Thursday, May 31, 2012

Victoria's Green Matters - 31st May 2012

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury. It seems a while since we heard much about the Brazilian rain forest. This is because over recent time there has been much improvement in the environmental situation of this area of the world that provides us with one fifth of the oxygen that we need to survive.

The present government in Brazil has a good record on environmental protection and has greatly reduced deforestation by 78% since 2004. President Rousseff came to office promising to maintain her predecessor's record on environmental protection but the Brazilian congress has just passed a forest code that may jeopardise the Amazonian rain forest and cause the President to go back on her word.

If she decides to pass the bill it would give farmers and loggers free access to chop down 190 million acres of forest. How can this be allowed to happen? Simple - big business, both farmers and loggers, have the power to influence government by telling them that the present situation is stopping development in Brazil. This is plainly untrue. Development in Brazil has been brought about by ever more efficient farming methods and rising world food prices. More efficiency still will free up more land for growing crops without deforestation.

Brazil will host Rio+20 next month - this will bring together the world's leaders to discuss the fate of the planet so a veto of congress's bill will show leadership by the president and undermine big business's influence over our future.

Monday, May 28, 2012

TT Faversham - Local food Report

Our colleagues at Transition Town Faversham have been working with Protect Kent to produce a report on how local food is working in their community ... some food for thought for us in Deal?

From the TTF website at

 From Field to Fork: Faversham

on May 28, 2012

The Campaign to Protect Rural have just published a fantastic report ‘From Field to Fork: Faversham’ about the local food web of Faversham.
The report is a heartening read; there is so much to be proud of within the town and surrounding area!
Key Facts about Faversham’s Local Food:
  • Local food is abundant and accessible in Faversham – there is a huge amount of food grown locally to Faversham.
  • There is a strong public demand for local food. 39 outlets out of 58 sell local food in Faversham. Annual sales of local food are estimated at £1.2-2.8 million!
  • Local food supports local jobs. The report estimates that about 160 jobs are supported by the sales of local food in the Faversham area. In addition to this there are a further 250 jobs supported at the suppliers.
  • Food contributes to the character and identity of our town. People are proud of Faversham’s local produce.
  • The quality and freshness of local food is the main reason people buy local food. People also like the personal service they receive from local businesses.
  • Local food strengthens our community. When people shop at local food businesses they talk to the producers. They also talk to people they know or neighbours whilst in town shopping locally.
  • The town is aware of its local farming heritage and so local food contributes to a sense of community and belonging.
  • Local food businesses use other local businesses – local hardware shops, local solicitors, local accountants etc.
  • Local food businesses have a strong commitment to saving energy and reducing waste. There is often less packaging and waste from local food businesses.
It is great to see so many local shops, producers and residents featured or named in the report. Transition Town Faversham are proud to note that many of our members volunteered to be interviewed for this project and many of them were also featured in the case studies of the report. We would like to draw particular attention to Bridget Neame and her month of eating locally featured on Pages 10 and 25 of the report. The Group is also delighted to be featured as a case study in itself on Page 9 of the report. You can find out more about our Food Group here. Looking to the future, the report gives recommendations to different groups within the town. These are summarised below.
Key Recommendations:
Swale Borough Council should ensure strong and effective local planning policies are in place to:
  • Maintain and strengthen Faversham’s retail diversity through a clear ‘town centre first’ approach to develop the vitality and vibrancy of the centre.
  • Ensure the need for new retail space is objectively assessed using independent evidence.
  • Set an appropriate size threshold for new stores above which they will be assessed for their impact on the town centre, on the economy of the rural area and on local food production.
  • Support the growth of new local food outlets such as the farmer’s market, the community gardening and the allotments.
The public sector, including local councils, schools, and hospitals, should buy more sustainable local produce.
Local food business should work together to:
  • Improve the marketing of local food so shoppers can identify local food and understand its benefits. The follwing would help: trying to overcome perceptions that shopping at local food businesses costs more, offering more information on who produced the food, where and how, holding local food tastings and events, developing ‘local’ brands.
  • Explore and support local food initiatives to reduce costs and increase access to local food, such as co-operating to form a local food distribution hub.
The community should (we all should!):
  • Shop widely to encourage a variety of local businesses and local food.
  • Buy local food through local shops, markets and delivery schemes.
  • Ask where the food we buy comes from and how it’s produced.
  • Contact local planners and councillors to encourage them to support local food businesses. Start by sending them a copy of this report and asking them how they intend to use it!
Transition Town Faversham supports the findings of the report. We also think it is a fascinating and overwhelmingly positive report about our town. We urge you all to read it and follow the recommendations! You can find the full report here.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Deal Foodbank Meeting 20th June

