Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Blossom Picnic at the Community Orchard

On Sunday 15th May we're holding a picnic at the Community Orchard at
Trenoweth to celebrate the apple blossom and the start of a new growing
season. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the orchard, sample some
of last year's apple juice and find out more about this wonderful orchard.

It runs between 12 and 2pm and is free of charge - just bring yourselves
and a picnic.

To get to the Orchard, go past the Wildlife Trust offices at Trenoweth,
towards Innisidgen. Go under the pines, then turn right on the track
that goes downhill. There's a field of vines on your left, then the next
one is the Orchard. Please try and walk or cycle up if possible.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Autumn news from Transition Scilly

Apologies for our lack of blogs recently. Summer is a busy time for
everyone on Scilly, where we have our heads down just concentrating on

Anyway, this is just a note to say that we're intending to hold a series
of work parties up at the Community Orchard at Trenoweth. There are also
some other ideas for events and activities in the pipeline this

The best place to check for updates is our Facebook page, where we post relevant
information and interesting links to other sites.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Orchard picnic

On May 11th we'll be holding our annual Orchard Picnic at Trenoweth
community orchard. All the details on the poster here.

Fingers crossed for a nice sunny day...

Friday, 2 August 2013

The crucial link between energy and the economy

Money is simply a convenient means of exchange, but the system which determines how money is exchanged and valued is economics. Right? Well...partially. A new report 'Perfect Storm - energy, finance and the end of growth' argues very strongly that the rise of any economy has been directly proportional to the energy available to that society.

In fossil fuels we are essentially plundering a resource built up over 100 million years. A litre of oil has the energy equivalent to about 5 weeks human labour. As a society we're not replenishing the resource, so it's like we're children having a party with the inheritance of a dead rich relative. A phrase in the report illustrates this point well:
"The exercise of putting one gallon of fuel into a car, driving it until the fuel runs out and paying someone to push it back to the start-point also illustrates the huge difference between the price of energy and its value in terms of work would cost $6,420 [of human labour]
to get the car back to the start-point. On this rough approximation, then, a gallon of fuel costing $3.50 generates work equivalent to between $5,460
and $7,380 of human labour."

Capitalist economies need to grow to survive, as recent years have starkly illustrated. Given the direct correlation between the economy and energy, it seems we need an infinite supply of energy in order for the economy to grow infinitely. Clearly this is not viable - non-renewable fuels are so called for a reason. New types of energy such as tar sands and gas fracking are being found (and exploited) to back up falling supplies from conventional energy sources like oil wells.

But quite apart from the poor to terrible environmental impacts these sources cause, there is an underlying principle that may render their extraction uneconomic very quickly. It is called EROEI - Energy Returned On Energy Invested. Think of a brand new oil well in Saudi Arabia 50 years ago. All you had to do was drill down, tap the well and the oil would gush out; here EROEI could be 100:1. Compare that to extensive refinement of tar sands - you need to put in huge amounts of energy to extract a small amount of oil; here EROEI could be as low as 3:1.

The report makes this startling conclusion:
"If EROEI falls sharply [to around 10:1] much more of the gross energy is consumed in the extraction process, resulting in a corresponding squeeze
on the energy available to the economy. The essentials may still be affordable, but the leverage in the equation is such that energy available
for discretionary uses diminishes very rapidly indeed. There, through the EROEI squeeze, goes the car, the holiday, the bigger home, the MP3,
the meal out, toys for the children, the afternoon at the golf club or the soccer match. If EROEI falls materially, our consumerist way of life is over."

It makes a strong case that the world economy is the brink of an unfolding collapse, which would change our way of life very significantly, very quickly. The timescale...about 10 years. The Transition to a new way of living would seem a little more urgent then...

You can download the full report here:

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Developments in the orchard

The Trenoweth Community Orchard is developing further in 2013, with a
new sign, some benches and full public access coming. There will be an
opening event on 11th May, more details coming soon. The intention is to
celebrate what we've established, encourage people to enjoy the space
and help manage it. There is also a rather special new memorial stone in
place too.

More to come soon...

Monday, 25 June 2012

Farmers and growers meeting at Pelistry

On a lovely sunny day last Friday, the inaugural meeting of the Scilly
Farmers and Growers' Initiative was held. Gordon and Mervyn Bird kindly
invited every commercial farmer and grower on Scilly to their farm at
Pelistry on St Mary's.

The farm covers around 70 acres and includes flowers, grass, fodder
crops and beef cattle (they also used to grow a lot of veg). It also
hosts a summer campsite for school children. It's a truly family farming
business and the enthusiasm and hard work of the whole family, spanning
three generations, was heart warming and encouraging.

Enthusiasm from everyone was very forthcoming and a feeling that this is
an important initiative to help progress farming and growing on Scilly.
Support from the project will enable skills development, co-ordination,
collaboration and help with access to capital investment in businesses.

Transition Scilly will be engaged with the Initiative on future
projects, including the Scilly Food Festival this September.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Orchard work day - Sunday

The Community Orchard at Trenoweth is looking more like an orchard as each month goes by. The trees are growing nicely and there's a fair amount of fruit on the trees at the moment - not bad considering they're only two years old.

We're organising a work party at the Orchard this Sunday (24th June) 3pm to 5pm to do some tidying up, mowing and other bits and pieces - and a chance to sit down and enjoy the peace and quiet of the orchard. Come and go as you please, everyone welcome.

Later in the year we're planing a community apple pressing session, so if you have spare apples you can put them to good use.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

We're on Facebook

We've decided to have a presence on Facebook as it's quicker and easier to update, and easier to reach out to more people.

There are updates very regularly of relevant news and information, so have a look and send us a 'Friend Request' if you're on Facebook.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Where does the energy for our electricity come from?

If you needed convincing that the UK is not exactly energy secure, this map produced by Good Energy should do it. By contrast, UK produced renewable energy has minimal carbon emissions, is an infinite resource and does not depend on other countries.

Where the UK’s electricity comes from
Source: Green Energy, Renewable Energy Company
Where the UK’s electricity comes from
Source: Green Energy, Renewable Energy Company

The Carbon Map

The Carbon Map
Understanding carbon emissions and the impacts of climate change can be extremely difficult to comprehend sometimes. There are many different ways to represent carbon emissions - current, historical, per person, per country, etc.

We read about the impacts of climate change but it's really hard to visualise it on a global basis. Where are the large populations and how much are they likely to be affected by a changing climate?

The Carbon Map is a fantastic interactive tool where you can overlay different aspects such as population growth, CO2 per person and GDP with area, climate impacts and historical carbon emissions. This is highly recommended to increase understanding of climate change and its effects.