RFGN AGM 16 Feb 2020

Held at RISC


  • 4:30pm Seed swap and refreshments
  • 5pm AGM business: chair's report, treasurer's report, election of committee
  • 5:20pm Amanda Couch talking about MERL "Commons" projects including ‘Becoming with Wheat (and Other More-Than-Human Others)’ and Grow Beer Reading
  • 5:30pm Dave Richards talk "Growing climate-friendly food" followed by Q&A
  • 6:15pm Action list - attendees to say what they're currently doing, what they now intend to do and what needs collaboration

Chair's Report

The chair's report (PDF format) and the seed swaps run in 2019 (PDF format)

Treasurer's Report

The treasurer's report (PDF format)

Election of committee

The following network members were elected unanimously as a committee en-block:

Lindsey Brown (Treasurer), Beth Scott, Karen Blakeman, Michael Bright, Will Alliston, Liz Kerry, and Mark Binns

Roles to be agreed at the next committee meeting on 31 March at 6pm at RISC.

The Commons: Re-Enchanting the World

Amanda Couch is an artist working on a project around the idea of The Commons: Re-Enchanting the World that will take place at The MERL, Museum of English Rural Life in Reading this year. A number of artists will be responding to the context of the enclosure of the commons, and its impact on English rural history, with its social, colonial and ecological repercussions, through three projects, one on wheat, one on beer and one on indigo. Read the info sheet for further details of all three projects, or come to the Reading Grow Beer info evening.

Growing Climate Friendly Food


Action Lists

What attendees are already doing

  • Learning all I can about diverse methods, diversity in culture and knowledge
  • Horseshoe garden (Ed: keyhole garden?)
  • Turning the council flat garden into a forest garden
  • Fermenting food waste (aka Bokashi) - zero waste + in-soil wormery (happy to teach)
  • Bokashi, minimum tillage
  • Composting
  • Composting bedding from the stables for client gardens
  • Composting, grow own food
  • Growing own food at home and in community garden
  • Growing food
  • Flexitarian diet, starting allotment, using soy milk
  • Use oat milk
  • Water harvesting
  • Saving water (butts in garden and allotment)
  • Mulch: less watering, less weeding, feed soil life, protect soil from erosion and UV, no compost spreading

What new things attendees are going to do

  • No bare soil
  • Grow sea spinach
  • Pond for wildlife
  • Go through with new project to grow local and seasonal produce using climate change adaptation and mitigation techniques
  • Get my wormery going again
  • Worm composting
  • Teach carbon gardening
  • Introduce swirl pools (Ed: swales?) for irrigation
  • Make woodchip-filled swales
  • Rain garden (to catch runoff from front drive)
  • Plan to go full vegetarian, researching ethical consumption
  • Stop using almond milk (I'm already dairy free)

What things we need help with

  • Tree planting and council forum
  • Create a people's Green Plan for Reading to counter RBC's developer-led plans
  • More street trees / grow trees on public grassy areas (needs Reading Council and Ethical Reading)
  • Bee Roadzz Berks - community made pollinator highway
  • Source of good peat-free seed compost (or know-how to make same)
  • Backyard biochar making - scale up needs collaboration
  • Swallowfield Aquaponics - support to grow plants and fish symbiotically and learn closed loop agriculture
  • Collaborate with Feasts on Streets! Aim to vitalise underused lawns and refresh them by growing local food for distribution at markets, veg box by cycles and a portion for a people who lend the land
  • Cleaner Reading
  • Experiments with super-efficient irrigation - needs interest group
  • Community composting of waste bedding from stables around Reading