Garden Planning with Urban Food Warrior Caitlin Moore

image4On February 19th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sustainable Renton will be hosting a garden planning workshop with Caitlin Moore, also known as The Urban Food Warrior. This workshop will give you practical advice on how to yield the most produce that you can using the space you have available. Caitlin is extremely knowledgeable and gives a wonderful workshop.

This workshop has a suggested fee of $25.00 but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

This workshop will be held at the Sustainable Renton Office at 970 Harrington Ave. N.E. Renton 98056

Beverages and light refreshments provided.

2014 Master Recycler/Composter (MRC) Training Announced

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I just spoke with Kim Ducote. She is asking Sustainable Renton to spread the word about an upcoming program being offered through King County offering FREE training for folks who are interested in Recycling and Composting. See the information below:

Spread the word about 2014 Master Recycler Composter program

 Did you know half of what goes to Cedar Hills Regional Landfill could be recycled? We are looking for outgoing individuals who want to inspire others to reduce waste and recycle more. King County Solid Waste Division invites you and your community to upcoming Master Recycler Composter (MRC) training.  Learn all about the do’s and don’ts of curbside recycling, including food scrap recycling, and then put your training to work through volunteer outreach. This is a train-the-trainer program with a community service component.  Applications will be accepted through April 30th. The program is open to King County residents outside of the cities of Seattle and Milton only. The training will be in Kent, Saturdays May 3rd and 10th, with an optional field trip on May 17th. This FREE training is open to King County residents outside of the cities of Seattle and Milton only. For more information, seehttp://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/mrc/index.asp

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21 Acres Field Trip

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A few of us visited 21 acres yesterday for the first time and can I just say, “Wow!” It is obvious that some very hard work has paid off immensely. I am including some photos but for a more comprehensive view you can visit their website: http://21acres.org/ 

First of all, it was spectacular weather for late February. The sunny, (almost) spring days in the Pacific Northwest are so full of hope and smiles (let’s not think about the snow predicted for tomorrow). It was the perfect day to tour 21 acres, which do the fourth Friday of every month from 11-2 pm, but no need to wait until then; self guided tours are available anytime the farm gate is open.  

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There is plenty of space for kids to run around and have fun. There are two goats on the property that will love to nibble at your sweater as you scratch their heads.

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There is a beautiful pizza oven/outdoor fireplace.

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There is a magnificent herb spiral that is in need of an organization to take over its care and make it thrive once more. If you or your organization is interested you can contact 21 acres to offer your services.

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It was at this point of the tour that someone said, “I don’t ever want to leave.”

I laughed and agreed, but it got me to wondering why we couldn’t have something like this in Renton? The answer is: we can and dare I say we will. We have some very motivated, intelligent and amazing people that are willing to work towards making this happen. Although the demographics are slightly different in Renton than they are in Woodinville and the initial motivation for a project like this may have to be tweaked to suit our community needs, the basic principles can be the same: A vital, public space where people can rediscover or perhaps discover for the first time the importance and heritage of local agriculture. 

One of the highlights of the tour was a visit to the Farm Store where they sell local produce and value added products. The pickled blueberries put out by Bow Hill Bluberries from Bow, WA, were highly recommended so I bought some and can I say that my mind is sufficiently blown. They were absolutely amazing. The Farm Store is open Fridays 11 -6 and Saturdays 10-4 during the winter. Yesterday was truly our lucky day.

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I encourage everyone to go and see how their green building handles gray and green water off of the grid, truly an innovative system.

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The bottom line is we all had a great time exploring the possibilities and day dreaming.

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Renton Food Co-Op needs you

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This past Wednesday was inspiring at the Renton Food Co-Op meeting. We had a larger than normal turn out and there is nothing more energizing than sitting with a group of good people that want to band together to make something happen. Any event that brings people together for a common cause is a power that cannot be denied-take the recent success of the Seahawks for example. People who would have not normally spoken to each other at the grocery store were suddenly striking up conversation-they had a common bond, perhaps for the first time. I couldn’t help but wish people would bond together for a more lasting purpose, like creating a Renton Food Co-Op, or resurrecting the downtown area, or localizing our economy. That is what we are doing at Sustainable Renton-one baby step at a time.

Sustainable Renton will table at events and educate the community about our mission in general and specifically about why a Food Co-Op-or any cooperatively run business is a good idea for Renton. If you are in the dark about what a cooperative is and why it is especially important in this economic environment, you can find out more about them here: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/pub/cir55/cir55rpt.htm. The wonderful part about cooperatives is that they are cooperative, not competitive. They operate democratically and everyone has a voice.

Our plan is to be at the Farmer’s Market a couple of times this summer, in the Renon River Days Parade and man a community booth at the Renton River Days Fair. Our annual fundraiser will be held in August this year and we are scheduling an event specifically for co-ops with the showing of a film followed by a lively Q and A with the filmmakers, so keep your eyes on our blog to find out more about when and where that event will be.

One more thing we have decided to look into is the idea of a local Buying Club. When we first gathered about a year ago we looked into the idea of a Buying Club and after some research we voted it down because we thought it would detract us from our ultimate goal of a brick and mortar food co-op. However, we are re-visiting the idea because we are looking at it as a means to an end, a way to draw interested people out, people that will ultimately shop at the Co-Op. To find out more about Buying Clubs you can visit here: http://cafe.tougas.net/products/how-start-food-buying-club-101.

The Renton Food Co-Op Steering Committee meets the second Wednesday of every month at 5:30 pm for a potluck followed at 6:00 pm for the regular meeting at the Sustainable Renton Headquarters. Everyone is welcome. We discuss what steps we need to take next on the road to starting a cooperatively operated grocery store in the Renton area. We are in the organizing phase and are in need of people to help make this dream a reality.

For more information you can contact sustainablerenton@gmail.com

 

 

Meaningful Movies of Renton presents

On Friday, January 31, Meaningful Movies of Renton presents An Exploration of Alternative Economics: Two perspectives on Money, Economics, and Radical Trust.

First, we present Charles Eisenstein on Sacred Economics. Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth.

Today, these trends have reached their extreme – but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.

Second, we present musician Amanda Palmer on The Art of Asking. Today, many people are trading music for free and record companies as well as some musicians are up in arms about it. Amanda Palmer has a different perspective.

Don’t make people pay for music, says Amanda Palmer: Let them. In a passionate talk that begins in her days as a street performer, she examines the new relationship between artist and fan.

Summing up her business model, in which she views her recorded music as the digital equivalent of street performing, she says: “I firmly believe in music being as free as possible. Unlocked. Shared and spread. In order for artists to survive and create, their audiences need to step up and directly support them.”

“A lot of people are confused by the idea of no hard sticker price [on my music]. They see it as an unpredictable risk, but I see it as trust.”

Moving beyond the environmental and economic crises we face requires an new approach to economics. After the two films, we will discuss ways to move away from the economics of separation to an economics of connection and radical trust.

Come join us for what should be an invigorating and inspiring conversation. We need your voice.

This event is held at the Sustainable Renton Office located in the Renton Highlands neighborhood at 970 Harrington Ave NE Renton 98056

Hope to see you there.