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Radical Democracy

Greetings friends,

Over the weekend I had the intriguing opportunity to take part in a Radical Democracy seminar. It was exciting, educational, and somewhat frightening - much like the experiences I usually find through Transition!

I would summarize the message of the seminar thusly:

  • Our country's foundational documents proclaim Democracy - power in the people, but our legal history has instead given the power to…

Added by Brian Carpenter on May 26, 2010 at 4:52pm — 2 Comments

Childhood deaths, often preventable, US improving much slower than other wealthy nations

Nothing is sadder than and child's death, for a parent or for a society. So why is it that they are so invisible to us in the US?

A recent review of childhood deaths shows that the number of deaths among children less than 5 will drop below 8 million for the first time in 2010. In 1990 there were 11.9 million deaths in this group. The decline in the US is slower than all other wealthy nations, it is on a par with Kazakhstan and Angola (really and literally) with 6.7… Continue

Added by Frank James on May 25, 2010 at 12:21am — 3 Comments

Celt's Garden - Eating to Scale

A few years ago, just as the local food movement was popping on to the radar, Joel Salatin, farmer and writer, wrote a passionate book titled, "Everything I Want to Do is Illegal". Salatin's point is that a half century of consolidation, increasingly large food processors and "eliminating the middleman" has eliminated the middleman. Nearly the entire local food processing and distribution system has gone out of business or been buried in regulations. In some cases, the regulations are aimed at… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on May 22, 2010 at 10:57am — 2 Comments

Garden-Servant Update: fertility, nourishment, & water in temperate climate mid-spring

There comes a time in mid spring in the edible forest garden, when the impulse to reproduce is strong among plants, insects, & animals. I often witness this in May, just before the main roses & peonies bloom, and just as many of the fruiting trees & shrubs have gone from blossoms, to tiny fruits (smaller than peas). During this time I sense a high need for water & nourishment from many plants all at the same time.…


Added by Heather K on May 18, 2010 at 2:30pm — 2 Comments

Recommended Audio: To the Best of Our Knowledge

To the Best of Our Knowledge radio: "Sacred Nature"

Bill McKibben lays out a model of how to survive on our changed planet: think small and local. Kurt Hoelting set out to spend a year living within 60 miles of his home (Whidbey Island). Gordon Hempton is one of the world's leading audio ecologists (Olympic Penninsula).… Continue

Added by David MacLeod on May 9, 2010 at 10:36pm — No Comments

Celt's Garden - Change the World, One Tomato at a Time

As you buzz about happily planning your garden, give thought where your seeds and starts come from. If you are going to the effort of growing your own, grow the good stuff. No point in working that hard for the same tasteless cardboard tomatoes you can buy in the supermarket. When you buy seeds and starts, look for heirloom varieties. Heirloom seeds are open pollinated seeds that have been passed on for years, sometimes decades or centuries. Heirloom and open pollinated seeds can be saved…


Added by Celt M. Schira on May 7, 2010 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

Social Networks and Effecting Transition Movement Action

* * * Many of us are interested in accurate information on the ning-com-corporation and their ethical & privacy policies. Please share if you have found something helpful. * * *.


quote: "There is a lot of Transition Movement action going on in social networks all over the world. This is great; keep it up (as long as it's not detracting from…


Added by Heather K on May 6, 2010 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Bill McKibbon: Spill Baby Spill?

Spill Baby Spill?

by Bill McKibbon,

Dear friends,

The oil spreading across the Gulf is a test, pure and simple.

Think of its twisted outline as a Rorschach ink blot for a society--maybe for a whole civilization. Will we respond in ways deep enough to matter? Or will we see nothing wrong in the devastating

images of the oil slick, and continue on this path of…


Added by David MacLeod on May 1, 2010 at 10:22pm — No Comments

Fri. April 30, 2010

Hey everyone! I have no idea if anyone will actually read this, but here it is.

