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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Permaculture is Growing in Michigan

Preview-of-“MI-PERM-CONVERGE-2013.1-Flyer”Permaculture (permanent – agriculture) is “an ecological design system for sustainability in all aspects of human endeavor.” According to the organizers of the Michigan Permaculture Convergence, taking place in Howell, Michigan on November 1-3, 2013, it’s about “designing systems to provide for essential human needs without causing pollution or exploitation.”

That sounds like a pretty good idea, considering that our current lifestyle is causing an impending overshoot and collapse of our natural ecosystems.

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Introducing Sustainable TC

Thanks for subscribing to the Sustainable TC blog.  In this post I want to introduce you to  the Sustainable TC website that is now live!

Living sustainably is a huge challenge in American culture. What does ‘sustainable’ living even mean?  I like this description:  ‘Living in a way that meets your needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.’  A nice idea, don’t you think?  Especially since those future generations are our children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.

As most of us can’t help but see, we have gotten w-a-a-a-y off course from this ideal.  So far off course, in fact, that it can make you feel powerless.  How do we solve problems as big as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or an energy system that keeps us in a constant state of war while it destroys the very ecosystems that give us life?  I can’t say I have the answers, but as I have become aware of these problems, I have begun to examine my lifestyle, within the context of my community, and have found many opportunities to become part of the solution.

Every day we get to decide what we wear, what we buy, where we live, what we eat, where we go, and how we get there. And it is those combined choices– by households, communities, and nations, that either proliferate the problem, or create the solution.  So what can one person do?

Continue reading

Introducing Sustainable TC

Thanks for subscribing to the Sustainable TC blog.  In this post I want to introduce you to  the Sustainable TC website that is now live!

Living sustainably is a huge challenge in American culture. What does ‘sustainable’ living even mean?  I like this description:  ‘Living in a way that meets your needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.’  A nice idea, don’t you think?  Especially since those future generations are our children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.

As most of us can’t help but see, we have gotten w-a-a-a-y off course from this ideal.  So far off course, in fact, that it can make you feel powerless.  How do we solve problems as big as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or an energy system that keeps us in a constant state of war while it destroys the very ecosystems that give us life?  I can’t say I have the answers, but as I have become aware of these problems, I have begun to examine my lifestyle, within the context of my community, and have found many opportunities to become part of the solution.

Every day we get to decide what we wear, what we buy, where we live, what we eat, where we go, and how we get there. And it is those combined choices– by households, communities, and nations, that either proliferate the problem, or create the solution.  So what can one person do?

Continue reading

5 Great Reasons to Cancel your Lawn Service

 
As we approach Summer, and those lazy days spent lounging in the yard (if you’re like me), or  working in it, (if you’re like some other people), consider these facts before renewing your lawn service, or self-applying anything to it:

     1. The most commonly used herbicide, 2, 4 D, was an active ingredient in Agent Orange, and  has been linked to non-hodgkins lymphoma in humans, malignant lymphoma in dogs, and increased incidences of malignant tumors in rats.1 It has been banned in Denmark and Sweden. Continue reading