Monthly Archives: November 2013

Saturday Club

It’s Saturday and with a few members focusing their energies elsewhere temporarily, it was down to Alex, Adriana and myself who enjoyed a nice meeting of perfecting our newly acquired blogging skills, a great planning program -Mindmap and not to mention the these wonderful life tools AI and various pearls of knowledge these get togethers never fail to harvest.

Adrianas place is great for these meetings, an abundance of tasty infused teas kept our heads and spirits steaming on.  The mind42map is a cunning tool to help record progress, make decisions, and give a birds eye view of these poly-branched community allotment projects or any project for that matter.  Adriana swiftly coached Alex and I on navigating, joggling and adding notes to the mindmap.  It was my pleasure to help with Alex’s final edit before posting her first and introductory blog post, she politely accepted my help despite I feel she knew more than I did!

After all that cerebral graft confirmed by the rumbling tums we were treated to a fine hot Mexican egg tortilla dish, expertly prepared by Alex accompanied with a wholesome potato and pasta dish thanks to Adriana, back to old England for desert with a foraged apple and cherry pie, that is I foraged the apples and cherries:)

After lunch I cheekily hijacked the meeting slightly to tap into the talented artistic skills of Adriana for some feedback on the Logo I am designing for my Solar electrical business.  Luckily for me, Alex had designed Logos for the Society she started for her University, together with Adriana they molded my clumsy effort into a thing of beauty.

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Thanks be for another good day in the community allotment clutch.

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A new face in a new place

Hello, Alex here. I am new to the group and new to Southend, having only just moved here two week ago. Knowing no one in the area, I was keen to meet like-minded people and find locally active groups through which I could put my spare time to good use, and seem to have hit the jackpot already!

My love affair with the natural world has been a long one. I love the Great Outdoors and have clocked many hours volunteering for environmental charities. My attraction to this project is rooted in my strong belief that connection with the land does wonders for the mind, body and soul, and that working with and in nature offers therapeutic benefits, whilst protecting a resource of intrinsic and incalculable value.

Last Saturday’s planning day was a thought-provoking experience. It was great to have the opportunity to learn a bit more about each other, as well as about ourselves. Appreciative inquiry is a new concept to me and the motivation and positivity it provoked means I am already looking out for chances to apply its principles elsewhere in my life. Good company and good food was also a big bonus! Thanks to Duncan, Fiona and Kamil for keeping me well fed and watered and making me feel so welcome 🙂

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Looking forward to getting my hands dirty!

SiTComA update Planning Day 16/11/2013

Today’s planning day was spent on working out what type of organization inspires us and we started brainstorming ideas and actions.

We started with the Appreciative Inquiry interviews on “what makes a great organization/team” and started to brainstorm the goal and reasons why. We will be adding to it on the next meetings and Skype calls so people who cannot come to all meetings can still contribute and I am figuring a way out of doing it online so even if you cannot attend a meeting you can still log in for a few minutes and add your points.

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Hopefully next meeting that Adriana and Ian can attend they can also do the Appreciative Inquiry interview.

Fiona and Alex will meet up for a skill share teaching each other WordPress blogging and use of Google Docs.

We are having a Skype call this week coming Wed 20:00 or 20:30 for an hour.

I enjoyed working with you guys and gals today, it felt energizing and friendly. Thank you Fiona for offering to do the write up and for the lovely food, the chili was just fine to nourish us and the apple dessert a winner.Next Actions:

Meetings to continue working out the plan for Setting Up the Organization or work days for Preparing the Site for Growing. We will adapt according to the weather and our fancy:)

Watch out for future dates and contact us if you want to get involved in the Work Days or Planning Days.

Update Saturday work day 02/11/13

Once again the weather has meant we can’t get our hands dirty,  even so, we met full of purpose; to get some work done! Planning is detailed and ongoing, getting it right at this stage is a big part of the permaculture ethos.

The attendees were Kamil,Duncan,Ian, myself – Fiona and our host Adriana. As the newbie in the group I am still getting to know the members, Ian is a new acquaintance and I met Adriana briefly at Thursdays’ interesting lecture by Prof Jules Pretty.

After drinks and chat we settled down to business. Kamil shared some reading material, which is a thoughtful and handy learning tool, I am currently reading “Blessed Unrest” by Paul Hawken that he lent me at the last meeting.

First we reviewed the Action Plan with the three main tasks … Prepare site for growing, Set up organisation and Outreach… all towards our goal of setting up a community allotment. It was encouraging to see how far the plan had progressed… a very satisfying list of tasks already crossed out after the core members’ hard work. During the winter months there will be more focus on the second and third tasks. There will be a lot of opportunity to develop and share existing skills and learn new ones.

And so …onto the blogging workshop. Duncan patiently went through all the steps with Adriana and myself, she was soon flying away. Ian  is an experienced blogger so was set up quickly with Kamils’ advice. One of us (ahem!) took a little longer.

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When I was asked to bring along a laptop or similar to a workday I was confused (wellies and a spade I can understand!)  But the importance of using technology for group communication, planning and spreading the message is something I have quickly come to appreciate.

Then it was time for lunch. Adriana had made three (three!) delicious soups, and Duncan a decadent dessert. Sharing food and discussing our inspirations and motivation made us even more creative, the ensuing lively brainstorming session meant we strayed somewhat from the agenda and ran out of time. We resolved to be more on topic at future meetings!

I feel so lucky to have met a group of like-minded people who are positive, knowledgeable and hopeful. I know we are going to achieve great things. Come and join in!

I was energised to turn my compost and plant broad beans…. small beginnings …………

‘Ahoj’ from Adriana

An accountant by trade, an artist at heart. Passionate about human communication and empowering people to explore opportunities where others see dead-end.

What made me join this project? Simply, the strong connection with like-minded people and shared vision: Helping people to develop their confidence, explore possibilities to become more self-sufficient and improve their connection with each other, with their community and the nature (I have been missing the nature due to my office job a lot!).

Planting and growing the seed of self-sufficiency.

I joined the community allotment project in April 2013 and has become a regular member since. My ambition was to learn how to run a community focused project in a fun-filled way and create a space for other people to shine.

Little did I know that our venture was going to turn into a life changing experience for me, helping me to integrate more passions into my lifestyle. My network of inspiring friends burgeoned within last 6 months. I also found a local supplier of dairy-free organic chocs, free range eggs, delicious local honey – http://www.essexbees.co.uk.

Thanks to everyone’s support, I am already running an eco-art group for children in London, expanding to Southend in 2014. After Sherry’s encouragement, the project will be presented at the next Southend Soup (a huge thank you Sherry for this).

Networking with Southend passionate women is another perk this wonderful project had thrown into my life.  This is how we create together. We share our life stories, laugh, colour with pencils and inspire each other!

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Keen to join? We are meeting on Thu 14th of Nov, 7.00pm again at the Cricketers. Don’t be afraid to dream big, connect with us to share your passions and visions. Everyone can feel fulfilled.

Which ever project you’d love to join, come and say Ahoj (we don’t bite). There has never been a better time and place than NOW and HERE in Southend.  🙂

Thanks Duncan for your great tuition and help with creating my first blog!

ps: For those who don’t know, ‘Ahoj’ is a nice slovak word for greeting your friends, relatives, even good-looking strangers …

A new member

My name is Fiona and I am excited to be a new member of this inspirational movement.

I am a keen organic gardener and interested in environmental  issues. I feel passionately that each individual has a responsibility to do what they can to look after our world for ourselves and future generations.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by bad news and it is great to work with a group of like-minded people. Community based initiatives are the way that we can all make a difference and see results. The bonus is having fun and learning new skills as well.