Plant Sale at the PCG and The Rubbish Diet

PCG Plant Sale

The People’s Community Garden is hosting a plant sale this Friday – 19th April. It runs from 10 until 3pm.

If you have not yet been to the PCG, this is a great opportunity to see what they do there – and maybe get involved – as well as pick up some great plants for your garden.

Please see the flyer posted below the information on the Rubbish Diet.

You can also keep track of PCG events at their Facebook page.

The Rubbish Diet

Suffolk has joined in promoting the Rubbish Diet – a way to cut waste and carbon emissions. Transition Woodbridge and Greener Fram are both involved I think. The project developed from Karen Cannard’s work from 2008 onwards on reducing domestic waste. You can read about Suffolk’s invovement in the campaign here: Suffolk blog You can also sign up to the campaign!

You can learn more about the campaign here:

Alde Valley Spring Festival and the 30:30 challenge

You may also be interested in the Alde Valley Spring Festival which starts on 20th April. I think there is some local involvement in a lunch, organised by people from the 30:30 challenge. Check it out!

Here is a flyer for the plant sale:Plant fair poster

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The Big Dig (16th March) and Orchard Barn events

The Big Dig is coming to Ipswich! This is a national project organised by Sustain and others.

Here in Ipswich The People’s Community Garden is hosting and we are getting involved at the Community Orchard, too!
This is a great opportunity to come along and see what we do and have a go at some of it!

Here’s the poster, read on for more details below and for what’s happening at Orchard Barn.

Big dig

You can see where events are being held here: Ipswich Big Dig

You can volunteer with us in Transition Ipswich at the Maidenhall Community Orchard or at several different sites with the People’s Community Garden.
You can register on the site here: Ipswich Big Dig Click on the pink balloons on the map to see details of the different events and for details of how to sign up!

I think it will be OK to come to a few different sites if you wish. I’m quite happy for people to turn up for an hour or so (at Maidenhall Orchard) and then move on to something else. There should be someone around from 10 until about 3pm on the day. The Maidenhall Orchard is just a few yards from the main People’s Community Garden site – use their entrance to gain access to the allotments – see details below.

Here is an excerpt from the details given by Susannah from the People’s Community Garden:

The Big Dig Day – the biggest ever community gardening day

Pull on your boots and roll up your sleeves to take part in the biggest ever community gardening day on Saturday 16 March.

Three communal growing spaces in Ipswich are taking part in this national initiative to get people involved in their local food-growing projects. They are: the People’s Community Garden and Transition Ipswich Community Orchard, on Maidenhall Allotments, and Chantry Walled Garden in Chantry Park.

“There will be a variety of tasks to do at the gardens, to match your preference and level of fitness, so don’t be put off if you are a beginner or are not up to hard digging,” said ActivGardens Development Officer Susannah Robirosa.

“At the People’s Community Garden we need to weed vegetable-growing areas, sow seeds, pot on and transplant young plants, as well as help maintain the wildflower meadows and edible harvest hedging around the Bee Garden.”

“Over at Chantry Walled Garden, we need to create vegetable beds for our students to grow their own veg for the cottage kitchen, where they have their lunch.”

“It’s a really busy time of year, so we need all the help we can get – families with children and people of all ages are welcome to join in. And you might enjoy yourself so much that you join our team of regular volunteers.”

For further information on the Big Dig, with a map and directions of how to get to the participating gardens in Ipswich, please visit

If you would like to get involved, or for further information, please contact Susannah on 01473 261112 or 07530 407302 or email On the day, please come dressed in suitable outdoor clothes and sturdy boots, and bring a packed lunch and water bottle. Fresh water to refill your bottles and hot drinks and will be available at both sites. Please use mobile number for directions if you get lost on the day. We will carry on whatever the weather.

