Companions tests a hybrid infrastructure on the Teviot estate – a social infrastructure that is also a local, decentralised, productive food growing and waste management facility. With the aim of empowering local communities to make positive changes in their neighbourhoods, Companions engages folks in response to climate change, food justice and local empowerment 🌿🧆♻️
Companions Summer Programme
18 August - 17:00-19:30 - Fermenting and pickling at R-Urban Poplar. Learn how to make delicious pickles and ferments using homegrown produce so that you can enjoy your summer harvest into the autumn and winter months.
Saturday 27th August at 10am, we’re taking part in the London’s Nature Trail. Come join Katrina as she leads a Seed harvesting workshop between 10 am and 1pm at R-Urban. In the workshop you'll learn how to harvest seeds for next years crop, and we'll make wildflower seed bombs to green scrub land.
1 September - 17:00-20:00 - Bangla Feast at R-Urban Poplar. Aleya and the Teviot Bengali Sisters will show us how to prepare a delicious Bangla feast using homegrown seasonal produce.
🌍 Climate Companions ♻️
Climate Companions is a learning festival taking place at R-Urban Poplar in the first two weeks of September 2022 (August 31st - September 11th).
Climate Companions will explore our local neighbourhood, finding ways we can critically and creatively engage with climate change, and build new companions for care and action.
Wednesday-Friday both weeks (31 Aug - 2 Sept, 7 - 9 Sept), 11-3pm - Eco Build. Learn all about eco-building techniques and making through these daily drop-in DIY sessions. We’ll work with Hempcrete, timber and mycelium building systems to realise prototypes for low carbon futures. A free lunch will be provided! Session hosts: R-Urban Poplar. No previous skills required, all ages welcome - under 16s must be supervised by parent.
Wednesday 31 August, 4-7pm - Colouring the Communal Table Cloth - Natural Dye, Wax Print and Creative Crockery. Learn how to make natural dyes with your food waste and how to use wax to make textile prints. Contribute to the co-creation of a communal tablecloth for the big Climate Companions feast on the 11th. Make your own paper and shape it into cups and plates for our shared meal. Session hosts: Alisa Ruzavina, Hayley Caine.
Thursday 1 September, 4-7pm - Hydroponic Towers. What does the future of food growing look like in cities? Come learn all about the magic of hydroponic (growing in water instead of soil) food growing and learn how to assemble DIY systems, what crops to plant, how they save water and how to care for these low-impact systems. Session Hosts: MAD LEAP.
Friday 2 September, 4-7pm - Noticing the Neighbourhood, a Listening Workshop. Meditative listening and sound recording are two ways of changing our perceptions of ourselves and the world around us. We’ll explore these and use different microphones to record collaborative 'sound sketches' of R-Urban, the neighbourhood, and the people and creatures who live here. Session Hosts: Zoë Petersen, Dan Shepherd.
Saturday 3 September, 10am-3pm - Wild Poplar - Local Foraging and Green Spaces Walk. Wild Poplar - Local Foraging and green spaces walk. Explore the wild garden spaces of Poplar with a guided foraging tour and workshops at each of these magical spaces. 10:00-11.30 - Burcham Street Gardeners - Wildlife pond dipping and making space and celebrating weeds in the garden. 11:30-12:00 - Greening Brownfield - Explore the wildlife habitat of this beautiful garden with a tour from Geraldine. 12:00-13:00 - Guided foraging walk - Exploring Poplar's wild parkscapes with foraging expert Ru Kenyon. 13:00-13:30 - Teviot Communal Garden - Visit the thriving community food garden and take part in the lunchtime garden harvest.13:30-15:00 - R-Urban Poplar - Communal lunch with foraged and harvested veg.
Wednesday 7 September, 4-7pm - Adorning the Communal Table Cloth: Natural Inks, Wax Crayons and Eco-Embroidery. Learn how to make botanical inks out of foraged plants and food waste. Make wax crayons from natural colours. Reflect on your relationship with nature through learning to embroider with natural materials, beautifying the communal artwork in shape of a tablecloth for the Climate Companions feast on the 11th. Session hosts: Alisa Ruzavina, Hayley Caine.
Thursday 8 September, 10am-1pm - Mossy Walk, Mossy Talk. Filtering the air, capturing carbon and providing micro habitats within grey urban areas. Moss tells an eco-feminist story of environmental care. During a walk around Poplar we will explore where we can find moss and what this tells us about the ecology of the city. We will use our harvest to make a series of terrariums filled with micro forest of moss, imagining new futures for Poplar in these jam-jar ecosystems. Session hosts: Hester Buck (public works).
Thursday 8 September, 4-7pm - Soil Secrets. This collaborative workshop offers time and space to connect with the incredible world under your feet. We'll explore what soil means to each of us, and how the health of our soils is so fundamental to the health of the local and global ecosystems we are part of. We'll be mixing practical activities, games, conversation and theory, meeting soil microbes through the microscope, learning how fungi, bacteria and the wider soil food web make compost and how we as humans can be part of this too. Session hosts: Compost Mentis - a soil and alternative sanitation coop working for ecological and social justice in everyday urban spaces / MAD LEAP - promote circular solutions for food, waste and energy that benefit local communities and businesses, combining micro-scale anaerobic digestion, composting, hydroponics and soil-based growing to support green training and employment.
Friday 9 September, 4-7pm - Seed Harvesting and Guerilla Gardening. Seeds are the start of life in all our gardens. Learn how to harvest and store seeds from this year's crops and flowers for bountiful harvests in 2023. Get hands on in making seed bombs with wild flowers for increasing bio-diverstiy on scrub land in Poplar. Session Host: Katrina Wright.
Saturday 10 September, 10am-1pm - Plastic Free Poplar: Companion Families. Join us for a special Plastic Free Poplar meet up at R-Urban. Together we will discuss and experiment ideas around raising kids with less plastic. We will take our little companions to explore natural play in the garden by making our own playdough and dyes from cheap and natural ingredients. We will also show you how to craft some reusable cleaning cloths from old clothes as an eco friendly alternative to wet wipes. Open to all (big and small). Refreshments as well as a vegetarian lunch will be provided. Session Hosts: SunnyJar EcoHub.
Sunday 11 September, 4-7pm - Companions Digest - a Collective Feast of 'All Things Layered'. To celebrate the end of Climate Companions, join us for an extravagant feast which brings to the table all the forms of climate learning explored at R-Urban over the course of two weeks. Be ready to digest with us the knowledge generated, exploring local flavours within a unique meal setting. Session hosts: Carlotta Novella (public works), Gaia Crocella, Alisa Ruzavina, Hayley Caine.
All events are free and open to all ages. We welcome attendees from all walks of life and are always looking for new friends and collaborators. Do please get in touch with any questions. You can email Cameron at firstname.lastname@example.org and Andy at email@example.com.
R-Urban Poplar is a community hub testing ideas around the circular economy. This including Companions, Do It Together repair cafe, the Compost Club and other events with local partners. Find out more by following us on Instagram and check out the video below to get an idea of what our 2021 programme looked like.
Companions and Climate Companions are public events programmes hosted by R-Urban at our main site in Poplar and in collaboration with Leaders in Community at the Teviot Centre. Companions is part of the JustFACT project, coordinated by Wen. It is also supported by the Poplar Harca and Hill Housing. The Compost Club receives funding from the National Lottery Together for Our Planet fund.