Bike Palo Alto!

Join in for an afternoon of fun and learn how easy it is to bike in Palo Alto.  Bike Palo Alto! 2011 will be on Sunday, October 9, 1-4 pm.

Start at El Carmelo School (Bryant & Loma Verde) for bike safety info, helmet fitting, bike registration, and bike safety checks and maintenance. Then choose one of our highlighted routes and take a fun ride with free treats along the way including ice cream at Baskin Robbins and fruit at Mollie Stone’s & Whole Foods.

Bike Palo Alto! is a free, family friendly event, no pre-registration is necessary. Just bring your bike and helmet and be ready to lower your carbon footprint and have some fun! Event highlights:

  • Learn tips on how to bike safely on public streets and make sure your helmet is ready to protect you!
  • Get a great local bike map highlighting bike routes in and around Palo Alto!
  • Check out Palo Alto’s great bike routes and stop along the way for free ice cream and other treats!
  • Learn about bike safety accessories to make your ride safer and register your bike!
  • Want to know the best bike route from your home to your favorite destination? Ask the Route Wizard!
  • Bring your bike by for a free safety check and basic maintenance!
  • Sign up for our free raffle for a chance to win a great prize!

For more info go to: www.pagreenteams.org

Or find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=208437172508446

Bike Palo Alto! Sponsors: Palo Alto CEAP, City of Palo Alto Way2Go & Sustainability Programs, Mike’s Bikes, Whole Foods, The Sweet Shop, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, Mollie Stone’s Markets, Traders Joes, Kepler’s Books, REI, Palo Alto Bikes, College Terrace Association & the Barron Park Association.

 

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United Nations Association Film Festival

The theme for this year’s United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF) is EDUCATION IS A HUMAN RIGHT. The 14th annual festival runs October 21-30,  2011 in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Stanford University.  The festival series has celebrated the power of documentary films in dealing with human rights, environmental themes, women’s issues, population, homelessness, racism, children, health, universal education, war, and peace. Transition Palo Alto is happy to partner with UNAFF.

By offering the very popular programs “UNAFF and Kids” and “UNAFF in Schools” and several panel discussions, UNAFF hopes to broaden the audience and initiate a meaningful community dialogue.

E-mail: info@unaff.org

Phone: (650) 724-5544

Free Film Series – Food Connections!

August 26 – Ingredients

See how people around the country are working to revitalize the connection between the food we produce and the food we eat. From farms to urban food deserts to the kitchens of celebrated chefs, we’ll learn about the movement to put good food back on the table.

September 2 – Rebecca’s Wild Farm

Wildlife filmmaker Rebecca Hosking shows how she transformed her family’s farm in Devon into a low energy farm for the future, discovering that nature holds the key.

September 9 – Establishing a Food Forest

Back by popular demand! In this fascinating film, famed permaculturist Geoff Lawton shows how to turn even the most unpromising ecosystems into thriving, productive food forests.

September 16 –Locavore

Today, the average conventionally grown vegetable travels more than 1500 miles and is over-processed, stale, and without nutrition. Learn how the Locavore movement is changing all of that.

September 23 – 100 Mile Potluck

It’s harvest season, and the autumnal equinox! Come to share food, conversation, and ideas.

Concerned about the environment and climate change? Looking for ways to make a positive, sustainable change for people and the planet?  Films of Vision and Hope focuses on hopeful and positive solutions to environmental
problems affecting our world.

Provocative films, great discussion, and opportunities to connect with others who want to make a difference.

Where: World Centric, 2121 Staunton Ct., Palo Alto (behind JJ&F Market)
When: Fridays 7:30 – 9:30 PM

Sponsored by Transition Silicon Valley, Transition Palo Alto, Slow Food South Bay, and World Centric

Local Garden Share

Neighbors Sharing Food/Flowers/Herbs from their Gardens

Second Sunday of the month:  August 14, 11 am – Noon

FREE !

Common Ground Organic Garden Supply & Education Center

559 College Avenue
Palo Alto,CA 94306

Join us to share garden bounty. Bring what you have to share; take home something you don’t. Think of it as a “free” backyard farmers’ market.

Bring your homegrown fruit, vegetables, eggs, herbs, honey, and flowers!

Throughout the Bay Area, neighbors are coming together for sharing locally grown, fresh produce. Our Palo Alto sharing event is supported by a coalition of community ecological organizations and neighborhood groups including:

Acterra, Barron Park Green Team, Barron Park Garden Network, Barron Park Assn., Common Ground Organic Garden Supply & Education Center, City of Palo Alto Community Gardens, Slow Food South Bay, Transition Palo Alto, and Transition Silicon Valley.

The Common Ground store is open during our event, so plan to stop in to get any supplies you need to continue your garden bounty. Also, we are located only 3 blocks from the California Ave. Farmers’ Market, which is open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. You will have time to shop or have lunch at the market after the event.

Local Garden Share

Neighbors Sharing Food/Flowers/Herbs from their Gardens

Sunday, July 10, 11 am – Noon

FREE !

