The garden is my church, the kitchen my altar and pantry a prayer book By Jake

At 22 years old, our new kitchen volunteer has developed an important path as a cook. 

Born and raised in Brighton, Jake shares with us his experience at Newbold and gives away this brief but very emotional testimony of his daily encounter with the kitchen.

He started as dishwasher when he was 14 and got his first chance as a chef at the age of 18. Since then, he has been working and travelling around places such as England, New Zealand, Uganda, Thailand & Vietnam. This has created a great impact on his life and of course in his cooking style.

His aim? To create community through food…. to bring people together.

We are grateful for Jake and his wonderful collaboration and hard work and hope you enjoy his blog post:  

Every time I sit to eat; it is an act of worship.

The garden is my church, the kitchen my altar and pantry a prayer book from which I can, with luxurious will, draw on flavours like a chorus of hymns.

Food for me is a direct connection to creation, to the source of our nourishment, the bubbling spring of natural abundance and expession of nature in tangibly tasty form.

We depend upon the myriad miracles of nature that align (maybe with a little assistance from the gardeners shadow) along a transformative process from sun to soil, seed to fruit, to eventually meet us, yet another integral contributor to the cycle of life.

And so it seems a great dis-justice for these precious jewels of divinity to so often be asphyxiated in lifeless plastic.

In stark contrast I find myself taking a stroll from the bubbling alchemical environment of the kitchen to take some time in communion within the Newbold gardens, harvesting with a grateful whistle, a prayer of sorts, parsley, sorrel, spinach, lettuce and other april offerings. These first enthusiastic arrivals setting the scene for a season of sensual theatrics as vines twine and pods pop.

It is at this threshold, between garden and kitchen where I thrive most. Knowing that the instant a stem snaps there is an obligation to honour in its freshest form the days harvest. I have been known to be found on all fours in the polytunnel grazing hands free to maximise the ‘freshness experience’. It is here that my native self is proven. As I play my part in this sacred cycle i acknowledge I am holding sunlight, condensed into a leaf or berry, lifegiving, planet sustaining sunlight.

Whereas a tree or plant can largely gather information directly from the sun, we as humans must depend upon a far more intricate and longer process of concentrating that energy into be it leaves or flesh. As we have not yet evolved photosynthetic powers, we seek from other organisms. Therefore as a necessary harvest this becomes an act of sacrifice that in turn should rightfully be worshipped. It is with this truth that I cook. 

By Jake

ERASMUS+ Youth Leader Mobility Scheme by Deborah Benham

youth-erasmus

Newbold believes in a life sustaining society where we can thrive personally, co-exist in harmony, feel interconnected with the living system of the planet and therefore protect and conserve this for future generations. We believe in empowerment and positive leadership. Newbold believes that to build a more positive society we must empower leaders to face the challenges of today.

Reports from a wide range of Youth charities show that young people face unprecedented challenges in the modern world. Finding meaningful employment is increasingly difficult, and with record levels of unemployment and decreasing job security, many feel a sense of anxiety about the future. Collectively, young people will be the most affected by alarming global trends like climate change, environmental degradation, and social tensions based on culture, religion, or class. At the same time, it is our young people who have the most potential and often the most drive to contribute to a sustainable future.

We aim to harness and empower that potential through recently awarded ERASMUS+ funding. Newbold have been awarded 50,000 Euros by the ERASMUS+ Youth Leader Mobility scheme to run two fantastic 8 day trainings for Youth Leaders in August and September.

In the training participants will learn how to empower young people to identify and use their unique strengths and qualities, in service to themselves and their communities. This will enable them to develop more rewarding careers and take an active and positive role in their local communities.

deb_poppyBy Deborah Benhan

A PhD Marine biologist and animal behavior expert, Deborah is an environmental educator and sustainability designer working to support the emergence of regenerative culture and the recovery of healthy ecosystems through innovative design, stakeholder engagement, multidisciplinary education and deep nature connection.

How community can save our planet

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At the Newbold Trust ‘We envision a world where people live in a life sustaining culture which supports the interconnected wellbeing of individuals, community and the Earth‘

Therefore our interest in the protection of our planet from the devastation caused by climate change is vital. COP21 saw Political Leaders, Climate scientists and Energy ministers negotiate on carbon accountability, carbon footprint reduction and importantly national targets to reduce carbon emissions and form a global treaty on climate change (now know as the Paris Agreement). 196 countries have committed to freeing up funding for action on climate change, starting a transition away from fossil fuels and prevent temperatures rising above 1.5oC (compared to pre-industrial levels)

It is vital that we remember our work is not done (nor has it just began). We alongside many others have been working towards a greener and most sustainable future for decades but now the political leaders are on board so the opportunity for a revolution comes now. The opportunity to work with one another and build a greener and more sustainable future is here.

Communities are at the forefront of change.                                                                         Environmentalists and activists will now take center stage as governments and communities align to start to build a low carbon future. The agreement is simply a framework for change but the agreement does not guarantee staying within 2oC of change (or more importantly 1.5oC). It is therefor imperative that we pave the way for a greener and sustainable future and hold government accountable to their pledges. Its important that we set an example by living low carbon lives and together we can create an example of how living in harmony with the planet is better for our economy and our community.

