Engine Repair and Tractor Maintenance Workshop at Left Foot Organics - July 17th!

Left Foot Organics is a local nonprofit organization helping people with disabilities and rural youth to gain job and life skills while growing good food for their community. Now in its eighth year, Left Foot offers paid employment experience and is committed to provide the support each individual needs to overcome their challenges and be successful.

On the third Saturday of each month Left Foot hosts volunteers in the morning to come out and help with farm work.  The farm then provides a hot lunch for volunteers and following lunch a workshop is put on to provide community members with farm  and social skills that are transferable to their everyday lives.

The month of June workshop will feature Hugh Zars of Zarswerks.  Hugh will be teaching and giving hands-on advice about small engine maintenance and tractor repair.  Hugh is a new friend to the farm and has given his time and energy to making sure all our equipment is in tip-top shape.  He is a real expert with years of experience in engine repair and maintenance under his belt! 

The day begins at 10 o'clock for volunteers and lunch is served at noon!  Workshops typically begin around one o'clock.  Please come ready to work in the elements!

Left Foot Organics is located at 11122 Case Road SW, Olympia, 98512, just 3 miles from exit 99 off interstate 5.

Experience Hope Seminars - This Thursday at 6 p.m.

Please join us this Thursday night, April 8, for an eye-opening disclosure regarding how to experience vibrant physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health in the midst of today’s most challenging crises yet. You will learn how to apply the laws of nature and life that will assist in restoring you to the person you were always meant to be. You will also understand how today’s top news stories and current landmark events have their parallel and foundation in an ancient past. Through an examination of one of the most prolific and personal of all living documents, you will discover that everything in this life is not as it seems. DATE: Every Thursday, beginning April 8 TIME: 6 p.m. LOCATION: Java Flow Coffee House 207 Washington Street NE Olympia, WA 98501 CONTACT: Liberty of Conscience Preservation Council PHONE: (360) 402-1154

Vandana Shiva Visit to Olympia

Vandana Shiva Vandana Shiva visited Olympia last week. Her visit was hosted by the SPSCC group BRICK (Building Revolution by Increasing Community Knowledge). Dr. Shiva presented a wonderful speech, that was informative and educational, and moving and inspirational.

I am hoping that video will become available to post on the Internet, because there is no way a description can do justice to her speech. Getting a transcript would also be good, because there was so much information. The SPSCC Performing Arts Center was full -- people who showed up hoping to attend the speech were denied entry into the auditorium.

Janine Gates has an article about Dr. Shiva's visit at Little Hollywood: Shiva Speaks to South Sound Community about Food Politics. Some of this article will cover the same topics covered there, but I will add a couple other details from the speech. Check out Janine's blog for more information about the Shiva speech.

An early topic of the speech was the structural nature of hunger. Over one billion people on earth are without adequate food and nourishment. And it's not because there isn't enough food, or enough ability to produce food for all the people. Instead it is because of a lack of distributive justice, and because of appropriations of seed, water, and land. One billion people hungry. That's a lot of people. (And in my opinion it is a huge strike against our system of capitalism. One billion hungry people is indefensible. Really, should any human being live in hunger?)

Soil Not Oil | Vandana Shiva to Speak in Olympia

We face a stark choice... Sponsored by BRICK (Building Revolution by Increasing Community Knowledge).

Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009
Time: 6:30PM - 9:30PM PDT
Location: Minnaert Center at SPSCC
2011 Mottman Rd SW
Olympia, WA 98512

Information provided by the TC ProNet Calendar

Inverting the Economic Order, by Wendell Berry

The September 2009 issue of The Progressive magazine features an article by Wendell Berry, Inverting the Economic Order. I think the ideas in the article are relevant to the upcoming City Comprehensive Planning Process.

