Sustainable Renton June Happenings


Greetings Sustainable Renton followers!

We have some great things happening this month- We have the first of three Stone Soup Gatherings up at the farm this month, which we hope to see all of you at. This will be just like it sounds, if you have something to bring to the pot-do it and we will feast on the deliciousness that our community soup will offer up. I would also like to make a quick plug for the Sustainable Renton Study Group which is held on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 10am-12 pm. The Roots of Change curriculum is comprehensive and enlightening, the conversations and ideas that spring from the readings are life changing, and ultimately, we hope they are cathartic for our community. Come join us, it’s never too late.

June 2nd-4:00 pm; Azure Standard order deadline for the Kennydale Buying Club.

June 5th-7:00 am; Buying Club order pick-up from Azure Standard at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church at 1700 Edmonds Ave NE Renton 98056

June 11th-6:00 pm; Renton Food Co-Op Meeting. We meet at 5:30 for a potluck followed by the meeting. We are trudging the grassroots road of starting a food co-op in Renton. If you want to be a part of making history please join us. There is plenty for everyone to do.

June 14th-10am to 12pm; Sustainable Renton Study Group This month we are talking about the Paradoxes of Progress and Growth. If you want to join this group please email our Board President, Preston at and you will be added.   For more information please see the Facebook event page:

June 14th-1 pm; Gardeners Meeting/potluck and Work Party. If you haven’t been to the garden yet this year you will be amazed at the progress being made up there. We have a lot to do so come and get your hands dirty, eat some food and be merry.

June 19th-1 pm; Meaningful Movies of Renton presents What’s the Economy for Anyway? This movie will discuss the history of the economy and how our economic situation got to where it is now. This movie is shown at The Renton Housing Authority and is FREE and open to the public. Donations gratefully accepted. Refreshments provided.  Here’s a clip from the film:

June 19th-6pm; Sustainable Renton Board Meeting. Everyone welcome.

June 22nd-6pm; Stone Soup Gathering/Sing Along. Bring your addition to the soup and join in the feast. We will have two dutch ovens-one vegetarian, one-not, we will also have music around the campfire with general merriment to be had by all. Bring your own bowl and spoon. Come join us for the amazing things that community can create. This event is held at Sustainable Renton Community Farm.

June 23rd-Midnight Blue Valley Meat order deadline.

June 27th-7 pm; Meaningful Movies of Renton presents More Than Honey. Bees are dying out at an unprecedented rate, and this loss threatens our food supply.  We are showing this movie in conjunction with many other area venues to celebrate National Pollinator Week. Local beekeepers Mario Luppino and Aaron Crow will be available for questions and discussion after the showing. The movie is FREE and open to the public. Donations gratefully accepted. Refreshments provided. Here’s the trailer for the film:

June 28th-1:30pm; Blue Valley Meat delivery

July 8th-3 to 7 pm; Sustainable Renton at The Renton Farmer’s Market


Sustainable Renton Office is located at 970 Harrington Ave NE Renton 98056

Sustainable Renton Community Farm is located behind Celebration Church at 11840 148th Ave SE Renton 98059

Renton Housing Authority is located at 2900 NE 10th St Renton 98056


For more information on any of these events please contact


Hope to see you all sometime this month!

Study Group Update: Cultures of Place

Photo by Flickr user Reinis Ivanovs
Photo by Flickr user Reinis Ivanovs
This Saturday the Sustainable Renton Study Group goes back to the beginning. Before our world became a global marketplace, communities were rooted in place—intimately familiar with their environments, and familiar with the social landscape in which they lived. Such was necessary for survival.

In my day to day interactions with people, the complaint I hear most often is that we no longer have community. That we are rootless, and as a result of that, people feel lost and alone. Many others feel we have been reduced from citizens to consumers. That Homo Sapiens has been replaced with Homo Economicus. We are disconnected from ourselves, our communities, and our environment.

In my mind the question arises, “must it be this way?” “Has it always been this way?” To explore this, we take a look at societies who until recently have been largely untouched by the process of globalization.

The introduction to this month’s module, Cultures of Place: Scale, Place, Community quotes a remark by anthropologist Franz Boas. He said that knowledge of other cultures “enables us to look with greater freedom at the problems confronting our civilization.”

In this module we begin familiarizing ourselves with place-based cultures from around the world in order to see what has changed in our own cultures.

This is not to idealize the past or romanticize traditional cultures. We cannot go back to the past, and indeed most of us would not want to. But the question must be asked, what have we lost along the way? Is there a way to recapture that sense of being rooted in the community, and can we reconnect with the planet and each other in a way that keeps the best of the old and the new, and moves toward something even better?

You do not have to have been a member of the group or have read the readings to come, please just come and join in the discussion. Of course, doing the readings helps, and to get them, please contact me, Preston Glidden at and I will set you up!

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday at 10AM at Sustainable Renton HQ! The address is 970 Harrington Ave NE in Renton. See you there!


Digging Deeper: Announcing the formation of the Sustainable Renton Study Group

I’ve been studying environmental issues for over 10 years now, and I’ve come to the conclusion that in order to truly solve the issues we face, a deeper understanding is needed. I have come to believe that all the issues we face – environmental, economic, energy and many more are all interrelated. These problems are parts of a systemic crisis, and the roots of this crisis need to be better understood. To this end I propose a Sustainable Renton Study Group.

I envision this group to be run under democratic principles. We will go where the group members feel we must as we learn more. We must have a starting point though, and for that I propose the Roots of Change curriculum from The International Society for Ecology and Culture. ISEC produced the film The Economics of Happiness, which we showed in December, but the film was cut short due to a blackout. I highly recommend you see the film, and we may show it later. In the meantime, here’s the film’s trailer:

Here’s a brief description of the ISEC curriculum:

Over the last 500 years, numerous, predominantly local and human scale societies have been transformed, becoming increasingly industrialized and globalized. In the process, both the distance between people and power, and the separation between production and consumption have grown. As a result, people have become increasingly alienated from each other and from the natural world. These broad, structural changes —and the forces that have animated them—are at the root of many of the crises we face.

The first part of the Roots of Change curriculum (‘500 Years of Progress?’) unravels this history. In the process readers will be treated to a selection of powerful voices that question a number of widely-held assumptions about progress, growth, wealth, and development.

The second half of the curriculum (‘Resistance and Renewal’) provides readers with a broad understanding of the steps needed at the local, national, and international levels to shift the world in a more sustainable direction. We have taken pains to showcase examples of resistance to the dominant order, as well as renewal, through brilliant ideas and initiatives that prefigure a much more humane, healthy, and happy future. For every critical exposé in the first section, we include in the second, new ideas and tangible, instructive, living solutions that will inspire. Where the curriculum ends, the journey of action begins.

I have all the materials we will need, there is no purchase necessary to be part of this group. I do highly recommend you support the work of ISEC through donating on their web site.

As we proceed through our studies, we may supplement, alter, or abandon the curriculum as needed. This course is only a starting point for what I hope will be an ongoing and enriching study group.

I also see this group as a means for mutual support. It is easy to get discouraged or overwhelmed when you understand the scope of the issues we face. As we grow closer together, we can lean on each other more and more for support to get through those tough times, and to celebrate the victories, large and small.

I understand that this group won’t be for everyone. But for those of us who are interested in digging to the roots of the problem, I think that this group will be a good place to start. Will you join me?

I have called for a first meeting on Saturday, February 15th at 10AM-Noon at the Sustainable Renton office – 970 Harrington Ave NE, Renton, WA. For more information about the group, please contact me at .

See you there!

Preston Glidden