sunday, December 21, 2014

'A thousand lights to chase the darkness'

We had a really great afternoon and fantastic response to our Winter Solstice celebration 'A thousand lights to chase the darkness'.

It was great to see the number and range of people dropping in - many bringing jars and lights others just wandering in from some shopping.

It was gentle and magical; a great example of the community coming together on a winter's afternoon.

The mulled elderflower wine was going down faster than we could cook it.

The oysters were flying out of their shells and cobb nuts were wolfed down.

We had great entainment from the Sunshine Ukes and Roisin Murray told us some winter stories.
 Nick and Kieran from Chocolution came with real chocolate treats.

We had Lucia Stuart from the Wild Kitchen with her foraged oysters from Minnis Bay in a roman style.

Roisin had brought samples of "foraged" goodies such as bramble chutney, sloe gin, blackberry and redcurrent vodka
The fruiters in the town market had kindly donated an array of fruit.

Lots of people mucked in and helped openning oysters, lighting candles, cooking nuts, clearing up, singing, telling stories, bringing jars and lights to make it a great success.

It was a great way to end our second year in the Landmark Garden.

Thank you all for coming and contributing.

Happy Winter Solstice and Love from Deal With It + the Landmark Gardeners (Imogen, Tracy and Steve) x

All our photos can be found here

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sparkle at the Deal Station Garden

Our Gardeners were out today doing a end of year tidy and adding some sparkle to our planters at the Station.

Thanks to Sarah, Phillip and Pat

Happy Xmas to all from Deal Station Garden group

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 18th December 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:
In the early hours of Sunday morning in Lima, Peru, United Nations (UN) members have reached agreement on how countries should tackle climate change. These talks were being held to forge a blueprint for a global agreement due to be adopted in Paris in 2015.

The Lima climate talks began on an upbeat note after China, USA and the European Union announced new commitments to cut carbon pollution. The euphoria was short lived as they were brought down to earth by the perennial divide between rich and poor nations in the negotiations. Countries need to share the burden for carbon dioxide reduction but who will pay?

Industrialised countries are held responsible for the pollution that is causing the climate change effects that are already being felt but developing nations are not seeing the commitment needed to limit emissions. Developed countries are now expected to set targets that go beyond their present undertaking.

There had been an initiative for rich nations to provide $100bn a year for climate finance by 2020 but developing nations are bitterly disappointed by the way that the green climate fund has been reduced over the years. There has now been a loss and damage scheme established to help poorer countries cope with the financial implications of rising temperatures. Environmental groups are scathing in their response to the document, stating that it is nowhere near drastic enough. Their fears that there would not be a fair and ambitious outcome have been tragically accurate

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A thousand lights to chase the darkness - Solstice celebration at the Landmark Garden Deal

'A thousand lights to chase the darkness' is our Winter Solstice 'Seedy Saturday' celebration on Saturday 20th Dec between 3pm - 5pm @ Landmark Community Garden on Deal's thriving High Street

We want to celebrate the close of our second year at the Landmark Garden with a special ‘Seedy Saturday’.

The idea of is flood the garden with lights – both candle and solar powered – and come together with music, mulled wine and winter treats to celebrate the winter solstice on Sunday.

We have local performers singing tradition English winter songs, The Sunshine Ukes to get us singing, story tellers, poetry as well as an interesting array of local treats to sample: such as mulled elderberry punch, roasted Cobb nuts and Chestnuts, fresh oysters with roman dressing, Georgian oyster loaves and some medieval gingerbread. All local or foraged food flavoured with herbs from our garden.

There will be a few stalls from Chocolution and the 'Wild Kitchen' with Lucia Stuart

Please bring a jar with a tea light, dress warm and help us chase the darkness for another year!

We would welcome any donation of jars, teas lights - please drop a line to or see us any Saturday morning at the Landmark Garden.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 11th December 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:The word ‘sustainable’ is much over used at the present time but the principles that it represents are vital if we want to live in a world which is not slowly destroying itself. Simply, it means that we should live today in such a way that future generations do not pay the price.

Our ‘buy-cheap-and-throw-away’ society is not sustainable. In this country households throw away 26,000 tonnes of waste and we only recycle half of that material. Commercial and industrial waste is much worse with 48,000 tonnes, only 21% of which is recycled. This is a linear economy, with the producers of goods giving no consideration to the fate of those products at the end.

