Amelia’s Magazine | Help Fund The Fruit Factory for Brighton Permaculture Trust

Drawing of The Fruit Factory
The Brighton Permaculture Trust recently contacted me to tell me about their crowdfunding campaign on Buzzbnk to fund a permanent site for their ambitious Fruit Factory, a fabulous plan that involves turning waste fruit into yummy juices, at the same time offering educational courses to learn more about sustainable living. How could I resist giving them a plug? I’d love to visit if I am ever in the area.

The Fruit Factory Brighton apples_in_orchard
Where did the idea for The Fruit Factory come from?
We were aware that lots of fruit went unharvested around the city, simply rotting on the ground. We started to pick this fruit and process it into juices, chutneys, etc at pop up locations and found that people wanted the products and wanted to see them made. Now we want to up scale so we can process up to 40 tons of fruit a year; Stanmer was the obvious choice as it is next to a small orchard we manage and lots of people pass by.

The Fruit Factory Brighton a_van_full_of_appples_that_would_have_gone_to_waste
Who collects the fruit and where does it come from?
It is collected by Brighton Permaculture team volunteers and workers. It comes from various places – private gardens, public spaces, and fruit farms (fruit that the retailers don’t want).

What would happen to the fruit if it did not come to the Fruit Factory?
It would often be left to rot; going to waste and causing a nuisance.

The Fruit Factory Brighton pop_up_scrumped_products_stall
How do you physically process 40 tons of fruit every year?
The majority will be used for juice. In a day we can press half a ton of fruit to make 250 litres of juice. We like to sell the juice fresh when we can as it tastes better and is more nutritious, but fresh juice only lasts a couple of days before it goes off and so we pasteurise what’s left to give it a year or two’s shelf life.

The Fruit Factory Brighton straw_bale_wall_building
Who built the straw bale building that houses the factory?
The straw bale construction was built by participants on two of our straw bale courses last year.

What will the money raised by Buzzbnk go towards?
It will finish the structure itself so we will be able to put on a roof and doors and windows, and render the walls.

The Fruit Factory Brighton juicing_with_school_kids
The Fruit Factory has plans for learning, what will you offer?
We help schools and communities to plant orchards (90 to date with our partners). People involved in these orchards and interested individuals want to learn how to care for fruit trees and process the juice. We have been involved with this work for 10 years but the Fruit Factory will allow us to up scale what we are offering. We are also planning a programme of school visits so that children can learn about where fruit comes from, about orchards and wildlife, and also how to prepare fruit.

For someone who might not know what permaculture means, how can it be explained in just a few sentences?
Nature created the abundant world we have inherited. Permaculture is a design system that draws on lessons from nature to design for our human needs. Obviously this includes growing food in natural ways as well as building energy efficient buildings from natural materials.

What other projects is the Brighton Permaculture Trust involved with?
We run a number of courses in sustainable living, from teaching people how to prune fruit trees to an accredited Permaculture Design course. We also run annual events Green Architecture Day and Apple Day. A large amount of our work is focussed on school/community orchard planting and teaching people how to care for the orchards when planted.

How does the Brighton trust network with other permaculture organisations across the UK and beyond?
We are a member of the Permaculture Association and have connections with a number of other Permaculture projects in the UK. A number of the tutors on our courses are from other organisations that are working in similar fields, and we have a number of local organisations in Sussex that we work very closely with and often in partnership with on different projects.

Support The Fruit Factory here, and don’t forget there are also still a few days left to back the urban mushroom farm in Exeter from GroCycle. Find out more here.

Categories ,Apple Day, ,Brighton Permaculture Trust, ,Buzzbnk, ,Education, ,Food, ,Fruit Juice, ,Green Architecture Day, ,GroCycle, ,Orchard, ,permaculture, ,Permaculture Association, ,Permaculture Design, ,Scrumping, ,Stanmer, ,Strawbale, ,Sussex, ,sustainable, ,The Fruit Factory, ,Waste Food

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Amelia’s Magazine | The 2012 Inaugural Lush Prize Awards Dinner: £250,000 towards the end of Animal Testing

Anti Animal Testing By James McCourt
Anti Animal Testing by James McCourt.

On Thursday 15th November Lush held their inaugural Lush Prize at a warehouse venue in the heart of Shoreditch, and I was there. During the afternoon Mothers Meeting invited us to a tea party for kids, complete with luscious cakes by Lily Vanilli for the mummies and plates of healthy snack food for the kiddies.

lush prize lily vanilli November
Snarfle Lush prize mothers meeting party November 2012
Snarfle Lush prize mothers meeting party November 2012
The older ones were invited to make brilliant animal masks with Margot Bowman in celebration of the Lush #animalperson campaign, whilst our wee ones babbled at each other and noshed on each other’s heads.

Lush Prize awards November 2012-
Then it was home to put Snarfle to bed before heading out once more for the prize giving dinner, a delicious vegan affair catered for by Tom’s Feast, and made entirely out of food that would otherwise go to waste.