Deal Foodbank's next meeting is on the 20th June at 8pm at Cafe Eden, St Richards Mill Hill. #Deal_foodbank

You can follow Deal Foodbank now on twitter here

For info the foodbank movement around the country see

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Richborough Energy Park Consultation

Richborough Energy Park (Low Carbon Renewable Energy to Power Kent) is having another two consultation exhibitions to explain their revised plans.
These will be held on Friday 15 June at Cliffsend Village Hall (3 - 6pm) and on Saturday 16 June at the Bell Inn Hotel, Sandwich (9.30am -12.30). 
Thanks to Charles for the Info

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bread Making at the Chequers

Pieter of The Chequers Inn and Stephanie from Whole School Meals are working together to create an exciting range of Cookery courses.

May 2012
Issue: 1

The Art of Bread-Making
Dear Steve,
We are delighted to invite you to Pieter van Zyl's Art of Bread Making course at The Chequers Inn on Wednesday 6th June from 9am to 1pm. Just eight places are now available to book.
In This Issue
Bread Making Course
Summer Cookery Courses

The Art of Bread Making
Wednesday 6th June, 9.00am to 1.00pm
Join Chef-owner of The Chequers Inn, Pieter van Zyl, to learn his secrets of bread-making, followed by a light lunch. Learn how to prepare and bake a selection of delicious breads including a range of flavours from olive to walnut, in a variety of shapes, sizes and forms.

Pieter will lead you through every stage of bread making so that you can create delicious, wholesome bread whenever you wish, whether it is for everyday or for special occasions.

After baking, enjoy a lovely light lunch in the restaurant, sampling Pieter's freshly baked bread with cheeses, ham, salad and a glass of wine, beer or soft drink. Take your own baked bread home to impress and delight your loved ones!

Just eight places are available on this course at a cost of £60 per person. Book now or enquire further by email or by calling Stephanie on 07960 471427 or 01304 362563.

Forthcoming cookery courses
Pieter will be leading Cookery Courses at The Chequers Inn throughout the summer. Look out for his Fish Master Class, South African Dinner Party Menu and Tapas Style Entertaining - more details to follow. Register your interest to get advance notice of dates and details.

These courses are a partnership between Pieter van Zyl and Keen2Cuisine. We hope you will be happy to receive occasional updates about our local courses at The Chequers Inn, Deal.
Best wishes,

Stephanie Hayman
Keen2Cuisine is an initiative by Whole School Meals Ltd. Whole School Meals Ltd is located at Almond House, Broad Lane, Betteshanger, Deal, Kent CT14 0LX and is registered in England and Wales as company number 5721609

Pieter van Zyl

Cooperative showing Gaslands on 9th July

The Co-operative as part its national campaign against shale gas and its negative impact on our environment is running a series of special showings of the Gaslands - theaward-winning  film by Josh Fox showing the impact of shale gas in the US.

There will be one in Canterbury on Monday 9th July at 6:30pm at Anselm Theatre, Christ Church University, Canterbury

You will need to register at the Cooperative here

We understand there will be speakers from the Co-operative, Keith Taylor Green Party MEP and East Kent Against Fracking

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Solar Array due at Little Mongeham

A small 34kwh solar array based on agricultural land is going to planning at Dover District Council next month.

The application by 'Little Mongeham Ltd based at Manor Farm, Little Mongeham (CT14 0HR) is for 140 ground based panels which is estimated to produce 27,000kwh pa.

Planning ref is 12/00353

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Alternative Conference for the Rio Summit

Alternative Conference for the Rio Summit

Saturday 16th June to Sunday 17th
(the weekend preceding the summit Wednesday 20th to Friday 22nd)
To register a place at the conference click here.

Organised by the Campaign against Climate Change with the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Department for Development Studies.

