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Sustainable Wantage
September 2017 Newsletter
The Mix Calendar for September: The Mix Logo

Fri 1st International Club social evening
Sat 2nd Think Water: Digital Storytelling Workshop on the Impact of Climate Change
Tues 5th Monthly Craft night
Wed 6th French Conversation and Coffee
Sat 9th Junk Monkeys - Making T shirt cushions
(ages 8 and over).
Junk Monkeys T shirt cushion
Mon 11th Sustainable Wantage Board meeting - all members welcome
Wed 13th Upholstery (course: 1st session of 8)
Sat 16th Pallet DIY Workshop
Thurs 21st OX12 Wine Club
Sat 23rd Revamp a Barrel Lampshade
Sun 24th Wrappers' Delight - making spring rolls and samosas
Wed 27th Introduction to Upholstery
(course: 1st session of 6)
and Green DrinksPallet
Sat 30th Public Speaking for the Terrified
and International Club social evening

'Public Speaking for the Terrified' Workshop - The Mix is delighted to host professional coach, speaker and author Kieran Hearty. Kieran is offering a unique workshop addressing the fear of speaking to an audience. The approach aims to increase confidence through a series of interactive activities dealing with fear, power, audience, structure and how to remember content. This is a high value coaching workshop that we are able to bring you for just £15. We can also offer concessionary rates or a free place for anyone involved in a voluntary group.

We also have a storytelling workshop with Antonia Liguori from The DRY Project (Drought Risk and You): Think Water: Digital Storytelling Workshop on the Impact of DRY project logoClimate Change. She'll be collecting memories and local knowledge about drought, floods, water use/saving in the area, and imagining future stories about climate change impact in the next 20/50 years. This will feed into a UK-wide research project to help decision-making in drought risk management. This FREE event is a collaboration between Loughborough University and Sustainable Wantage. Please book a space on Eventbrite, or contact Jo.
For more info or to book on any of the courses or workshops email Jo, call 07768 767787, visit the Mix website, or the Mix Facebook page. For more info or to book contact Jo: 07768 767787 /

Paper towelResource Bank
This month the Resource Bank would like to collect kitchen roll tubes.

Betjeman Park Autumn Planting SessionCyclamen
Sun, 24th Sept, 10.30 - 12.30.
Come along to help out with weeding, general tidying up and planting cyclamen.

The Betjeman Millennium Park is a semi-natural woodland situated in Wantage alongside Letcombe Brook. The Park is owned and run by a Charitable Trust and has a website and Facebook page.

To find out more about other volunteering opportunities for the park contact Helena or John.

SuperHomes Open daySolar cooking

Sat 9th Sept, 11am-2pm
4 St Denys Close, Stanford, SN7 8NJ

If you're interested in making your home more efficient and environmentally friendly, you might like to visit a SuperHome.
Open days let you quiz the owners, so you can discover what worked and get frank feedback on what didn’t. There are open days across the country in September, including one in Stanford in the Vale. The Williams family’s 1950s bungalow is heated using wood pellets, and is free from fossil fuels from heating to transport. When it’s sunny they can cook with a sun oven, concentrating heat using reflection.

For more details, watch the video, visit the website or contact Pat tel: 01367 710705.


Book Review Carrot 'trousers'

Leftover Pie - 101 Ways to Reduce Your Food Waste by Anna Pitt

Vertical farmIn her new book Anna Pitt, from Bampton, looks at the causes and history of food waste and the problems it creates. This wide-ranging and accessible book covers topics including bokashi composting, vertical farming, insect protein, anaerobic digestion, food safety and storage.
Milk Management
Anna describes how she used to discard the ends of cucumber, broccoli stalks and leek leaves, before adopting the 'root to fruit' philosophy of using all edible parts of a crop. Other food-saving tips include encouraging people to serve themselves to regulate portion sizes, having a 'use it up' shelf and remembering the 'FIFO rule' - first in first out. Even if you thought you were ace at minimising food waste, you're likely to learn something new.
Fried banana skins
There are 101 recipes include foraging delights such as elderflower and ginger cordial, nettle pesto and blackberry and apple crumble, as well as some more unusual ideas - crispy fried banana skins and vegetable peel crisps. I eat a lot of bananas but had never considered cooking the skins - I can now confirm that they do taste delicious!

