Open Food NEtwork feedback

The webinar hosted by Nick Wier was a great success with familiar and new faces joining us to find out how we might be able to set up a scheme to link local producers with local customers. The session was recorded and can be found on the link below. If you would like to get involved please email brace.committee@gmail.com. We are holding an online meeting to discuss things further on Wed 25th Nov -at 7.30pm

The link is : https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84536119288?pwd=NTdISzVYNXMyeDUwSnV4WDNKZGFXUT09

We wish it could be in person and if anyone wants to know more but can’t access these meetings please get in touch as we want to include as many people as possible.

Hope to see you there.

.

https://bit.ly/3eUjaDn – meeting recording

TALK: A home grown solution to selling local produce?

Join us at BRACE for an online talk by Nick Weir of the Open Food Network on Wednesday, November 11th at 7.30pm. Zoom link https://bit.ly/34DUmMu

If you’re a farmer, grower, market stall holder, owner of one of our excellent town shops – this is for you.
If you eat – this is also for you.

As concerns grow nationally over possible food supply disruption this talk explores a new way to boost local shopping. The Gloucestershire-based not-for-profit Open Food Network offers communities an online shop front where individual growers and small shops can sell their stock. Attendees will hear from people running successful food hubs in other parts of the UK and see behind the scenes how the Open Food Network functions. The webinar will explore ways that food hubs can link up with existing local shops and create additional employment. Food hubs can be a great way to generate income for producers and stimulate additional sales for markets and independent shops. It’s a chance to boost our local economy, remove the barriers to local food production and make good quality food available for more people. We’d really like to bring everyone together to explore this idea. More on the Open Food Network: https://about.openfoodnetwork.org.uk/

SGM/AGM minutes and adopted constitution

Special General Meeting

28th October 2020

This was a virtual meeting to which all supporters of BRACE were invited

The meeting commenced at 7.00pm

Participating: Alison Alexander,  Diana Allen,  Lorna Brown,  Amanda Dady,  John Dady,  Sue Dolman,  Dux Duckers, Sally Duckers, Kay Goddard,  Colin Hargis,  Steve Heys,  Jacqui Langstone,  Darren Mayor,  Shan Mayor,  Lesley Sweet , Anja Torikka, Ruth Weston

Apologies: Jane Carrington, Jeni Trythall

  1. In welcoming those participating in this special meeting Diana explained that a group of supporters had, with some guidance from PAVO, drafted a constitution which should allow BRACE to move forward in an organised and co-ordinated way. A draft of the constitution had been placed on the BRACE website and comments or observations invited.  No comments had been received and the meeting was therefore invited to agree its formal adoption.
  • The constitution was formally adopted.
  • An additional clause was added to the original draft (see 5b Finance below) and a copy of the constitution, as amended, will be placed on the BRACE website. 

Inaugural Annual General Meeting

  • In accordance with the new constitution the following were elected to form a Steering Committee:

Chairperson:  Diana Allen

Secretary:       John Dady

Treasurer:       Steve Heys

Members:       Alison Alexander, Sue Dolman, Kay Goddard, Shan Mayor,  Lesley Sweet, Anja Torikka

  • Discussion took place about the legal status of BRACE.
  1. Membership.   We have over 200 followers of our Website (www.brace.cymru), our Facebook Page or our WhatsApp Group.   And, because there could be significant benefit in being able to confirm to potential grant or funding providers the level of support there is in what we do, we will be inviting our supporters to become members of BRACE.

  There will be no fee for membership and we will maintain a list of contact details and areas of interest under GDPR rules of privacy and confidentiality.  Members will be encouraged to participate in both our activities and our decision making.  There could also be a list of supporters who wish only to be kept advised and informed of events, activities and other matters of interest. 

  • Finance.  BRACE will be making banking arrangements in its own name and will look to engage with an ethical provider.  Administration of funds is likely to include managing a few sub-accounts earmarked for specific project areas.

   The question was raised of how general funds, or unspecified donations, are to be allocated between possibly competing projects.  After discussion it was decided to include a clause requiring the decision-making process to involve consultation with members.  Item 1 of the Finance section of the constitution has been rewritten accordingly.

  • Insurance. The Community Garden group has been exploring the need for insurance cover for work on their project.  BRACE will now seek to arrange a suitable and appropriate policy, with an ethical provider, to cover for all its activities and responsibilities .  At this stage it is likely to cover only public liability, but further advice will be sought from PAVO and others.
  • Charitable Status. Investigation into banking and insurance has highlighted the advantage of BRACE being recognised as a charity.  There are 4 main types of charitable organisation and due to our size, fairly informal structure and limited financial resources, the most appropriate charitable status appears to be that of  “Unincorporated Association, with wider membership”. This charity structure is not required to register with the Charities Commission until funding exceeds £5,000 per annum but can register with HMRC to take advantage of tax relief and rate rebates if applicable, (there is no requirement to change the charity type if funding exceeds £5,000).  

