A Riot on my Doorstep…..

Or was it more of a kerfuffle ?

Or was it an insight to the state of the UK right now. 

I live in the New Forest, not a rich part, but a safe place, with little trouble.  There is an assumption that there is little poverty in this part of the world, and compared to many places there isn’t. But that is changing, and fast. 

Through my non-profit I run  – New Forest Aquaponics CIC – we work alongside a charity and a community group to help to save food waste from supermarkets.  All of us aim to help those who need some extra food to help them through the week (first and foremost), and then to make sure none of the food gets wasted.  

I have a big blue box on my drive. It is an old freezer box that was taken out of a cruise liner at some point.  It works like a giant cool box and works really well as a place for local people to come and help themselves. A little bit like a community fridge, but on my drive. 

What we have found is that over time more and more people are joining the WhatsApp group we use to notify everyone when foods are added to the box. This is great, but is very sad as so many of the people who join it are doing so not to save food waste from the bin, but because they really need some help to make it through to the next payday. 

Last week we had a fairly new volunteer go and pick up the food; she then brought it to our box and in an attempt to give us a night off, didn’t let us know the box was now full.  All of this is my fault for not making sure she knew to let us know the box was full. 

It had some really lovely foods that day, mince and beef burgers, as well as the normal breads and pastries, plus a few vegetables and fruit.  Pictures were taken and shared on WhatsApp, as well as with another food group not too far away. 

We get very very little meat in the collections: it is always regarded as a real treat. I normally freeze any meat, so it can go to those who really need it, either by me (as I see people at the box), or via one of the other groups we work with running  pop up’s, or given out in  a food parcel. 

But because the meat had been put in the box and around 250 people saw the pictures, it became a bit of a race to the box!  And of course it got a little heated, voices raised and accusations of greed flew about.  Not what you would expect on a quiet New Forest road. It took less than 30 minutes for the whole box to empty, disappointing many people. 

All this week I have been answering questions on what happened, and listening to regular users of the box.  

I would like to give my take on why this all happened.   

I do not believe that we are naturally greedy, but I do believe we always are looking for some form of security. Food security is important for us all, and we have a drive to make sure those we love are fed.  For so many the current financial crisis in the UK is hitting really hard. With fuel, electricity and food prices rising, and wages staying the same, fear of how to manage is  taking hold.  Let’s face it, if your budget stays the same, how do you pay all the bills now they have gone up?

About 5 years ago my family hit a point of no money, and to be honest, nothing has improved much financially since then.  But what has changed is our ability to cope with no money, and to learn that however hard it is, we do live in a rich nation, and even with a system that is totally broken, it is 100% better than most countries around the world.  

Through my work in plastic transition, I regularly talk to people from all over the world, including Uganda. They tell me tales of fights over food, and locals who have starved to death. Fighting over food should never, ever happen here in the UK. 

When we are in a state of fear, caused by not knowing how we are going to provide for our loved ones, it can bring out what looks like greed. It is almost impossible to put others first when your mind is plagued with worry over how to cope. I do not blame anyone for trying their best to provide for their family, I have been in that situation, and at times still find myself there. 

Thinking of others has been lost in the stress of modern life; strong communities are too rare these days. But I do believe we can turn this around, by remembering to think of others, and help create an abundance of community. 

My little part in this is The Waterside Food Project, and helping make sure everyone can access at least something to help them get through each day.  What is your part in creating community abundance?

And to the people who use my box – no one needs to be hungry – we will keep doing what we are doing for as long as we can. Please always think of others and only take what you will use, and never fear asking for help if you are in real need.  

I love you all and the joy it brings me to hear your stories of how you are helping others who can’t get to the box. Every time you do this you are creating community abundance.

A full box – it is not this full very often.

The Waterside Clothes Swaps launch.

Clothes swaps – at last!!! 

Been on my list to get going in my area for so long and now they are here!

I love clothes swaps, with a passion. Let’s face it, we all love new clothes, but our planet doesn’t, so clothes swaps are the answer. 

They are also the answer to many other issues we face in our modern society.  So what part do they play in regenerative culture?

