Thursday, February 16, 2012

See everybody Saturday!

Hope to see everybody this Saturday! And just so you know it's here, the link for the schedule is HERE. Plan your classes! Come down for the whole day! And Eco Faeries will be wandering around all day, there is a children's storytime at 10:30am in the main library area, and you can participate in community artwork whenever you like! The Grove's excellent tiny coffeeshop will also be open especially for us, so please feel free to enjoy delicious coffees and homemade snacks. And there will be a knitting circle hanging around doing some knitting and darning, so bring that too if you like.

The picture above is a yarn bombing experiment I did (for my first yarn bomb ever) a few weeks back. It's in the Cultural Centre in Northbridge, if anyone wants to go look for it!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Greetings, all! After struggling away to make sure everyone has enough space, we finally have OUR SCHEDULE OF CLASSES available for your viewing! You can find the schedule HERE as a Google spreadsheet (sorry, no editing options, you can't add yourself).  Please feel free to contact me (or leave a comment) if you have questions about any class. NOTE: some classes are not designated child friendly. If you are planning to bring a child to a class, please consult with us to see if children are allowed.

Class locations are as follows:
MAIN ROOM A and B: The Ocean Room, accessible through the front lobby of the library building
BACK PATIO: Patio area behind the Ocean Room, accessible through the glass doors inside the Ocean Room
FLAX ROOM: Small conference room in the back of the library, turn right as you enter the main library area and walk to the far wall, you will see the sign on the window
FRONT PATIO: Wooden-floored patio area to the left of the main library sliding doors, in the front garden

Eco Faeries and Earth Carers will be roving around the front and back grassed areas, the side patio and inside the foyer. The Grove Library will be having an environmental sustainability-themed CHILDREN'S STORYTIME at 10:30am in the children's library area, and you are welcome to play waste games and create some communal art in the foyer of the library building.

Here are some class descriptions for you:

Green Cleaning: Learn to clean anything with all-natural products you have around your house! Unblock your drains, scrub your tiles, and remove tough stains without poisoning yourself. Please bring your dirtiest stuff for demonstrations: caked-on baking trays, shower heads, stained clothes, you name it, Siggy will clean it.

Toothpaste and Deodorant: There are all sorts of reasons why you might want to make your own "bathroom products" - from avoiding ingredients you are not comfortable with to avoid plastic packaging, saving money to the enjoyment of making your own. Shani has been making her own toothpaste and deoderant with some common ingredients you will probably have in your cupboard,. Come and learn their recipes they know work, and have a go yourself! Please bring two small jars so you can take your products home!

Making Ketchup: If you're used to tomato sauce off the shelf, you'll be surprised and amazed at how easy and delicious it is to make your own at home...and add a gourmet twist that is too delicious to be believed. Heather will take you through ketchup from the ground up; good class for non-cookers and chefs alike.

Living Plastic Free: Jess and her partner Nathan have decided to live plastic free for a whole year and she will tell us all about how they reached that decision and how hard (or easy) it's been to put into practice. Learn some tips for using less plastic yourself, and find more info about their project here.

Chook Keeping: Do you have some backyard chickens, or are you thinking of getting some? Learn about practical chook keeping, and you'll soon be eating more quiche than you know what to do with. Wilma will share her experiences and answer your questions.

Mushroom Burgers with Halloumi: Heather will walk you through making this delicious vegetarian recipe step by step, and give you a recipe card to take home. Not suitable for vegans, but otherwise a meal that will impress your dinner guests!

Soap Making: Alivia will be teaching us how to make soft, natural soap from scratch, using easy ingredients. Please be aware: the soap will need time to cure, so don't expect to take home any soap, but you will take home a new skill!

Conscious Consumption: Discuss your relationship to the stuff you buy and money and develop an attitude of conscious consumption. Susan, a financial planner, will lead a roundtable discussion and question-and-answer about planning for the future in an ethical way.

Raw Food: Fiona will teach a workshop in making healthy food choices and simple raw food snacks (with samples!). Learn tips and tricks for improving what you eat and feeling better.

Making Ginger Beer: A delicious fizzy drink that you can make yourself at home with a simple culture? Sign us up! Join Ronan and Rebecca for a how-to on this simple beverage, and save yourself the empty calories of store-bought sodas.

Making Kefir and Sourdough: Learn the simple art of home fermentation! Kefir is a probiotic milk (or water) drink that is said to have amazing health properties; the naturally-occurring bacteria provide valuable vitamins and minerals, and is totally digestable for the lactose intolerant. Sourdough is an easy-to-make bread that tastes and smells delicious...and uses naturally occurring yeast to provide a light airy loaf. Samples will be provided!

Upcycling: Remake old clothes and learn how to have a whole new wardrobe using simple techniques that make even the most basic t-shirt into a fashion statement. Agnes will show slides, talk about her experience and have some hands-on activities. Bring something to upcycle if you'd like, or just watch!

