Celebrating Climate Solutions at Northern Sun Farm

Yesterday my oldest daughter,  my mother-in-law and I visited Northern Sun Farm Co-op, in southeastern Manitoba, as part of the Global Work Party organized by 350.org for 10/10/10/. Northern Sun Farm is completely “off the grid”, and while we were there we saw a solar oven in action, cooking scalloped potatoes. Our tour of the farm included a wind-powered wheat-grinding facility as well as a beautiful round lodge used in summer. The beautiful pine walls house a kitchen and lounge area, and has a unique floor that Gerhard, our tour guide, told us was made out of 4 parts sand and 1 part clay, with some straw mixed in. To “install” it, water was added and then the mixture was troweled onto a foundation of gravel covered with plastic sheeting. This was done in 4 layers, each of which had to dry between applications, and was finished off with a coating of linseed oil. The roof of the building was shingled with aluminium sheets reclaimed from the newspaper printing process.

Jen, who organized the 10/10/10 event, gave us a tour of their worm farm and composting facility. Jen and her business partner Mark run  “Nature’s Perfect Food”, selling the rich soil (vermicast) which their red wiggler worms produce from cow manure.

Before we could harvest our own red wigglers or vermicast we got distracted by a wonderful pot-latch thanksgiving meal of turkey cooked in a wood-fired stove, cranberry sauce from home-grown cranberries, salads, apple crisp, and a breath-taking assortment of pumpkin pies. This bounty was served outside around the fire as the prairie sun set behind the trees. We left Northern Sun Farm filled not only with Thanksgiving bounty but with inspiration of spending time with people  living out a low-carbon lifestyle. Thanks, Jen, and everyone else we met!

You can find Jen and Mike’s  Nature’s Perfect Food on Facebook, or contact them at nppf@mts.net.

To see pictures of more 10/10/10 events, go to 350.org

Writing To People Who Should Know Better

Today’s guest blogger is Cheryl McNamara, whose blog Carbon Slim offers tasks and tips to help readers reduce their carbon footprints. Cheryl also runs Climate Response, a grassroots on-line group whose purpose is to “elevate the public conversation on climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy”. The following article is from August 4, 2010:

Some of you have been asking about my Carbon Slim blog. My apologies for the spotty installments. I’ve been busy writing to Canadian Senators and now, the President of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, to stop plotting to kill Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Bill. The Bill is now before the Senate.

To read my exchange with Perrin Beatty, President of the Chamber of Commerce, who is urging industry to lobby the Senate to kill the Bill, visit http://www.trunity.net/climateresponse/blogs/view/149327/?topic=28777

For my correspondence with Marjory LeBreton, Leader of the Government in the Senate, visit http://www.trunity.net/climateresponse/blogs/view/147728/?topic=28777

Things are little hairy, what with the US Senate not doing a damn thing about climate change, despite 2010 being the hottest year on record. Governments are failing us because, let’s face it, they receive campaign money from big oil and coal, or believe we must hitch our economic wagon to oil and coal extraction.

350.org is mobilizing citizens through its 10.10.10 campaign. If governments won’t act, people will. Time is of the essence. It’s not time to give up. In five years time, if no significant action is taken on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, then god help us all.

Bill Mckibben, who spearheaded 350.org, has this to say about the matter – http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175281/

More links:

If you are interested in being notified and contributing comments when articles on climate change and alternative energy appear in the mainstream media, click here to join Climate Response.