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. Continue reading

Free fun for families at Dirt Fest this Saturday!

As the white stuff recedes, we begin to see and smell soil… earth… DIRT. And that means it’s the perfect time for the third annual Dirt Fest in Traverse City! Grab the kids, the cousins, grandma and the whole family and come on out to a FREE celebration of Earth Day on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College Saturday, April 12.


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Cold can’t stop the bounty of local farmers market

There is really no way around it – the January deep freeze definitely signals that time of year when we hardy Northern Michiganders secretly (or NOT so secretly) pine for the glory days of bare arms and sunkissed, sandal clad strolls down the aisles of our local farmers markets.

But, did you know? You can still get the wonderful warmth of the farmers market experience AND make a good dent in that grocery list, every weekend at the Grand Traverse Commons. Nearly three dozen hardy vendors, offering everything from fresh caught local trout(!) to, yes, fresh greens, can be found lining the halls of the Mercato Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. all winter long.

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Fracking Awareness Meeting TOMORROW

frackingRepresentatives of area environmental groups and individuals concerned about fracking will gather on Saturday, January 18th at 10:00 am at Michigan Works, 1209 S. Garfield on Saturday, January 18th at 10:00 am.

This will be the first meeting of the Fracking Awareness Coaltion, organized by NMEAC, to  make more people aware of the health and environmental dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract natural gas.

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Local beer, great people, green ideas = winning combination!

Winter can be a quiet time of year in northern Michigan, but you can’t stay in your slippers at home ALL the time, right? For those who seek good company and stimulating conversation with like minds, there is exciting growth, connectivity and community happening even when the landscape is grey and white.

A perfect example is the monthly convergence of ‘green thinking’ community members at various local pubs, microbreweries, etc.

Sustainable TC recently interviewed Andy McFarlane of TC Green Drinks about this local chapter of what, it turns out, is an international movement.

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The Gift of Community Resilience

brrrp snapshotWe believe that the earth can be transformed from a place where excessive suffering is allowed to exist, to a place where harmony, peace and balance is accessible to all. We are committed to bringing about this transformation through partnership with those in our broader community, with a focus on communication, hospitality, education and service.

– Excerpt from the Neahtawanta Research and Education Center’s Mission Statement 

Bob Russell shared many gifts with our community.  His  life was dedicated to environmental and social justice.  As a result, he helped to birth projects like the Neahtawanta Research and Education Center for Peace and Justice (NREC), The Great Lakes Bioneers Conference, the Investigating Community Resilience show on Up North TV, and Traverse Peace Alerts,  to name just a few.  It goes without saying that we lost a great community leader when Bob passed away last August.  However, like most great leaders, his legacy will live on.

Over the next few years Bob’s presence will still be very much with us through one final unique gift he gave to us:  His favorite book list.

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Franseen Reports from National Bioneers!

imagejpeg_0Hope.  That was the message that Lisa Franseen got from Janine Benyus, Joanna Macy, and the other luminaries that spoke at the 24th annual National Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, California.  “I haven’t heard this much hope coming from Bioneers speakers… ever,” said Franseen.

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Community Composting at Oryana!


I love the idea of turning my eggshells and coffee grounds back into garden soil.  But, I hate turning my compost pile.  So, I don’t do it very often.  In return, it doesn’t break down.  It just lays there, partially decomposed, and growing.  Lucky for me, Carter’s Compost and Oryana just teamed up to launch Traverse City’s first community compost pile in my neighborhood.

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