Monday, March 24, 2014

Greens on the Red, Permaculture Discussed at Last Meeting

In attendance: Lani Duke, Feico Kempff, Loren Demerath, Maurice Loridans, Josh Fast, Katherine Brandl

The group first discussed some of the topics raised during the radio show interviews, including Stephen Pederson’s social bike group, called SBC and which can be found on facebook.  The plan is for the ride to be on the last Friday of every month, first gathering at 6:30 at Highland Park, before heading south to pick up more at 7:30 at Betty Virginia Park, then swinging by Centenary, then heading downtown, and returning to end back at Colombia.

Loren reported that Karen Jenkins is a member of the Shreveport road cycling club, and invited ABetterShreveport to join representatives of other groups and clubs for a meeting to discuss the possibility of mounting a campaign to raise driver awareness of cyclist and pedestrian safety concerns.
    {Loren attended the meeting the following day,  and it well-attended, with about fifteen people representing a cross-section of interests and expertise, including Sheri Tally, former television news anchor for KTBS, Jeff Welburne, long-time activist and observer of city politics, and ** a decorated military combat veteran, now racing around the country in wheelchair divisions.}
    Maurice noted that a person in a motorized wheelchair was killed over the weekend.  He also noted that the chair was misleadingly referred to as a “scooter” by the media.  {That incident has provoked research by a local media outlet.  Stay tuned.}

The group discussed how the table at Makers Fair on April 12th might work.  We could have sign-up sheets for people interested in being informed about upcoming meetings or receiving information or announcements on particular themes, such as community gardening, biking, walking, wildflower trailblazing (doesn’t that sound fun?!), public art and performance, community supported agriculture, etc.  It was noted that those lists could complement the lists of people already developing from groups that have formed on facebook.  Victoria Provenza was mentioned as a possible helper in manning the table, since she sells maps there as well.

from Chris Jay's account of the inaugural
"Greens on the Red" festival.  mm-mm!
Josh, and fellow ABS member Jon Soul were at the inaugural Greens on the Red festival; Josh said he had some of Jon’s dock, an edible plant with spearmint shaped leaves (Josh looked outside the window to spot some, and didn’t see any, but did see henbit, a plant with purple flowers; both are weeds you can eat; deadnettle is another one; with a cleaver that has a whirled shape—can just eat that raw.  Someone mentioned juicing, and Josh said a lot of foraging food shouldn’t be juiced, that it produces too much oxcilyc acid when you have that much all at once.

Also discussed was how permaculture is being used at restaurants like Carolyn Manning’s “Blue”.  Any place that needs salad greens can do it; water spinach is the quickest growing green and higher in calcium and other nutrients but with less calories, lots of vitamin A.

The group also talked about “farmeries” which may increasingly be developed out of necessity.  Josh told of one kind of system being developed is to have plants and fish both using the same recycled water and feeding off each other.  It’s being done all over and is a step toward self-sustainability.  Hugelkulture was also described.

Someone noted that this old philosophy of funneling storm water into the gulf as fast as possible isn’t always for the best.  It leads to polluted bodies of water where the stormwater hasn’t be cleaned by the filter of the land; it causes wetlands to shrink on the coast of Louisiana; and it makes the crystaline waters of the gulf coast to lose their clarity, and red tide is on the rise too.
The night of the meeting there was a reception for John Berry, author of the book “Rising Tide” about coastal restoration.

Josh mentioned how Jeff Laughton is one of heads of the permaculture movement and he talks about subsidizing people’s housing costs with smart gardening.  

One of the overarching ideas behind permaculture is an ecological truth: if you don’t deal with the waste product of a system you’re creating pollution; you identify patterns that are happening and study how to deal with the details of the patterns.  The indigenous peoples of the Americas often did that.  E.g., the three sisters: corn, beans, and squash, being complementary with companion planting: beans put the nitrogen back; Mexicans call it milpa.
Another fun meeting!  Join us some time!  All are welcome!

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