Saturday, 20 March 2010

Saturday 20th March 10 York in Transition Seed Swap

I woke at 9 and it didn't take me long to get things together to get everything ready as I'd prepared things a day or two ago. I took the seeds from the Lottie Shop, some of my own pea beans, the 10 bags of seed compost, the rotasieve and the three carrier bags of unriddled leafmould, clods of mature compost and some loam fresh from a pile of well rotted turves.

I got there on the dot of 10am and already there were loads of seeds available, mostly vegetables, but a few wild flowers and others. I added my bought seeds and took my compost-related stuff to a covered area at one side of the building, outside as the riddling process would be slightly messy, despite being on a sheet to catch bits. Within half an hour quite a few people turned up, mostly bearing seeds, all eager to see what was on offer. We had a collecting tin out for a £1 donation per person.

I busied around, chatting to people, answering questions and giving people a bean pod if they liked the sound of my climbing pea bean, and introducing people whom I thought might be potential collaborators. What a lot of enthusiasm, knowledge, experience... and enquiring minds, questions, learning.

I did my seed compost demo and talk twice. All the bags of compost went, and children enjoyed using the rotasieve to riddle the assorted materials. At about 11,30, Assif the trainee journalist arrived and I was able to introduce him to various people and show him around. At midday Chris Chidlow gave his whistle-stop tour of Permaculture, with photos, in under 45 minutes.

There were over 25 people in the room, and some had already gone home so I reckon there were more than 30 attendees.

I reloaded the bike trailer with stuff I needed to take home and Assif and I walked along to Country Fresh where Richard seemed very happy to give an interview about the shop's green credentials, and I loaded up one large sack of compostables and half a box worth. We then walked back to Freshways where Assif talked to one of the guys there, who also sang my praises as a recycler... and gave me a litre of out of date long-life cranberry and blueberry juice... much appreciated! They also had a sack of compostables for me, so we walked up to the house pretty well laden.

When we got home I lit the stove and made a sandwich for lunch, and chatted to Assif about various aspects of 'freeganism', from bin-raiding, skip diving, recycling metals and turf, logs and free heating, growing my own food, giving freely to the community, sharing resources and other related subjects. He'd bought a sandwich for his lunch, and he had some of a cup of tea I made off the stove, after which he had a wander down the garden to see the composting and fruit trees etc. He also talked to Gill a bit who was very honest about what it's like living with an obsessive recycler like me.

He left at about 3pm, and I didn't do much more after that as I was exhausted, but happy.

Salads for tea, and later, as the TV was ridiculously football and rugby-dominated, I watched the 'In Transition' DVD, which I found very moving and inspirational. I'll do a review of it for the York in Transition newsletter to see if we can attract people to the April 17th event with Ceilidh and film.

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