How we can collaborate and work together to create real change                                  The headlines speak of political victory but its people power that is impactful when it comes accountability for lowering emissions. There are many incredible organisations that work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally that bring together communities to offer low carbon solutions paving the way for a more environmentally friendly planet whilst empowering the communities that support them. Here is how you can get involved:

http://www.treehugger.com

https://avaaz.org/en/

http://www.edie.net/news/

http://www.theecologist.org

There are organisations who hold governments accountable for actions and are the collective voice of our communities and there are individuals who write, act, sing and create in raising awareness of the problems, solutions and opportunities in our transition to a greener and more sustainable planet.

http://www.foe.co.uk

http://350.org

http://www.stopclimatechaos.org

http://www.theclimatecoalition.org

http://www.campaigncc.org

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk


To find out about how we implement sustainable values at Newbold Click here – http://newboldtrust.org/sustainability-commitment/

To find out how you can help with our community and have hands on experience with sustainable living check out our volunteer and community guest programmes – Click Here http://newboldtrust.org/community-guest/ http://newboldtrust.org/volunteer-programmes/

 

Top 10 tips for a more Sustainable Xmas

During the season of celebration we need to show extra care for the environment. Christmas doesn’t have to be a burden on the planet. A little effort and imagination we can reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season. Forget about the shops, the adverts and the corporate claims on Christmas – let’s do it in a personal way! Here are some tips we use during our Christmas retreats at Newbold Trust to make xmas more sustainable. (for more information about our christmas retreats click here – www.newboldtrust.org/christmas-holidays/ )

1.Buy Less, Buy Smarter                                                                                                                   Tiny things can make big changes. When you buy something you should ask you a couple of simple question which comes from permaculture ethic: Does it take care of peoples needs? Does it take care with the planet? Is this fair? To find out more http://permacultureprinciples.com/ethics/ These simple questions will help you to buy smarter and fairer for people and the planet.

2. Connect with Nature
P1020206Connecting with nature means more than simply getting a little fresh air. Rather, it entails reconsidering our individuality, and recalibrating our wider human and ecological relationships. A fuller connection with nature is an essential part of a good life, allowing us to temper envy and see ourselves from a proper perspective.

Newbold Trust is running for Xmas two different programmes to help you to connect with nature http://newboldtrust.org/christmas-holidays/

3. Reuse/Recycle
The Uk uses more than 220,000 miles of wrapping paper during xmas! (see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8964837/How-Britain-bins-227000-miles-of-Christmas-paper.html ) This is why it is so important to talk about ways to reduce waste when decorating presents. Here are some tips to help reduce waste, recycle and reuse over the christmas period.

One solution is to be creative when wrapping presents; use magazine clippings from around your house, photographs from old albums, old newspapers, last years calendar can all make very creative and attractive decoration for gifts. http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/creative-gift-wrap.html

4. Choose a live tree                                                                                                                            Although plastic Christmas trees are reusable from year to year, real trees are the more sustainable choice. Plastic trees are made of petroleum products (PVC), and use up resources in both the manufacture and shipping. While artificial trees theoretically last forever, research shows that they are typically discarded when repeated use makes them less attractive. Discarded artificial trees are then sent to landfills, where their plastic content makes them last forever.

A six foot tall artificial tree produces 40kg of emissions if thrown on a landfill, compared to a real tree which only creates 3.5kg of emissions if it’s chipped or incinerated.

P1020080Live trees, on the other hand, are a renewable resource grown on tree farms, that are replanted regularly. They contribute to air quality while growing, and almost ninety percent are recycled into mulch. Live trees are usually locally grown and sold, sving both transportation costs and added air pollution.

 

5. Christmas cards                                                                                                                                 Buy recycled paper (not plastic) cards without lots of decorations, otherwise these cannot be recycled. Around 744 million cards are sent each Christmas and if all these were made from recycled paper, it would save the equivalent of 248,000 trees.

Alternatively send an e-card; there are lots of websites which allow you to do this for free. And remember you can reuse cards as gift tags next year!

6. Lower the impact of holiday lighting
IMG_0883Reduce the size of outdoor lighting displays. A smaller presentation of lights can still be attractive, and more appropriate in the ‘season of giving’. Saving electricity is also a way of giving, since conserving resources benefits everyone.
Use LED lights for house and Christmas tree lighting
LED (Light Emitting Diode) holiday lights use up to 95% less energy than larger, traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors. LED holiday lights use .04 watts per bulb, 10 times less than mini bulbs and 100 times less than traditional holiday bulbs. As an added bonus, if one of the LED lights burns out the rest of the strand will stay lit.