   If in the future funding does increases significantly and BRACE’s activities develop along more commercial lines it may be appropriate to dissolve the Unincorporated Association and register as a more corporate style of charity e.g. Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). This establishes a charity as a separate legal entity and as such may limit the liability of its members and allow it to employ staff and to hold assets in the charity’s name. There are however more formal operating and reporting requirements for a corporate charity type.   

   We will be making further enquiries and taking advice from PAVO and others on these matters.

  • Any Other Business
  1. Dux offered that a large wooden dome, at present in storage at the Workhouse, could be passed on to BRACE for use by our community.  The structure is currently dismantled but when erected  has a diameter of about 30 feet and could be adapted for a variety of purposes. As siting it in Cae Bodbach as a shelter or education space was suggested, Diana will discuss with Jane Carrington when and whether this can be discussed within the Cae Bodfach Stakeholders Group.  
  2. Sue gave an update of the Community Garden project and ideas for a winter programme – and the need for some shelter for volunteers.  Kay confirmed that an application has been made for some grant funding from Llanfyllin Council for the Community Garden project.
  3. Although the Repair Café project is curtailed by Covid 19 restrictions, Sally suggested creating a “Resource Library” of lendable equipment, for example a sewing machine or tools , which could be available for members to borrow. Darren said that the Cross Keys had a range of tools and equipment which he would be happy to lend to members on request.  Anja was invited to coordinate.
  4. Jacqui invited interest in seeking a woodland grant if a suitable location could be found.  A piece of land was identified, and Jacqui will investigate further.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 7.45pm

Special General meeting – 7pm 28th Oct

A sincere thanks to all members of the BRACE WhatsApp Group, our Facebook and Website followers for your support and encouragement as BRACE has evolved from a conversation between people concerned about climate change and conservation to become an organisation that is now an established part of our community. We have started some great initiatives in the last 18 months such as the Community Garden & Repair Café. In addition, we have supported other local events such as the Christmas Fayre, Severn River Trust tree planting and wildflower planting in the verges.

To enable BRACE to move forward in an organised and co-ordinated way, we are setting up a committee to formalise our work.  The first step will be to adopt an appropriate constitution and a suitable organisational structure. 

After several discussions and advice from PAVO (Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations), we have prepared a constitution which can be found below or a copy can be emailed on request. A virtual Special General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 28th October 2020 at 7pm to seek its adoption. You are all invited to join the Zoom meeting – details of which will be announced nearer the date.

Should you wish to make any comments regarding the constitution, please let us know by Wednesday 21st October 2020.

Once the constitution is adopted, the meeting will become our first AGM and you will be invited to elect a Steering Committee.  If you would like to join this committee, please let us know by Wednesday 21st October 2020.

I do hope you will be able to join this special meeting but, if you unable to, we will be pleased to chat to you beforehand.

Our current email address is BRACE.Committee@gmail.com

Those proposing to stand for committee (so far):

Alison Alexander

Anja Torikka

Diana Allen

Jane Carrington

John Dady

Kay Goddard

Lesley Sweet

Steve Heys

Garden logo?

This is based on a sketch created by Leigh on the recent Llanfyllin PDC

Fun project really, thinking about potential signage at the institute garden. This logo idea is based on the icon for permaculture principle 1, ‘Observe and Interact’. The hole in the tree has become a face and fruits in the tree represent the surrounding community. And of course the river Cain at Cae Bodfach is also the inspiration for the river.

thanks to Andrew McConnach for also working on it, and it has been digitized by Steve. Open to ideas to further improve it, or maybe you have a different idea?

this is a very important lecture and an insight into the emerging new paradigm

So this is pre-covid and pre-2019 election, so it is dated in ways, but actually he makes the clear point, re: Covid, dont make predictions because know knows what is going to happen.

There is a much longer arking story that is important which has remained consisntant over 150 – 200 years of modern forms of capitalism. If you only look at half the picture then undoubtedly you come up with the wrong answer. The reason we can’t see beyond capitalism is that increasingly over the decades we have been told there no other system. The fall of the Soviet Union was supposed to represent the fall of socialsim, where as nothing could be further from the case. Western capitlism just lasted a few more decades than the soviet bloc, capitlism didnt win, it just outlasted its perceived opponent. That kind of thinking created a terminal short-term view that undermined the whole systtem. Vested interest has prevented capitalism from evolving, whereas socialism is a workshop of ideas that is constantly evolving.

Plant swap behind the institute

BRACE community garden project
Come in small numbers, play safe, we can swap plants, tips and come and see the wonderful garden that is evolving behind the institute

Design ideas for Llanfyllin horticulture

cae Bodfach, llanfyllin
Idea for signage
Playing with design ideas
Llanfyllin institute
What is your vision for the front of the institute
Sector analysis of the institute gardens
A vision of the rear garden
dding details to the basic design
Notes on front garden potential
Visualization of garden elements
Concept from for front
llanfyllin institute front garden design idea
Some detailed thoughts
above ground dog waste composting unit
Dog waste composting unit idea

New reality

Has it dawned on you yet? The world we took for granted no longer exists and is not coming back. The virus is not an anomaly in an otherwise healthy world it is the signal of the collapse of the globalized neo-liberal free market dream. It always was a fragile system, it doesn’t matter which straw it took to break the camel’s back but the certainty always was our economic paradigm is fundamental unsustainable.

