Green Coffee
Thanks to everyone who came along to May Green Coffee. An especial thanks to Laura, Richard and Jane who were there for the first time.

We started off with the very sad news about Green Coffee member - Belinda Thomas - whose death has had such a big impact. All the main topics are summarised below, including an update on Sutton Community Farm and more about the renewable energy shop which has opened up in Raynes Park.
This is a draft Green Coffee update - so please let me have any amendments/additions for the final version.

The next Green Coffee will be on Tues June 4th 9.30-11am at the YMCA (so far the biggest vote on a new venue is for alternating between the Gooseberry Bush and the YMCA!) - and the Green Coffee after that will be on Tues 2nd July. Please put the dates in your diary.

See a blog of the Upcycling Wimbledon event with some lovely photos  HERE   Thanks Fliss for this!

Topics at May Green Coffee

1.  Very sad news 

2.   “Make a Difference to Wimbledon
3.  Car Free Day in Wimbledon?
4.  Improving Your Town Centre - survey
5.  Using Local Fruit
6.  Land near Myrna Close - update
7.  Upcycling Wimbledon
8.  Colliers Wood 
        Growing organic fruit and vegetables
        Make a Difference 
        Planting a Community Woodland
9.  Free Compost
10. Wildlife Photography
11. Tamworth Farm Allotments - would you like one?
12. What to do with old paint?
13. Buying Plants
14. Sutton Community Farm
15. Rosemary’s Range

16. Green Square - a new renewable energy shop
Sustainable Merton & building a community hub

18. YMCA


What's On?