On 29th January a team of people came together in the waterside, New Forest UK for the launch of Waterside Clothes swaps.  Under my guidance as the only member of the team who had been to a clothes swap before, and with the help of Natalie Haigh, who is a passionate crafter and bag maker, we wanted to test the water and see who would come. 

The hall was quite small, to keep the costs down for the first one, we then got sponsorship from the waterside women – a local community group to help cover the costs of running the first one.

The volunteers numbered around 15, and everyone got stuck in to help make the day run perfectly! The Waterside Party Kit hire came along, although Katie who runs it spent more time helping out than promoting her party kit, but it becomes addictive seeing what clothes are coming through the door!

So how do we run the clothes swaps? 

During the week before we collect clothes from the community, so some presorting can take place and for those who can’t make it on the day, but wish to contribute. 

In the morning of the event we take clothing donations, we get as many of the clothes on rails as we can, so it has a shopping feel to the swap. 

Once we are open, it is free to come in – all our welcome – and then everything is free, regardless of whether you have anything to swap.  A team of volunteers sort clothes as they come in, and help people find their way round the different sections. A changing room is available, so much fun can be had trying things on!

Teas, coffee, and cakes were also free, and the Waterside Food Project brought along supermarket surplus bread, cakes and flowers, all again free. 

How many things do you go to where it is totally free? 

We did have a donation pot out, a give what you feel approach, and we ended up with just over £200!  I think people really loved the clothes swap. They are asking for the next one. 

So back to regenerative culture.  If we wish to really ‘save the planet’ to ensure this beautiful world of ours, for there to be a place for us within it, we have to dramatically change the way we do things, the way we demand things, and value everything and everyone. 

What does that have to do with clothes? Everything, there are enough pieces of clothing produced each year for each person to have 14 new items – or 100 billion items. Each one involving fossil fuels in the manufacture, even natural fibres, have far more connection to the fossil fuel industries than is commonly recognized. Of course all of these items of clothing are not evenly distributed around the world, with many never ever seeing a brand new piece of clothing with others seeing far more than their fair share. 

We often see talk of food poverty, but very rarely is clothing poverty talked about, but both go hand in hand. The drivers behind social media and fast fashion also can have very serious effects on our mental health. 

If we can change the way we view clothing, and understand its impact on our world and all the lives that inhabit our biosphere we can all win. 

There are far too many issues for me to cover in this blog post, and really I wanted to start by celebrating the success of our first Waterside Clothes swap. Please do some research if you feel you would like to understand more about the impact of textiles. 

And if that feels too much for you, then at least try to make your next purchases from a charity shop, or search out your local clothes swap – and if there are none, MAKE IT HAPPEN in your area!

Soup Dragons

Soup Dragons, sounds interesting – tell me more!

That was my reaction when I heard one of our local parish councils would be starting to run these local community events.  Sounded right up my street and it was!

The very first event was planned for 24th Feb 2022 and I was lucky enough to be chosen to pitch on behalf of The Waterside Food Project. 

This is what we do – https://thewatercressqueen.wordpress.com/2022/02/28/the-waterside-food-project/

The idea is that everyone buys a ticket, gets to listen to 4 pitches and then eat soup. The pitches can be a start up local business, or a community group. Whilst soup is being eaten everyone talks about the pitches and then the votes are cast. £5 from each ticket sale goes towards the prize money and the winning pitch gets the money to help them move forward with their ideas or work. 

As it was the first event we only had 3 of us pitch. Christine Bennett who runs the Healthy Haven garden at the Waterside medical practice. They are creating a beautiful place for people to come and meet outside in the garden. As with any new project they have a long list of things they need help with, if you are able to help them at all contact Christine through the facebook group, they would love to hear from you!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2698592857082670

The room then heard from Ivor, a local resident who writes funny books and paints pictures to sell.  He was hoping to be able to put the prize money into sorting out his garden which has gotten out of hand and is full of brambles. 

And then it was my turn, I am used to public speaking, but this felt really important as I was not doing one of my normal talks, but pitching for the benefit of our community.  

Here is my pitch 

***********************************************************

Hi I am Lucie Mann, known online as The Watercress Queen. 

I run along with my family, New Forest Aquaponics CIC  – a regenerative culture hub challenging the way we impact our biosphere.

