Tag Archives: ealing

The birth of the Lammas Park Community Orchard

The Lammas Park Community Orchard is one of our brewing local food projects. Over the course of the last year, some hardy souls in our Transition Local Food group have been lobbying the council for a slice of Lammas Park in Northfields. An application was rejected, amended, re-submitted, and then approved. (We asked for too many trees at first!) With the first steps taken this weekend, we’ll be planting 5 different types of native trees with  to feed the community in the coming years. This is an open event and a great chance to come check out the group and the cause, or just have a good old fashioned dig.

There will be twenty trees in total replacing one of the disused tennis courts in the park. This Saturday (26/2), we’re calling on all able bodied people to turn up at 10 a.m. with a spade and determination! We need to dig 20 1-yard wide holes for the trees. Next Saturday (5/3) at 2 p.m.there will be a family day for the actual tree planting featuring kids’ activities, snacks, community joviality. The works! Come one, come all.

If you’ve got any questions, just pop an email over to ealingcommunitygarden@gmail.com or comment below!

This was also posted over at the community garden blog, but we like to spread the good word. So here it is again!

Hanwell’s Foxy Craft Market, Saturday, 11 – 3

The Fox Pub has been trying to get a local market off the ground on the last Saturday of every month, when its front walkway and garden fill up from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with stalls selling fresh bread, free range eggs, organic meats, artisan cheeses, cakes, various condiments and chutneys… plus locally made jewelry and ceramics, with a smattering of other artists on-site. I’ve heard that the stalls are good, but attendance is varied. This is probably due to the fact that the Fox is at the end of Green Lane – a dead end, with foot traffic occasionally passing by from the canal.

Local market + Doom Bar or a ginger beer tickles my fancy for a Saturday. I think I might do my practical shopping (for Ottolenghi’s caramelised garlic tart to fete HVS’ last night in the UK!) at the Ealing Farmer’s Market and then poke around at the Fox for some novelties. I bet I’ll find that the two are somewhat interchangeable for things like cheeses and chutneys. But WILL FOXY’S MARKET HAVE MY SPROUTS?

I’ll let you know.

(Can’t find a link to pop up here, hmmm. Guess there isn’t a dedicated Foxy’s Craft Market page?)

Bath Soft Cheese at the Ealing Farmer’s Market

The Ealing Farmer’s Market has added a new vendor to its roster – Bath Soft Cheese Company. The Bath Soft Cheese itself is its most famous variant, derived from a nineteenth century recipe that was one of Lord Nelson’s favourites. So, starting this weekend and then every third Saturday from now on, you can saunter on down to Leeland Road and live like Lord Nelson. We’ll see if I can be swayed from my Glastonbury unpasteurised cheddar to try Bath Soft Cheese. Everyone likes a bit of variety, right? Or, am I important enough to be allowed to suggest a throwdown between cheesemongers? (Probably not. But it would be funny. Little aprons and all. WHO HAS THE BEST CHEESE. SETTLE IT ON THE DANCE FLOOR.)

Along with this announcement came the reminder that the Ealing Plant Fair will be taking place 9 April. And you know what that means: Spring is coming. Summer is coming. We can leave our houses again!

Ealing Farmer’s Market operates every Saturday on Leeland Road W13, from 9:00 – 1:00. Cupcakes, chutneys, apples, brussel sprouts, lamb shank, buffalo yogurt… Come one, come all.

Walking in a Winter Wonder..Hanwell..

Since we still haven’t managed to get food into the house, I hoarsely proposed a Sunday roast out on the town. It took three pubs, but we eventually found one at the Viaduct that hadn’t a) run out or b) gotten so crowded it gave me the heebies. On the way, we cast off for a wintry trudge through the snow.

When I was home in the States, my dad asked me who we had arranged to shovel our walk if it snowed. I just sort of blinked. It hadn’t really snowed yet in London this year and, maybe, just maybe, I’m internalizing a lot of the local notion that it will just get done for me. When it snowed this weekend, I scoffed at the lack of shoveling (not that I own a snow shovel here or anything) and made my usual snarky whatevers about New Englanders shoveling their walks and trudging eight miles to work in a blizzard without complaining and being able to use kryptonite as a vinaigrette on their salad because AREN’T THESE OLD ENGLANDERS WEAK. The truth is that it’s just different here. The Daily Mail recently ran an article warning people that you are liable if you shovel your walk and someone slips on it anyway, so best just not shovel it, because somehow this gives you legal absolution. In Newton, Massachusetts, you can be fined $50 if your walk goes uncleared – even if you are on holiday, even if you are elderly. You get the side eye in the neighborhood if you are THAT house, and we will also generally persecute you for wanting healthcare, thinking the government should help the unemployed or not understanding why we shouldn’t all defend our homes with a semi-automatic rifle. SO. Choose your poison.