Here at Western, we just finished up with our hectic, educational, and incredibly fun earth week which was wittingly dubbed "Earth Days" to support the idea that every day is Earth Day. Many months of planning preceeded the week. Speakers were booked, bands were paid, rooms were reserved, publicity was printed, and ideas flew around the Environmental Center like wildfire. VU 424 (our office) was a…


Added by Amy Holm on April 30, 2010 at 1:05pm — 3 Comments

Celt's Garden - Jam Session

Jam season is coming sooner than we think. We seem to be having an early spring - when it isn't winter again. In the usual scheme of things, strawberries arrive in June, followed by the early raspberries, cherries, blueberries, plums, apricots, peaches, figs, blackberries, fall raspberries and the rare treasures, local Lynden Blue and Madeline Angevine grapes. Apples ripen from June to October, depending on the variety. Where to start?

The first step is to plan. How many people are you… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on April 28, 2010 at 11:30pm — 2 Comments

Harvest, a creative essay by Christie Cassel

I am riding in the backseat of the car with my mom and my aunt to go fruit picking–…


Added by Christie Cassel on April 27, 2010 at 4:33pm — 1 Comment

Recommended Reading: UGAs, Resilience, Bright Green, Relocalization, Earth Day

For those who don't subscribe to the Sustainable Bellingham Newsletter:

Recommended Reading, Listening & Watching

A Decade Swept Away in a Day by Tim Johnson, Cascadia…


Added by David MacLeod on April 24, 2010 at 3:17pm — No Comments

Celt's Garden - Cheese and the Tax Man

It's all about the cheese. French cheese is a story of cookery and resource depletion. Cheese preserves milk, an otherwise fragile commodity. Cows, goats and sheep can make milk from pasture land that may be too steep, rocky or poor for grains or row crops. Cheese can be compactly transported. A gallon of milk makes 8-16 ounces of cheese, so the volume goes down and the shelf life goes up. Cheese has terroir, the flavors of origin. What the animals eat, the breed, the time of year and the… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on April 23, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments

People's Climate Summit Coverage on

You can view a live video feed from the Bolivian People's Climate Summit April 20-22nd.

Added by Rob Olason on April 21, 2010 at 8:03pm — 3 Comments

Celt's Garden - Value from Small Spaces

It's time to plant onion sets and potatoes. If you haven't started some peas, lettuce and spinach already, now is the time. Leave some space for the summer garden, even if your summer garden is two patio tomatoes and a butterstick summer squash in pots. Bush beans, compact summer squashes, determinate tomatoes in cages, trellises to train pole beans, squash, cucumbers will help you grow a lot in small spaces.

Back when I had just built the first raised bed on my former front lawn, a… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on April 19, 2010 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

Chickens available -free range only please

A friend of mine is needing to find new homes for her flock of 53 chickens, including a few roosters. They are used to having several acres of grass and yard to run about in all day, so a similar free range home is much preferred. There are several breeds of chicken available so if you like blue eggs, or brown, then you can have them.
The flock is housed north of Bellingham in the Noon road area. Phone Deborah on (360) 398 2017 for more information.

Added by Christine Roberts on April 16, 2010 at 1:56pm — No Comments

Masanobu Fukuoka – A Natural Farmer


Masanobu Fukuoka – A Natural Farmer

By David Pike, April 2010…


Added by David Pike on April 15, 2010 at 10:17am — 4 Comments

Interview with Larry Korn

* Apologies for the lack of formatting in this interview. The Ning site unfortunately will not preserve spacing and formatting when publishing blog entries.

Larry Korn is a soil scientist, agricultural consultant…


Added by David Pike on April 15, 2010 at 10:00am — 8 Comments

Celt's Garden - Ag Mech for Grownups

Dr. Steve Jones, when he was here talking to us about small scale grain growing, suggested looking around for old threshers, balers, tractors and other medium tech equipment. He also suggested that if we find something, try to buy more than one, because the parts are hard to find. The equipment is itself hard to find. The high price of scrap steel has led to collecting up the old machines from the early 20th Century and shipping them to China to be melted down. Once you beat the scrap dealer to… Continue

Added by Celt M. Schira on April 12, 2010 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

Psychology of Sustainable Behavior

I just found this article and will soon comment on it. For now, other people can start reading it, too.



Added by Brian Carpenter on April 6, 2010 at 3:53pm — 2 Comments

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