I can waffle on about many of our projects for hours, but I only have 4 minutes, and I want to talk about one of the most important parts of our work. 

I was told this presentation should be fun, well I am sorry I don’t think I can find anything funny about food poverty and food waste in the UK.

The Waterside Food project aims to tackle both of these in the local area.  Many people who live on the waterside do not see how much food poverty and inequality we have in the area. Just because it is not seen does not mean it is not there. 

And things are going to get worse. covid , rising cost of living, cost of fuel have all impacted on people’s pockets. Many have to choose between heating and eating. 

The heating is not quite so easy to sort out, but the food we can help with!

What are we doing so far?

At the beginning of 2021 fate brought a small group of local people together, through surplus food collections, and it became an obvious thing to work together to help as many people as possible.   In our core group we have 3 different groups working together, with the waterside food project being one of them.  

One helps a charity and their service users by using unsold flowers to provide learning opportunities and unsold drinks and snacks to raise funds.

The other group works tirelessly and with a dedication second to none  to provide pop up food distribution  across the waterside, connecting with people on a very personal level. Picking up where people may need  financial help, or someone to talk to at a time of need. 

Between us all we identify the best use of the foods, so groups who cook for the homeless, or  other groups who provide food are always offered things they can turn into meals. 

The waterside food project  are at the beginning of setting up community fridges. 

A community fridge is a free and accessible place where the community can access food.  The first one is outside my house, it is a simple box on legs with tins and bread for people to help themselves.  Within a week a friend had set one up in totton, and the really amazing thing is, people are now checking the boxes to see what is there, but also adding food to it to share the food around.  We would like to get more of these up and down the waterside. 

On a slightly larger scale, the next stage will be to get an actual fridge and a freezer in at least one location on the waterside. This will allow foods that need to be chilled or frozen  to be available to prevent waste. At the moment these types of foods are the only ones that we can’t always get out to people. And although we compost them, we really want people fed. 

Food we cannot hand out or simply have far more than we can hand out is  used to feed animals – did you know cows like bread? 

And if it is not suitable for animals then we compost it. over the two weeks of Christmas I composted 100kgs of processed food waste, about 10% of the food collected. This spring the compost  will be used to grow food for the community. 

Where does all this food come from?  All supermarkets have unsold foods, and at the end of the day as a team we take it in turns to go and collect from many of the supermarkets between here and southampton.  If you know of a store that would like to offer us food do get in touch!

Now you may be wondering if we win tonight, what would we spend the money on? 

Well between us we cover a minimum of 168 miles a week , which is around £75 per week providing this service to the local community. 

  Being able to provide fuel cards will make sure we can keep going in these times of rising fuel costs

Next on the list would be Improving and creating more community fridge boxes in the area. 

Our future plans we would like to have access to a kitchen where we can cook and process excess produce – thinking of the 400kgs of carrots and the same of potatoes and brussel sprouts at christmas……….and let’s not mention the 120 fresh turkeys ( thankfully all turkeys were eaten!)  

And how wonderful if we could find a place to teach cooking, to complement teaching growing food, and community composting. 

The very big picture for New Forest Aquaponics is to create a community owned farm which would be able to house all of these elements, you will see information on the tables about this, but until then can you help us? 

I hope you enjoy your evening, I might just have to recommend the watercress soup !

******************************************************

I am really pleased to say we won! The pot came out at  £185 which will be used to support the fuel costs. We will do this by purchasing fuel cards to share with the group we work with. 

With the rising costs at the fuel pumps this won’t last long so if you would like to help us we would be very grateful.  

And to make sure that the soup dragons effect goes further than just one night, Christine and some of the volunteers are coming to visit New Forest Aquaponics CIC to see our work. We both felt it would be great to see how we can support each other on an ongoing basis. 

Having met Ivor previously I had already seen his garden, and it really does need a sort out. So we are going to put together a team to do a garden makeover Ground Force style for him.  Ivor is very excited about this. If you would like to join us we will be fixing a date and sharing as an event on Facebook very soon. 

A huge thank you to Helen Hythe and Hythe and Dibden parish council for putting on the event, just what the community needs!