(My American family believes none of these things – they probably just shovel because it’s what you do, and if you don’t do it, nobody else will, and then we’ll all be screwed when the annual ten feet of snow come to call).

At any rate, this whole Snowy London Kerfuffle HAS made me want to go out and buy a big ass red shovel, if only so that my cats can leap into whatever pile I create from great heights. Because they are my weaselly little children.

And I don’t want the older lady next door to slip.

The Grand Union Canal.

Boys packing snowballs with which to torment me.

We crept across the frozen lock. I almost fell in. Boys threw things at me.

The bush outside of our house is flattened with the weight of six inches of snow. It’s pretty boring to look at and naturally smells of cat piss. Fingers crossed this spells its bitter end.

(That ain’t a picture of our bush).

We headed up into the bunny fields between the canal and the football pitches to find a snowman decorated with teazels and twigs. I would have a photo of it, but my camera battery went dead. But just imagine the hokey potential of teazels in the place of coal… a clean energy snow man. Ah.

Ruminations on the Oak Wharf Planning Application

Our neighborhood is almost constantly under threat from developers. It’s a historical conservation area abutted by sprawling green space and the Grand Union Canal. Bunnies frolic, bees enjoy, overly minted families live in harmony in their Grade II listed houses. Capitalism insists that corporations not allow such an idyll to go unbothered for long – especially not in London. And so the latest encroachment being made on Hanwell comes in the form of the Oak Wharf Planning Application.

Developers are hoping to build a five story apartment building at the base of Green Lane, a Victorian road that spills out into public walking paths along the banks of the canal. The buildings would back onto the River Brent and an expanse of allotments that have been there since at least the inter-war years. The other houses involve exposed timber and terrace gardens, and the land in question is actually at the base of the lane, where pavements and road space narrow. Naturally this space calls for a behemoth complete with parking garage and all the attendant human waste and wreckage that comes with habitation.

It is true that the area in question is currently out of use – very unfortunate, but perhaps not best remedied with a structure that is so incompatible with the rest of the area, and whose construction would prove a detriment. I would personally love to see the cracked pavement on the building site jackhammered and turned into yet more green space to make up for all the extraordinary damage we’ve done to what was once the countryside whose agriculture supported the London metropolis. While I understand the need for new housing as the British population expands, I am more in favor of upgrading existing housing rather than bulldozing what little free land we have left. The disused space along the River at the end of Green Lane should be converted back into an ecological space that will support and reinvigorate local plants and animals, allowing Hanwell to continue to attract people from the borough looking for as much countryside as you can get while still in the capital. Rather than supporting the area, it would appear that planners aim to cram even more people and cars into an already pressurised area at any cost – even that of dishonesty, as has been documented by the Old Hanwell Residents Association. I recognise that not every issue is black and white, but the idea of this proposal going ahead and being approved actually makes me feel a bit ill. In my opinion, once we let one developer encroach on that conservation area and begin to put their footprint on Hanwell’s green space, it will usher in a new phase of building and destruction, rendering the area yet further unrecognisable.

Check out Peter Hutchison’s plea for local action below and click through to the link to comment if you are a Hanwell resident.

I am writing to ask that you comment on the Oak Wharf Planning Application – p/2010/4391, if you have not done so already. Ealing Planning notices with different dates have led to some confusion – on Friday of last week they confirmed the official deadline for comments is Friday 3 December (although a few days after that will be permitted). Comments can be submitted online at http://www.pam.ealing.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=128076

The developers have been putting a lot of effort into swaying opinion. There are a number of rumours that appear to emanate from the developers. Details follow:

·         Suggestions that residents are in favour (a large majority of Oak Cottages residents contacted are strongly against)

·         The Hanwell Conservation Panel has given its support (they have opposed this on multiple grounds)

·         Environment Agency have cleared the proposal in relation to flooding (that decision is pending and not yet received by Ealing Council)

·         Ealing Planning have given their support (they have not – that process is still underway).

