Trans Mqt Co/100 Yarden Dash Garden on Beautification Committee Garden Tour

Charlie and Margie West’s backyard at 440 E Prospect St, an original 100 Yarden Dash yarden, is on the Beautification and Restoration Committee’s Garden Tour this year.  Click here for more information about the tour.dash on garden tourCharlie and Margie have a mixture of raised beds, fruit trees, and perennial areas.  They have been gardening for about 7-8 years, and the garden is still in transition, as they try to focus more on food production.  This year’s issues have included slugs, some kind of insect, invasive goutweed, and some kind of blight or rust, but the garlic, tomatoes, onions, raspberries, and zuchinni look promising.  “It’s gotta be a good year for something!”

TMC Booklist for 2015-2016 is out!

The Transition Marquette County Reading Group booklist for next year is out.  We’re featuring a few books on gardening, a few on collapse, a few on living simply and staton elevenwell, sustainable-happinessanother set of short stories from the readers  of The Archdruid’s Report (After Oil 2), and Station Eleven, the Great Michigan Read book for 2016.  And this is exciting, the author is going to be in Marquette on April 7!

We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the month in the Conference this changesRoom at Peter White Public Library.  Click on the Reading 5Acres_cover3Group link above for more information.

Click here to see a copy of the list.

Plant, Seed, and Seeding Swap

There will be a plant, seedling, and seed swap at the Graveraet Hoophouse, 611 N Front St in Marquette on Saturday, May 16, from 1-3pm. The public is invited to bring imageexcess and interesting plants, cuttings, and seeds to exchange. There will also be a variety of activities for all ages, including a chance to tour the hoophouse. The swap is sponsored by Transition Marquette County Seed Coop, Mqt Growth, and Superior Acre Permaculture. For more information call 225-0608 or email

Transition Marquette County Reading Group

The Reading Group will discuss the book Spiritual Ecology – the Cry of the Earth on Thursday, May 12, at 7pm in the Conference Room of the Peter White Public Library in Marquette.  It is a Spiritual Ecologycollection of essays by Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Berry, Chief Oren Lyons, Wendell Berry, Winona LaDuke, and more, edited by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee.  “The Earth is in distress and is calling to us” writes Vaughan-Lee in the introduction.  The 20 essays in the book are some of our responses to that call.

Everyone is welcome to join the conversation.  It would help to have at least started to read the book, which is available at the library!


Seed Co-op News

Greetings to friends and members of the Transition Marquette Seed Co-op !
We have 2 very important announcements to kick off the new seed season with:
1.  The Seed Co-op will be taking your seed orders very soon. The Seed Store website needs a couple tweaks before it’ll be up-to-date, but we’ll announce it here first when it’s ready.
2.  The Seed Co-op’s big new push this year is about SAVING SEEDS. I was thinking about how to convey to you the importance of SAVING SEEDS (aside from typing it in all caps) but then I got an e-mail from a Director and his Assistant about a new documentary they recently released called Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds.
Please click on the link and watch the trailer – it will convince you way better than I could how important saving seeds is for us. Seed saving has always been encouraged because it is, in fact, part of the Seed Co-op’s long term plan. But this year, we’re making it a priority. There’s a plan, and there will be training and lots of school kids are going to be part of a seed saving/school gardening program that the Seed Co-op is proud to be co-sponsoring.
What we need now is people who feel strong enough about saving seeds (you watched the trailer, right?) and are willing to take the first tiny step of our “grand seed saving plan”. It’s this:
Send an e-mail to Michael Riesterer with the words “seed saving” anywhere in the message.
Here you go:
That’s it for now don’t want to overwhelm you with too many details.
p.s.  We might have you on multiple e-mail lists; sorry if you received this multiple times.
p.p.s.  Thanks to those who took our Transition Micro Survey. And if you didn’t but want to, click here.
Michael Riesterer
TMC Steering Committee member

May Meeting

What better way to enjoy healthy, local food (and the great outdoors!) than catching your own fish!  Not only is it a fun activity, but it’s also one of the many advantages of living in this wonderful area.  However, it does take some knowledge and some skill.  Fortunately, Jason Carstens, an experienced and avid fisherman, will be sharing with us his knowledge and showing us some of the fishing equipment he uses.  So, if you’d like to learn the basics of fishing, join us this Tuesday, May 20th at Messiah Lutheran Church (305 W Magnetic Street, Marquette) from 7pm – 9pm.

Also, seeds will be available for sale. (Now is the time to direct sow pea, carrot, beet, lettuce, arugula, kale, chard, radish, and parsnip seeds.)

Donations in the form of non-perishable food items are greatly appreciated.

We hope to see you there!

Paradise Lot by Eric Toensmeier

The TMC Reading Group will meet to discuss the book Paradise Lot: Two plant geeks, one-tenth of an acre, and the making of an edible garden oasis in the city by Eric Toensmeier on Thursday, June 12th at 7pm at the Peter White Public Library.

june 2014When Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates moved into a duplex in a run-down part of Holyoke, Massachusetts, the tenth-of-an-acre lot was barren ground and bad soil, peppered with broken pieces of concrete, asphalt, and brick. The two friends got to work designing what would become not just another urban farm, but a “permaculture paradise” replete with perennial broccoli, paw paws, bananas, and moringa—all told, more than two hundred low-maintenance edible plants in an innovative food forest on a small city lot. The garden—intended to function like a natural ecosystem with the plants themselves providing most of the garden’s needs for fertility, pest control, and weed suppression—also features an edible water garden, a year-round unheated greenhouse, tropical crops, urban poultry, and even silkworms.

In telling the story of Paradise Lot, Toensmeier explains the principles and practices of permaculture, the choice of exotic and unusual food plants, the techniques of design and cultivation, and, of course, the adventures, mistakes, and do-overs in the process. Packed full of detailed, useful information about designing a highly productive permaculture garden, Paradise Lot is also a funny and charming story of two single guys, both plant nerds, with a wild plan: to realize the garden of their dreams and meet women to share it with. Amazingly, on both counts, they succeed.

Everyone is welcome to join the conversation. It would be helpful to have at least started to read the book. For more information, please contact Charlie at 226-3314 or