The next soup dragon event is 26th March, it will be wonderful to see who pitches next, I hope to see you there!

Ecobrick Settee & Coffee Table

After what seems like forever we have at last been able to build and install a project built here in the UK following the principles of plastic sequestration as laid out in the guidelines produced by the Global Ecobrick Alliance. 

I would like to introduce to you the Ecobrick Settee and coffee table Four Acres academy in Bristol. 

Encon construction Ltd have built a new Waste and Recycling centre in Bristol.  As part of the community benefits that run alongside the build they have been working with Four Acres Academy in Bristol. 

They have run lots of educational workshops for the children and one of those was to create an ecobrick project. 

I was asked to run one of the Global Ecobrick Alliances (GEA) starter workshops for the children, and to build a settee and coffee table following the guidelines of the GEA plastic sequestration principles. 

And here it is!

358 ecobricks all logged and authenticated on gobrik.com with a combined weight of 180.09 kgs put to use in the school. It is in the area of the school that the foodbank works from, combining messaging to the children of good healthy food and taking care of the plastic that they have no control of coming into their hands. 

The equivalent amount of AES sequestered plastic was purchased, and a certificate produced via the plastic offsetting system on gobrik.com

Follow the link to see how easy it is for you to offset your plastic usage that you cannot avoid to support ecobrick projects around the world and in the UK who are taking care of the plastic in their communities https://www.gobrik.com/#offset/

The settee and coffee table was designed and built by Robert Green who at 18 is the UK’s master ecobrick module maker having been trained By Russell Maier from the GEA and has now made over 150 modules. If you would like to book him to teach you how to build modules with your ecobricks, or Ecobricks UK to lead workshops – either starter workshops or ecobrick Trainer courses get in touch. UKecobricks@gmail.com

AES plastic offsetting is available from gobrik.com

Sorting Ecobricks

Don’t assume you know how to make them!

It has become time for Ecobricks UK ( at New forest Aquaponics cic ) to sort out the underweight ecobricks we have been sent since 2018. 

It has always been our intention to be able to use these to insulate some of our aquaponic ponds. Sadly we need to reduce the number of them before we can get that far, as we have to find a new site before we can dig any ponds. 

So a dedicated team of passionate ecobrickers came to start the process of sorting and remaking as many as we can so they are usable in modules

We decided to make a video to help you understand why we need you to make really good solid, dense ecobricks that fulfill plastic sequestration principles and earthen ethics, rather than underweight ‘ecobrick’ attempts that can’t be used.

We do understand and appreciate that every underweight ecobrick represents an attempt by someone to express their feelings about plastic, the desire to see change from a plastic dependent society.  It also shows us the dangers of social media, how messages get spread without detail, and how we forget to research for ourselves the information we find on a facebook post. 

Thank you to everyone who cares enough to try, thank you to everyone who has and is reducing the plastic that comes into their lives ……we know it isn’t easy! Regardless of if you make ecobricks or not – just keep working on not consuming the plastic, the earth will thank you for it. 

Here is the transcript for the video. 

It has been put together under the directorship of James who is 10 – and who leads by example and follows the earth’s ethics. 

Ecobricking is a way for anyone anywhere to take personal responsibility for their plastic. Together we can keep it out of the biosphere and out of capital and carbon intensive industrial processing. 

Ecobricking follows the Earth’s example towards cycling and sequestration. Based on indegenous wisdom, extensive evaluation and earthen ethics, ecobricking isn’t just about packing plastic– it’s about petro-capital transition.

This can be quite a lot to take on, but it is so important,

 This short video is about why it is so important to  follow the principles of ecobricking and make really good solid and dense ecobricks. 

Underweight ecobricks cause problems for those who end up looking after them.

Have you ever wondered why?

At ecobricks UK we were caught out when the idea of ecobricks went viral october 2018, we had 1000’s of poorly made ecobricks sent to us. Every underweight ecobrick  is a well meaning  attempt to do something about plastic, but if we do not follow the principles of plastic sequestration we are failing our biosphere. 

We have looked after these ecobricks, but we can’t not use them as they are and still uphold the principles of plastic sequestration. So a team of volunteers came and spent a day with us to start the process of sorting them out. 

