Saturday, March 26, 2011

Earth Hour and Permaculture

To make a statement about climate change, Saturday evening, March 26, 2011, from 8:30 to 9:30 PM, is Earth Hour. In Pittsburgh, PA, the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh, Hamerschlag Hall at Carnegie Mellon University and other "iconic" structures in Pittsburgh will be dark for that hour. Thanks Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh City Council! Let's all turn out our lights from 8:30 to 9:30 tonight and see what it is like to be with some more natural light rhythms.

As part of the Permaculture Design Course sponsored by Phipps Conservatory, I spent the afternoon walking around a house in the Point Breeze area whose owners have done everything possible to save energy and be as mindful as possible in their lives. They've installed an amazing wood burning stove, energy efficient windows, some that absorb heat and some that repel heat depending upon the orientation, that's north, south, east or west, and lots and lots of extra insulation to seal up all holes and cracks. They even have, and use two home made composting toilets. Of course a Permaculture landscape, complete with a pond with goldfish swimming around, and what I'll call their two year old urban food forest are simply amazing. We are all on this path together!

Happy Spring and have fun with Earth Hour!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Economics of Happiness trailer (high resolution)

Training for Transition T4T in Monroeville!

Mark your calendar for April 9 and April 10, 2011 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day for Training for Transition. The training, sponsored by Transition Pittsburgh, will take place at the Cedars in Monroeville and is co-sponsored by Sustainable Monroeville and the Cedars. Carpools will be set up from the city. This course is packed with imaginative and inspiring ways to catalyze, support and engag­e your community Training4Transition delves into both the theory and practice of Transition that has worked so well in hundreds of communities in the U.K. and around the world.

• Explore ways of increasing community resilience
• Learn to describe the challenges of Peak Oil, climate change, and economic instability in ways that bring people together and inspire action
• Receive tools for community outreach, education and creating shared vision
• Learn ways to work with obstacles that have prevented our communities from responding to the challenges
• Learn how to facilitate community collaboration -- supporting existing activities and expanding the number and diversity of people involved
• Meet others in your region who share your concerns and want to transition to greater stability and security
• Become a part of a rapidly growing positive, inspirational, global movement!

Who should attend: People interested in learning ways to transition their community, people already creating a Transition Initiative, and communities wishing to become an internationally-recognized Transition Initiative.

Instructors: Tina Clarke, certified Transition Trainer will be making her forth trip to Pittsburgh! She will be joined by Fred Brown, of the Kingsley Association in Pittsburgh and certified TransitionUS trainer.

Cost: $160. Refreshments and study materials included. All food is Potluck! (Lodging not included.) If you can donate extra money for scholarships, your generosity will help those with low incomes to attend! A small amount of work-trade spots and scholarships are available.

Registration: Send an Email with your info (name, neighborhood, affiliations) to Jeff Newman: or call 814-449-3552. There is more information at our website -

TransitionPgh Meetup site -
 Feel free to share this with anyone that might be interested!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

One Woman Farm

Margaret Schlass of One Woman Farm will be speaking this coming Friday, March 11, 2011, at the Cedars in Monroeville. Go to the Cedars website for details. This is in conjunction with the Cedars coffee and tea house.

Friday, March 4, 2011

David Jacke in Pittsburgh! Food Forest Heaven!

Schwartz Market on Pittsburgh's Historic South Side is closing for the time being and planning for a new era in food systems and health and healing in America is beginning! Go to for some insights.

Join David Jacke at Chatham University and at the Phipps Garden Center the last weekend in March and through April 1. Details follow.
We will all learn together how to develop our own food forests, produce our own food on our own property and in our own neighborhoods. Clean water, pure air, real food and healthy bodies will move us into our healthy future!
Food, not lawns, is the next phase for Monroeville! Learn with us!

Healthy Land, Healthy Water, Healthy Community: Regenerating Pittsburgh from the Ground Up
Friday Lecture and Weekend Workshop by Permaculture Expert Dave Jacke
Okay, I changed my light bulbs to CFLs, I recycle and compost. What else can I do?! If you are looking for ways to delve deeper into lasting sustainable solutions, then this inspiring evening lecture and weekend workshop is just what you need to discover practical ways to create a healthy and vibrant life—and to regenerate the city in the process!  Liz

Friday evening, April 29, 7-9PM, Eddy Theatre, Chatham University, Pittsburgh
Regenerating Communities, Ecosystems, and Landscapes with Permaculture
During the Friday evening lecture, explore the forest gardening vision with Dave Jacke, author of Edible Forest Gardens, as he presents “Regenerating Communities, Ecosystems, and Landscapes with Permaculture.” Learn how to create high-yielding, low-maintenance backyards with lush ripe fruit and perennial edibles, and see ample examples of existing edible Edens. Discover how this systems design model can be used for backyard growing as well as community empowerment to create an abundant future right here, right now. This event takes place on Friday April 29, 2011, from 7-9pm, at Chatham University’s Eddy Theatre.

§       Suggested donation: $10.  No one turned away for lack of funds.  All are welcome.

Saturday & Sunday, April 30 & May 1, 9AM-4PM 1059 Shady Ave, Phipps Garden Center
Regenerating Pittsburgh from the Ground Up
Join Dave Jacke and regional permaculture teachers for a two-day workshop, April 30th and May 1st, at Phipps Garden Center on Shady Avenue. Gain a fresh perspective on functional relationships in plant and human communities. Experience permaculture principles and learn how to replicate the way nature works to provide us with everything we need – food, energy, shelter, medicine, biodiversity, beauty, health, enjoyment - with minimal work in the long run. Engage with other Pittsburghers in real solutions to our region’s most pressing environmental challenges.

§       Sliding scale fee for the weekend workshop is $150- $200.  Discounts for groups of 5 or more, pay only $125 per person. Scholarships available, please ask.
§       Pre-registration required, please visit or call Juliette at 412-780-5833.