11.5 9am-1pm
Car Boot Sale
St Mary's church field

11.5  10am-2pm
Windmill Market
St Mark's  SW19 7ND

11.5  10am-4pm
Plant Sale
Christ Church  SW20

18.5  11am-2pm
Fete of the Earth
St Mark's  SW19 7ND

18.5 10.30-12.30pm
Plant Sale
John Innes  SW19 3HW

19.5 10.30-11.30/1-5
Friends of the Earth
Deen City Farm

18 & 19.5 10am-5pm
Permaculture course
Sutton Community Farm

Mondays 4-6pm
Grow Fruit & Veg
Christ Church Garden

5.6  from 7.30pm
Energy We Can Afford

Trinity URC  SW19 4AA

25.6   from 7.30pm
Green Square visit

574 Kingston Rd

find more details below

All topics at May Green Coffee

1. Very sad news 
Green Coffee noted the terrible news that, after battling with cancer for several years, Belinda Thomas had sadly died leaving two teenage children. Belinda had been active in so many groups, injecting great enthusiasm along with knowledge and determination to make things happen. Her particular passion was local food. She will be greatly missed by all of us. Green Coffee discussed suitable memorials to her including planting a fruit (damson?) tree or setting up a farmers’ market at Pelham School. These will be discussed further, when it is known what family and other friends are doing in her memory.  
POST MEETING NOTE: A fund is being set up for donations. The intention is to plant some fruit trees as a memorial to Belinda. Details of where to send donations will be sent out at a later date.
2. “Make a Difference to Wimbledon”
At the Festival of Green Ideas on April 20th, people suggested how to make Wimbledon look better including planting flowers around trees and clearing up some areas. The result is that our networks will be contacted to see who is interested in joining a group that would spend a couple of hours each month clearing up/planting/trimming – whatever an area requires. This would be similar to the Colliers Wood ‘Make a Difference’ group. It was suggested that church/other faith groups could be approached to see if they would like to join in, as it’s easier to get groups of volunteers this way. If you'd like to be part of the "Make a difference to Wimbledon" group, then please contact
3. Car Free Day in Wimbledon?
This was another idea from the Festival of Green Ideas. Apparently there had been a very limited traffic free day at the food of Wimbledon Hill and one in Morden. But there hadn’t been enough enthusiasm to keep these going. 
There were concerns that businesses would oppose a car free day and they should be brought on board. Also that the costs of closing roads should be taken into account. However, a recent report in the FT said that businesses were asking for more car–free days in Oxford Street to boost trade. See  HERE.  Also, Love Wimbledon (the central Wimbledon business organization) may well support a car free day. It was decided to contact Charles, to see if he would like to take up the issue.
4. Improving Your Town Centre - survey
Love Wimbledon is conducting an online survey to see what you think of Wimbledon Town Centre and how it could be made better. If you would like to influence what happens, input your ideas to the survey HERE - under “Have Your Say”.
5. Using Local Fruit
By planning early in the season, better use can be made of fruit. Soft fruits such as redcurrants and elderberries can be used to flavour and colour apple jams, compotes and cordials. Abundance will be holding meetings in June for people interested in jam-making and foraging. The suggested dates are Wed 5th in the morning and/or Sun 9th in the afternoon – contact if you would like to come along. Jean-Jacques is exploring whether a St Michael’s School in Southfields can be encouraged to exchange fruit and make better use of local fruit.
6. Land near Myrna Close - update
There is a nature reserve stretching from near Colliers Wood to TK Max – but is used for fly-tipping and the pond water is polluted by blue-green algae, which kills the frogs and newts and is toxic to animals and humans. This land is owned by Wildlife for London, but it has no funds to manage it. Meg is asking Project Dirt to highlight this problem area, to see if others will come forward to help and if expertise to clean up the pond can be found.
It was suggested that Meg could get funding for clearing up the pond from a charity protecting amphibians. Meg should ask Colliers Wood Residents’ Association to help.  Merton Council also has a responsibility to manage areas like this.
7. Upcycling Wimbledon - report
There was a great range of stalls including community scraps (Squirrels), knitting and clothes making (Harriet), turning shirts and duvets into cushions (Nicky), children making butterflies and moths from fabric scraps (Marianne), using up leftover food (Rachel, Merton Council), building a fantastic insect refuge (Alison), growing food for free and composting (Joyce, Fliss and Gary), advice on PV panels and the G (Gillian). The event went well with lots of interest. Juliet may organise the event again next year. See Fliss's blog of the event with some lovely photos HERE.
8. Colliers Wood 
Growing organic fruit and vegetables
This project is funded by the Merton Partnership. Whilst centred around the community garden at Christ Church in Colliers Wood, it is working out into the community. A series of 4 sessions is planned for June and is run by Jenny Mortimer an experienced and qualified horticulturalist from Merton Adult Education. The aim is to teach people to grow their own organic fruit and vegetables, combining theory and practice.  Later in the season, there will be a series of courses on cooking up garden produce, with either trained adult educationalists or other expert cooks. The third lot of sessions will look at healthy living.
Make a Difference
The next session will be to collect rubbish and plant things in the woodland at Wandle Park.
Planting a Community Woodland
This is being done with the help of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, who have a national target to plant 90 000 trees annually. The new woodland will be in Wandle Park, behind the Istanbul Turkish restaurant. Working with an existing organization (like a faith group) means that they often already have a group of volunteers willing to help.
9. Free Compost
The recycling centre at Garth Rd has free compost. This is good for adding to the soil, but not suitable for potting up plants. Anyone can help themselves to it, although there is a limit to how much each person can take.