To live a sustainable lifestyle we need a circular economy. Some companies have the foresight to already run their businesses this way with products that are obsolete being sent back to the production line to be made into something else. Restaurants that run their vehicles on biodiesel made from cooking oil are the obvious example but there are more. There are fashion houses that collect used clothing for the material to be reused in industry and Japanese manufacturing companies carry out their own recovery and recycling processes.

With some raw materials becoming scarce, resources that used to be considered waste are now being looked at as a source of supply. This will also be cost effective as the price of raw materials rise.

‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is the principle that we all must follow.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 4th December 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: Some excellent news last week for the UK jobs’ market and in particular, the Isle of Wight, where the world’s largest wind power company has stated that it will restart turbine production, five years after it closed down its manufacturing operation.

Danish company, Vestas, has maintained a research and development unit on the Isle of Wight which is employing 225 people and will reopen the plant next year when it will begin manufacturing the most powerful wind turbines in the world. The company have said that the operation will be worth up to £200million and 800 jobs in the UK.

The new blades which are 260 feet long will generate 8MW which is twice the capacity of earlier designs and are expected to be used to extend the existing wind farm in Liverpool Bay which was given the go-ahead last September.

The UK has been accused of failing to provide a stable market for onshore wind farms, mostly due to the failures of the planning system where permission is hard to come by. Some reports have suggested that climate change scepticism among Tory MPs has led to planning permission being stymied and some small wind farms have gone into administration owing to cuts in the feed in tariff scheme. Our ‘greenest government ever’ again stands in the way of progress.

We heard recently of the £2million subsidy that was given to our ailing coal industry when we need to be using that money to encourage renewable energy production.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

How can we make Deal so that more people will want to walk and ride bikes around town?

That was the subject of thursday evening meeting of Dover & District Cycle Forum with speaker American Mark Weatherley.

Mark and his family are from the Mid-west city of Boulder Colorado,  give a fresh perspective on our Town.

 They rented a house in Deal as a base to explore Britain during a sabbatical that ends in December. "The high speed train and the quaint narrow streets near the station made it an ideal base for us, since we decided not to have a car for our stay," said Mark a high school geography teacher.

A lively discussion followed on how we could make cycling safer and public transport more effective locally.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 27th November 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: The majority of people living in a developed society such as ours do not give much thought to how their electricity is supplied. There is only cause for concern when, for whatever reason, that supply is interrupted.

As we saw last winter, severe weather conditions can disrupt even our green and pleasant land and climate change will no doubt bring more disruption over the coming years. And it is not just ‘bad’ weather that can cause concern. During the summer of 2003, there was a European heat wave in which 70,000 people died from heart and breathing difficulties because they could not keep their homes cool. By 2030, these temperatures could be quite common and by 2060 could be considered a ‘cool’ summer.

With all of our systems – technical, political, financial and social – interconnected because of their dependence on computer systems we need to make these systems, and their power sources, secure so that transport, water, healthcare and communications, for example, remain in place.

If we want to ‘future proof’ our energy supply systems, we need to re-think how electricity is produced and delivered. The obvious way forward is to de-centralise production in favour of local, smaller, renewable energy generation where interruption to supplies would be minimised. The simplest and the most cost effective way to generate electricity locally is by solar photovoltaic systems, either on domestic or commercial roofs. There are now many Community Energy Companies where local people can help to finance, and then benefit from, locally produced energy

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Victoria's Green Matter - 20th November 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: Waste – not a very exciting or romantic subject, is it? But we must be conscious that we are using up the world’s natural resources at an alarming rate and much faster than they can be replaced.

We should be aware that there are many ways that we can conserve these resources so that future generations will be able to have a good lifestyle. This describes that much overused term these days – sustainability.

We waste a huge amount of energy, fulfilling our gadget hungry society; heating and lighting our homes and keeping our industries going. We need to reduce these amounts so as not to waste our resources and to limit our carbon dioxide production.

We waste vast amounts of food, particularly in the developed west and while much of the world’s population does not have sufficient food to survive. This is totally unnecessary and avoidable.

We waste water. What does this matter in a country that has more rain than we know what to do with? But not all parts of this small nation do have that much water. Here in the south east we are quite often short of water and as the climate warms, water will become scarce worldwide and conflicts are inevitable. We are approaching the time of year when waste increases and becomes more than at any other – Christmas. We buy presents, often that no-one wants and too much food that often no-one eats. This year make an exception – try to save resources and money.