Rooms Available in Permaculture House

–Submitted by William Mutch
We have two vacancies coming up in April in the house on the land that I steward.  This is the house and land I write about often in the Transition Café announcements.  We are on ~four acres on a gentle hill above a neighborhood near the Saratoga/Cupertino border, covered in mixed Oaks and Grasses, and various wildflowers in Spring.  We’re building contour beds which will be home to various edibles, including Fruit and Nut Trees, Cane Berries, perennial Grasses, and much more.  The plan is to be harvesting loads of atmospheric carbon, storing lots of water in the soil, and creating habitat and food for humans and other critters.  One of the rooms could be excellent for a couple, another may be a good commuter room or studio.  Please forward our ad to any person or organization you think might be interested in hearing about it.  Craigs List ad
Thank you!
saratogahouseonhill@gmail.com
Advertisements

Bringing Permaculture to Life

Permaculture is a design framework that brings systems thinking and an ethical sensibility to the creation of environments that are not just sustainable, but also regenerative. Permaculturists start by observing how nature operates in forests and other natural settings, and then design environments that incorporate the natural patterns and relationships.

On January 26, Fourth Friday attendees were introduced to the diverse and inspiring world of permaculture. The film ‘Inhabit’ featured living permaculture projects on farms, in cities, in suburbs – ranging from a rooftop garden in the middle of New York City to an idyllic rural spread of many acres.

After the film, permaculturist and TPA steering committee member William Mutch answered questions and shared his own perspective on permaculture.  He explained that permaculture is based on ethics and principles — not a step-by-step process — and emphasized the importance of beginning with patient observation.

William also hosts the Permaculture Cafe, a weekly gathering of people who are interested in learning more about permaculture. The cafe is held every Wednesday 6-7:30pm at Red Rock Cafe in Mountain View.  If you’re on the TPA mailing list, you’ll get an announcement each week.

And to start learning more now about permaculture principles, ethics, and practices, you can go to permacultureprinciples.com.

 

Special February Fourth Friday – ‘Look & See’

We are pleased to welcome Peninsula Open Space Trust as a co-sponsor for this special Fourth Friday screening of LOOK & SEE.

look and see

As I see, the farmer standing in his field, is not isolated as simply a component of a production machine. He stands where lots of lines cross – cultural lines. The traditional farmer, that is the farmer who was first independent, who first fed himself off his farm and then fed other people, who farmed with his family and who passed the land on down to people who knew it and had the best reasons to take care of it… that farmer stood at the convergence of traditional values… our values.”
— Wendell Berry, Author, Activist and Farmer

LOOK & SEE revolves around the divergent stories of several residents of Henry County, Kentucky who each face difficult choices that will dramatically reshape their relationship with the land and their community.

In 1965, Wendell Berry returned home to Henry County, where he bought a small farm house and began a life of farming, writing and teaching.  This lifelong relationship with the land and community would come to form the core of his prolific writings. A half century later Henry County, like many rural communities across America, has become a place of quiet ideological struggle. In the span of a generation, the agrarian virtues of simplicity, land stewardship, sustainable farming, local economies and rootedness to place have been replaced by a capital-intensive model of industrial agriculture characterized by machine labor, chemical fertilizers, soil erosion and debt – all of which have frayed the fabric of rural communities. Writing from a long wooden desk beneath a forty-paned window, Berry has watched this struggle unfold, becoming one of its most passionate and eloquent voices in defense of agrarian life.

Filmed across four seasons in the farming cycle, LOOK & SEE blends observational scenes of farming life, interviews with farmers and community members with evocative, carefully framed shots of the surrounding landscape.  Thus, in the spirit of Berry’s agrarian philosophy, Henry County itself emerges as a character in the film – a place and a landscape that is deeply interdependent with the people that inhabit it.

RSVPs via EventBrite are required. Click for the official announcement, where you can scroll down to register.

Friday February 23, 7:30-9:30pm
Main Hall, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto,
505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto
All ages welcome! FREE, Donations appreciated.

Sponsored by Transition Palo Alto, Green Sanctuary Committee of UUCPA, and Peninsula Open Space Trust.

 

January Fourth Friday/Films of Vision and Hope – ‘Inhabit’

Join us for a close look at permaculture, the transformative approach to agriculture, economics, society, and governance, that inspired the Transition movement and much more.

Inhabit introduces permaculture projects, concepts, and people to help everyone understand what permaculture is all about.

Inhabit film.png

If you’re already familiar with permaculture, you’ll get a glimpse into what’s possible – what kind of projects and solutions are already underway and what actions you might want to take.

If you’re not familiar with permaculture, you’ll learn about this revolutionary way relating to the Earth.

For everyone, it will be a reminder that humans are capable of helping to heal our planet.

Filmmakers Costa Boutsikaris and Emmett Brennan documented more than 20 sites in a range of rural, suburban, and urban environments. They explored responses to local and global challenges, ranging from issues of food, water, and medicine, to governance, economy, and culture.  Come learn what they found out and share your own experience, ideas, and perspective. See the trailer…

Friday January 26, 7:30-9:30pm
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto,
505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto
All ages welcome! FREE, Donations appreciated.