For the People’s Community Garden, please enter via the pedestrian gate on the roadway between Halifax and Wherstead roads. For Chantry Walled Garden, please follow Big Dig signs inside Hadleigh Road entrance to Chantry Park. For more information about both gardens, please visit

The Big Dig is organised by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming. Twenty-four towns and cities comprising 200 gardens across England have signed up to take part.

Orchard Barn

Plenty is happening at Orchard Barn, too. Here are details of their new course in sustainable building.

Are you unemployed, live in Suffolk, and looking for a way
to gain valuable skills based work experience and have the
opportunity for tailored personal development? Or maybe you
know someone who is?

Our first Adult Training course starts on Thursday 14th
March and runs one day a week (Thursdays) for 7 weeks. Over
the duration you will work in a small team supported by
supervised trainers on an exciting live restoration project
at our Rural Skills Centre just outside Stowmarket/Needham

You can find out more from:

Sarah Partridge
Managing Director
OBee Community Interest Company

01473-658193 / 07766-054042

There’s more news too:

OBee are off to Ecobuild next Tuesday (5th March) at Excell. If you’re interested in natural/traditional building – come and see us at the Working with Nature stand. We’re doing 3 Wattle and Daub demonstrations throughout the day.

For me, the best bit is that we are taking and using beautiful clay provided by the guys who dug up the road outside Orchard Barn – truly a ‘waste’ material given a second life!

A big thank-you to everyone who has helped clean up and carry the hazel out of the woods. Hopefully it will inspire others to consider using this versatile, renewable woodland product in the construction industry again?!

Interested in learning some of these natural building skills? Have a look at our one-day courses this summer – very special price of £59 per day.

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Community Resilience Workshop Results

What a great event!

Despite the weather 40 people came to UCS to celebrate current transition projects, explore new ones, drink tea and eat freshly baked cakes. Participants included councillors, people from Transition Bury and Transition Woodbridge, Suffolk County Council Emergency Planners and a great mix of folk from across Ipswich and the surrounding area.

We kicked off with a quick review of several existing projects, most of which are illustrated in this slide pack (warning – over 7MB): TI_workshop_23_Jan

Greta Irving, a qualified and experienced Open Space facilitator based in Bury St Edmunds got proceedings underway and we soon had 7 topics to explore:

1. Community Owned Energy
2. Sustainable employment
3. Good neighbours and self help in the community
4. Garden share scheme
5. Local currency
6. Cycle routes
7. Transition hub

The tea and cakes generated good energy levels and the space was soon buzzing with ideas.

No notes were left for Community Energy and Good Neighbours, though the latter identified the lack of clearly defined community neighbourhoods as an issue within Ipswich (this important topic should be explored by those interested in the near future). If anyone has a record of the Community Energy discussion please email details to Transition Ipswich and they’ll be added to this post.

The Transition Hub discussion merged with Sustainable Employment.

Key aspects of the discussions were captured in the flip charts below, so these will serve as reminders to those involved and give everyone who could’t participate an idea of what was covered.

Of course, the key thing now is that these ideas need to be translated into action. The forum on this site is available to organise next steps and call for support and resources. With a little care and nurturing these new projects should soon be springing into life.

At the end of the evening it was agreed that we’d run another event in about 6 months to review existing projects and sow the seeds for more new projects. The provisional date for this is Wednesday 24th July, when the weather should be very different! Put this in your diary and please spread the word.

Judging by the energy and enthusiasm last night, by July we’ll surely see that some of the project seeds sown last night will have rooted deeply and started to bear fruit!

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Community Resilience Workshop

Hosted by Transition Ipswich

The aim of this free, practical workshop is to devise new projects to increase Ipswich’s
resilience to economic crisis, resource depletion and climate change – and improve our

Here is the poster and further details below:


Here are slightly fuller details:

It’s easy to slip into despondency, thinking ‘there’s nothing I can do in the face of massive global
changes which are outside anyone’s control’. Transition offers a different way of thinking and
fosters projects that are making a real difference at the local level. But it needs people like you
to make it happen.

