Sunday, February 28, 2010

Talking rhubarb...

Map of the Rhubarb Triangle

Image by Flickr user net_efekt under Creative Commons

At this time of year, you will find rhubarb appearing in the shops. It will have been produced under forced conditions, (unless it is imported of course...) - English rhubarb is, of course, the best...

RHUBARB
The Daily Mail has a useful article on the Rhubarb Triangle, which was a favourite case study of Chris Durbin's.... (sadly our SLN conversations on the topic have disappeared....)

The unique vegetable - grown only by 12 producers in a 'rhubarb triangle' in West Yorkshire - has been granted Protected Designation of Origin status by the European Commission.

Producers now have the same geographical marketing protection afforded to more famous specialities such as Champagne, Parma ham, Cornish clotted cream and Roquefort cheese.


A really nice article on the BBC MAGAZINE site about the area known as the rhubarb triangle.

There is a good site by one of the producers: E Oldroyd and Sons (a great Yorkshire name) - it has details of their forcing shed tours. Just looking at the booking availability for a tour which I might try and organise the next time I'm up in Yorkshire. Have been round the sheds before - I used to pass through the area quite regularly as a student, and it's a really worthwhile experience...

Oh, and by the way, if you have a stained pan, boil up some rhubarb in it, and it will clean it up lovely....

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sheffield City of Culture 2013

Image by Alan Parkinson

Sheffield, home to the Geographical Association, is in the running to become the UK City of Culture in 2013...

The city of cultural geography too perhaps ?

The other cities shortlisted are Norwich, Londonderry and Birmingham, so my loyalties are a little torn...
Have certainly had a lot of cultural highlights in Sheffield and Norwich

Friday, February 19, 2010

Birds Eye view of Norfolk ??


Image by Flickr user Sami Taipale made available under Creative Commons license


Image by Flickr user zaser made available under Creative Commons license

There was a lot of comment locally this week and last, when BIRDS EYE announced a major decision on their sourcing of peas. (Link to the EDP article)

There was a posting on the local PICKENHAM POSTS blog regarding the decision.

This will not only have an impact on the landscape, but take away a lot of regular contract income for local farmers.

It is also a break in history as the area has been providing peas for freezing for decades.

Following a link to the BIRDS EYE website also led me to their CHANGING PLATES report. (Link leads to PDF download)

This would make a good resource for those looking at cultural change in the UK and the changing importance of families sitting down around a table to eat a meal together...
More on this to come...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Cultural evening... One man band...

Image CC licensed by Flickr user raindog

A rare social event yesterday. After working on some projects, it was a train down to London to the BARBICAN: love the feel of it after dark when the apartment lights come on above the lake with the fountains and the seating pods. Inside is always buzzing too with a range of different people using it for different purposes. Outside there was some amazing snow which swirled around the place...
The occasion was a gig by Pat Metheny, who I first saw live in 1982 !! Have seen him numerous times since, most recently when his group performed "The Way Up"

The project is called ORCHESTRION - an earlier blog post contained a video, and this was the only UK date for the project.

There is a review on Jazzwise
And for a picture of the ORCHESTRION itself, see HERE - thanks to the Goldsmith family

A great concert: out to wander back along London Wall, guided by my iPhone to my hotel...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pat Metheny

On Wednesday night, I will be at the Barbican in the evening for a concert by Pat Metheny which promises to be a one-off evening: for a start it's the only UK date for Pat, and for the other, it features him with his ORCHESTRION.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mission Explore !!


GeoVation is a project supported by the Ordnance Survey.
The first year (presumably it will be repeated ?) of the project invited individuals, or teams of people to submit a proposal for a project which need financial support, and was based around the idea of mapping and social benefit.
There were 62 Ventures applying via the website and you can see details of them here.

We decided that Mission Explore, a project of the Geography Collective, of which I am a founder member, should apply for a slice of the funding with a project called MISSION : EXPLORE LONDON...

The project involves (possibly younger) members of the public carrying out geographical "missions" which are located within London. More information is available HERE.

There was a shortlisting process, and last week we heard that we had made the shortlist and would therefore be pitching for the prize...

So it was that last Tuesday we made it to the Royal Geographical Society (when I saw we, I don't include me in that, I was in Oxford at the time preparing to do a GA lecture on the 2007 floods)

Dan and the guys obviously did a great job, as we were successful in gaining the second prize. The winning GeoVation venture was MAXIMAP. They produce, as the name suggests, er... a big map...

We now have £7000 to take the ideas for the MISSION EXPLORE iPhone APP and project to the next stage. Plenty more to come on this blog over the next few months....

GA Study Tour to Poland

Fancy doing some personal cultural comparisons between the UK and a new EU country ?

The Geographical Association is organising a Study Tour to Poland for geography teachers in July - August 2010. The trip details are as follows:
Poles to Poles

28 July - 10 August 2010

The GA International Working Group will be leading a north to south journey through Poland from the Baltic to the Tatra Mountains, investigating the impact of EU membership on environment, economy and society.

The programme includes visits to Gdańsk, Toruń, Warsaw, Kraków, Oświęcim and the Tatra Mountains, providing a range of urban and rural environments full of contrasts.

Download: Full Itinerary

With Community Cohesion on every school's agenda and Polish children in our schools the length and breadth of the UK, this trip should be of interest to teachers of all phases, and, with the abundance of budget air services to Polish cities, within the budgets of most teachers.

Costs and Booking

Price: £825 (sharing twin). Single supplement: £295

The price includes all transport in Poland, accommodation (mostly in 3* hotels), breakfast and one main meal per day, plus entrance fees to main venues and geographical visit sites.

Please note that international flights are not included in the cost. Ryanair and Wizz Air operate flights to Gdańsk from Cork, Doncaster, Dublin, Glasgow, Liverpool, Luton and Standsted. Check their websites for further details.

Download: Booking Form

Bursary for new teachers

Two bursaries of up to £200 are available to new teachers within their first five years of teaching. Contact Adam Nichols for further information.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Fair Miles: Oxfam report...


A new report published by Oxfam and IIIED is now available from the Oxfam site.
It is available to purchase, or as a FREE PDF download. (link starts download of the resource)

The report is called FAIR MILES.

I have had a quick look and it is a useful document. Thanks to @primageographer for the tipoff to this resource, which will prove useful for preparation for my GA Conference 2010 workshop on this topic....

Here's a description, taken from the Oxfam website:

Today’s food is well travelled. A pack of green beans in a Northern supermarket may have journeyed 6000 miles, or 60. But while food miles loom large in our carbon-aware times, transporting it counts for less than you might think. And there is a far bigger picture. Food is more than a plateful of emissions.

It’s a social, political and economic issue that involves millions of small farmers in poor countries who export produce to the North. They have built lives and livelihoods around this trade. By buying what they grow, you’ve clocked up ‘fair miles’.

This pocketbook delves into the realities of the produce trade between Africa and the UK, examining both sides of the equation in search of a diet that is ethically, as well as nutritionally, balanced.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Moving to Mars... or is it Sheffield ?


Earlier today heard about this move on the theme of MIGRATION.
It's called MOVING TO MARS...
but the Mars in the title is actually Sheffield...

It was described as being a "very human" story of migration and its impacts.

The movie has a WEBSITE which contains a trailer and a very useful PRESS PACK which gives further details of the families who feature in the movie and what happened to them afterwards...
Looks like it would be a useful resource for exploring the issues surrounding migration and the cultural impacts of re-location / globalisation etc.