We are going to remake as many of the ecobricks  as we can so the plastic is taken care of. This means opening them, and chopping up the plastic.  As we opened the poorly made ecobricks we came across so much that should not be in an ecobrick. 

And some were just too dirty to even think about opening……

We found paper, compostable plastics, metal, full teabags, paper, lots of bits of food and a nappy……..

An underweight ecobrick that contains materials other than plastic can become compromised, we want the ecobricks to last as long as the plastic. Excess air, organic matter and any moisture can cause the ecobrick to become weak which will affect  any structure it might be part of or even burst the top off.

We ask you to wash and dry your plastic for good reason, not only will any  dirt in the ecobrick slowly break down leading to bacteria and fungus to grow and this can lead to methane gas  forming inside your ecobrick.

When ecobricks are used to  make home furniture you  want to avoid unsightly ecobricks or bloated bottles. It has been known for dirty wet plastic to cause the lids to pop off. 

Logged ecobricks are the best  reassurance that the ecobricks can be used in many different projects throughout its lifetime.

One of the reasons we advise anyone running a project to only accept ecobricks that have been logged and authenticated on gobrik is to stop underweight ecobricks being given to the project. 

For more information www.ecobricks.org/how

I hope you like James video, and I hope this will help you understand that a good well made solid, dense ecobrick is a building block, a poorly made one is no good to anyone. 

If you would like to book a starter workshop for your community, join our ecobrick trainer network or have any other questions pop me an email watercressqueen1@watercressqueen1

Meet the youth at TANU

See the purses that were sent here

https://thewatercressqueen.wordpress.com/2021/09/13/transformation-advocacy-network-uganda-tanu/

We have been sent 4 purses to raise funds for TANU. When they arrived they were accompanied by lots of letters.

These have been written by the youth who use the skills centre.

They were written for them to introduce themselves, and I would like to share them with you.

Although we might read them as begging, they are not, all they want is help for the skills centre so they can continue to learn – most of them have not been to school, or had to leave when very young.

For me the most powerful aspect I wish to share is that every person on this planet has the right to equal opportunities.

What those opportunities are and how they should be shared out across the globe is something we need to address. Equalling doesn’t have to be ‘upwards’ it can’t be if we are to regenerate our biosphere to redress the damage we have done.

Let’s look at how we achieve equality differently.

Hello Lucie
Greetings to you back this way Am also pushing on fairly and the family is brisefly Am Susan aged 20 years a female from Soroti. Adamasiko A student at  TANU doing weaving and making of local bathing sponges to sell to earn a living I am an orphan I lost my father last month one of HIV/AIDS. Where I am now struggling with life with my mothers and the rest of my siblings being the first bourne of the family. 
I kindly request your assistance supporting my vision of selling my products to other countries. 
I will be very grateful and waiting to hear from you. 

Susan 07
Hello Lucie 
Greeting to you from (TANU) here in Uganda we are faily doing well and we are so great for the wonderful support you sent to us to support the training in the skills centre, we were able to receive camera, pencils, mark pens, colour pencils, Art books, chalks and pairs of scissors, we are so thankful and because these items did a great job to us. 
We look forward to hear from you and we shall be very grateful for more support from you.
Hello Lucie 
Greettings to you in Jesus name Back to me I am also doing fairly. I am salume Anyudd aged 19 years from eastern region Teso, Soroti Dalabela Ojom Adamasiko learning weaving from TANU Skills centre, right now I am pregnant and the country is locked down again due to covid 19 which will give our work of weaving  difficult again. I there feve ask for support so I can continue doing this to earn a living. 

Thank you 
Yours faithfully

 Anyudd Salume
Hello Lucie 
Greetings to you in the name of our lord Jeues Christ. Hope everything is well and on my side things are not pushing on well due to this pandemic. 

Am Sharon female aged 27 years from Teso region in Soroti, Adamasiko, ojorm. Am a student of Tanu doing weaving in order to support me to earn a living.  Am a total orphan without parents and all my siblings died. Struggling to look for ways for support. I kindly request for your support that I can be able to make purses to earn a living. 
Today our country is on lockdown for more two month period whereby I look forward seeing that I continue making purses in order to make a living. 

