Reading Group to Discuss “With Liberty and Dividends For All”

The Transition Marquette County Reading Group will discuss the book “With Liberty and Dividends For All – How to Save Our Middle Class When Jobs Don’t Pay Enough” by Peter Barnes, on Thursday, Feb 9, at 7pm in the Conference Room at Peter White Public Library in Marquette.

Barnes, co-founder of Working Assets Long Distance (now Credo Mobile) along with several other companies, notes the shrinking/disappearing of the middle class in our country, and the studies that document how a robust middle class is essential for a secure democracy. He describes how our economic system is designed to steadily, little by little, year by year, shift wealth from the lower income levels to the higher ones. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is designed into our system, and it will not change without changes to the system itself. He notes the four most proposed “pro-middle class policies” – stimulus, job creation, education, and innovation – and shows that while they are all good things, they will not be enough to sustain a healthy middle class.

Taking a cue from Thomas Paine (“Common Sense”, “The American Crisis”, “The Age of Reason”, “Agrarian Justice”), he proposes adding a system of universal dividends to be paid to all Americans from money generated by user fees attached to our co-owned wealth – the things that belong to us all, either because they are a part of Nature or because they were created and given to us by former generations. Examples of such “common” or “co-owned” wealth include the atmosphere, the forests and lakes, the economic system itself, the electromagnetic (broadcast) spectrum, the intellectual property protection system (patents, copyrights, trademarks granted and enforced by the federal government). He shows how a mature system could generate dividends of $5000 per person per year – with no end in sight. This would supplement, but not replace, each citizen’s income from their individual labor.

It is a timely and easy to understand book, and the Reading Group invites everyone to join them for the discussion. It would help to have at least started to read the book. For more information call Charlie at 226-3314 or email

Growing Your Own Food in the UP!

Growing Your Own Food in the U.P!



Session 3:  January 19 @ 7 pm

Marquette Missionary Church, 1804 Wright St.

Presenter:  Mike Riesterer

Miss Sessions 1 and 2 ?  No problem — jump in now — you’re good to go !

In Session 2 we explored soil biology, soil structure and texture and put together a good working soil using hands-on “media recipes”. Soil work will continue in Session 3, but first:

Mike Riesterer will introduce a novel permaculture system he and his family have been developing over the last couple of years to help them build a sustainable system for growing food in the U.P. — not easy and not always successful !

Mike has implemented many permaculture-esque innovations which utilize natural sources of nutrition, an on-site fish pond and animal husbandry — all in a residential setting. He will walk us through his home-based system in a series of photos and diagrams.

Session 3 hands-on segment:

Four different soil building work stations will be set up for those who bring in their soil samples.
Newbies can jump in now, too,

so everyone should bring some soil !
Worm castings will be introduced to complete a biologically rich soil sample for starting greens or other plants in your windows all the way until (an early?) spring!


Seed Store Open; Reading Group Discussion

The Seed Co-op is once again open, in time to order seeds for late fall planting or for indoor growing.

The Reading Group will discuss the short book “The Collapse of Western Civilization – a view from the future” on Thursday, Oct 13, at 7pm in the Conference Room of Peter White Public Library.



Note – the Reading Group book for November will be Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less Than 10 days By Peter Burke

year round salad

Reading Group begins another year – on Thursday, Sept 8

The Transition Marquette County Reading Group begins meeting for the year with a conversation about The Human Age by Diane Ackerman.  In the book she looks at the effect humans have had Human ageon the planet, both positive and negative.  (She remains optimistic – I’m not so sure!)

We meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 7pm in the Conference Room at Peter White Public Library in Marquette.  Everyone is welcome – it would halp to have at least started to read the book!

With questions or for more information, call Charlie at 226-3314 or email mqtchaz

Yarden Tours Begin!!!

This summer we have 6 Yarden tours scheduled between now and late-August:
1.  Wed., July 20th @ 7 pm.    DONE!!!
430 W. Ridge:  The Riesterer residence.
2.  Wed., July 27th @ 7 pm.    DONE!!!
1708 Woodland Ave.:  The Fether residence.
3.  Wed., August 3rd @ 7 pm   DONE!!!!
2 Hidden Creek Dr.: The Angela Johnson residence.
4.  Sun., August 7th @ 3 pm.   DONE!!!!!!
440 E. Prospect:  The West residence.
Next up  –  5.  Sun., August 14th @ 3 pm.
225 N. Fourth St.:  The Climbing Co-op
This is a housing cooperative dedicated to creating a model for affordable housing while practicing sustainable values. 

Our yarden is in its third year with some nice fruit trees and raised beds. The greenhouse is in its second productive year and is still transitioning into full-fledged usable space. 

We are planning on throwing a nice shindig with music, food, bouldering and games as well as a pickling workshop in our kitchen. 

Anyone wanting to participate is in the pickling workshop is encouraged to bring a jar or make a small donation to use one of our jars. Squash, beans, and any other in-season veggies will be used.

