Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Community Garden Film and Bristol County Beekeepers Monthly Meeting Tonight, Tuesday Oct. 27th

The Bristol County Beekeepers group meets on the 4th Tuesday evening of every month at Bristol Agricultural High School in Dighton. Visit their website for more information on beekeeping happenings in the area. Much has been written about the plight of the honeybee, suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder, for a thoughtful analysis I recommend Gunther Hauk's Toward Saving the Honeybee. Hauk is in the process of developing a honeybee sanctuary, Spikenard Farm in Virginia. For those interested in getting started with beekeeping, Bristol Community College offers beginning beekeeping courses.

Also this evening UMass Dartmouth's Sustainable Film Series continues with Another World is Plantable, a documentary focusing on community gardens, at the Library Browsing Area, 6:30 PM. To connect with community garden efforts, we have a partial list of Greater New Bedford community and educational gardens operating during the Summer 2009. The Southcoast Community Gardens Coalition currently has a small pool of funding from the Greater New Bedford United Way mini-grants program to assist with soil testing in community/educational gardens in the area. If you would like assistance with soil testing, please contact Derek at 508-992-1868.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bioneers by the Bay 2009

Come on down to New Bedford, Massachusetts this coming weekend for a great 2009 Bioneers by the Bay... Read Will Allen's take on the Good Food Revolution in the Boston Globe earlier this week.

There are a number of food related speakers and workshop sessions (see link for full list), including:

Will Allen from Growing Power, Will was one of this Summer's NOFA Conference keynote speakers. In addition to his Friday morning keynote, he will also be leading a Friday afternoon workshop alongside Rich Pederson from Southside Community Land Trust and local community gardeners from Serenity Gardens in New Bedford. The focus of the workshop will be on soil restoration in urban agriculture through composting and marketing and improving food access in urban areas.

On Friday evening there will be a showing of the film "Fresh" with a q+a with the filmmaker and other panelists.

Sunday morning's keynote presentations include two shining beacons of light among the sustainable agriculture movement: Vandana Shiva and Woody Tasch. These are just a few of the amazing presenters who will be sharing words of inspiration over the weekend.

Food is just one of the themes that is covered by the conference... other keynoters include: Robin Chase, Winona Laduke, Paul Hawken, Paul Epstein, Juan Pachecho, Nipun Mehta, Dr. Elisabet Sahtouris, Khepe-Ra Maat-Het-Heru and Climbing poeTree. Of course there will be a 350.org event on Saturday afternoon as well.

Bioneers by the Bay: Connecting for Change, the Marion Institute’s 5th annual conference will be held in historic Downtown New Bedford, MA, on October 22-25, 2009. Bioneers by the Bay provides an opportunity for concerned citizens to meet with environmental, scientific, and social justice innovators to address the Earth’s most pressing challenges. We are planning a rather remarkable three days of live keynote speakers, afternoon workshops, an extensive Youth Initiative program, a downlink of the 20th Annual Bioneers Conference in California [www.bioneers.org], an exhibition hall featuring sustainable businesses and organizations, a 350 Day of Action event, films, music, art installations, a farmers’ market and local & organic food. Also we have scholarships and volunteer opportunities available—if you want to come to the conference we want to help get you there. For more information, please visit connectingforchange.org or call 508.748.0816

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sustainabilty Council - Food&Ag Meeting Oct 21st and Sustainable Food Resources

Our next Southeastern Massachusetts Council on Sustainability - Food&Ag Working Group meeting will be held on Wednesday Oct. 21st at Bristol Community College (specific room tbd).
You can review previous meeting notes in the Forum: Food & Ag section of the Council website.

In March of this year we convened for a Sustainability Exchange focusing on Sustainable Food at UMass Dartmouth; Please check out the 2-Page Sustainable Food Resource List prepared for the March gathering for a wide ranging list of links related to Sustainable Food on the Southcoast.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bounties of the Fall - Great Events Happening in October/November on the Southcoast and beyond

If you haven't seen the weekly Sustainability Almanac email blast published by UMass Dartmouth, I highly suggest checking it out. It's a great place to list events and find out about happenings on the entire southcoast.

As the fall sets in there are a number of terrific events happening in the area - either for pleasure or purpose...

Tuesday October 6th - 4PM - Roots Down New Bedford
see earlier post on the blog today.

Tuesday October 6th 8:00 PM - Antique Apples and the Working of a Century Farm
with Sue Smith of Noakochoke Orchards at the Dartmouth Grange (1133 Fisher Road, Dartmouth, MA)

Wednesday October 7th - Noon - Southcoast Community Gardens Coalition Meeting at the Coachman's House meeting room at the Rotch-Jones-Duff House&Garden Museum.

Wednesday October 7th - 6PM - Joel Salatin speaking at the Association to Preserve Cape Cod annual meeting in Hyannis, MA (members - free, guests $20)

Wednesday October 7th 6:30 PM - Sustainability Film Series - UMass Dartmouth Library Browsing Area - A Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba Brazil

Wednesday October 14th - Environmental Coffee Hour in New Bedford -
Autumn Coffee Hour on October 14th in Room 314 of City Hall from 7:30 AM to about 8:30 AM.

Friday October 16th 10AM at the ATMC in Fall River - Discussing Support for the Financial Revitalization in Southeastern Massachusetts' Agricultural Industry.
including remarks from Ag Commisioner Scott Soares.

Saturday October 17th
the Dartmouth YMCA and Sharing the Harvest will host its Annual Fall Festival - including a road race in the morning and family friendly farm activities in the afternoon and a haunted hayride in the evening.

Definitely Not to be Missed: Thursday October 22 - Sunday October 25 - Bioneers by the Bay will be in downtown New Bedford. Including an event on Saturday October 24 in conjunction with 350.org's International Day of Climate Action. Featured keynote speaker of ag. interest include: Will Allen of Growing Power, Vandana Shiva, and Woody Tasch and a viewing of the new movie Fresh.

November 12th - 14th - Farm Based Education Conference in Tarrytown, NY.

November 13th and 14th - NESAWG It Takes a Region: A Working Conference in Albany, NY.

and finally... Friday November 13th - the first New England Biochar Symposium will be held at UMass Amherst.

Roots Down New Bedford - October 6th - Improving Your Soil

Our free Roots Down - New Bedford program continues this month on Tuesday October 6th at 4PM at the Lawler Branch Library - 745 Rockdale Ave. in New Bedford. The topic for this month's discussion will be: Improving Your Soils - Fall Soil Amendments for Organic Gardens.

The fall is one of the best time to apply rock minerals (hi-cal lime, soft rock phosphate, etc.) because the ensuing winter provides time for the minerals to be incorporated into the soil and made more available for the coming growing season. We'll discuss some of the various mineral amendments available through the NOFA Bulk Order, review soil tests if you have questions about them, and more.

This year, NOFA-Mass is offering it's first ever Fall Bulk Order - Oct 14th deadline. This is a terrific way to track down some hard to find minerals and soil amendments.

Looking for info on how to deal with Late Blight this fall - see this important info from UMass extension.

about Roots Down - New Bedford*

what: A Free Monthly Series Focusing on Sustainable Gardening Techniques

why: To help new and experienced gardeners gain a deeper understanding of methods used in healthy food production.

To help build local food security for our community.

*Roots Down - New Bedford is part of the Safe Soils for Healthy Food Project presented by Brix Bounty Farm and the Rotch-Jones-Duff House&Garden Museum and is made possible by the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts - SEEAL Fund.