There are a lot of common threads between the ideas that Berry presents, and ideas from Jerry Mander, who wrote In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of Indian Nations. Both authors discuss how modern society has devalued our relationship, as human beings, with the land that we call home (and which we depend on - and which I believe we, indeed, belong to.) Here's also a link to an interview with Jerry Mander. The interview appeared in The Sun magazine shortly after publication of In the Absence of the Sacred. Interview with Jerry Mander by Catherine Ingram.

Now here's a short excerpt from Inverting the Economic Order, by Wendell Berry:

Inverting the Economic Order
Wendell Berry in the September 2009 issue

My economic point of view is from ground level. It is a point of view sometimes described as “agrarian.” That means that in ordering the economy of a household or community or nation, I would put nature first, the economies of land use second, the manufacturing economy third, and the consumer economy fourth.

Hemp as a Staple of Independent and Sustainable Local Economy

Hemp as an industrial crop has tremendous potential. There are so many uses. From (organic) plastics, to food (oil), to clothing, building materials and etc... Hemp has tremendous potential as a renewable resource, and tremendous potential to form part of the foundation, or backbone, of an independent local economy.

Check out this legislative update from Vote Hemp: 2009 Hemp Bills Successful. via email:

Last week, Maine's House passed LD 1159 without objection and the Senate later passed it by a vote of 25 to 10. The bill was Passed To Be Enacted by the House and Senate this week. LD 1159 would establish a licensing regime for farming industrial hemp. Maine previously passed a study bill and has defined industrial hemp in the law.

The State of Oregon is also on the verge of passing industrial hemp legislation. If the Oregon bill succeeds it would join fifteen others that have passed hemp bills.

South of the Sound Community Farm Land Trust’s Annual Meeting, Potluck, & Country Dance

Come help save local farms for the future! The evening is free and open to all. Find out what we’re doing to promote healthy local food and farming systems in the South Sound. Bring a dish to share with your friends and neighbors, kick up some dust on the dance floor, and play your luck in our fabulous farm basket raffle. Co-sponsored by the South Bay Grange. Contact us at (360) 402-0302 for details.

Location: South Bay Grange Hall 3918 Sleater-Kinney Road NE, Olympia


I saw the film FUEL earlier tonight at the Capitol Theater. It was good. I recommend it. It's an important film because it clearly shows the very serious problem that we, as a humanity, face in regard to the global economy's addiction to petroleum as a source of energy. But not only that, it also provides a clear analysis of some of the potential solutions to the deeply harmful and horrible aspects of reliance on fossil fuels.

The rumor is, according to the Olympia Film Society person who did the introduction, that the film run has been extended into next week. This is an important film. Please, if you have any interest at all, make an effort to see it.

Here's the trailer:

Oil and Sustainability (and Cuba)

I watched a great film that I am excited about tonight. It's called The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil. I recommend it highly to those of you who are interested in community solutions to the problem of depleting global energy resources, and sustainability.

You may have already seen the film, it was released in May 2006. It's about the transition Cuba was forced to make in 1990 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. You see, the U.S.S.R. provided a heaping amount of trade to Cuba, and when it collapsed, Cuba's GDP plummeted to 34% of its pre-collapse level. The Cuban people were faced with some very hard times - and some massive challenges. What changes did they make and how did they make them?

The film explains a lot of what happened. It's a sweet film. And it's a great window on what many important aspects of moving toward a truly sustainable society could look like.

Our wonderful City of Olympia has sustainability as one of its foremost resolutions and goals. This is something which I am sure the majority of us endorse. This film has much to offer: education, knowledge, wisdom, the experience of others: we can learn from the journey of Cuba and the Cuban people, for example - to conserve and to implement local solutions to global problem of finite and depleted energy reserves.

Find out more information, including a 2 minute trailer, at the Power of Community film-information-website: The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil Documentary - Welcome!

Although the video is for sale, it can be found for free on Google. I also posted it to my other blog: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil.

CSA Season

We signed up with Kirsop Farms to get a CSA box last year and really enjoyed it. Now that the new CSA season is looming, we're trying to decide whether to stay with Kirsop, which we loved, or branch out and try someplace new. Any recommendations?

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