All posts by Grant Venner

Rose Hip Project

rose hipsRose hips contain 20 times more vitamin C than oranges. A nutritious syrup can be extracted from the hips by a simple process rather like jam making. Rose hip syrup is an excellent immune system booster and can be taken by the spoonful (like a medicine) or drizzled over cereals, cakes, bread, etc., or added to fruit juice. If we grow the roses ourselves, we have an enduring source of free, local, high quality vitamin C

What type of plant?

There are many varieties of roses that can be used for this, but research indicates that a variety of Rugosa (“Frau Dagmar Hastrup”) has a combination of properties that make it ideal for our purpose  –  disease resistant, large number of hips, high vitamin C content, attractive to bees and birds.  The variety “Scabrosa” has fewer but larger hips and can be a good alternative.

When to plant?

November through March for bare root plants, which can provide a crop this autumn

Where to get the plants?

There is a grower in Norfolk (Peter Beals Roses) that currently has about 70 Scabrosa in stock. The regular price is £12.45 each, but we can get a discount for a larger order. Enquiries are also in progress with Cultivate London about sourcing them locally.

Where to plant them?

Gardens, allotments, community orchards, waste ground, etc. These roses can cope with clay soil and partial shade.

How much space do they take?

The varieties mentioned above grow to about 1.5m high and about 1.5m diameter in clay soil.

How to make rose hip syrup?

There are lots of suggestions on the web, but we could create our own recipe sheet and/or hold communal brewing sessions in the autumn.



Sunday 24th March: 7.30pm: Film Showing: Chasing Ice

chasingiceArctic sea ice is the climate’s version of the canary in the coalmine. Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of climate change. Using time-lapse cameras, his videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.

As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, James Balog finds himself battling untested technology in subzero conditions and coming face-to-face with his own mortality. It takes years for him to see the fruits of his labour, but the results speak for themselves.

Harrowing yet incredibly beautiful, this documentary dramatically presses the case for action on climate change. The film has won 23 awards at film festivals around the world, including the Sundance film Festival

You can watch the trailer at

As usual, the film will be shown at St Mary’s Church, St Mary’s Road, Ealing W5 5RH. Entry is free however we will ask for donations to help us cover the cost of screening. A selection of warm beverages and cakes / biscuits will be served after the film so we can discuss what we have seen and its implications for our efforts in Ealing.

Transition Free Press Issue 1


Members of Ealing Transition have been busy this week distributing hard copies of the fantastic new quarterly broadsheet ‘Transition Free Press‘:

The Transition Free Press provides a clear voice reporting on the growing movement to build low carbon, regenerative, and resilient communities. With the Transition movement clearly in focus, Transition Free Press will also report on developments in new economics, relocalisation, food and energy security, social and environmental justice. Unlike the mainstream media, the Transition Free Press will deliver an alternative view of the world, one that isn’t controlled by corporations or wealthy individuals.

If you’ve not managed to find a print version, you can also read an electronic version of the paper 

If you would like to support the paper on an ongoing basis, you might want to consider backing the paper’s crowd-funding campaign, or subscribing. Details of how to participate can be found at: