You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging as much as I used to. That's due to all the exciting Transition OKC projects that have been going on and ramping up. Our coordinating team spent several months laying the foundation for our work - discussing the Transition Handbook, hosting a Training for Transition, and getting guidelines and Constitution in place (neatly stored in PVC-free binders, thanks to Shauna Struby). And finally, when our team gained consensus on our mission, vision, and goals, a tsunami of creativity and energy was unleashed. Let me fill you in...
Although our local food champions are very active, they don't often have a chance to get together to discuss strategies, share updates and success stories, and plot ways to expand the local food market. Enter TOKC, which has started sponsoring Going Locavore happy hour potlucks to get these fabulous people in the same room. After one meeting and some intense brainstorming, our next meeting is slated to focus in on the most promising of the hundreds of ideas and start serving up some local food projects!
The indomitable Susie Shields gained massive inspiration from the "Hands" portion of Rob Hopkins Transition Handbook and vowed to create a Sustainability Demonstration Community Center. She has gathered a diverse team of architects, permaculturists, sustainability pros, and industry and government folks to forge a way forward with this dream. The Education and Programming and the Site Selection subcommittees have already been brainstorming and researching. Yes, we have subcommittees!
The members of our TOKC coordination team all agree that reskilling workshops are a great way to spread the ideas of Transition. Valuable skills, education, not-so-subtle hints about the end of the world as we know it (just kidding), networking, food and/or beer and wine - all rolled into one! But what about a way to spread reskilling beyond the 10 or 20 people that can make it to a workshop?
Luckily for us, Trey Parsons of Enersolve is ready to take on the challenge of creating a set of short reskilling videos to share information about how to cook with local food, install a rainwater catchment system, weatherize a house, use a Sun Oven, grow a garden, make pesto and peach jam and sun-dried tomatoes, and more! I'm excited about working on this - it will give us the chance to run around all over the metro asking questions of interesting people and maybe learning a few things ourselves.
Several of our team members - Vicki, Marcy, and Susie - are working to get a quarterly movie night started at OCU. Movies raise awareness about environmental problems, the economic crisis, peak oil, climate change... and start a conversation about how to address the issues. The Sierra Club has been having movie night for a long time, but the new quarterly schedule and larger venue will allow TOKC to market to a wider audience and increase participation.
Permaculture Design Course
Randy Marks of Land+Form and Shauna Struby are in the early stages of working with Permaculture teachers to design a course for Oklahoma. I can't wait - I have always wanted to take a PDC but have never been able to take two weeks off to go to Oregon or Florida or upstate New York. Permaculture offers an integrated, principled way of thinking about the world, which will be so valuable to us as we re-think and re-design a system that currently is based on extracting resources and destroying ecosystems in order to maximize profit for a few people as fast as possible - in short, the opposite of sustainable.
Outreach and Media
Our Going Local OKC website has been enhanced with completely new navigation, new look and a lot of new content. Shauna, Trey and I redesigned it to be more user-friendly and, well, just more friendly overall. Plus, we needed to expand it to be able to contain all the new info we'll be posting on our projects (see above), as well as our handy OKC Resource pages (six at last count). Check it out!
We also tie our continually updated media, like the Fresh Greens blog, the Sustainable OKC Twitter feed, and our TOKC Facebook into our website. Thanks to TOKC and SOKC volunteers for keeping it fresh and updated.
But wait, there's more!
Susie just created a Buy Fresh Buy Local Farmer's Market guide and she and Marcy are working on the complete "Big Book" guide. We are planning to redesign our printed materials, offer a fall and winter gardening workshop, and continue to spread the word with speeches, presentations and facilitated discussions.
So there you go. The whole team - Shauna, Vicki, Marcy, Susie, Trey, Adam, Jim, Joseph, Chase, Randy, and moi - have all been working hard. If you are in our area, I hope you are able to join us at our next workshop, join our Facebook or follow our Twitter! But I promise, I plan to keep blogging along here at Peak Oil Hausfrau, the only place I get to express my doomy side. :)