This is the Paris Agreement, it gives a 2/6 chance of avoiding run away climate change, in other words we have to do much better, this is the absolute minimum we must acieve.

Halving emission the decades in a row still isn’t going to be enough to make the climate stabalise. We need to invent carbon capture and storage machines and completely change we the way we manage landscapes so that they absorb much more carbon than they emit. So if this economic pause feels difficult try multiplying it by 30 years. It really is time to think completely differently, we have to embrace a different future.

I am not smart enough to fully understand the money markets but they are in deep trouble, the American government is pumping trillions of newly printed dollars to prop up a system that seems to be on its last legs. This crisis on health is triggered by a crisis in the environment and our susceptibility to this threat is bought about by a deeply divided society of super rich and on the breadline poor. Neo liberalism has failed us horribly, the materialist, reductionist view has brought the world to the edge of its own destruction. The 2020 economic collapse is going to be many times worse than 2008. Here are some new ways to think, to understand our wider predicament: firstly some thoughts after a meeting with Fritjof Capra by Daniel Wahl.

“Capra clearly articulated something that I had intuitively known and was trying to understand better. He suggested that the ecological, environmental, social and economic crises we are facing are not separate but interconnected expressions of one single crisis: a crisis of perception. … The neo-Darwinist story of individuals and species in fierce competition for limited resources is an inadequate and limited conception of life. Nature sustains life by creating and nurturing communities. In today’s leading life sciences, evolution is no longer seen as a struggle for existence but as a collaborative dance and exploration of novelty. Capra pointed out that “sustainability is a dynamic process of co-evolution rather than a static state. Sustainability is a property of an entire web of relationships” (personal comment) rather than a characteristic of a single individual, company, country or species. The understanding that the common root cause of the multiple crises we are facing is in fact a crisis of perception offers us hope that we will be able to respond before it is too late.”

Daniel Christian Wahl
Debt overload, what gives?

The innovators creating tomorrow’s regenerative economy have all, in their own ways, learned how to see the larger system in which they live and work. They look beyond events and superficial fixes to see deeper structures and forces at play, they don’t allow boundaries (either organizational or culturally imposed) to limit their thinking, they make strategic choices that take into account natural and social limits, and they work to create self-reinforcing cycles of innovation — change strategies that mimic how growth occurs in the natural world. They have learned to see systems by cultivating an intelligence that we all possess. Human beings are natural systems thinkers, but like any innate capacity, this talent must be understood and cultivated.

Peter Senge (2008)
flatten the curve
This is the bigger mission we face

Permaculture is systems thinking, permaculture recognizes that everything is connected to everything else. To fix the problems and challenges we face we need a whole new way of thinking. More so we need to embed that thinking into our planning, training, education, into our every action. Decision making cannot run on short term or partisan objectives, that is what has brought the world to the very brink of its own destruction.

Sector are based in Wales, and are linked to the Permaculture Association of Britain, Re-Alliance and Norwegian Refugee Council. We have built up a skill base and network of trainers in the UK, as well as across East Africa. We are ready to lead on the re-skilling and re-education that is needs to help0 address the huge challenges we currently face

“I’m absolutely sure that there are going to be more diseases like this in future if we continue with our practices of destroying the natural world,” says marine ecologist Dr Enric Sala

Dr Enric Sala
South Sudanese refugees celebrate completing their permaculture training after 6 months

A week of panic & uncertainty

We have known for years that our complex interconnected global community, with just in time delivery and lean stocking is vulnerable to significant disruption. As we continue to witness climate breakdown it has felt important for us to focus on developing a stronger local-food economy with more diversity and shorter supply lines. The Covid virus is a symptom of our imbalance with the natural world and as we continue to destroy the more remote and wilder areas remaining on the globe we come into contact with more unknown and unanticipated sources of disease. This is articulated very well below, its an excellent video. It is a crisis of disease which exposes a crisis of society that is framed by the crisis of the environment.

A health service needs to address ALL people, not just those who can afford it for it to be effective. We are reminded that especially in a crisis or challenge of this scale we are all in it together. Community responses are really important and at least we all need something positive to channel our energy and creativity into.

We will be continuing to cultivate the soil and using this as a way to build our community and extend what it has to offer to all of us. The area in front of the institute is planned for redevelopment into a garden, a softer much greener area. We will be in the institute from 12 – 4 on Sunday ready to ideas, functions, inputs and design ideas about how we can make this a more functional, welcoming space.

For now we remain open for business, if you can bring your own tools and gloves and make every effort to minimize the potential spread of the virus that is appreciated.