May 21, 2011

It’s the season for an abundance of Elderflowers.  A sign that the summer has arrived! We have been making litres of Elderflower cordial and Elderflower champagne . It will be ready to drink in a few weeks.

The flowers were picked from trees in Nunhead near the cemetery, at the top of Broadway Market in East London where there is a hidden edible forest garden and in the nature reserve near the adventure playground in Weavers Fields, Bethnal Green. (For cordial and champagne recipes see:  categories: seasonal recipes)

A few more days to go before all the flowers fall.

It is said that Elderflower is very strong as an emotional  healer – as it stimulates energy, vigor, resilience, joy, and our powers of recovery and renewal of energy.


May 21, 2011

New springs for the summer season

This weekend we had planned the Wind Turbine building course with V3 Power at Hawkwood Plant Nursery. But unfortunately we’ve  had to postpone it. We will re schedule later in the year. We’re really sorry to have caused disappointment to all those who booked. But we’ve had to prioritise getting the trailer fixed – which is currently grounded in Powerstock, Dorset –  it needs urgent attention to become road safe again!

The story goes…We were about to leave the common and drive back to London. Vince was towing with his faithful landrover and as he was doing a final check he noticed a dangling bit of metal between the wheels! we took a closer look  – and saw that the spring (suspension) had broken, totally rusty……..yes very dangerous and explains why the trailer had been ‘snaking’ on the road.  So all our plans had to change in an instant!

Its taken a while to find the right garage…Energy Cafe trailer is prehistoric in trailer terms…an old  Sinclair built to carry two horses or three ponies. Toller Trailers of Toller Porcorum seem confident that with a bit of modification they can get her back the road.  Robin  is fitting four new beautiful springs – just in time for the summer season.

We hope Energy Cafe will be back on the road next week –  we’ll keep you posted!

May 20, 2011

On Powerstock Common we were lucky to have a constant supply of wood to burn in Henry Ranger. Ash Logs had been left in the car park for anyone to pick up.  We discovered the true qualities of this beautiful wood – as we cooked in all kinds  of ways; baked, stewed, steamed, roasted, fried and made pastry pies, baked bread, cakes and crumbles. Ash is a big favourite!

May 3, 2011

Here is a special poem that our friend Rae gave us to circulate – passed on from her grandmother – Its about different types of wood and how they burn.

Logs to burn, logs to burn,

logs to save the coal a turn,

there’s a word to make you wise

when you hear the wood – man’s cries

Never heed his usual tale

That he has good logs for sale,

but read these lines and really learn

the proper kind of logs to burn.

Oak logs will warm you well

if they’re old and dry.

Larch logs of pinewood smell

But the sparks will fly,

Beech logs for Christmas time

Yew logs heat well

‘Scotch’ logs it is a crime for anyone to sell.

Birch logs will burn too fast,

Chestnut scarce at all;

Hawthorn logs are good to last

if cut in the fall

Holly logs will burn like wax

You should burn them green,

Elm logs like smoldering flax

No flame to be seen.

Pear and Apple they will scent your room,

Cherry logs across the clogs

Smell like flowers in bloom

But Ash logs, all smooth and grey,

Burn them green or old

Buy up all that comes your way

they’re worth the weight in gold

Now for a ‘Transition vision /tv’ double bill:
A short film that documents the horse drawn arrival of Energy Cafe on Powerstock Common, Dorset.
Shot and edited by John and Sue Holman.
Moving On’
an audio piece by Catherine Simmonds
Karl Edwards decided to take up a new career working with horses. He trained his horses Bonnie and Alf to work in the woods with him and also began training as a farrier. Catherine Simmonds recorded interviews with Karl and also the intricate sounds of his daily work. Catherine wrote and recorded poems that were inspired by her time with Karl. Johannes Van Weizsacker of The Chap provided original music. This montage of sound was then put together by Catherine working with John Holman at Transition Vision’s base in Wincanton. I was reminded that this piece was sitting on the shelf when I encountered Karl and his horses at a Spring Procession on Powerstock Common. They had been pressed into service to tow the mobile Energy Cafe  to its location from where it was going to be in operation for a week providing food sourced from within a 6 mile radius and cooked and prepared totally off-grid, using a wood fired range and various portable reusable energy devices. This audio piece was produced as part of an Arts Council Funded Trilith project.


April 26, 2011

Directions to Energy Cafe lunches on powerstock common

from Bridport take the Beaminster road, take a right to West Milton and follow signs to Powerstock.

From Powerstock: take the road towards Toller Pocorum ( going up the steep hill – leaving the church on your right)

continue for half a mile past Whytherston farm ( on your right)

carry on up hill. All the way

until you reach a junction.

Turn right

go down the hill – then take the right turning at the bend – follow the road downhill

lots of wild garlic and blue bells along the way..

continue down hill until you see the railway bridge…

turn right into the car park just after the bridge…

park here. then walk onto the common and follow the sign to energy cafe lunch 3!

we look forward to seeing you!

April 23, 2011

Painted egg boxes by Lucy & Alice for the eggs laid daily by hens and ducks at Copse Barn.

April 21, 2011

A big thanks to environmental resource the Kingcombe Centre for lending cafe furniture.

And a special thanks to Debbie who also serves a delicious cake and cuppa!

April 21, 2011

20.04.11  Lunch 1 @ Powerstock Common

Energy Cafe Under Glorious High Pressure in the Spring Sun!

April 19, 2011

Long live the Stinging Nettle!
A passage from Les Miserables concerning the lovely Stinging Nettle : 
’One day he (Monsieur Madeleine) saw some peasants busy plucking out Nettles; he looked at the heap of plants uprooted and already withered, and said – “They are dead. Yet it would be well if people knew how to make use of them. When the nettle is young, its leaf forms an excellent vegetable; when it matures, it has filaments and fibres like hemp and flax. Nettle fabric is as good as canvas. Chopped, the nettle is good for poultry; pounded it is good for cattle. The seed of the nettle mingled with fodder imparts a gloss to the coats of animals; its root mixed with salt produces a beautiful yellow colour. It is besides excellent hay and can be cut twice. And what does the nettle require? Little earth, no attention, no cultivation. Only the seed falls as it ripens, and is difficult to gather. That is all. With a little trouble, the nettle would be useful; it is neglected, and becomes harmful.”

April 18, 2011

The horse drawn horse box. A big thanks to Karl Edwards and his handsome Suffolk Punches Bonnie & Alfie!