Satisfying Seasons - September


Birds migrating to sunnier climes
Estuaries for the return of over wintering birds
Hedgerows for berries, late butterflies and small birds
Dragonflies and damselflies near water
Fungi appearing in woodlands and grasslands
Bats still on the wing

On sunny days on riverbanks and in areas of wetland, a real highlight of early September are the large dragonflies. Many butterflies are still on the wing Gatekeeper butterflyfrom the second or third hatchings.  However they may well be ragged and this is their last month as adults. The male gatekeeper (a member of the brown family) sets up territories along hedges where the  nectar bearing plants of marjoram, mint, wood sage and bramble attract the adults.

The hedgerows are full of ripening berries with hawthorn haws and rose hips shining red, while sloes, blackberries and elderberries are midnight black. Some trees yield their seeds up with wings such as field maple, ash and sycamore.  Ivy is one of the few late flowering plants and the nectar forms an important food sources for bees and wasps. Where there is still wheat that remains unharvested the occasional arable weed such as poppy or scentless mayweed may still manage to flower. Organic snow peas

From When to Watch Wildlife.

What's in Season This Month 

Artichoke, apples, aubergine, beetroot, bilberries, blackberries, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, celeriac, celery, chestnuts, chillies, chives, cob nuts, coriander, courgettes, cucumber, damsons, elderberries, fennel, figs, french beans, garlic, grapes, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce & salad leaves, mangetout, marrow, medlar, nectarines, onions, pak choi, peaches, pears, peppers, plums, potatoes (maincrop), Celerypumpkin, radishes, raspberries, redcurrants, rocket, runner beans, shallots, spring onions, sweetcorn, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, wild mushrooms.

From the website Eat the Seasons.


Celery and Cashew Nut Soup

In the GardenBasket of apples

Now is the time to gather your harvest before frosts threaten, and save seeds before winter sets in. If you want to store fruit and veg, make sure that you choose only the perfect, non-bruised or damaged veg or fruit for storage. Cut herbs for drying and use throughout the winter. Drying herbs

Scatter windfall fruit around the garden as food for wildlife. Plums are a favourite of butterflies. Clear all weeds around fruit bushes and trees to prevent them seeding. Prune stone fruits (including plums and cherries) by mid-September to avoid silver leaf disease.

Parsley, rocket and coriander can still be sown this month. Early in the month, you can sow green manures to protect and improve any bare soil over winter. Empty the compost bin by bagging up compost from the bottom of the bin/heap. Store it ready for use next spring.

From Garden Organic.

In Brief

Zero Waste Week runs from 4th - 8th September. The website has lots of resources and ideas.

Microplastic found in deep sea creatures.
Plastic bag on grass A study found plastic in 48% of starfish and snails that live at more than 2,000m depth in the Rockall Trough, off the Western Isles of Scotland.

Tesco scraps single-use plastic bags. This month Tesco have discontinued their 5p carrier bags, to help reduce plastic waste. Customers who want a bag will be able to get a 'Bag for Life' for 10p. These are made from 94% recycled plastic, and will be replaced for free once they begin to wear out.

third of UK universities have now made a fossil fuel divestment pledge. The movement to end fossil fuel investments is growing with the total value of funds being withdrawn by higher education institutions globally reaching £80 billion. A study by Oxford University researchers suggests that no new CO2 emitting electricity infrastructure can be built after this year, if warming is to stay within a 2°C target, unless other electricity infrastructure is retired early or retrofitted with carbon capture technologies.
Garden centres and pesticides
This petition asks Homebase to join other garden centres in getting bee-harming pesticides out of garden plants.

The UK’s largest electric vehicle charging network switched to 100% renewable energy last month.

Out and About

Sat 9th Sept - tour of Osney Lock Hydro, which was the first community-owned hydro energy project on the Thames. Places limited - book a place here.
Thurs 14th Sept, 4pm. Talk from James Purdy at TBAT on Grant Funding for Green Projects. Harwell Green Club. For more info or to book a place email John Vandore.

Green Drinks SW Social Green Drinks
Wed 27th September
7.30pm - 9pm In The Mix on Mill St
Bring your own tipple  |  All Welcome.

Sustainable Wantage

Images: Pallet by HypnoArt, Paper towel.png by Mets501, Photos of scything by Peter Kent, Cyclamen by Marina Shemesh, Vertical Farm by BrightAgrotech, Carrot 'trousers and milk management by Anna Pitt. Fried Banana Skins by Zoe Williams,  Red Orange Dragonfly 8 (3877756951).jpg by Tony Hisgett, Gatekeeper butterfly by Philip Halling, Organic Snow Peas,
The following images are from flickr298/365 Celery Heart by findingthenow, Basket of apples by Andrew Dubock, drying by Jessica Lucia, A Plastic Bag by Martin Belam,
Copyright © 2017 Sustainable Wantage, All rights reserved.

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