Taking place at the central London Universities - SOAS, the Institute of Education (IOE) and University College London (UCL). Opening plenary in IOE, Thornhaugh Street off Russell Square, Russell Square Tube. Map here.
This is a free event but donations to help the campaign would be appreciated.
If you would like to steward at the conference please click here.

Rio to Rio: 20 wasted years? 

Between 1992 and 2012:

The global surface temperature has risen by 0.38C.
The Arctic sea ice has decreased by 2.94 million square kilometres.
The CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by 35.19 PPM.
30 661 900 hectares of Brazilian forest have been lost.
More than 431,215.08 million tonnes of CO2 have been emitted.
The amount of CO2 emitted per year has risen from 21,421.45 to 30,398.42 million tonnes.
A wide range of workshops and seminars - and an exciting main plenary - are planned.
Titles include :
“Food Security how can we stop a tragedy unfolding?”
“Green Energy versus ‘Extreme’ Energy”
“One Million Climate Jobs”
“Inequity is not only bad for society but a barrier to dealing effectively with the ecological crisis”
“Renewing Political Commitment to win the global battle against eco-calamity: a lost cause or is there a way forward?”
“We will not achieve environmental justice without a fundamental shift in values”
“New legal frameworks for a new era of environmental progress and justice”
“Can London lead the way in the fight against climate meltdown?”
and more workshops on: Green growth vs De-growth; bioenergy and land grabs; forests and biodiversity; aviation; geo-engineering; oceans; Zero Carbon Britain by 2030; arctic methane time bomb; generational justice; climate refugees;civil disobedience; “fracking”; population, gender and climate change; false solutions; TREC: energy from the deserts…and more.

Confirmed speakers include:

John McDonnell MP (Labour), Jean Lambert MEP (Green Party), Deborah Doane (World Development Movement), Jeremy Leggett (Solar Century), Jenny Jones (Green AM & Mayoral candidate), Aniol Esteban (New Economics Foundation), Derek Wall (Green Party/Green Left), John Stewart (chair Airport Watch, HACAN etc) Stephen Tindale (ex-Director, Greenpeace), Oliver Tickell (author Kyoto 2), Mayer Hillman, Mel Evans (Platform), Prof Peter Mollinga (SOAS), Hannah Smith (COIN & Refugee & Migrant Climate Forum), Keith Taylor MEP (Green Party), Deepak Rughani (Biofuelwatch), Murad Qureshi (GLA & Bangladeshi community), John Lanchberry (RSPB), Rich Hawkins (PIRC), David Powell (Economics Campaigne, Friends of the Earth), George Barda (Occupy LSX), Centre for Alternative Technology, Action Aid, Native Spirit Foundation, UK Tar Sands Network, David Wasdell (Meridian Project), Andrew Lockley & Tim Kruger (on geoengineering), John Maclaverty (GROW Campaign, Oxfam), Suzanne Jeffrey (CCC Trade Union Group), Debi Wagner (US Citizens Aviation Watch via skype), Chris Baugh (assistant General Sec Public & Commercial Services Union), Peter Challenor (National Oceanography Centre), Danny Chivers, Chris Church (Low Carbon Communites), Speaker from the Eradicating Ecocide Campaign, Gerry Wolfe (TREC-power from the deserts), Muzammal Hussain (Wisdom in Nature), Susan Roaf & Fergus Nichol (on built environment), Terry Reintke (co-spokesperson FYEG- Federation Young Euro- Greens), Melanie Strickland (Wild Law, Occupy), Ian Mason (Wild Law), Daniel Scharfe (Greenspeed), Tim Emerson, Christian Ecology Link, Emma Biermann (, Neva Frecheville (WWF), Dan Plesch (Director, Department of International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS), Harald Heubaum (CISD, CEPES, SOAS)… and more invited.


9.00 - 10.00 Registration, Coffee
10.00 Conference opens: intro at Institute of Education Students' Union
10.30 Session 1
12.00 Plenary in UCL
1.45 Lunch
2.45 Session 2
4.15 Session 3
5.30 End of sessions
Coffee, drinks, music in IOE SU bar

11.00-12.00 Registration, coffee, stalls
12.30 Session 4
1.45 Lunch
2.30 Session 5
4.00 Session 6
5.30 People's Assembly
6.30 Ends.
Ongoing discussions, drinks, music in IOE bar.
To register a place at the conference click here.
See you there !