10. Wildlife Photography
A student photographer is looking for wildlife shots and will be photographing foxes in Joanna’s garden.  If you have any attractive wildlife in your garden and wouldn’t mind it being photographed, then please get in touch with Joanna at
11. Tamworth Farm Allotments - would you like one?
The clear up is progressing, although a bit behind schedule due to all the rubbish needing to be cleared. 64 new allotments will be created. If you would like an allotment, please contact Gillian at
12. What to do with old paint?
There is often paint left over. It was suggested that a paint depot could be held in a spare garage. Alternatively, Freegle could be used and has the advantage of not requiring storage space. Also, if pop-up shop space was available, then this could be used as a paint depot and would be accessible to people without a computer.
13. Buying Plants
Garden Centres tend to supply a predictable range of plants which often come from nurseries in distant countries. Buying those plants can mean the importation of pests and plant diseases, high carbon emissions from long distance transport and depletion of scarce resources e.g. water in a hot country. It’s much better to buy plants from the local plant sales. Coming up in May are Christ Church (West Wimbledon) on 11th, Fete of the Earth and John Innes on 18th (it is possible to go to both). See times for all of those under EVENTS below. Also, it’s often easy to use seeds from last year’s produce e.g. tomato seeds just need to be dried out on a windowsill, then a few seeds planted in a seed tray in Feb will yield plenty of tomato plants.
14. Sutton Community Farm
This has 7 acres of land and is run by volunteers and some paid staff and is a social enterprise. As the start-up funding will run out soon, they need to expand their income from veg boxes. All produce is organic and grown on site or (during the lean winter months) is bought in from farms in Sussex and Surrey (never from abroad – Riverford is buying increasing amounts from abroad). SCF has a hub at Deen City Farm and is looking for another hub or two in Wimbledon – possibly The Gooseberry Bush and/or the YMCA.  Veggie boxes are delivered to a hub on Thurs afternoons. People come to collect their pre-ordered boxes, but if anything is not collected by Friday 5pm, then you can keep the contents. SCF is looking to have stalls at more farmers’ markets and will get in contact with the Windmill Market.
Although fruit would be a welcome addition to the veggie boxes, SCF is not allowed to plant fruit trees or bushes, as the land is only on loan. Also, fresh fruit is often delicate to handle and store. They are now including eggs, chutneys and jams.
15. Rosemary’s Range
Rosemary has developed a range of jams and pickles, which she is selling at the Gooseberry Bush, Sutton Community Farm and Deen City Farm. Rosemary’s produce is certified by Country Markets.
16. Green Square - a new renewable energy shop
This sells wood burning stoves, solar panels, ground source heat pumps etc to home-owners. It also provides consulting, designing and installation services. To qualify for Green Deal work, installers need to abide by a code of practice, which give customers a means of redress if things go wrong. Some early adopters of renewable technologies were unable to get problems sorted out, particularly when installation companies went out of business. This code of practice will give consumers more protection.
The current Feed-In tariffs scheme covers electricity generation. So when solar PV panels are installed, not only do people use less electricity from the grid, they are also paid for the renewable electricity generated. PV panels should pay for themselves in about 10 years under the current tariff rate.
A similar system will be introduced in April 2014 covering gas used for central heating and hot water. So, when people install a renewable heating device (new boiler or solar thermal to heat their water), they will use less gas from the grid. Also, people will get paid for generating renewable heat for 7 years - this is the renewable heat incentive. If the UK fails to reduce its C emissions by 20% by 2020, then it will pay a £40 fine for each tonne of excess C. So paying out £10 per tonne of C as an incentive to generate renewable energy will save the country money in the long run.
The aim of the Green Deal is to reduce energy use by helping people to insulate their homes. People who can’t afford the upfront cost of installing insulation get the work paid for under the Green Deal and then pay the money back over a long time period. With additional insulation, energy bills  should be lower But there is no guarantee, as each house is different and energy consumption will vary with choices like leaving doors open, turning up the heat as people just want to wear a T-shirt etc. Under the Green Deal, the interest on the loan is 7%, so it would be cheaper if people can fund the work themselves. There are devices which can switch off a radiator when a window is opened, but these will mainly be used in institutions e.g. hospitals. Find a simple explanation of the various renewable technologies HERE.
Before opening Green Square’s first shop (in Raynes Park), Richard was with a national company selling biomass boilers. It was felt that, with the advent of the Green Deal and renewable heating incentives, many more people will be installing renewable energy technologies in their homes and people's needs would be best served by an organization specializing in the domestic market.
17. Sustainable Merton & building a community hub
SM is looking at how it can work with Project Dirt to build a community hub in Merton, to link up groups across the borough.
18. YMCA
Sutton YMCA is the hub for ‘From the Ground Up’ produce and they are looking to develop a similar hub in Wimbledon. Given that the YMCA in Sutton is already acting as a food box hub, Jules and Laura will look at whether the YMCA in Wimbledon could be a hub for Sutton Community Farm veggie boxes. The YMCA uses fairtrade coffee and unwanted food from the supermarkets under the FareShare scheme. At Wimbledon YMCA, family facilities are being extended, with a soft play area and there are facilities to show films.     



