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Sustainable Wantage
The Mix LogoNovember 2017 Newsletter
For more info or to book on any of the courses or workshops at The Mix, email Jo, call 07768 767787, visit the Mix website, or the Mix Facebook page.

In The Mix in November:
Sat 4th Preserving and Storing Food with Rachel from Incredible Edible Oxford.
Sun 5th Nov Forest Garden Design
Mon 6th and 13th How to Make Money From Upcycling with Emma from Bicester Green.
Tues 7th Monthly Craft NightCrochet
Wed 8th French Conversation
Sat 11th Junk Monkeys - we'll be having a go at decoupage this month.
Wed 22nd French Conversation
Thurs 23rd Sustainable Wantage Board Meeting - all members welcome.
Sat 25th Repair Cafe (morning) and Crochet - the next stitch (afternoon).
Wed 29th Christmas Card Workshop (afternoon) and Green Drinks.
We'll be in The Mix for Dickensian evening - Fri 1st Dec - with a selection of Christmas decorations and gifts on sale, all upcycled of course! We also have Mix gift vouchers for anyone who would like to give a workshop as a Christmas present.
Bookings are open for a couple of early Dec workshops too: Sat 2nd Dec Mosaics, Sun 3rd Christmas Crafts.
Resource Bank
The Resource Bank is collecting: Used wrapping papers, broken crockery, especially coloured - for making mosaics. Wool, especially Christmas colours or anything sparkly!

We are also
looking for a re-use for polystyrene boxes ~ 25 litres each. A local business receives 3 of these boxes each week (used to transport dry ice). They can supply small quantities if people want them, but are ideally looking for a permanent solution. For more info contact Jo.

Vote for Your Favourite Local Independent Businesses
We're celebrating our independent businesses again with the Local Business Awards. Voting is open until November 29th and the winners will be announced on Dickensian Evening. If you have a Loyalty Card you can also be entered into the draw to win a £50 local shopping voucher!

There are five categories:Shop Local
  • Exceptional Customer Service - Shops
  • Exceptional Customer Service - Non Retail
  • Pub
  • Restaurant
  • Best Kept Shop Front
Show your support and vote for your favourites!


Flowers for Grove

Volunteers, including the Bulldogs and children from Charlton School Eco Group, planted no fewer than 9000 crocus bulbs in Grove last month. We are grateful to Grove Parish Council for the purchase of the bulbs, which were planted along Brereton Drive

Planting crocuses in Grove

Old Man's BeardSatisfying Seasons - November


Hard frosts may have started and early mornings are often misty, as the dew from the ground condenses during the night.  This month sees the last of the leaves on the deciduous trees falling to the ground. With the trees bare it it now much easier to see the extent of rookeries, that is the groups of nests high in the trees. In the woodlands the ground is covered in fallen leaves which rustle under foot.  Fungi are also still appearing.

Black Bryony BerriesBlack bryony stems thread through the hedgerows, supporting their clusters of fat, poisonous red berries. The old man's beard is also opening out its fluffy seed heads.

From When to Watch Wildlife.

What's in Season This Month 

Kohl rabiArtichoke, almonds, apples, beetroot, butternut squash, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chestnuts, chicory, clementines, cob nuts, cranberries, hazelnuts, horseradish, jerusalem artichoke, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, parsnips, passion fruit, pears, potatoes (maincrop), pumpkin, quince, rosemary, sage, salsify, satsumas, shallots, swede, truffles (black and white), turnips, walnuts, watercress, wild mushrooms.

From the website Eat the Seasons.


Vegan pumpkin ice cream (see comments under the recipe for how to make it without an ice cream maker).

In the Garden

November is the ideal month to start making plans for next year. Here are some links where you can learn more about managing your soil, home composting, vegetable growing, and herbs.

Don’t be too efficient during your final tidy up of the year. Provide over-wintering nooks and crannies for our helpful garden creatures such as hedgehogs, toads and ladybirds. Leave tufty grasses, small log heaps and piles of leaves to keep them safe until next spring. They’ll reward you by being on hand to control early pests.Compost heap

Check the consistency of your compost heap - if too dry add wet materials like nettles and green weed foliage and water them in. If too wet, add scrumpled junk mail, cardboard and small twigs which are good high-carbon materials and will aerate the heap.

Continue to plant new trees and bushes supplied as ‘bare rootstock’. Clear competitive growth (weeds and grass) from around fruit trees. Grass in particular is very greedy, and can reduce cropping and may even kill young trees. Allow a square metre of clear soil for each tree. Mulch to suppress re-growth.

