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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:  riesterm@gmail.com
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 mqtchaz@earthlink.net.


The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

May 2014The TMC Reading Group will meet to discuss the book The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi on Thursday, May 8th at 7pm at the Peter White Public Library.

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen’s Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history’s lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko. Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, devils by others, New People are slaves, soldiers, and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe.

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 mqtchaz@earthlink.net.


Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism


The Transition Marquette County Reading Group will have a conversation about the book “Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism” by Richard Wolff, on Thursday, April 10, at 7pm in the Conference Room at Peter White Public Library in Marquette. Wolff describes the flaws that lead to periodic crises both in private capitalism and in existing or recent socialist or communist systems, which he claims are actually a form of state capitalism. He identifies “worker self-directed enterprises” as a system that could move civilization beyond capitalism

Anyone is welcome to join the conversation. It would help to have at least started to read the book. For more information call 226-3314 or email mqtchaz@earthlink.net.


February Meeting

Our TMC meeting and seed pick-up will happen Tuesday, February 18th, at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House (1510 M28 E, Marquette) from 7pm to 9pm.

First we’ll have a short meeting, starting off with announcements and then there will be a demonstration of how to start and transplant seeds using different methods (e.g. soil blocks, and plastic starter trays). There will be a lot of information available in the form of handouts, when to start specific seeds, temperatures at which specific seeds germinate, when and how to transplant seedlings outdoors, etc..

Then, folks will be able to pick up and pay for their orders (cash or check only… please make checks payable to Transition Marquette County). We’ll have all of our 2014 and 2013 seed packets out for those who wish to purchase seeds or add to their order. We hope you’ll browse through our seed selection and mingle with the fellow gardeners in your community.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


Get Ready for the 2014 TMC Seed Co-op!


Hey, seed buyers, the TMC Seed Co-op will be open for business very soon. 

This year’s Seed Co-op web store will reflect many of your requests, preferences and suggestions (all based on the results of our recent Seed Survey). 

And new buying options will allow you to customize your order so you get just the seeds you want.

We think you’ll really like the new and improved TMC Seed Co-op web store, so, please, be patient. The Seed Co-op will be open for business soon!



Janurary TMC Meeting

7 pm Tuesday 21 January 2014
Messiah Lutheran Church, 305 West Magnetic St

“How Can We Encourage and Support Food Security Efforts at County and Municipal Levels”

Beyond growing our own food in our gardens, how can we help the vital issue of ‘Food Security’ gain traction at the community level?

Learn about county and township structure and the public input process, and hear about two exciting, planning efforts regarding local food supply.

There will be ample time for questions, discussion, and brainstorming.

Please bring donations in the form of non-perishable food items for the Church’s efforts.

Hope to see you there!


The Seed Underground by Janisse Ray

Feb_14The TMC Reading Group will meet to discuss the book The Seed Underground: A growing revolution to save food by Janisse Ray on Thursday, February 13th at 7pm at the Peter White Public Library.

The Seed Underground is a journey to the frontier of seed-saving. It is driven by stories, both the author’s own and those from people who are waging a lush and quiet revolution in thousands of gardens across America to preserve our traditional cornucopia of food by simply growing old varieties and eating them. The Seed Underground pays tribute to time-honored and threatened varieties, deconstructs the politics and genetics of seeds, and reveals the astonishing characters who grow, study, and save them.

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 mqtchaz@earthlink.net.