Tom's Feast Lush Prize November 2012-
Tom's Feast Lush Prize November 2012-
Tom's Feast Lush Prize November 2012-
I particularly enjoyed a bright green foraged salad, complete with pineapple weed… aka wild chamomile. Take a look at Tom’s blog if you really want to make your mouth water.

Rowena Bird, Kelly Lush Prize November
By a stroke of luck I happened to sit next to the gorgeous Rowena Bird, co-founder of Lush, who we interviewed many a moon ago for the print version of Amelia’s Magazine. We talked about her new make up range for Lush, Emotional Brilliance, which is based on colour psychology: spin the wheel and find out what colours jump out at you. I also met an inspiring lady with an intriguing project, Lucy Gilliam and the New Dawn Traders. Her mission? To get tall ships back on the seas to transport large cargos in carbon free style. What an amazing idea and one I’d never thought about – apparently the technology is there and now it’s all about the will (as ever with these things). Also at my table was the film maker responsible for the viral ad campaign designed to promote the Lush Prize, Josef Valentino. Watch it here.

YouTube Preview Image
The space was conceived as a high tech homage to forward thinking science by Something & Son and Inition, and each table featured an iPad with which to view specially designed cards placed on our plates – through these we experienced augmented reality, as the chaotic graphic patterns took shape to make hearts, feet and lungs. Using fingers we were able to dismantle these, as if performing our very own human vivisections.

Inition augmented reality lush prize November 2012
The Lush Prize is a dauntingly ambitious project designed to highlight the ongoing use of animals in cosmetics testing, with a total prize fund of £250,000. It aims to promote and support all the exciting new developments which will hopefully rid our world of this outdated mode of experimentation. As Lush says ‘In a parallel universe not very far away, some of the world’s leading scientists and engineers are working towards a future where computers and molecular biology have replaced animals in laboratory tests.We reported on the new REACH act (which makes extensive animal testing mandatory by law) way back in 2009 but sadly this is a battle which still needs to be fought: thank god Lush have stepped back in to bring the spotlight back on animal testing.

Animals Against Testing by Annie Rickard Straus
Animals Against Testing by Annie Rickard Straus.

Perhaps even more worrying are the Chinese regulations which require researchers to retest every single product that arrives from the West. I was really disgusted to learn that several well known brands have removed their Against Animal Testing logos since entering the Chinese market. All for the sake of profit. Naturally Lush is boycotting China at present.

Lush Prize boxing hare
“Ask experimenters why they experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘because they are like us.’ Ask experimenters why it is morally okay to experiment on animals, and the answer is: ‘because the animals are not like us.’ Animal experimentation rests on a logical contradiction.” Charles R. Nagel.

But back to the Lush Prize – the winners had travelled from all over the world to receive one half of a boxing bronze hare (created by ceramist Nichola Theakston) and a large amount of cash, designed to aid them in their work putting an end to unnecessary animal testing. Prizes were awarded for Science, Training, Lobbying, Public Awareness and to post doctoral students. The recipients included Hiromi Kamekura from the Japan Anti-Vivisecton Association, which has been doggedly raising awareness of animal testing by cosmetics giant Shiseido. Winners also came from India, Italy, the USA, Canada and Russia, for this is a truly global fight. It’s brilliant that Mark and Mo Constantine of Lush are so passionate about the things they care about, regularly stumping up cash to help others create the better world they strive and wish for. If only wish more companies were as bold and principled in their decisions.

For a far more detailed analysis of the science behind the awards visit Lucy’s in depth blog here. A full list of the prize winners can be found here. It’s well worth revisiting our analysis of REACH too. I’m not a great one for endorsing petitions as I am not convinced they work, but there are quite a few out there against animal testing: you could lend your signature to this one. And finally, check out the Fighting Animal Testing website.

Categories ,#animalperson, ,Animal Testing, ,Annie Rickard Straus, ,Augmented Reality, ,Boxing Hare, ,Charles R. Nagel, ,China, ,Emotional Brilliance, ,Fighting Animal Testing, ,Foraged, ,Hiromi Kamekura, ,Inition, ,ipad, ,James McCourt, ,Japan Anti-Vivisecton Association, ,Lily Vanilli, ,Lobbying, ,Lucy and the New Dawn Traders, ,Lucy Gilliam, ,lush, ,Lush Prize, ,Margot Bowman, ,Mark Constantine, ,Mo Constantine, ,Mothers Meeting, ,Nichola Theakston, ,Pineapple weed, ,Post Doctoral Students, ,Public Awareness, ,R.E.A.C.H., ,reach, ,Rowena Bird, ,science, ,Shiseido, ,shoreditch, ,Snarfle, ,Something & Son, ,Tom’s Feast, ,training, ,vegan, ,Vivisection, ,Waste Food, ,£250000

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