Thank you 

Yours faithfully

Acorn Sharon
Helo Lucie and friends   I great you in the almight name.  Am called Okello Ames aged 24 years old. A resident a damasilko ojom as well as a student in TANU. Am am half cursed. My dad is Langi and my mum is an Itosot by tribe. We are 10 (ten) in number in our family 4 boys and 4 boys and 2 parents.In Tanu am doing handcraft work by making wallet beads and clothes. But things are not working well due to covid – 19 epedermic is affecting our work as i talk now new lockdown has been set from 2 day for 2 months where by life is going to be hard because markets, transport, schools are closed. As me , I need help from you my friend so that I continue harzoling with life. Thank you

Yours faithfully okello Ands
Hi Friends in the UK ( Lucie & Robbie)
How are you?

I am proud of you and your support and future willingness to come and visit us. 

I am Oliavito John, an orphan and now doing hand / money purses weaving to support living here in the village. 

So, I am seeking for a friend who can support us to move our project of making hand purses. 

I look forward to hear from you. 

Wishing you all the best 

John
Uganda Africa
Warm greetings to you lucie , I congratulate you for your daily roles as mama and in your workplace. Am Sarah Acango aged 25 years. Am a single mother with 3 children.I was forced into early marriage due to some circumstances when i was still young (16 yrs) but i divorced my husband when he failed to fulfil family needs and end up beating me and that made me to divorce him. But as per now am doing small business weaving work and in the evening I make porridge at the centre where by learn living and for taking care of my children. But I need some help so that i continue running up my small business

Thank you 

Yours faithfully 

Acango Sarah
Hello Lucie 
Greetings to you in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. Hope everything is well and on my side 
Things are not pushing on well due to this pandemic
Am Gabriel Obol aged of 24 years from Teso region in Soroti Adamasiko ojom Am mechanics instructor at Tanu learning teaching in order to support that I can be able to do teaching to earn a living
Today our country is on lockdown
For more two month period whorbs I look forward seeing that I continue doing teaching in order earn a living teacher

Thank you 
Yours faithfull

Gabriel Obol

Transformation Advocacy Network Uganda – TANU

I met Joel Odongo online via ecobricks. He could see how much plastic there is in Uganda and would love to be able to do something about it. But as with everything in life sometimes we have to do lots of groundwork before we can look at achieving our goals. And that has been very true of Joel. You can read the first post I did about him and the TANU youth centre here

One of the goals we have with working with them is to find a way of creating an income for TANU so they can support more young people to learn the skills to earn a living, support themselves and their families.

Now they have built there skills centre, they can start the real work they wish to achieve. Building the skills centre took all of there money, (thank you to those of you who helped with the last bit of cement) , so they are going to be baking cookies to sell locally. They have found this helps to get the centre known within the local village and is teaching skills – cooking, selling, money management and working together. All very import things to learn.

And this is where I need to ask for your help. To test the post between Uganda and the UK, back in the spring they posted a small packet of four purses they had made.

They are made using plastic beads, in traditional patterns, using traditional weaving techniques. They made linings with zip pockets, on the one treadle sewing machine they have – we hope to get more of them for them in due course.

The next purses they make will be with natural plant fibre weaving – which they have been learning to make.

But to kick start the whole process they need to be able to purchase the ingredients to make the cookies. For every £3.50 of ingredients they can make a profit of around £1.50 which will go to buy the supplies to make the purses.

If you would like to buy one of these purses they would be super grateful. I think £20 each would be a perfect amount ( plus £3.50 postage) You can order one using this link a https://donorbox.org/purses-from-tanu

Please let me know which one you would like – but please understand their is only the four in the picture.

The four purses
Inside

And if you would like to know more about the people who made the purses check out their letters

Determination

9th July 2021

********************************************************************************

This was first published on The Watercress Queen page – we managed to get £60 to Joel And they managed to get the cement on time.

They have now finished the youth centre but do need on going support if you would like to donate we will pass the money on to them.

