January 28, 2009
Wednesday 21st January
On the Menu : ‘Fried Egg Sandwich Special! with tea or coffee’ from 8am – 4pm.
Early rise to chop wood, light the sun stove and chimnea, unload the trailer, get the kettle on and prepare for plenty of egg frying. (eggs being the local speciality of the day).
The menu at Energy Cafe depends on the food we find within a 6 mile radius…We’re making a local food map (and film) and planning a ‘Critical Mass food search (on bikes) on the 14th February which will culminate in a sunset dinner ‘cook up’…so if you grow your own or are involved in food production in any way and would like to be included on the map and have your tasty produce sampled then please get in contact! we’ll cycle to you on the day!
Back to breakfast….
Energy Cafe first visitor ; Belinda with her dog. around 8.30am. Having read all about it, and our call for involvement she offered to help the ‘kids take over ‘ during schools half term at Energy College. We hope she will bring her Brownies group too – who she said have been working on a project about trees (there’s lots of coppiced willow here to work with too!)
Early morning joggers Miles and Patricia (who run Abbey Health Foods – a store full of advice and consultancy as well as wholesome essentials – located on 3 Sun street, Waltham Abbey) made a special trip to be the first breakfasteers of the day ….and patiently waited for the eggs to fry (quite a knack to keeping the temperature hot enough for frying egg). It was worth the wait! they rated them ‘top’ – ‘ good to eat a hot breakfast” – a must for all joggers on a wintery morning.
Miles and Patricia’s local food search tip: contact the local ‘Honey man’
Cafe construction advice: make an oil drum fire to prevent cafe goers from shivering and build some more cafe seating…
A surprise visit from supporter Nigel -prompted a promotional moment…first signage goes out – made from palette wood, for the entrance…
and by the roadside. Hoping to attract drivers passing through…
for an ‘engine off ‘ welcome break.
All day Breakfast became a makeshift mix of cooking, eating and chatting…The informal buzzy atmosphere – helped by the sun, brought lots of ideas to the table.
plenty of camera clicking too…this photo of ‘Ella frying eggs’ was taken by Maggie Radcliffe-
and this one of ‘Amanda washing tea cups’. Thanks Maggie for sending through your pics!
Kate (about my area) kindly came to help run the cafe for a few hours…described her experience when the power cut that had struck the area the day before. “An opportunity to light candles and get the playing cards out…all was cosy until the boys realised the batteries were charged on their computers – to keep the charge – they’re well up for learning peddle power!!”
As the site has now become a wetland …we are looking at different options..
from imagining how it could be a perfect site for re instating the watercress farms back into the area…
aswell as exploring ways and means to harvest as much water as possible – plus make natural filtering systems. The harvesting system connected to the bio-diverse power station built by Shaun (Low Impact Construction) is now FULL of rainwater..collecting water in this season could be a full time occupation – imagine everyone making use of this plentiful natural resource at home! .
Noticing the green roof on the power station- Steven, a specialist in garden design, encouraged us also to bring natural insulation materials to the site and demonstrate ‘how to keep warm – efficiently’ during Energy College.
Here are Maggie and Tony! Thanks for the dozen eggs you added to the cafe stock! our challenge now..how many recipes with eggs as an essential ingredient can we find!..we’ll be baking for the rest of the week for sure! Place your order NOW! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cyclists dismount! Steve came to check out what’s on offer..a chef for many years, knows alot about catering for many people…Energy cafe is starting small scale – ‘a Hazelnut as Maggie said’, we’ll see how it grows.
The photographer from the Mercury newspaper demonstrated the need for an observation tower, which would also become a perfect bird viewing spot – as flocks of birds pass through everyday….plus we’ve just discovered that Gunpowder Park is a member of the Cloud Society. We’re out in the elements here, a vital study is that of the changing weather conditions. Forecasts would be useful too.
we’ve been playing with fire…
now we’re playing with wind- air molecules in motion- an Aeolian harp is played by the wind.
“It is named for Aeolius the Greek God of the wind”..so after a conversation with Giles (who makes musical instruments and musical playgrounds)we’re on the hunt for an old piano. Giles described how he could change the strings and convert it into an Aeolian harp for the prevailing winds to play on site. watch this space for further details…plus an impro music night around the fire may be coming up soon!
and Miles is keen to bring wind power to Waltham Abbey! keep checking the Energy College calendar for dates on ‘how to build a turbine’.
Energy Cafe got the thumbs up from Tony! plus some great workshop ideas and bookings for the upcoming Energy College…thanks to everyone who made the day!
and a big thanks to Holyfield Farm chickens! you’re on the local food map!