Archive for ◊ February, 2011 ◊

• Monday, February 28th, 2011

Concordia Greenhouse would like to invite you to “Moving Forward: An inter-community discussion”

*University and community groups will come together to ask: What is the University’s role in the sustainable food movement?*

“Moving Forward: an inter-community discussion” is a three-year conference series that will facilitate dialogue between the Concordia academic and the external community. The series is supported by the President’s Strategic Fund, in place to realize the goals of Concordia University’s strategic framework for 2009 – 2013.

Concordia Greenhouse will host the 2011 conference that will focus on food systems and urban agriculture as  increasingly relevant topics in and around the Concordia-Montreal community. Moving Forward will launch the first chapter of the Concordia Greenhouse City Farm School Series that will be followed up by a speaker series and five day practical training program.

*Please Rsvp to confirm your spot at lunch!

*When: *Thursday, March 3 at 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday, March 4 at 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
*Where: * H 765, Hall Building, S.G.W. Campus, 1455 Maisonneuve O.

• Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

This is a highly recommended article for anyone struggling with building a community. The differences between a “collective” and a “community” are well thought out.

Source: Neithercorp Press

The task of constructing meaningful community today is daunting, but crucial. In an increasingly centralized and desensitized world, the only recourse of the honorable is to decentralize, and to reintroduce the model of independence once again. This starts with self sufficient communities and solid principles. It starts with unabashed and unwavering pride in the values of sovereignty and liberty. It starts with a relentless pursuit of balance, and truth. It starts with an incredible amount of hard work…By exposing the masses to another option, a better option, we undo years of lies, and lengths of chain. If there was ever a perfect moment to begin this battle, now is the time.

• Friday, February 18th, 2011

You can be pleasantly surprised how much knowledge and expertise lives in your neighborhood.

Source: COCo

NDG Skill Share Gathering – Saturday February 26th, from 12 – 4pm at the NDG Food Depot, 2121 Oxford Ave (corner de Maisonneuve)

Éco-quartier NDG and the NDG Food Depot are teaming up to offer a sharing of practical skills to live more happy, creative, and sustainable lives. Learning is plentiful, everywhere, and need not come with price tags or expert degrees. We are all teachers. We are all students. We want to live with enthusiasm, so let us learn with vigor! Coming together as a community, we discover there is a wealth of knowledge and talent waiting to be shared.

The theme for this skill share is ‘Lets Do It Ourselves’ – as a community creating a sustainable environment, learning to reduce our expenses, and having fun together! Come one, come all, the curious, the enthusiasts, the students and the teachers!

Some examples of workshops being offered: fun with wild fermentation, sprouting, vermicomposting, make your own herbal salve, learn a natural beauty care from your grocery bag and much much more! Please register at or call 514 486-2727.

• Thursday, February 17th, 2011

ShelfponicsShelfponics is a combination of vertical farming and hydroponics. The idea comes from the GardenPool project in Arizona, but Shelfponics does not need a warm climate. Trays and racks could be set-up anywhere inside where sunlight reaches.

Source: GardenPool Blog

So I was looking at an unused corner of the Garden Pool when I had an idea: vertical growing. It was a small area with about 78″ of vertical height, perfect for vertical growing. We generally used the corner to store unused buckets, aquariums, or small starter plants in soil.

The next task was to find a simple solution for vertical growing. What was found was a bookshelf that was used to store tools and miscellaneous GP stuff. I took down the bookshelf and installed a simple plywood shelf elsewhere to take its place. While examining the bookshelf I noticed that the shelves could be snapped-in upside down. This would make a perfect tray Ebb & Flow system. Over the next 9 months we would experiment with and perfect what we have coined shelfponics.

Research credit: Joshua Layton

• Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Perhaps with this new rail service, the West Island will be more like Philadelphia and less like Los Angeles.

Source: The Suburban

Quebec Transport Minister Sam Hamad announced help is on the way for Montreal’s beleaguered West Island commuters…the Cherest government supports the plan to build a dedicated track line for the West Island’s commuter train service. Once preliminary plans for the new system are completed, transit authorities believe the system could be on track by 2014…With up to 86 two-way circuits available per day, authorities believe the AMT’s service will be increased from 3.6 million to more than 9 million rides per year.

• Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Honey bee workshopBees are our collective “canary in the coalmine”. When they start to falter and die off, the global food system is under threat.

Date: Tuesday February 22
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Coop Maison Vert, 5785 Sherbrooke West

Now and then, it’s in the news : chemicals, varroa, other diseases until recently unknown (as well as the sometimes violent methods of industrial beekeeping) are threatening the bees’ very survival. But bees play a key role in ensuring the (re)production of many plants essential to our own existence. The apiary offers delicious and healthy products and apiotherapy teaches us that they can also cure many illnesses.