Monday, May 21, 2012

Permaculture and much more at Rippledown

Rippledown - the local environmental centre just outside Deal at Ringwould has a bumper set of courses and events to get in involved in year ... Please try to support this fantastic resource for the whole of East Kent. @rippledown

Canterbury Transition

Sunday saw a packed meeting at the farmhouse to re-launch Transition Canterbury with a film show of the new Transition film.

A good cross section of Canterbury with a lot of willing hands to make it happen.

Lots of support from transition groups in East Kent - including Whitstable, Faversham, Hythe and Deal plus good news of groups forming in Folkestone and Thanet. Looks like a loose network for transition to be setup in east kent.

TC will be having a open organising meeting on 26th May at Farmhouse at 2pm - TC are on facebook here and at their website at

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Next DWI meeting - Community Energy Update

Come and find out about some of the dozens of CORE projects that have blossomed around the country recently.

CORE or community owned renewable energy offers energy security, income for community projects, less carbon-sourced energy.

Are there still opportunities for communities to set up CORE projects in 2012/13 or has the stable door shut ? 

What are the ingredients for an effective project ?

Deal With It Tuesday 22 May - 7.30 -9 pm – Dealability, Victoria Rd, Deal 

see link around the country here

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Victoria's Green Matters - 18th May 2012

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent MercuryA consequence of last year’s Japanese tsunami is the vast amount - about 4.8million tonnes - of debris that is travelling around in the world’s seas. Some pieces have already been washed up on the shores of Alaska and Canada. Thousands of tonnes are expected to land on North American shores later this year. The largest piece of flotsam was a fishing boat, floating off the coast of British Colombia, which has now been sunk by the US Coastguard. The islands of Hawaii are thought to be in line for large amounts of debris.

Most of this debris is expected to join the North Pacific Garbage Patch which is a huge area of floating rubbish which continues to increase in size. It is made up of tiny bits of plastic which has formed a thin film on the surface of the ocean. It is a marine desert where few organisms can survive. Despite Hawaii having little local pollution, its beaches are littered with plastic rubbish from around the world.

We live in a world that seems to depend on plastic. In every part of life we use plastic; from the kitchen to the car and into the largest machines. We will not go backwards and live without plastic until all the raw materials have been used up. Perhaps plant based plastic will take over then.

Until this happens we must ensure that all our waste plastic is disposed of properly and does not end up joining the rest in the Pacific Ocean.

Victoria Nicholls. Deal With It.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

You can still squeeze on the permaculture course this weekend

Still some space on the 'Introduction to Permaculture' course this coming weekend at Rippledown

Tel Steve on for detail s01304 364 854

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pines Calyx 2012 timetable...Sustainable building.

There is tons to do and learn especially on sustainable building at the Pine Calyx, East Kent's award winning eco centre and gardens in St Margarets-on-Cliffe this year

Sunday, May 13, 2012

DWI at the Canterbury Climate Fair

We had a successful day at the third Canterbury Greenpeace Climate and Fair Trade market.

Big thanks to Charles, Caroline, Sue & Adrian and Steve for running both the DWI and EKAF stalls.

Meet a lots amazing people who were interested in what we are doing - much interest in the re-launch of Transition Canterbury next Sunday 20th May 5pm at the Farmhouse

Great flashmob at lunchtime video is here if you cannot see the one below

Thank You Canterbury Greenpeace for the invite and a great day

Deal With It in Sunday Express

Deal With It's Rosie Rechter is in today's edition of the Sunday Express talking about fracking threat at Woodnesborough

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Reminder: MCS Beach Clean Today

The MCS beach clean is today Friday 11th May at 9:45pm - meet opposite the Three Compasses.

 This one is not one of the normal DWI ones but a national one organised by the MCS & M&S

Richborough Action Group Leafletting in Deal

The Campaign group resisting the closure of the Richborough Recycling Centre will be in Town on Saturday leafletting in the High Street.

 The Closure of the centre will mean more traffic at the Deal and Dover sites. In the case of Deal that means going through an already busy residential area.

Please pop down and show them your support.