Sat 11th May  from 9am to 1pm
Car Boot Sale
St Mary’s Church field, Wimbledon  SW19 7BP

Great event to sell off things you don’t need and to find a bargain. Clothes, plants, bric-a-brac. Refreshments available. Sellers set up before 9am and pay £10 entry. Entrance fee   £2 before 9am, 50pence after 9am. No bookings taken, but contact for more info. In support of Christian Aid.   Find the venue HERE

Sat 11th May  10am – 4pm

Plant Sale & Spring Fair

Christ Church Hall, Copse Hill, West Wimbledon

Stalls selling plants, clothes, cakes, jam, leather goods, jewellery, silk flowers and more. In aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Entry is £3. Find a poster HERE

14th May – 25th June

Economics Mythbusters Course

Course run by the new economics foundation and Quaker Peace & Social Witness and featuring prominent journalists and economists. Become better equipped to understand and challenge a series of economic ‘myths’. There are fifty spaces available, on a 'first come, first served' basis - so get booking! See for further information. All are welcome.

Sat 18th May    11am - 2pm

Fete of the Earth

St Marks Church Hall (behind Wimbledon Library)

This is an annual event, where bric-a-brac, books and plants (including some you can't buy in garden centres) are sold to raise money for Wimbledon Disarmament Coalition/CND. If you can donate any items, then please take them to 43 Wilton Grove – leave on the doorstep if there is no-one in. For further information, please contact

Sat 18th May   10.30am – 12.30pm

Plant Sale – John Innes

5a Sheridan Rd, Merton Park

Come along and buy plants, cakes, refreshments and meet your neighbours. Help is needed – so can you donate plants, help with setting up, selling and clearing up? Donations, clearly labelled, can be delivered to 5a Sheridan Road in the week before the sale.  Contact Ann Redfearn ( or 020 8286 9983).

Sat 18th & Sun 19th May starting at 10am, ending at 5pm
Permaculture Weekend
Sutton Community Farm, 40a Telegraph Track, Wallington  SM6 0SH

This inspiring course introduces you to the principles and practices of permaculture in a relaxed and friendly natural environment. The course is run by qualified permaculture teachers Liz Darley and Ruth Wong of Grow South. There will be further weekend courses on 20th-21st July and 5th-6th October. Weekend course fee is £95 (£65 concessions). Find more info and tickets HERE  Enquiries to

Sun 19th May  10.30 - 11.30am & 1-5pm

Merton Friends of the Earth - relaunch, stalls & bee event

Deen City Farm

10.30 - 11.30 am is the relaunch of Merton FoE and the AGM. 

1-5pm there will be stalls and activities for all the family, including wild flower planting, stalls, a talk about bees and face-painting.

Sat 1st June  10.30am - 3pm

Wildlife Gardening Workshop

Deen City Farm, 39 Windsor Ave, Merton Abbey

Come and join Alison for this workshop. Learn how to garden for wildlife and how to attract pollinating insects to your patch. Learn how to construct a beautiful insect refuge, and to make a dead hedge out of off cuts from your garden. Lots more ideas to share on the day! Bring your own lunch or eat in the cafe. Cake and liquid refreshments provided. All courses cost £20, or £10 concessions (or £5 for DCF volunteers). For further information, contact Alison at or tel. 8540 1971. To book a place, contact Louisa on or tel. 8543 5300.

Mondays:    3rd June to 24th June    4 - 6pm

Growing Organic Fruit & Vegetables

Christ Church Hall

Would you like to learn how to grow your own organic fruit and vegetables? You can enrol for this course of 4 sessions, run by Jenny Mortimer an experienced and qualified horticulturalist from Merton Adult Education. The course will combine theory and practice and each week we will spend about half the time working in the community garden. Organised by Colliers Wood Community Gardening Project. Students must enrol before the course starts. Maximum of 24 students. To book, call Merton Adult Education on 0208 274 5250 or contact Keith at or phone 07982 721 496.

Wed 5th June  from 7.30pm

Energy We Can All Afford :  Public Meeting & Question Time

Trinity URC Church, Mansel Rd  SW19 4AA

Hear local MP Stephen Hammond and a panel of experts speak on the impact of rising energy bills. A chance to ask questions about what is driving energy price rises, the Green Deal, what is Merton Council doing and whether community energy schemes are a way forward. For more information, email: or see the poster HERE.

Sat 8th June  12noon-4pm
A Beach Party
St Michael's School, Granville Rd  Southfields SW18 5SQ

School summer fete. This is a fantastic community event and a fun afternoon out for the family. Lots of stalls including a plant stall and information about local fruit picking.

Summer fete Sun 9th June  12.30 - 5pm
Picnic and Big Lunch
South Park Gardens
Come and see beautiful South Park Gardens and enjoy a family friendly day out. Bring some food to share  - traditional races and tug of war, followed by tea and home made cakes. Some stalls, tombola, beer and Pimms and a bouncy castle. Music from the Wimbledon Community Orchestra playing from 1 til 2pm. Find an invite HERE and more info HERE.

