Recently, Marion Forrest from TTKD visited Totnes in the UK to attend a course at Schumacher College.
Following is her description of some Transition initiatives being undertaken in the Totnes area.
Transition Town Totnes is focused on creating a vibrant, local, resilient community. The movement, in my opinion, has been lucky to be associated with Schumacher College with its holistic teaching and out of the box thinkers as well as The Dartington Hall Trust which owns 1,200 acres of land and buildings thus allowing a relatively small community to be firmly in charge on the community land and infrastructure. That has enabled them to forge ahead and create their own future
Some positive outcomes which I saw in the Totnes area are:
Water wheels are being recommissioned to produce some local electricity
Greyfield Timber Business, a carbon and waste-neutral integrated wood business, is being constructed with of the main building and a kiln to dry the wood both being made with straw bale. It aims to be fuelled by its own waste and hopes to supply local markets with quality, locally sourced timber products.
A small low-carbon farm has sprung up on unused School ground and uses minimum tillage and low mechanization practices. It is now supplying directly into the local area a few boxes of food per week plus quality vegetables, fruit and cut flowers.
A demonstration Research Plot has been set up attached to the Schumacher College by Martin Crawford. Martin has 20 years experience of Organic Horticulture, Agriculture and Agroforestry and advised us that with climate change challenges ahead, he has found he can provide an abundance of food by growing a variety of fruit & nut trees plus perennials as understory but not necessarily with natives at all – just what can/might be grown with increasing temperatures on the way.
He is hopefully that in the future, with good plant choices and minimal cultivation we could feed ourselves. He has another much larger plot elsewhere in Devon where he also does research.
New businesses are being subsidized by the Darting Hall Trust until they can stand alone.
Can we learn from some of this here in Brisbane?