Fun and Games

A fine time was had by all at the first ever TPA Games Night.  Folks showed up with games, snacks, and a spirit of humor and adventure. Although Pictionary enthusiasts had trouble illustrating ‘ban’ and ‘unconscious,’ no one minded. And the Forbidden Island team did manage to get off the island successfully.

If you missed the evening, not to worry, we’ll do it again in the new year!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

Wasting no time

Barbara O’Reilly sent this message after seeing Wasted! at October Fourth Friday:

Thank you for the Transition PA movie/educational evening. I just wanted you to know that it inspired a couple of actions. 

I stopped to talk with the manager when I went to shop at Trader Joe’s the next day. Indeed, he knew about the importance of not just tossing less than perfect food.  (See photo below.  Perhaps a note to their HQ would encourage all their stores to update their signs or write a story about their efforts for their newsletter.

The other photos below result from my investigation of my own fridge. I rearranged and added a shoebox to house the items I need to use soon.  I removed the items that needed to be used ASAP and listed & weighed those that needed to be tossed.  The photo shows 2 1/2 lbs waste: tomato soup, moldy cheese chunks & spread, 1 cooked beet gone soft, 4 oz. dates – package dated 2002!  An unopened can of anchovies dated 2012 I dug into the garden where veggies will grow next spring. I then started a soup stock which used up the almost expired zucchini, crookneck and kale. 

Waste & Recycling have been a passion (obsession) or mine for many years.  A friend and I spent each Thursday at Los Altos Farmers Market sorting the aftermath of waste from the food vending booths.  Those vendors are required to buy compostable containers/plates but all was then being collected in the black/opaque trash bags that in our town go directly to landfill.

By setting up and “wo-maning” 3 three bin stations (big bins for recycling and compostables, small one for trash) we found significant improvement and with our added step of relocating items using our grab sticks we went from 35 black bags/week to 1/2 garbage bin; 3 compostable and 2 recycling bins filled each week.   

Now that theFarmer’s  Market is closed I am working on a better waste system at our Senior Center and then on to other public buildings and events in Los Altos.

Sarah from Zero Waste had a good display  at Fourth Friday for encouraging people to think before tossing and the audience certainly had plenty of questions for her…a good addition to the evening.

oreilly from wasted 1

Third Friday Games Night

Time to take a break from work, other responsibilities, and the seemingly endless barrage of news about natural disasters and human-caused craziness.

Join us for the first ever Third Friday Games Night

Let’s celebrate what brings us all together, and have some fun!

Bring your favorite board game, card game, or other fun activity – or just show up and play along with what others have brought.

All ages are welcome. Please feel free to bring a light snack to share if you’d like.

Friday November 17, 2017   7:30-9:30pm
Fireside Room, Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto,
505 E. Charleston, Palo Alto
All ages welcome! FREE

games night

 

More on Wasted!

Do you know that 1/3 of all food that’s produced is wasted? That waste happens at every step of the food chain, from fields to supermarkets, to restaurants and home? That 90% of unused food in the US goes into landfills where it decomposes slowing, releasing methane, which is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2? That the ‘sell by’ and ‘use by’ dates on packaged food are set with the goal of selling more, not keeping food safe? That ignoring the dates and using the your nose instead makes much more sense?That significantly reducing waste could help eliminate hunger and have a major impact on mitigating climate change?

Fourth Friday attendees learned all of this and more. And they got a glimpse at some creative solutions. Much waste in farms and fisheries occurs because people (enabled by supermarkets and restaurants) have an overly narrow view of what’s good to eat. People eat only the heads of broccoli and cauliflower although the stems and leaves are healthy and delicious. They stay steer clear of certain seafood just because they haven’t heard of it. And that’s only the start. The ‘good’ is harvested, and the rest is dumped.

The people in Wasted! want to change all that. The film featured chefs and others who are changing perceptions about what is good food. They’re renaming foods and creating delicious gourmet dishes from food that has been considered undesirable.

A common misunderstanding is that stores are restaurants aren’t allowed to donate unsold food. Not true! Good Samaritan laws in California and the US protect those who donate in good faith. This blurb from LA County gives some good guidelines on food donation as does this statement from the California Dept of Education. Also, check out this Huff Post article.

Because the waste problem happens at every stage in the food supply chain, everyone can have an impact. You can control how you interact with the businesses that sell you food, consider what you buy, plan your meals, and dispose of any unavoidable waste responsibly.

More ideas from the audience:

  • Village Harvest volunteers harvest fruit from people’s backyards to help people in need.
  • You can donate excess produce from your garden to your local food bank or soup kitchen.
  • You can also list food you’d like to give away on NextDoor or other neighborhood lists.
  • We can all help spread the word to others about food waste and each of us can have an impact.

Last but not least, a warm thank you to Zero Waste Palo Alto, which sponsored the film, and to Sarah Fitzgerald from Zero Waste, who brought a display on how to sort your waste and answered lots of questions from the crowd.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.