Sunday, 9 September 2007

Sunday 9th September 07

Oh a lovely lie-in, Gill awoke me at 9.50am! This is the longest lie in I'd had for absolutely ages. However I had to get up quite quickly as I had to get some samples of compost for today's talk in Leeds before getting the train shortly after midday.

I got samples of mature unriddled and riddled 'ready to use', also some 'in the process of composting' stuff. Also a bag of very mature humanure compost, unriddled leafmould and riddled 'ready to use' leafmould.

Then cycled down to the station and got the 12.15, meeting a very pleasent couple on the train who shared some of my green and sociaaly just beliefs, so this journey went really quickly.

I got a 51 bus from Lower Briggate and asked to be put out at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm. When I got off the bus I met with a friendly lady, Nina, who was going to the Organic Fortnight event too. We walked up to the Farm, and took some time finding it as we missed the roadsign, we were chatting so much. However we weren't late and I soon found Giles, who's involved in the Co-operative Group and was main organiser of the day.

I learned about the format of the meeting, a couple of speakers before me, then I do my 'home composting' talk... what it is, why it's good, what to compost, how to compost, a bit about rats and how to reduce the possibilities of them using the heap, and a bit about humanure composting, and a bit about York Rotters.

The first speaker was Robert, the Education Officer from Meanwood Valley Urban Farm who explained about its history and what happens there. It produces organic fruit and vegetables, sold in the shop and cafe, has some rare breeds of farm animal which they breed in conjunction with other UK breeders. There are white-clawed crayfish in the beck running through the site. The building we were in, the 'epicentre', is built from 2 trees from Harewood House, and was built over 4 years by local people. It houses the education centre and water-free urinals and compost toilets.

Fiona from The Mill Race Restaurant was next, she uses organic, local/regional and in-season produce. It has seating for 50, a bar, lounge area and a courtyard, and is easily reached from Headingley Station.

After I did my bit, we had a break for organic teas/coffees/cakes/scones, we heard from Wai Yii from Org Organics in Leeds. It sounds like a fantastic place, selling all sorts of stuff, not just fruit and veg, but groceries, alcohol, magazines and books, and offering a veg box delivery, juice /coffee bar and treatment room. It is Soil Association certified. I liked the sound of this place, on Great George St.

I got a lift back into Leeds with Pat, who dropped me off at the station.

I did my Community Care blog on organics, and what I'd discovered today.

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