Common Ground Organic Garden Supply & Education Center

559 College Avenue
Palo Alto,CA 94306

Join us to share garden bounty. Bring what you have to share; take home something you don’t.  Think of it as a “free” backyard farmers’ market.

Bring your homegrown fruit, vegetables, eggs, herbs, honey, and flowers!

Throughout the Bay Area, neighbors are coming together for sharing locally grown, fresh produce. Our Palo Alto sharing event is supported by a coalition of community ecological  organizations and neighborhood groups including:  Acterra, Barron Park Green Team, Barron  Park Garden Network, Barron Park Assn, Common Ground, City of Palo Alto Community  Gardens, Transition Palo Alto, and Transition Silicon Valley.

Eating in the year 2043

Today’s post is from a guest blogger, Maria Mesa of cookorgasmic.com—a blog about food-related activities, especially enjoying food.  She is an active member of Transition Palo Alto and enjoys reading comments and suggestions from readers.

The National Geographic of January 2011 published an article that estimates a total of 9 billion people for the year 2043. This article got me thinking about the magnitude of the challenge that we will be facing very soon: the need to feed a global population of nine billion with a diminishing supply of cheap fuels available to fertilize, plow, and irrigate fields and to harvest and transport crops. Optimistic estimates of peak oil production forecast the global decline will begin by 2020 or later, and assume major investments in alternatives will occur before a crisis, without requiring major changes in the lifestyle of heavily oil-consuming nations. Pessimistic predictions of future oil production believe that a proactive mitigation may no longer be an option; a global depression is predicted, perhaps even initiating a chain reaction of the various feedback mechanisms in the global market that might stimulate a collapse of global industrial civilization, potentially leading to large population declines within a short period.

Almost two centuries ago Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin stated that the destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they are fed. The removal of fossil fuels from the food system is inevitable. Only the amount of time available for the transition process, and the strategies for pursuing it should be matters for debate. The end of the cheap fossil fuel era must be reflected in a change of diet and consumption patterns among the general population, with a preference for food that is locally grown, that is in season, and that is less processed. A shift away from energy-intensive, meat centered diets should be encouraged.

Rob Hopkins, in The Transition Handbook: from oil dependency to local resilience, does not give an exact set of solutions to face peak oil production and climate change, since he believes that what works in one place will not necessarily work in other places; however, he does believe that localizing is the broad answer: stronger local economies, increased local democracy, strengthened local food culture and a more local energy provision. After reading Hopkins’ handbook, I decided to try to imagine how people would eat in the future, and I decided to pick the year when the world’s population would include 2 billion more people and when even the most optimistic estimates of peak oil production predict major changes in the lifestyle of heavily oil-consuming nations.

For the purpose of this exercise I will imagine the life of a fictional lawyer in the year 2043, John Doe, who lives and works in Silicon Valley. When John Doe is not in the courts dealing with the usual family and criminal litigation, he is occupied growing food at the town’s farm. After the U.S. government finally rationed energy, when the oil prices became prohibitive for fossil-fuel-based agriculture, Silicon Valley organized into small towns or no more than 5,000 people. These local communities rely on biointensiveagriculture, and most include industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Food became a central activity in the lives of people since the cost of food started to use up at least 50% of the typical budget, and people’s only alternative became to participate directly in producing and processing food in the town’s many new farms. Even lawyers and other specialists could no longer command unusually large incomes, so they too worked in food production.

John Doe works on a local farm for two hours before having breakfast in the communal dining hall at 8 AM. Parents eat with their children in the communal dining halls of their children’s schools. The food offered in these dining halls is mostly produced in the town’s farms, with a small portion coming from each school’s edible garden. Children work in school kitchens, where they experience culture, history, language, ecology, and mathematics through the preparation of food.

John Doe goes back to the farm from 9 AM to 11 AM. John has discovered the pleasures of working with the land, and he is experiencing the satisfaction of harvesting his food and seeing it end up in his plate, he is also rediscovering the superior taste of local and organic produce. Lunch is served (also in the communal dining hall) at 11 AM. After lunch John Doe litigates in the town’s courthouse until late evening, and then John returns to his house and participates in the preparation of food with the people that live in his lot.

The menu is seasonal, mostly based in grains, vegetables and fruits, but lamb, chickens, rabbits, and other small farm animals that feed mostly from grasslands are occasionally part of the diet as well as the fish caught in the Pacific Ocean. Main courses in the communal dining hall menu include grilled sardines, chicken al Mattone, fried rabbit, braised grass-fed goat, fish and shellfish in broth, spit-roasted pork loin, sautéed black cod, spit-roasted guinea hen, spot prawns, rack and loin of lamb.

The dramatic changes in the food landscape in America triggered the most remarkable improvements in health in the United States, in which diet-related diseases had been the biggest killer, two-thirds of Americans were overweight or obese, and children had a shorter life span then their own parents. Americans came out of the limbo of gastronomy where they were, and in the year 2043 they know how food arrives at their table. They understand that food is almost as important as language; it provides a sense of identity to a nation even more so than language. The alphabet for food is the produce, the grammar is the recipes, the syntax is the menu and the rhetoric is the conviviality. The way Americans will eat in the year 2043 will depend on the willingness of the Americans of the year 2011 to learn food’s language or to stay in the limbo of gastronomy.

