Sunday, May 5, 2013

Inspiration from Fox Cities Reads 2013

2013 Fox Cities Book Festival Notes

The mission of the Fox Cities Book Festival is to connect writers with their readers and readers with those who write the books they read.  Held April 17-24, in a variety of venues throughout the Fox Cities communities, the Festival brings noted national, state and local authors to share their works through readings, panels, workshops, school programs and conversations, raising their appreciation for one another and the pure joy of reading.

The 2013 Fox Cities Reads author, Richard Louv, is a journalist and author of eight books about the connections between family, nature and community. His newest book is The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder (Algonquin), which offers a new vision of the future, in which our lives are as immersed in nature as they are in technology.

Richard Louv "What comes After Environmentalism? The New Nature Movement and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder 
   Last child in the Woods
  The Nature Principle

  • "No child left inside "
  •  Promotes new visions of a future in which our lives are as immersed in nature as they are in technology offering better psychological, physical and spiritual health for people of every age.

Doug Tallamy "Networks for LIfe"
   Bringing Nature Home
  • Challenge is to raise the "carrying capacity" of neighborhoods by considering the food web value of landscape plants vs the purely decorative value
  • Attempts should be made to create corridors of plants by planting species in communities vs individual specimen plants
  • When deciding what to plants to choose, consideration can be given to the vastly different numbers of species of butterflies and moths supported by various herbaceous and woody plants (see for lists of herbaceous & woody plants that support the most different species of moths and butterflies in the mid-Atlantic)

Charlotte Adelman & Bernard L. Schwartz "The Midwestern Native Garden"
   The Midwestern Native Garden

  • promoting ideas how to help prevent the spread of invasive species that have the potential to cause the extenction of Midwestern plants and the native butterflies tha rely on them
  • The Midwestern Native Garden guide serves as a resource suggesting native alternaties to specific nonnative flora and provides information about the butterflies that rely on the native flora in order to reproduce
  • USDA plants website,    USDA plant database  ,  can be used to determine whether plants are native, introduced, invasive,.. in specific locations

Jennifer Cockrall-King "Urban Agriculture: Then and Now
   Food and the City:  Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution
  • we live under the illusion of abundance-but only a 3 day supply of food is available at any given time in most cities resulting in potentially severe shortages in the event of emergencies such as hurricanes and flooding-low inventories are maintained due to slim margins in the grocery business and the high costs of holding perishable inventory
  • loss of seasonality with 30 crops feeding nearly 95% of the world 
  • estimates of nearly 50% of food currently being wasted in our current processing and distribution system
  • over-packaging contributes to a garbage burden
  • resulting growing interest in movement towards regional and local food systems in the tradition of Victory Gardens of the 40's when 40% of produce was grown in backyards
  • local distribution through farmers markets, community gardens, guerilla gardens, SPIN (s-mall p-lot in-tensive) gardens, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) is increasing the availability of  greater varieties of fresh, seasonal produce

Melinda Myers "Garden Revival"

Lawn revival
  •     core aeration if clay soil has more than 1/2 layer of thatch & overseed
  •     if allowing lawn to go dormant during a drought, water 1/4"/month
  •     consider replacing grass thin grass in shady areas with lamium, Canadian ginger, native sedge, or hostas in a bed of golden moneywort
Flower bed revival
  •     topdress beds with 1-2" of compost every other year - vertical mulching by spreading compost and using an auger bit on a cordless drill to aerate the soil and mix in compost
  •     attack individual weeds by covering with a mug jug/soda bottle with bottom cut out to allow targeted spraying or using the tongs of death (tongs with sponges on ends dipped in Round-up
  •     spread organic mulch on top of cardboard (not weed fabric)
  •     spread decomposing leaves around perennials in fall
  •    conserve water by using soaker hoses and reain barrels
Tree & shrub revvival
  •     renewal pruning shrubs by cutting 1/3 of branches to ground and cutting others back by 1/3
  •     treat birch trees with Bayer Tree & Shrub to prevent damage by birch borer & Japanese beatles
  •     treat ash with Bayer Tree & shrub to attempt to prevent Emerald Ash Borer damage

My first experience with Fox Cities Reads was in 2011 when I attended a presentaion by Will Allen of Growing Power 

  • Growing Power began with a farmer, a plot of land, and a core group of dedicated young people.   
  • The goal is: to grow food, to grow minds, and to grow community
  • Growing Power's projects fall into three essential areas:
  1.  Grow - Projects and Growing Methods - Growing Power demonstrates easy to replicate growing methods through on-site workshops and hands-on demonstrations.  They have farms in Milwaukee and Merton, Wisconsin, and in Chicago, Illinois.  Growing Power has also established satellite-training sites in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Mississippi.
  2. Bloom - Education and Technical Assistance - Growing Power's educates folks through local, national, and international outreach for farmers and communities.  They run multiple youth programs, have an active volunteer base, and actively work on policy initiatives regarding agriculture.
  3. Thrive - Food Production and Distribution - Food production occurs in the organization's demonstration greenhouses, rural farm site in Merton, and urban farms in Milwaukee and Chicago.  They distribute produce, grass-based meats, and value-added products through the activities of over 300 small family farmers in the Rainbow Farmers Cooperative, and the organization's year-round food security program the Farm-to-City Market Basket Program.  They also sell to numerous restaurants and small grocery stores in Chicago, Madison, and Milwaukee. 


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