·         The developers have been in touch with our three ward Councillors, suggesting that residents are in support of the proposal (clearly not the case, see above).

This comes across as a planned attempt to break down or pick off opposition in small pockets. The plans available on the council website appear to show more detail and investment than is usual at this stage, which implies the developers are serious about pushing through this planning application.

Worryingly, when local residents have raised concerns to the developers, they have said that if they do not get the planning application through, what happens with the site will be much worse.

While many of us would like to see something useful done in this great location, this planning application for five three storey townhouses bordering the River Brent in the heart of the St Mark’s and Canal Conservation is not the answer.


Please do not think others will do this. Letters from each resident of a property are all counted as valid opinion.

There is an outline structure of grounds for objection at the bottom, along with full contact details. One of our Councillors has requested that they be copied in on emails. Their email addresses are yoel.gordon@ealing.gov.uknigel.bakhai@ealing.gov.uk, and anita.kapoor@ealing.gov.uk.

If you would like to see more details about the Planning Application the Developers will be presenting at the next Hanwell Community Forum on Tuesday 7 December at 7.45pm at St Mellitus Church Hall.

This Green Ealing Winter

There was an Ealing Transition Community Garden meeting this past Wednesday – full of energy and verve, I’ve been told. I’ve been a very recalcitrant Community Garden participant. I think my last visit was probably a month ago. Work eats me alive and I sleep in and I sip my tea and I have excuses and the ambition of everyone else fills me with a tiny bit of shame. (Eee!)

There is a green itinerary for the next few months in Ealing, and our (their!) meeting was probably good place to start. So I’m going to pop the last mass e-mail from ealingtransitioncommunitygarden@gmail.com, just to offer a sense of the goings on in the next while..! I contributed the location of the Green Drinks and nothing else. Just to be clear.

Sunday 21 November – Tree planting at Blondin Park – we are planting fruit and nut trees in the Nature Reserve of Blondin Park. Blondin Park is at the southern end of Northfield Avenue W5 and can be entered via Blondin or Niagara Avenues, Boston Manor Road or Windmill Road. Buses: E2, E3, E8. Bring a spade or fork if you have one. Winter warming soup will be on offer to all tree planters!

Saturday 27 November – West Ealing Neighbours Craft Fair, St James Church, West Ealing 10am-4pm – West Ealing Neighbours Abundance Group are selling jams and chutneys that have been made from fruit picked from around Ealing. They would like volunteers to help out on the day with the stall, tea and coffee making and the like. If you can spare an hour or two, please let us know at ealingcommunitygarden@googlemail.com so that Diane can plan the numbers.

Sunday 28 November – Dig Day at Village Park Allotments – please note that for the winter, our dig days are now fortnightly rather than weekly – the second and fourth SUNDAYS of the month.

Tuesday 30 November – Green Drinks with West Ealing Neighbours – 7:30 New Inn (on South Ealing Road opposite St Mary’s Church) – a chance to meet like-minded people from Ealing and surrounds.

Saturday 4th December – Forage for Gingko in Gunnersbury – Mari will lead a forage for gingko, and then show us how to prepare and cook it. Details to follow

Sunday 12th December – Dig Day at Village Park Allotments

Sunday 9th January – Dig Day at Village Park Allotments

Sunday 23rd January – Dig Day at Village Park Allotments

Sunday 13th February – Dig Day at Village Park Allotments

Sunday 27th February –
Dig Day at Village Park Allotments

March 2011 – from March next year, we will have weeknight dig days in addition to weekend dig days, for those who prefer a weeknight or can’t make it on the weekend. Weeknight dig days (or is that dig nights?) will be Wednesdays

Saturday 2 April 2011 – Open day – plant/seedling swap/giveaway, planting, local food – more details closer to the time, but if you have ideas, we’d love to hear them

May 2011 – Forage for rose petals and jam making led by Katherine

I’ll try to update this itinerary as it happens, if I ever manage to community garden again. Oh I like my bed. Oh my life is losing meaning without weekly digging. I’m not even kidding.

London fog

We’ve finally had a couple of serious frosts, with light sheets of ice coating the cars in the neighborhood overnight. I’m cooking up some jalapeno and cheddar cornbread for Saturday’s Thanksgiving feast, but looked out the window long enough to catch a glimpse of the fog that had rolled in over the common outside our house.

There was a man striding purposefully through the middle of this shot just seconds earlier, and all you could really see was his silhouette.

This final photo is the only one that really does the mist justice.