6.  Sun., August 21st @ 3 pm.
Corner of Summit and Longyear: Superior Acre Permaculture Project



Reading Group Books for 2016-2017

The Transition Marquette County Reading Group book list for next year is posted. click here

We’ll start the year off in September with The Human Age Diane Ackerman.  Human ageShe details the effect of the human presence on Earth – some positive, some negative, all of it impressive.  It’s an interesting book to set the stage for our reading next year.



We’ll read the next instalment of After Oil, the book of stories submitted by readers of The Archdruid’s Report, edited by John Michael Greer.After oil 3







Just in time for winter salads, we’ll read Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greeyear round saladns in Less Than 10 Days by longtime gardener Peter Burke





In June we’ll close the year with another novel by Paolo Bacigalupi – The Water Knife – about water shortages in the south west.the water knife






Second Thursdays at 7pm in the Conference Room at Peter White Public Library.  Hope to see you there.  For more information, call Charlie at 226-3314 or email at


Reading Group to Discuss “The One Straw Revolution”

The Transition Marquette County Reading Group will close out it’s 2015-16 season with a discussion of the book “The One-Straw Revolution”, by Masanobu Fukuoka, on Thursday, June 9, at 7pm in the Conference Room at Peter White Public Library in Marquette.

Masanobu Fukuoka was a farmer and philosopher, born and raised on the Japanese islanOne Strawd of Shikoku. At the age of 25, he had an inspiration that changed his life, basically that nature does better on it’s own than we do when we try to manage it. Over the next 65 years he worked to develop a system of natural farming demonstrating his understanding.  He did not plow his fields, used no agricultural chemicals or prepared fertilizers, did not flood his rice fields as farmers have done in Asia for centuries, and yet his yields equaled or surpassed the most productive farms in Japan. Would it work for farmers here? Would it work in our garden?

Anyone is welcome to share in the conversation. It would help to have at least started to read the book. For more information call Charlie at 226-3314 or email

Plant Swap May 21st – all welcome, plants or no!

A Plant Swap will be held at Graveraet Elementary School on Saturday, May 21st from 2 to 4 pm. All are welcome. MQT Growth, Partridge Creek Farm, Superior Acre Permaculture and the Transition Marquette Seed Co-op have come together to sponsor the plant swap. “We think the hoop house at Graveraet is an ideal location for an event like this.” said Michael Riesterer, of the Transition Marquette Seed Co-op. “The plant swap should

Last year's plant swap!

Last year’s plant swap!

attract a lot of different folks, including beginners and experienced gardeners who want to share or swap plants or even cuttings,” he continued.

Miriah Redmond of MQT Growth says, “We’re also looking forward to introducing the community to the hoop house at Graveraet Elementary School. Visitors will be able to tour the hoop house, see what students are growing and see how we are applying various permaculture principles.” Other garden-related projects will also be on display during the event, along with music by Barbara Rhyneer and friends. “I’m thrilled that this event is happening and I invite the Marquette community to come take advantage of all that will be offered.” said Dr. Sarah Kemppainen, building principal at Graveraet. Donations will be accepted to help support the Graveraet hoop house.

For more information, contact Michael Riesterer at or call 225-0608.

Reading Group to Discuss “Sustainable Happiness”

The Transition Marquette County Reading Group will discuss the book “Sustainable Happiness”, edited by Sarah Van Gelder and the staff of “Yes! Magazine”, on Thursday, May 12, at 7pm in the Conference Room at Peter White Public Library in Marquette.

The book starts with a chapter on “How We Lost Track of Real Happiness and Where to Find it Now” and ends with “10 Ways Sustainable Happiness sustainable-happinessCan Change the World.” In between are chapters on “10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy”, “Why Saying Hello Matters”, “Choose Gratitude”, “Five Ways to Meet Your Neighbors”, “Who Pays the Price for Cheap Stuff”, “Share Meals with Loved Ones”, and more. Twenty-three contributors, including Annie Leonard, Matthieu Ricard, Vandana Shiva, present research, essays, and personal stories suggesting “real well-being is found in supportive relationships and thriving communities, opportunities to make a contribution, and the renewal we receive from a thriving natural world.” “Sustainable Happiness” is ““A thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking collection of ideas”, according to Karma Tshiteem, Secretary of the Gross National Happiness Commission of Bhutan.

Anyone is welcome to share in the conversation. It would help to have at least started to read the book. For more information call Charlie at 226-3314 or email

You want fries with that? (Potato order is open!

That’s right – the potato order is open.  Here’s a link to the page –  (Or just click on the “Seed Store 2016” link above!) If you already have a 2016 membership you can just go ahead and place your order.  They should be here around May 8-10.  (We’ll let you know!)  If you haven’t already purchased a $5 annual membership, please add that to your bag as well!

Again this year we will be getting potatoes from Hanson’s Potato Farm in Cornell.  They are $2 a pound.