Archive for ◊ February, 2012 ◊

• Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Achieving self-sufficiency is the key measure in having a resilient community. How can we shift more of our resources away from Bay/Wall street and towards our local neighborhoods? Bay and Wall street will not feed us, provide shelter or keep us warm, although they may like to think they can.

Source: Post Carbon Institute

Why community resilience?

Community because we believe that the most effective ways to work for the future we want are grounded in local relationships—with our families and neighbors, with the ecological resources that sustain us, and with the public institutions through which we govern ourselves.

Resilience because the complex economic, energy, and environmental challenges we face require not solutions that make problems go away but responses that recognize our vulnerabilities, build our capacities, and adapt to unpredictable changes.

The Community Resilience Guides will cover these four elements, so critical in creating thriving, resilient communities:

  • Investing in the local economy.
  • Growing local food security.
  • Producing local, renewable energy.
  • Planning locally for an uncertain future.

Local Dollars, Local Sense is the first in this series, and the series is just one element of a bigger effort: the Community Resilience Initiative. Stay tuned for more announcements, and ways you can participate.

These are challenging times. But they are also full of opportunity. We hope Local Dollars, Local Sense and the slew of other resources we’ll provide through the Community Resilience Initiative will inspire you, and help you build resilience in your community.


• Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Source: Caia Hagel

My friend has been farming for several years now and is starting her very own Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) this year. Her produce is BEYOND organic…they refuse to even use heavy machinery on the farm, instead opting to do everything by hand. She is taking 20 subscriptions for summer baskets this year and I thought some of you might be interested.

Trente Arpents Community Supported Agriculture – 2012 Season

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a partnership wherein members and growers share the risks and benefits of a human-scaled and sustainable form of agriculture. Members commit to paying a portion of the price up front, which allows the growers to cover the costs incurred in the spring. In return, the growers commit to providing their members with a weekly share of fresh, high quality, local, healthy and ecological vegetables.

Although we are not certified organic, we practice farming in this way:

  • All of our vegetables are grown, from seed to harvest, using only hand tools. This style of cultivation ensures minimal tillage, which otherwise damages soil structure. Using hand tools also helps to both reduce the amount of time the vegetables are exposed to noxious substances from machinery, and minimizes our dependence on fossil fuels.
  • We use unheated cold-frames (built primarily from reclaimed windows) to start our vegetable seedlings and extend the season.
  • We do not use pesticides or herbicides of any kind, even varieties sanctioned for organic production.
  • We reclaim a variety of organic refuse (potential landfill) for use in our composting systems.

You might say we are primarily in the business of growing soil, and it is our belief that healthy plants grow from both healthy soil and ecosystems; building these are our main focus.

Trente Arpents Shares

We are offering 3 share sizes:

  1. Single at 20$ (for one person); or $425 for the season
  2. Double at 30$ (for a couple) ; or $625 for the season
  3. Family at 40$ (for a family of two adults and 2 children); or $825
    for the season

There is a one-time, annual transportation charge of $25.00

Members receive a share of a variety of vegetables every week for a period of 20 weeks, beginning mid-June and going until the end of October. The contents of the share will change each week according to seasonal availability, but will always include a fresh herb, salad greens, and a bunch of cooking greens, amongst other things.

The vegetables are delivered right to your home. The day and time of the delivery remains the same throughout the season (to be determined, most likely Wednesday evenings).

The vegetables will be minimally packaged and minimally washed in order to preserve freshness.

There is also the possibility of obtaining other local and sustainable products, such as meat, cheese, honey, oil, and fruits, at an additional cost.

Please inquire if you are interested.

Registration form Trente Arpents- 2012

If you would like to register, please email the following information to:



Telephone Number


Share Option

A 10% deposit + transportation fee is required to complete registration and ensure your share (non-refundable). Deposits are due on or before February 28, 2012.

The remaining balance can either be paid in full (before the first delivery), in monthly installments (due at the beginning of the month), or weekly at the time of delivery.

It is important that you let us know in advance if you will be away and will not be needing your share for that week.

Thank you for supporting Trente Arpents!

• Thursday, February 16th, 2012

cucumberCoop la Maison Verte and Ferme du Zéphyr are teaming up for their 7th annual organic seedling sale.