Here in Ipswich, a range of initiatives are already well underway including (check out the links)
a community supported agriculture scheme, a community orchard, a food co-op, a pig club,
a local food challenge and a housing co-op. Each of these was started by one or two people
with the germ of an idea and a “can do” attitude that inspired others to join in.

The workshop on January 23rd will build on these successes and explore new initiatives. It will
be a dynamic Open Space event where anyone can put forward their ideas, debate them with
others and focus on what interests them most. If you haven’t tried Open Space before you’ll be
amazed how natural, enjoyable and productive it can be.

Come and join us to scope out the next phase of Transition in Ipswich
– and bring your friends.

If needed, free parking is available in the UCS Car Park, accessible via Fore Street at the bottom of Back Hamlet.

For more information phone Steve on 07889 751578 or see the poster above. If you can, please print copies of the poster to display. Thanks.

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Upcoming dates and recent news

People’s Community Garden

Barrow load of small hedgerow trees

Barrow load of small hedgerow trees

Planting hedgerow fruiting trees at the People's Community Garden
Planting hedgerow fruiting trees at the People’s Community Garden in November

These trees were supplied by the Woodland Trust and the PCG hopes to help their new bee colony with supporting plant species. Several hundred small trees, including blackthorn and buckthorn, were planted at the end of November by volunteers and staff.

Chantry Park Coffee Morning

This Wednesday (12th) is the coffee morning at Chantry Park walled garden by and on behalf of the People’s Community Garden. All welcome from 11 til 2pm – here are fuller details:

Chantry Walled Garden
Christmas Coffee Morning

Please come and support our fantastic growing project at
Chantry Walled Garden
Chantry Park
Hadleigh Rd Entrance, Ipswich

Access to the walled garden is via the park, through the rose garden – Please follow the cake trail …
Please DO NOT enter via Ipswich Borough Council yard
(which is marked ‘no public access’). Please note the event is NOT wheelchair accessible owing to building works
Wednesday 12th December
11am until 2pm
Refreshments Homemade Cakes
Plants and Christmas decorations for sale
For more details please contact
Susannnah or Cynthia on
01473 261112

Orchard Barn

Orchard Barn has new courses and ventures in the pipeline. See for full details or check out the news item on the Transition Ipswich Yahoo Group. They raised over £1000 a their recent barn dance and auction of promises. They are always looking for volunteers and helpers at their project to restore the old barn and orchard.

Community Orchards

For anyone interested in developing more community orchards, Suffolk Acre has now put together a handy guide for obtaining funding:Orchard Funding Fact Sheet.

Local Wildlife

The latest edition of Local WildLife News, produced by Greenways, is now available from the Green Living Centre. You can download it as a pdf.

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Winter Warm-up Community Tree-planting Day – and other news

Here’s a message from Susannah at the People’s Community Garden:

Dear Friends and Supporters

Please join us for our Winter Warm-up
Community Tree-planting Day

Saturday 17 November 10.30am until 3pm
At the People’s Community Garden, Maidenhall Allotments, Halifax Road, Ipswich, IP2 8RE

We will be planting more than 400 “wild harvest” trees donated by the Woodland Trust in our Bee Garden,
to provide a nectar-rich resource for the bees in our community apiary – as well as berries, haws and hips for us to make into jams and jellies.

Dress up warm with sturdy boots and bring a packed lunch and bottle of water.

Meet Community Garden cabin at 10.30am to walk over to the bee garden. If you arrive later and don’t know where to find us, call Susannah on 07530 407302.

Please help us spread the word by cascading this to your friends and contacts, putting on your intranet or printing out and sticking up somewhere prominent. Thank you!

For more details contact Activlives on
01473 261112

Maidenhall Community Orchard news

New orchard trees

The Community Orchard – also at Maidenhall allotments – is looking for a couple more active supporters or volunteers.