********************************************************************************

What do you need if you want to provide a youth centre for young people, to equip them with skills for life, a trade they could use to earn a living, and a place to make friends?Here in the UK you need DETERMINATION. You would need to find a building to use, funding to pay for the bills and the running costs. Including wages for adults to work with you, and for any equipment you may need. What if you want to build that youth centre in Uganda?You still need that DETERMANTION. But how different would it be?Firstly save until you can buy your plot of land £3000 ish. Then start working together to make by hand the bricks that you need to build the centre. Not a quick process, as you need to make about 20,000 bricks, then fire them. Then you have to save up for the cement, the stones for the floor and tin for the roof. You have to have enough to pay the instructor who can help you build. You know this will take time, but you have determination. You have rented a couple of rooms so you can start working with the youth, some of whom are young pregnant girls, some of whom are orphans. All of whom are keen to learn and are determined to help themselves. Then covid hits your community again, and this time your landlady has said she needs the rooms back at the end of lockdown. What do you do?You build your youth centre!!! How amazing are these guys? Led by Joel (my friend), they got the bricks they had made to the right place, an instructor to guide them through the build. You dig the 20 ft deep hole for the toilet – 5 years worth apparently! And you start building. In contrast I have just packed my 18 year old off for a weekend camping trip with a group of teens. As they went with all the tech they can’t live without, fairy lights and one of the mums to put the tent up……The Ugandians are amazing and so so determined! But they have run out of cement – can we help? A bag of cement costs about £6, or UGX 29425.65. They need about 10 more bags. I have set up a donation link for them, if you are able to help them even with just one bag, they would be really grateful, there is no big funding pot they can apply to. The long term goal is for them to be self-sustaining and earn their own money. We have started on that plan, the build has had to be brought forward so caught us all on the hop.

https://www.facebook.com/4TANU

https://donorbox.org/cement-for-tanu-uganda

Where will we work?

To create a regenerative aquaponics farm in the way we would like, one that will serve all of the other parts of the plan, one that is there for the community and helps real depth of change, we need security.

We need to know that our work will survive far beyond us, will be there for the peoples that come after us, that the community will be there for the peoples to come.

 The last page is about being able to buy some land to put into trust to keep safe. So the trees we plant will provide oxygen, shade, food, and grow to reach their full potential. 

The aim is to do this as a community benefit society, offering a democratic share offer – one member, one vote.  There will be a management committee, to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. And as we aim to provide space for children, we will also run a children’s management committee so the children can be heard. 

We would welcome ideas and conversations about land / farms that are available. We would love to stay in the Forest, our friends are here, and there isn’t anything else similar for a long way. But land is very expensive here,  if we have to move we are open to it, but then the locals here would miss out again.

I really hope you are inspired to join us, if you haven’t already please fill in our survey, if you want to hear more, especially when we launch the share offer do fill in your email. 

 We need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the last two  pages of our working ethos, where?  – you can read the rest on our website ( open source development of the website brings community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6

Who do we serve?

Who are the people?

Well you if you want!

What do you need from us? What do you want from us? What can you share with us?

Could you be part of our community? 

Although we have target groups we would like to invite to work with us, to create a community we need all sorts of people, from all backgrounds, of all ages and abilities. 

You will be welcome to be part of the journey if that’s what you want or need.

The world and all in it needs healing more than ever right now, we can’t heal everyone or everything, but we can create a place where healing can start. 

Of course the biosphere has to be the starting point, as without it we don’t have a home, but the work to heal our home will heal us as well. Getting your hands dirty in the soil, harvesting food you have grown, learning a new skill, and most importantly making friends, all helps heal. 

And what if you  don’t need help? Then you are also very, very welcome, come and bring your self, your skills and your time and help others and the biosphere. 

To do that we need somewhere to act as a demonstration model of the hows.  

And that is what this series of posts are about.  

Sharing our working ethos, so you can understand the why, to inspire you to be part of that journey. 

This picture is the eleventh  page of our working ethos, who?  – you can read the rest on our website ( the open source development of the website is part of bringing community to work together ) www.newforestaquaponics.com 

We also have a survey which we would love to get your opinions on how much support we will have for a democratic  (one member one vote) share offer to be part of our regenerative farm community. 

Please do fill in the survey – it is really important we can show we have the support to get to the next stage. follow the link or use the QR code

https://forms.gle/otCaze6JDjL3LzmG6