This year, 30 new varieties were carefully selected by the farm and made available to gardeners, adding some fresh new options to the 170 varieties of heritage tomatoes, vegetables and herbs gardeners have grown to know and love.

Each of these varieties will certainly impress, in the garden as well as in summertime plates. Pre-orders can be placed through the Co-op’s online store at or in store, at 5785 Sherbrooke street West as of February 19th.

Customers’ orders will be ready for pick up every Saturday, from May 12 to June 9. Customers can select the date that is most convenient for them.

Again this year, customers can opt for three conveniently-located drop off points: Coop la Maison Verte (NDG), Cabaret des Bons voisins (Pointe Claire village), and Coop Terre à Soi (Hochelaga Maisonneuve).

5785, Sherbrooke Ouest, métro Vendôme + autobus #105 – 514-489-8000

• Monday, February 06th, 2012

Aquaponic gardeningHere is an exciting new book that I plan on reading. An aquaculture system is  a great compliment to a biodome, greenhouse or back yard garden.


Aquaponics is a revolutionary system for growing plants by fertilizing them with the waste water from fish in a sustainable closed system. A combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponic gardening is an amazingly productive way to grow organic vegetables, greens, herbs, and fruits, while providing the added benefits of fresh fish as a safe, healthy source of protein. On a larger scale, it is a key solution to mitigating food insecurity, climate change, groundwater pollution, and the impacts of overfishing on our oceans.

Aquaponic Gardening is the definitive do-it-yourself home manual, focused on giving you all the tools you need to create your own aquaponic system and enjoy healthy, safe, fresh, and delicious food all year round. Starting with an overview of the theory, benefits, and potential of aquaponics, the book goes on to explain:

  • System location considerations and hardware components
  • The living elements–fish, plants, bacteria, and worms
  • Putting it all together–starting and maintaining a healthy system
• Wednesday, February 01st, 2012

The end of growth is why we need to re-invent our banking and monetary systems. Both have collapsed and won’t survive. Each have been founded on a single untruth: infinite growth. The bank bailouts and money printing are simply delaying what everyone knows: our old systems are bankrupt.

But the Earth isn’t bankrupt and will continue to provide for us in a reasonable manner. We just need to create the new banking and monetary systems that reflect this reasonable, sustainable way of nature.

Heinberg’s first book on Peak oil, “The Party’s Over” written in 2005 was fantastic and “The End of Growth” looks like it could couple the Peak movement with the Occupy movement.

Source: Post Carbon Institute

Heinberg’s overarching message is that the current economic downturn is not temporary and that, because we have now reached fundamental, unalterable ecological limits, economic growth is gone for good…our entire economy is now fundamentally addicted to debt and to continued, indefinite growth. Oops.

Heinberg goes on to explain that because we’re reaching peak…well…peak everything, and because economic growth relies on natural resources and the Earth’s ability to process our wastes, this growth simply can’t continue. He says that our money has come to represent claims on goods and services that just don’t exist. Through debt and “fiat” currency, the amount of money in the world just gets bigger and bigger, while the Earth’s total stock of resources remains the same. Something has to give.

Unlike previous authors, going back to Thomas Malthus, then later Dennis and Donella Meadows, Herman Daly, and more recently, Tim Jackson and Gus Speth—to all of whom Heinberg gives their due—he’s not just saying that economic growth should stop or that it will stop. He’s saying that it in fact has stopped, whether we like it or not. Discussion in the popular media aside, this is not a choice. Physical laws dictate that all living things must stop growing at some point and, our adamant resistance notwithstanding, the human species has reached that point.

But haven’t we heard before how growth will stop because we’ve run out of resources? (Think The Population Bomb.) So far, it hasn’t happened. Innovation (say the business people), substitution (say the economists), and efficiency (say the scientists) have always allowed us to overcome any resource limitations and advance along the path of progress and growth—and they will continue to do so in the future. But Heinberg says, not this time. Today, innovation mostly just involves tweaking existing technologies. And some materials fundamental to economic growth—most notably fossil fuels—simply have no substitutes. And efficiency can be used to decouple energy use from economic growth only to a certain point.