Come and help plan and realise the next stage!

Do we want more trees? What about fruiting shrubs? How far are we going to involve the wider community?

Meetings are currently every Sunday when the sun shines (or at least, it does not rain!) from 1 til 3pm approx.

The allotments are locked at the weekends, so it is best to make contact before coming, as you might otherwise find yourself hanging around outside a big locked gate!
Please contact me, Rona, on 01473 328910 if you are interested.

This Sunday (18th Nov) is also the Megabash at Belstead Brook – see the Greenlivingcentre for more details.

Orchard Barn News

Fun-raising and celebration evening – Our birthday barn dance is coming up 7-10.30 on Saturday 24th November in Offtons new village hall, Lower Coney Grove, Offton, IP8 4RA. It is a family friendly event with lots of fun dances and music to enjoy. Advance tickets are £5 and can be booked through me, alternatively £6 on the door. Children under 10 are free. Please bring your family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. We have been offered even more GREAT NEW promises such as Willow Weaving, a voucher for the Landmark Trust, a lunch plus business coaching at The Angel in Bury with entrepreneur/writer John Reynard, and one or two mystery promises that will remain that way for a while longer whilst I work out how to describe them.

For our list of exciting promises, please see Music for the Barn Dance has kindly been donated by Stefan Freedman, Eddie Mann and Jess. Please bring whatever you want to drink, also ‘finger food’ to share, and please be willing to take your empties home to recycle. It promises to be a great evening. Come and help us celebrate OBee CIC’s 5th birthday.

Volunteer Projects – Work continues on hedge renovation. We’ve made a start ‘finding’ the hedge (beneath the brambles and deadwood). If you are interested in getting involved, please email me and I’ll send out working party dates seperately. Green woodwork practice sessions to cleave and dress Oak shingle and Sweet Chestnut batten continues indoors when too wet to work outdoors. This winter we are hoping to make good progress with roofing the cob walls using these hand-cleft oak shingles.

Practical courses – Students from Otley College attended a one-day course last week and made great use of the brashwood from the hedge to construct a deadwood screen for next years compost heap/standing urinal area. Sustainability and learning in action! A big thank-you to all involved for your enthusiasm, skills and willingness to work together.

Community workshop – volunteers from Battisford continue to work with OBee volunteers to construct picnic benches for the Battisford Punchbowl – also run by a CIC. We’re using lots of lovely local materials, traditional techniques plus physical and quite a bit of mental energy to make the tables from Oak, Elm and Sweet Chestnut. The photos shows Graham offering up a cross piece to the underneath of some Oak boards. Getting the pegs right has been a major piece of learning. These ones hold the Sweet Chestnut to the underneath of the Oak boards and are waiting to be sawn off.

Our pilot course with Essex County Council was also a great success. The photo below shows students learning how to construct wattle frame from local hazel, and how to repoint flint foundations with lime mortar. The Care and Repair for your Traditonal Building also included a day on timber frame repairs, why old houses get damp (and how to prevent that happening), how to make daub infill, and how to make and repair clay lump blocks. We will be repeating this 3-day course a couple of times next year, also exploring a 1-day Introductory course. Your ‘expression of interest’ in attending is invited. ‘This course has really given me confidence in how to approach my own ‘buiding situations’. The course should be essential for owners of traditional buildings.’ PB

I hope you can make our birthday barn dance, or one of our working parties. As winter progresses, it’s good to keep active!

best, Sarah

Sarah Partridge
OBee Community Interest Company
Natural Building and Sustainable Living

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New Courses and Events

Here are new workshops on offer from ActivLives in central Ipswich:

FREE Community Workshops
at St Mary at Stoke Church Hall, Stoke Street, Ipswich IP2 8BX

Tuesday 18 September 1.00-3.30pm: We’re Jammin’ with Rona Sharp
Jam and chutney-making. Making jams and chutneys with local fruit and hedgerow produce, demonstrations, skills share and practical session, plus recipe swap

