sustainable tc blog

School Garden Workshop in Northern Michigan


get-attachment-3.aspxJanis Groomes, food service director at Northport Public Schools, knows the power of school gardens to get kids interested in eating fruits and vegetables, even ones that are unusual.

She was already serving healthy salads to her Leelanau County students, but even she was skeptical that they’d eat kale as an ingredient in the salad bar. She watched in amazement—and joy—a couple years ago when students’ eyes lit up in the lunch line when they saw kale as a choice, piled it onto their plates and gobbled it up. The reason: The children had grown kale like it in their school garden. Last year, Ms. Groomes thrilled the kids again when she cooked up potatoes that they’d actually grown. (more…)

Great Lakes Bioneers Gathering


Hey Bioneers!  Come on out to the Inside Out Gallery on Tuesday,  January 13th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm to catch up with old friends and watch our featured Bioneers Plenary.  This month’s meeting will feature the 2014 plenary by  image595_mdJohn Warner on Green Chemistry.

Warner became interested in the dangers of chemicals after his second child was born with a rare fatal birth defect– the same birth defect that a colleague’s child was also born with.   (more…)

100% Clean Energy By and For the People


Calling all Northern Michigan Renewable Energy Enthusiasts!  Great Lakes Bioneers invites you to join on December 9th from 7-9 pm to watch Billy Parish’s 2013 Plenary: 100% Clean Energy By and For the People.  

We will gather at 7:00 pm at the Inside Out Gallery.  Grab a drink at the Outré Lounge if you would like, and catch up with your Bioneers Tribe!  Then join us in the backroom to watch Billy Parish tell us how in this generation, we can shift from fossil fuels to a world 100% powered by clean energy, and we can do it in a way that makes all of us richer, healthier, and happier.

A lively discussion will follow, and local renewable energy rock stars will be on hand to be part of the discussion. If you have any questions, please email Sally at  or call (231) 233-7315.

The World in 2050


 Great Lakes Bioneers and the Bob Russell Resilience Reads book project will be meeting this month on Bob Russell’s birthday!  Join us at Horizon Books on November 18th from 7-9 pm to talk about one of Bob’s favorite books: The World in 2050:  Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future.  (Northern, yes that’s us.)  The news is “both alarmingly bad and surprisingly good.”  This is an amazing read and there are plenty of copies available at the Traverse Area District Library!  But, come on out whether you have read the book or not.  The discussion will be lead by Gary Howe.

After the discussion, the crowd is heading over to the Workshop Brewing Company to celebrate Bob Russell’s birthday in style.  There will be cake, an open mike for toasting Bob, great music, and of course, Beer!

Find the perfect refurbished bike – Saturday bike swap!



Just in time for Smart Commute week, this weekend is your chance to cruise away on bargain used bicycles at the Recycle A Bicycle 4th Annual Bike Swap. This free event is open to the community and runs Saturday, May 31 from 9-3 p.m. at the Old Town Parking Deck in Traverse City.

Master bike wrangler Don Cunkle of Recycle a Bicycle says he expect this year’s event to be the best attended yet. He already has more bikes ready to sell than any of the previous three years, over 300 of them.


Edible forest project has midnight deadline


Food forests are about to become a lot closer to home than Seattle or some groovy West Coast locale.

And you can help!

Northern Michiganders have a chance to support creation of our very own edible, native, perennial food forests brimming with publicly accessible  wild blueberries, persimmons, apples, saskatoons, plums, gooseberries and other tasty goodness, by supporting the Grand Traverse Edible Trails Project.

The project has an Indigogo campaign to raise funds to plant two food forests along the Traverse Area Recreational Trail. The food forests will be located at the Leelanau Conservancy’s DeYoung Farm and Natural Area, and across from the Orchard Creek apartments next to Realeyes Homestead.

The fundraising campaign ends TONIGHT (May 28) at midnight; it began with an aim of $3000, and has been so successful that it has expanded its goal to $5000. Loved local musician Seth Bernard has sweetened the pot by offering a free “walking concert” along the trail if contributors push the campaign past $5000. Gaining the extra $2000 will result in larger numbers and more mature trees being planted in the food forests.

Watch this VIDEO to see the vision behind the food forest. And then be sure to CONTRIBUTE. Even the smallest donations will help. Larger ones will earn you swag like seed pods, a homemade dessert, ISLAND gear, and more.

Local permaculturists are partnering with Jonathan Aylward and others on bringing this idea to delicious and sustainable life.


‘Tis the season… for foraging!


Longsuffering. Impatient. Stir crazy. Cabin feverish.

Call our collective condition whatever you like, but the truth is, this winter was a doozy, and most of us are pretty much starved for the smell of warm earth and the sight of spring greenery!

What better dosage of spring tonic than a learning tour of local woods with skilled forager, Clay Bowers?


Learn how to become a Citizen Climate Advocate


Concerned about climate change? Want to feel more empowered?

Lisa Del Buono, a local physician and a volunteer with Citizens Climate Lobby Northern Michigan, will present the workshop “Become a Citizen Climate Advocate” Sunday, April 27 in Traverse City.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a grassroots, nonpartisan advocacy organization. It aims to empower citizens to build public and legislative support for a carbon tax that would return 100% of revenue to American households.

We sat down with Lisa to talk about her motivation for giving this presentation. “My personal concern is for my son and the immediate next generation,” she says simply.