Yoga: Join Claire for a 45 minute hatha yoga session that will stretch your body and relax your mind, with a focus on enjoying yourself. This will be an all levels class, so beginners are welcome. Please bring your own yoga mat (or towel if you don't have a mat). Adults only please.

Make Your Own Reusable Menstrual Pads: Instead of throwing out heaps of plastic and putting nasty chemicals in your most delicate areas, save your health, the planet, and your money by learning how to make these simple pads...and you'll never go back to buying again! Amy will provide fabric and sewing machines, and will talk you through the process. This class is limited by space, so please come early or be willing to squash a bit!

Bicycle Maintenance: Sky will go over basic bicycle repair without any tools, for those who just aren't mechanically inclined, or anyone who doesn't want to buy a fancy tool kit from a bike shop. Anyone can fiox basic bicycle glitches, and she'll be happy to talk you through them. Feel free to bring a bike if you have one that might need some work!

Worm Farming: Nabilla will go over the ins and outs of worm farming, using The Grove's very own worm farm. Convert your kitchen scraps to compost and soil improver using only worms!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The first rule about...

I've been reading this book about collaborative/collective economies. More on this to come, but for now, it reminded me of two things:

First, this quote from Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel Brave New World, still relevant almost a hundred years after publication. In the book, children are indoctrinated into society through recordings played while they sleep, and one for wealthier children is: "I do love having new clothes. Ending is better than mending. The more stitches, the less riches...old clothes are beastly. We always throw away old clothes." As Mustapha Mond, the world dictator in BNW says, "We don't want people to be attracted by old things. We want them to like new ones."

The second thing is this clip from the movie Fight Club. Now, say what you will about the irony of Brad Pitt being paid $20 million to play the iconic anti-consumerist cult leader Tyler Durden, but this quote remains one of the best of all time, and is shown here in kinetic typography, although Brad Pitt's delivery is pretty great.

Monday, January 9, 2012

More teachers!

Nabilla -- teaching a class on worm farming, using the Grove's own worm farm
Shani and Diana -- enlightening us about homemade deodorant, toothpaste, and lipbalm
Katrina -- presenting a workshop on developing a gift economy
Jeremy -- delicious ginger beer -- yum!

We are still confirming teachers for: bicycle maintenance, making your own herbal tea, chook keeping...and more!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

What are we buying, what are we selling?

Photo by woodleywonderworks under Creative Commons on Flickr

Catherine Crowley (@TheHerbLady on Twitter), recently wrote a wonderful post about advertising and how it hopes you won't notice that it's actually not giving you any information at all. What a sneaky feint! It's hard to make someone feel informed without actually BEING informed, but advertisers pull it off. Read the article here.
I was thinking about the whole paradox of our reliance on advertising to help us make decisions on purchases, and all the information LEFT OUT, while focusing on only the points the advertiser wants to make to sell the product.  Much (but not all) advertising is an illusion using "sleight of word" to direct the audience from information they might otherwise want to know.

I was curious about what big companies may be selling with the right hand, and also with the left hand.  I decided to go to the site of Cargill one of the biggest world-wide companies with ownership of dozens of companies.  They most recently teamed up with Coke Cola to produce "Tru-via" a supposedly natural sweetener made from Stevia, but the won't tell you what the other 'natural' ingredient is, while touting that it is natural
PS Cargill is responsible for not only a meat production monopoly, but some truly horrendous health practices. And they are one of the Big Three controlling food corporations.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Another workshop teacher added

We have Heather -- hopefully teaching two workshops -- one on homemade ketchups and one on how to make a delicious mushroom-halloumi burger

I am so hungry right now.

Also, in other news, we have an awesome little monster logo over there on the righthand side of the page! I adore him, and he was drawn especially for us by Sarah Long. Yay Sarah!

The very last update we have is that we now have a Facebook event page that you are welcome to forward to your friends, if you would like.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Workshop topics and teachers

We have some really excellent workshops confirmed for the festival! I just wanted to give you an idea of what to expect in the lineup so you can start blocking out your calendars now! As we solidify the schedule for you, we will post it on here -- each teacher will teach their workshop twice, so if you missed it the first time, you can catch it the second time.  We also will have several workshops going on at once, so if you really wanted to do TWO of'll repeat so you don't have to choose! Cool, right? We thought so.  So here are the first workshops we have on tap...

Agnes -- will be teaching us about sourdough/kefir as well as about upcycling
Amy -- will show us ladies (and any men who might be interested) how to make reuseable menstrual pads
Siggy -- will share her tips and tricks for green cleaning
Jeremy -- will demonstrate the excitement and mastery of brewing ginger beer
Heather -- will be giving us some delicious learning on healthy snacks
Alivia -- will be sharing her wisdom about soap-making
Claire -- will provide a yoga class to close the festival

Other workshops in the works include: bicycle repair and maintenance, vegan cooking, ukulele song-singing, natural toiletries, and more! We will also be having the Rad Library providing books, and the Eco Faeries offering playtime for children!