7. Eat Organic                                                                                                                                           Food is a key part of peoples Christmas period so it is important to consider choices that are not harmful to the planet. Around 30% of our individual carbon footprint is made up of our food choices, so what we eat this Christmas is the single most important way we can reduce our environmental impact.
Choosing local organic produce can help support local farmers and provide food that is nutritious and free from harmful pesticides. Buying organic food also helps support improved biodiversity (See https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6496-organic-farming-boosts-biodiversity/)

Organic farms help keep carbon in the soil and therefor reducing the carbon footprint. ‘On average 22% more birds, 75% more plant species, 50% more pollinators such as bees’ (Journal of Applied Ecology Vol 51 2014)

8. Eat Less Meat and Fish.                                                                                                                  20kg is roughly the carbon footprint of a single Christmas dinner. This means that the country as a whole will produce around 51,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from food alone. Its therefor really important to consider how we can reduce our carbon footprint with our eating habits over the festive period.
Eating less meat and fish over the xmas period can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint with The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimating the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

9. Buy Local                                                                                                                                        Support local crafts, food producers and businesses by buying gifts from local owners. Local business can help you find the perfect decorations, gifts and food for Christmas dinner. Supporting local business builds community and resilience.

10. Make your own gifts, cards and decorations                                                              Making your own food and decorations brings people together and brings a personal tough to the Christmas period. Craft gifts can be some of the most precious and cherished gifts of all at xmas.

 

Find out how to integrate crafts into your xmas: http://www.mookychick.co.uk/how-to/arts-and-crafts/make-cheap-christmas-gift-ideas.php

For more information about how we implement these Xmas tips into our lives why not experience it by join us this Christmas.

http://newboldtrust.org/christmas-holidays/

 

Garden Blog: All about Apples

Mid August in the walled garden, the first variety of apple ripen and fall. The snow in early December has ensured the remainder of any hanging fruit has fallen, the blackbirds feasting on the frozen Bramley’s Seedling variety plump on the ground, creating apple carcasses on the frozen earth.

apple_juiceThe last trees baring fruit were the six Bramley’s Seedling and the first in September where the Beauty of Bath. In between this seasonal parade of
70 apple trees in leaf, in bloom, with apples, without apples, without leaves, dormant, we create and celebrate the bounty of these beautiful trees.

There are around 35 different variety of apple some of them Heritage varieties. Some planted 100 years ago, they have experienced much more than any of the human beings living here now. They are home to many lichens, mosses, birds, insects and help create the atmosphere of the walled garden that grows a majority of the food for the community of Newbold House.

IMG_5833This year Newbold Trust with the help of the Voluntary Action Fund created a Volunteer Coordinator post that enabled the coordination of preserving of many garden harvests including apples. Thanks to all the volunteers who come to our preserving days and to work in the garden.

We made apple – compote, butter, curd, chutney, rings, cake,
tarts and all those things forgotten. We also, together with the garden volunteers, picked up windfalls, picked from the tree, processed apples into apple juice, sorted apples for storage, and spat a pip on Apple Day.
It will soon be time for pruning the trees. Each is very unique and with loving human attention and a positive outcome at the COP21 talks (see http://www.transitionnetwork.org) will again bear fruit for many years to come.

For more photographs of Apple Day and Food Preservation follow us on Facebook or click here.

 

Newbold Trust supports refugees

Sustainability is about far more than environmental policy and development; its a holistic way of thinking which integrates social empowerment and justice. A key issue in regards to social justice is the suffering of refugees migrating from Syria.

More than 750,000 refugee have arrived from Syria and other war torn nations
into mainland Europe. These refugees have left their homes with little food, clothes or shelter in the hope of finding a stable and improved quality of life.

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Newbold members attended a TSI Moray lead refugee crisis meeting and felt compelled to help make a positive impact in alleviating the struggles of refugees. Newbold Members since have volunteered alongside Moray supports refugees.

Newbold  Trust members Kirsty and myself joined local community volunteers Bas and Sallia at the sorting centre for Moray supports refugees. Newbold members and local volunteers helped sort and prioritise items for transport to refugee families most in need.

72717F36-C3E9-47A6-9A76-A3837F571C8DDF88DDD9-42B4-4E6B-9384-B611BEFB217FI was overwhelmed by the volume of donations from the Moray community. I feel that community and compassion are key in alleviating this human right struggle. If we work alongside our local communities and remain compassionate we can make a difference.


You can find out more about how you can help by visiting the Moray supports refugees Facebook page

Or visit:

Cal Aid – Humanitarian assistance for refugees

Cal Aid Facebook page.

Refugee donation drop off points

To donate click here

Welcome to the Newbold Blog

spiral of the great circle of lifeOur blog reflects our role in part of what Joanna Macy has called the Great Turning – an un-named, self-organising movement of millions of individuals and organisations concerned with social and environmental justice, wellbeing and sustainability.

Our contribution is to help provide an answer to the question: “How do we change ourselves so that we are strong enough to contribute to this great shift?” (Naomi Klein).

Newbold Community GartheringWe aim to share here some of the hope, inspiration, education, healing, motivation and skills provided by our life here at Newbold.

We hope you enjoy our blog, keep an eye on this page for further updates!