Tuesday, October 20, 2009

OCTOBER 24, 2009 ... 350!

OK local couch potatoes, here's your chance to participate in THE social movement of our time. Go to tc350.org to find out the details, but the best estimates are that 350 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere is safe for the world as we know it. Higher than that and bad things gonna happen! While you're at the website, download 2 really cool tunes from Seth & May!!

Peace and 350!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Met one of the neighbors today

Ah, fall. The smells of leaves, applesauce cooking, cold north winds, soil on the beets and carrots just dug from the garden; the sounds of chainsaws and rifle shots. As hunting season approaches, I took a few minutes to post our land. It reminded me of that scene in Never Cry Wolf where Farley Mowatt and the wolf try to work out their territorial issues in true wolf fashion. Well, I didn't drink a quart of tea: I used bright orange signs instead.

LR came with me on the back part of the property, and while I prepared to staple a sign to a big basswood on our eastern boundary, she looked up in a maple nearby. "Hey dad, look up there!" On a branch about 15 feet up sat a snoozing porcupine! We watched for a minute while I stapled up the sign, then headed back to the house for the camera.
She was absolutely tickled that she had just seen her first porcupine, and she spotted it! That's my li'l half pint!

The garden has made its transition to fall: some kale still standing, a few collards, the cold frame is out with spinach and more kale, and the garlic is in (followed cabbage in the rotation). Now for blankets of leaves over a sprinkling of rock dusts, soft rock phosphate and a light dose of wood ashes. I put it to bed like I do the children, with a prayer that spring will come and all will be well.


Today was a return to "real life" after three days of listening to and hanging with Earth-loving, courageous people who are actually working to make a difference. It was a bit of a letdown, actually. After hearing all the bad things that are happening on this planet, I walked back into the Land of the Clueless. I just want to scream, "WAKE THE @%#$ UP!" I work at an institution of higher learning for crying out loud, and I saw only TWO other members of the staff at the conference. We're getting so close to the Point Where Things Will Get REALLY Bad, that this stuff is more valuable than anything taught in a class. I can't believe some of the things that students are asked to learn, while the few classes that might give an understaning of climate change are "electives". Good God, EVERYONE needs to know this stuff.

The real power of a conference like Bioneers is in bringing together people who strive and struggle, day after day, to get something done, sometimes alone. In one big room, we recharge, exchanging energy until we can go out and work one more day, or one more year. Often, what moves us to cheers and tears is music: thanks to Seth and May and the other amazing Earthworks musicians for their gifts of song.

Some sites I learned about:
http://www.350.org/ - actions regarding climate change worldwide on OCTOBER 24th! GET OUT THERE, or start an action near your home!
http://circleofblue.org/ - water news from around the world
http://www.storyofstuff.com/ - Annie Leonard has even by demonized by Fox News! (She must be doing something right!)
http://www.nrec.org/ - the Neatawanta Center's site, thanks to Bob & Sally or whoever put this together!

The Great Lakes Bioneers in Traverse City had a water-oriented theme, and I came home after the first day with plans to make a shrine around our well head. It's squeezed uncerimoniously between the driveway and the woods, just a few feet upslope from the propane tank. The spot is currently a "weed" patch, with some catnip, motherwort and burdock (all good friends). I don't know what I want it to look like, but I want something to remind us that this hole in the ground is the source of our life, our blood, our energy. The little pump down there brings us something sacred. Winter is bearing down on us, so watch for news and pictures in the spring.

Over the weekend, we heard from several amazing elders, from familiar places like California, and unfamiliar ones like the North Sope of Alaska. Our region's own John Bailey challenged us with a very important question for this time in the existence of human civilization: "What kind of ancestor do you wish to be?"

What kind of ancestor do you wish to be?