Tuesday 23 October 1.00-3.30pm: In a Pickle: Preserving, pickling and pressing fruit & veg with Betsy Reid
Learning how to make juice, pickles and preserves with fresh produce from the People’s Community Garden, without the need for energy-consuming freezers. Community apple press, demonstrations and practical sessions

Tuesday 13 November 1.00-3.30pm Having Your Cake and Eating it: Traditional cakes and puddings, including Christmas pud with Lindsay Bennet & Rosie Warren (TBC). Demonstrations and practical session, plus festive recipes

Tuesday 4 December Festive flowers 1.00-3.30pm: Creative Christmas wreaths and table decorations, with Bridget Staton. Demonstrations and practical session to make creative decorations and flower arrangements with seasonal greenery

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL: For more information, or to book a place,
please call Cynthia or Susannah on 01473 261112
or sign up at your local ActivLives lunch club
Places are limited, so book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment

Visit us:
Like us: Facebook
Follow us: Twitter @activlives

Orchard Barn is also hosting courses in the near future, including a 4 day Permaculture course:

Permaculture in Action

* Dates: Monday 17th – Thursday 21st September 2012
* Timing: Registration and tea from 10. Course10.30-4.00
* Venue: Orchard Barn, Far Ringshall, Mid Suffolk, IP14 2LY
* Main Tutor: Peta Jane Gulliver and Jo Barker, Dip Perm Des.
* Cost: £160 to include handouts SPECIAL OFFER – bring a friend and get second place half price ie £240 for 2 places
* Transport: Lift sharing can be coordinated, please ask
Discounts: 20% for Permaculture Association members, 10% for Friends of Orchard Barn, 5% for car-sharing and cyclists, or if your home postcode is within 8 miles of Orchard Barn, Far Ringshall, Suffolk, IP14 2LY. Concessions and bursaries also available, please ask.

See for more details.

There’s an Apple Day at Elmswell: Elmswild Open Day on 29th September at Lukeswood, Elmswell, Suffolk IP30 9DY Telephone: 01359 241901, for more details.

Shotley Peninsular Cycling Campaign is looking for pictures of cycling on the peninsular to illustrate their new leaflet. You can find out more here:

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30 Mile Food Challenge event

Here are details of the first event of the 30 mile food challenge. Don’t forget to bring along spare garden tools to swap, donate or sell! Thanks

30 Mile Food Challenge event

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Visit Suffolk’s First Community Supported Agriculture Farm!

Guided Farm Tour

2pm Saturday 15th September 2012

Rushmere-St-Andrew, East Ipswich

Come and visit Suffolk’s first Community Supported Agriculture farm – created and run by members of the Transition Ipswich Food Group! Free of charge, and all welcome. Vegetable beds, orchard, pigs, chickens, chicks, geese, wood fired clay oven, herb garden… and more!

Please wear suitable clothing including sturdy footwear.

For directions and more information visit

This event is part of the Ipswich 30 Mile Food Challenge.

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Plant Fair at Chantry and Call for Your Spare Tools!

The People’s Community Garden are organising another Plant Fair at Chantry Park Walled Garden on 15th August. It should be a chance to stock your garden with locally produced plants, including some exotics. See below the request for tools for the poster.

exotic plants

Tools please!

Also, I’m looking for spare garden tools for the 1st September 30 Mile Challenge event at the People’s Community Garden. If you have any garden tools that you could spare, please contact me by email or post a note here below and I’ll contact you and arrange pick up. The idea is to run a bring and buy sale for tools and also acquire a few useful cutting tools for the Maidenhall Community Orchard in the process. Any spare tools at the end of the day will be donated to TWAM (Tools with a Mission) who collect tools for developing countries.
I hope to have people repairing and sharpening tools, too. Any help appreciated! Thanks

August plant fair

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