Large Breaking Wave
From Garden Organic.

In Brief

Blue Planet II is now available on iPlayer, with breathtaking new footage of the natural world. It's worth watching if you want to be relaxed, inspired and reminded why sustainability matters.

Our local Wildlife Trust has raised enough money to buy land at Duxford Old River, adjoining Chimney Meadows nature reserve near Faringdon. This will create a large 759 acre reserve, the first to span both banks of the Thames, providing a haven for otters, curlew and other species.

This short comedy video asks 'What if the ocean treated us the way we treat the ocean?'.

The Low Carbon Hub recently published a Social Impact report of their activity. They have doubled their installed renewable capacity each year since 2012. The Sandford Hydro project is now commissioned. Here's a video of the Archimedes screws in action. River flows tend to be lower in the summer months, which compliments the solar installations as hydro generation picks up later in the year.
Diesel Train, Russia
The government has
scrapped plans to electrify the railways in Wales, the Midlands and the North. This means more polluting diesel trains for years to come, despite air pollution causing nearly as many deaths as smoking in the UK. Here is a petition asking them to rethink the decision.

Record surge in atmospheric CO2 in 2016. As atmospheric CO2 concentration is cumulative, the higher it rises the more urgent emissions cuts become. Last year's surge was due to El Niño causing drought and reducing vegetation.

Scotland bans fracking - Following public opposition, Scotland has banned fracking, with immediate effect. A public consultation on the issue received more than 60,000 responses, 99% of which were opposed to fracking. Dr Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland said "The climate science is clear. The vast majority of fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground."Wind turbine

A town in Sweden has opened its first
shopping mall just for recycled and repaired goods.

Winds are stronger at higher altitudes, meaning that taller wind turbines are able to generate more power. But have you
ever wondered how the components to large turbines are transported? Here is a video of a trailer making a 90 degree turn with a 57.5 metre turbine blade.

Out and About

Thurs 2nd. Towards a Low-carbon Future talk by Lord Nicholas Stern. OX1 4BG.

Fri/Sat 10th/11th Annual
Cyclenation CyclingUK conference, Oxford.

Sat 11th - 10 am - 5pm.
CAG Skill Share, Oxford. A chance to swap ideas, receive training and get expert advice. Sessions include Energy projects, Waste projects: Repair Cafes and PAT testing, Food surplus projects: Cafes, community fridges and shops, Transport projects: Air pollution and safer cycling, Sustaining the gaze and avoiding burnout, Loneliness and engaging harder to reach communities, and Managing group conflict. Book now on Eventbrite to guarantee a place and find the event on Facebook.
Marbled white butterfly

Sat 11th. Didcot-Upton Sustrans Route Conservation Work. Clearing scrub by a cycle route for the benefit of butterflies. Full details here, or contact Karen Saxl. Meet at Upton Village Hall car park, OX11 9HX at 10:30.

Wed 15th - 7:30pm. Talking Climate in Texas - and Living to Tell the Tale. Katharine Hayhoe in conversation with George Marshall at The University Church of St Mary in Oxford. Katharine believes that “each of us, exactly as we are, with the values we already have, has every reason we need to care about climate change." 

Thurs 16th - 4pm. Talk at Harwell Green Club by Beth Dawson from Fuel Cell Systems of Hungerford, about the DIMES Fuel Cell Feasibility Study in Bicester, Hydrogen Refuelling at Harwell and ‘Hydrogen Hubs’. To book a place (as you'll need to be registered on the access system to get in) contact John Vandore.

Wed 22nd, Oxford. Eco Connect South East - One-day conference focussed on raising the quality and quantity of new build and retrofit projects.

Green Drinks SW Social Green Drinks
Wed 29th November
7.30pm - 9pm In The Mix on Mill St
Bring your own tipple  |  All Welcome.

Sustainable Wantage

Images: Crochet by lolareyes, Planting crocuses by Peter Kent, Black Bryony berries near stile on Footpath 1312 - - 258749 by Andy Potter, Old man's beard by the South Downs Way by Stefan Czapski, Kohl Rabi by Pxhere, Green Waste Compost Bin 513609 by Ben_Kerckx, Pixabay, Large Breaking Wave by NESDIS, Locomotive Diesel Russia Train by WikiImages on Pixabay, Wind turbine at Hadyard Hill by Gordon Brown, Marbled white butterfly by Adam Hinks.
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