Sat 15th June   12 noon - 5pm

Mitcham Carnival

Three Kings Piece

The theme is Living Mitcham - so celebrate who you are and where you live. Stalls, stunt riders, entertainment, parade. Find more information about how to take part HERE
Sat 22nd June  10.30am-5.30pm
Wimbledon Village Fair
Wimbledon Common, near Rushmere Pond

A fun day out with over 200 stalls, food village, fun dog show, horse show and children's entertainment. Proceeds go to Wimbledon Guild, which supports local people - the elderly, families and anyone going through a bad patch. Visit the Abundance Wimbledon stall and the Sustainable Merton/Transition Town Wimbledon stall. Find the venue HERE.

Tues 25th June   from 7.30pm
Visit to Green Square
574 Kingston Rd, Raynes Park

This renewable energy shop has recently opened in Raynes Park. If you would like to find out more about wood burning stoves, solar panels, ground source heat pumps etc., then why not come on this visit organised by Richard Davies of Transition Town Wimbledon. It’s a chance to ask lots of questions of Green Square director Richard Hiblen. If you are planning to come or would like more information, please contact Refreshments provided.

Sat 6th July  10.30am - 3pm
All About Composting
Deen City Farm, 39 Windsor Ave, Merton Abbey
Come and join Alison for this workshop. Learn the principles of how to make wonderful compost that you can then use in your garden. Discover why composting can be so beneficial for the soil and the creatures that live there. Bring your own lunch or eat in the cafe. Cake and liquid refreshments provided. All courses cost £20, or £10 concessions (or £5 for DCF volunteers). For further information, contact Alison at or tel. 8540 1971. To book a place, contact Louisa on or tel. 8543 5300 

Sun 7th July  11am - 4pm
Green Day Out
Morden Hall Park
Find out how to live a greener lifestyle with stalls including local food, green gardening tiops, eco-crafts and entertainment from live bands. Fun day out for all the family. More Information: Lisa Green, 0208 545 6852,



Third Wed, from 8pm 
Green Drinks
Hand & Racquet pub, 25-27 Wimbledon Hill, SW19 7NE
Everyone is welcome at Green Drinks, now in a central Wimbledon location. If you are interested in green and other sustainability issues, then this is an opportunity to exchange ideas, find out what's happening and just have a chat with like-minded people. The next Green Drinks is on 15th May. To find out how to get to the Hand & Racquet, see here. Find the venue here.

Second Sunday   10am - 12 noon
 Make a Difference  
This group meets up at a different Colliers Wood location each month. The group plants, trims trees, tidies up plastic bags, does weeding - whatever is needed. For information on where to meet up, see HERE.
Second Saturday  10am - 2pm
The Windmill Market
St Mark's Church, behind Wimbledon Library   SW19 7ND
This is a new market in the centre of Wimbledon, with local food & drink and craft stalls. The next market is on May 11th. Entry is £1. If you would like to take a stall or want more information, please contact
First Thursdays
Sow and Grow Local
Salt & Pepper Café, 177 Replingham Rd  SW18 5LY
Join Tim for a fun evening talking about how to plan growing fruit, salads and vegetables in your garden or on your windowsill. Seed swop and lots of tips. Get in touch with your food chain ! Cost is £6 per session. Find out more by contacting Tim tel. 07836781498 or   Download more information HERE.

Last Sundays   10.30am - 12.30pm
Free Bicycle Surgeries
Deen City Farm, 39 Windsor ave Merton Abbey   SW19 2RR
No need to book, just pop into the garden for a free checkup for your bike. For more information, contact Louisa on or tel. 8543 5300.
 new mid-week time 
Rag Rug Making
Learn how to use recycled materials to make beautiful bags and rugs. To find out when the next session is, call Thelma on 020 8540 2536 or email
Fridays 10am - 12noon & 2.30-4.30 pm; Saturdays 10am-12noon
Colliers Wood Community Garden
at the back of Christ Church Hall, in Colliers Wood
Join Keith and friends for some gardening. For more information, contact
Every Saturday, 9am-1pm
Wimbledon Farmers’ Market
Wimbledon Park Primary School, Havana Road, SW19 8EJ
A chance to get your groceries direct from local farmers. Find out more HERE