Local Garden Share

Neighbors Sharing Food/Flowers/Herbs from their Gardens

Sunday, May 22, 11 AM – Noon  FREE !

Common Ground Garden Supply & Education Center
559 College Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94306

The first local Garden Swap was held August 21,2010, with people coming together to share produce, chat and get to know one another. Four other events followed where home gardeners met for a free exchange of garden bounty. Here is one guest’s rave review: “What a great event, like a free farmers’ market – grapes and raspberries and oranges and two types of apples, sage and oregano and rosemary and thyme, sorrel and a plethora of tomatoes, seeds to save and plant, and some beautiful flowers. Thank you!” – Rani

Sunday, May 22 will be the kick off event for the 2011 season.

Join us to share garden bounty. Bring what you have to share; take home something you don t.  Think of it as a free backyard farmers market.  (And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, the California Ave. Farmer’s Market is happening concurrently.)

Bring your homegrown fruit, vegetables, eggs, herbs, honey, flowers, seeds, & plant seedlings!

Throughout the Bay Area, neighbors are coming together for sharing locally grown, fresh produce. Our Palo Alto sharing event is supported by a coalition of community ecological organizations and neighborhood groups including: Acterra, Barron Park Green Team, Barron Park Garden Network, Barron Park Assn., Common Ground Garden Supply & Education Center, City of Palo Alto Community Gardens, Slow Food South Bay, and Transition Palo Alto.

“Profiles of Vision and Hope” blog

Rani created a blog, “Profiles of Vision and Hope“, to allow local people to write about what they have done to lower carbon footprints or to build local resilience.  Let’s share how we are making the transition to an energy-lean, but more connected and less stressful, healthier and happier way of life!

“This is a place where you, residents of Palo Alto and surrounding communities, can tell your stories – how you came to learn about peak oil, climate change, or Transition, how these have affected you in your daily life, the struggles you are undergoing or have overcome, or your visions for the future.”

Rani will add contributors and manage submissions. As it grows, I expect she will add categories and possibly other features—send ideas her way (using the form on the blog’s home page)!

Rethinking Cities: Film and Discussion Series

A look at how sprawl replaced traditional neighborhoods and what can be done to bring back community and sustainability to our cities and towns.  Group discussion follows (each evening).
 
Films start at 7 PM (Friday evenings), Laurel Room,  Sunnyvale Community Center, 550 East Remington.  Doors open at 6:45.  FREE. 

May 6–Save Our Land,  Save Our Towns. (One hour) Small town newsman Tom Hylton explores why America’s towns have declined and what we can do to revive them.  “Development and zoning issues normally make the eyes glaze…  Tom Hylton makes them downright fascinating.” Philadelphia Daily News

May  13–Creating Places We Want to Live

  • Portland: A Sense of Place. (Design e2) (30 minutes) 2008 Thanks to a  progressive public transportation portfolio that includes train, streetcar, bus and aerial tram, Portland has become one of the most livable cities in the US.
  • Community by Design. (26  minutes) 1997 Learn about the key role that design plays in building community, from some leading progressive thinkers on the subject.

May 20–Welcoming Pedestrians and Cyclists to the City (selected from Streetfilms)

  • Copenhagen’s Car-Free Streets and Slow Speed Zones. (5:08)  2010
  • An Alfresco Talk with Jan Gehl. (9:48) 2008
  • Moving Beyond the Automobile:  Bicycling.  (3:36) 2011
  • Ciclovia Bogota.   (9:41) 2007
  • San Jose Hosts Inaugural Via Velo.  (4:25) 2010

June 3–Developing Sustainable Transportation:  Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Bicycle Infrastructure

  • Curitiba’s BRT Inspired BRT Around the World.  (Streetfilms)  (8:03) 2009
  • Guangzhou, China’s Winning the Future with BRT. (Streetfilms) (5:18)  2011
  • BRT:  LA’s Orange Line:  Bus Rapid Transit (Plus Bike Path). (Streetfilms) (4:56) 2009
  • Bike Sharing Paris:  Velo Liberte.  (Design e2) (30 minutes) 2008 The public-private Velib bike initiative encourages Parisians to forgo cars for bikes and public transportation, fostering a unique popular culture in the city.
  • Cycling Copenhagen Through North American Eyes. (Streetfilms) (10:45) 2010

This film and discussion series is co-sponsored by Sunnyvale Cool, Transition Silicon Valley, and Sierra Club (Loma Prieta Chapter).  Made possible in part by a grant from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Building Backyard Gardens

On Saturday, May 14th, volunteers and community members in East Palo Alto will come together to deliver and install up to ten backyard gardens for eager beginning gardeners. Many of these gardeners have completed a twelve week course of cooking, nutrition, and gardening with Collective Roots, and are excited to launch new lifestyles full of healthier, more environmentally sustainable, home-grown food.

Come help install raised beds and plant spring gardens to make these new lifestyles a reality!

To register for this event, or if you have any questions, please e-mail:  nicole at collectiveroots dot org.