Alain Péricard has been a beekeeper for 30 years. A pioneer of organic farming in Quebec, he now splits his time between his Rucher Apis (in the Eastern Townships’ Canton de Cleveland), and NDG. On Tuesday February 22nd, at 7pm, he will be at la Maison Verte for a workshop on bees and beekeeping.

Depending on participants’ interests, the workshop will touch upon the hive’s lifecycle, bee products and apiotherapy. Are the current organic certification norms sufficient to protect the bees and the environment? Why not introduce beekeeping in the city? There will be a presentation and sampling of apiary products.

• Wednesday, February 09th, 2011

Source: Sustainable Prosperity

We face serious environmental and economic challenges. People are looking for answers in a green economic future.

Can the Earth support an ever-growing economy? Can we shift to ‘green growth’ for a healthier environment and economy? What would it look like?

Four of the world’s top economic experts debate one of the critical questions of our time. CBC Radio’s Paul Kennedy, host of Ideas, moderated a live debate at the University of Ottawa on January 20th, 2011.

Participants include four globally prominent economic experts:

Peter Victor

Peter Victor
Author of Managing Without Growth: Slower By Design, Not Disaster, professor (and former Dean) at York University, and former Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ontario government.

Tim Jackson

Tim Jackson
Economics commissioner with the UK Sustainable Development Commission, professor at the University of Surrey (UK), and author of Prosperity without Growth – economics for a finite planet.(external link)

Richard Lipsey

Richard Lipsey
one of Canada’s pre-eminent economists, professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University, and author of Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long Term Economic Growth.

Paul Ekins
Paul Ekins
Author of Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability: The Prospects for Green Growth, professor at University College London, and Director of the UK Green Fiscal Commission.
WATCH DEBATE WEBCAST(external link) (recorded live January 20th, 2011)

Research credit: Montreal Permaculture Guild

• Friday, February 04th, 2011

Bread Making WorkshopDo you like bread?
Do you like eating bread?
Do you like making bread?
Would you like to learn how to make very easily your own delicious, healthy and inexpensive bread?

If you answered yes to at least two of the above questions then do we have the workshop for you! The Montreal Permaculture Guild is organizing a series of “re-skilling” workshops at the NDG Food Depot at 2121 Oxford Street.

Come join us there on Monday, February 7th, 2011 starting 5.30 pm and watch Montreal Permaculturalist Ed Yersh make bread with his very own bread machine.

He will show you how it’s done.
He will talk about bread.
We will watch the bread machine as it:

  • mixes the ingredients
  • kneads the ingredients
  • bakes the ingredients
  • warms the bread

You will be offered bread to eat.
You will enjoy the convivial company of fellow bread enthusiasts.

NDG Food Depot
2121 Oxford Street, corner de Maisonneuve
Montréal, Qc
Metro Vendome
Monday February 7th, 2011 starting 5.30 pm

Permaculture is about making your own stuff and using energy wisely. On Monday, come to the depot to learn how to make your own bread.

• Wednesday, February 02nd, 2011

Unsustainable EgyptThe revolution in Egypt will probably repeat itself in a half dozen other countries in the near future. And while the usual suspects will be blamed (ruthless leaders, corrupt politicians, social media, people’s desire for freedom), the true cause of these revolts will be due to an unsustainable economy based on excessive debt that produced a lack of jobs, and massive food and energy inflation.

The case of Egypt should be studied well because it will repeat itself everywhere – not just in the 3rd world – until countries come back into balance and find a sustainable way to live.


No wonder then that the chief fear of Western intelligence agencies and corporate risk consultants is not that mass resistance might fail to generate vibrant and viable democracies, but simply the prospect of a regional “contagion” that could destabilize “Saudi oil fields.” Such conventional analyses, of course, entirely miss the point: The American Empire, and the global political economy it has spawned, is unravelling — not because of some far-flung external danger, but under the weight of its own internal contradictions. It is unsustainable  — already in overshoot of the earth’s natural systems, exhausting its own resource base, alienating the vast majority of the human and planetary population.

The solution in Tunisia, in Egypt, in the entire Middle East, and beyond, does not lay merely in aspirations for democracy. Hope can only spring from a fundamental re-evaluation of the entire structure of our civilization in its current form. If we do not use the opportunities presented by these crises to push for fundamental structural change, then the “contagion” will engulf us all.

Research credit: Carolyn Baker