Hugel_BedWhen a member of the Syracuse Glossary Link Permaculture and Urban Homesteading Guild asked that they ""Would love to know what to be thinking about and doing now in preparation for next year's growing season", we pulled together some ideas to present this upcoming "Potluck Picnic and Intro Permaculture Workshop: Getting your garden ready for Winter and Spring".

Potluck starts at 12 noon, the workshop gets underway at 12:30 pm, and continues till 2:30 pm. There will be about 45 minutes to one-hour of lecture and discussion, followed by one-hour of hands-on participation (one thing we'll do is create some Glossary Link hugelkultur beds from downed woody debris).  We’ll be meeting at Add a comment
Visions_Flyer1_Thumb"Ordinary people with extraordinary visions tell their stories of living and working together to build a better world" - Visions of Utopia: Experiments in Sustainable Culture 

Come together at the Westcott Community Center during the Westcott Bulb Project Garden Extravaganza to view this award winning documentary (The Communal Studies Association's Outstanding Project Award)and take part in a panel discussion with communitarians from around Syracuse (including Bread and Roses House, Common Place Land Trust, and the New Environment Association).   
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Shared desk and work space is now available at the Alchemical Spaces CoWorking Studio within the Gear Factory studio warehouse at 200 South Geddes St on the Near Westside of Syracuse, NY.  This is a great opportunity for artists, freelancers, or social entrepreneurs.

CoWorking enables the sharing of resources and expenses that benefits the bottom line of the workers involved.  Individual desks are located in a shared room, with shared office equipment such as a printer/copier, wi-fi connection, and shredder.  

Monthly rent is on a sliding scale of $50-$75, and includes the following:

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LeadOut_Poster_ThumbUrban gardens in Syracuse have received much attention in the past year, mostly of the good variety (lots of volunteers, lots of effort, and particularly the development of new community gardens all over the city - for the latest directory visit  While the community gardening movement is still growing, the next area for development on the horizon is hopefully the backyard market garden.  We need to grow our own food, but also help provide food for others, and right livelihood in the process.  

The attention of the challenging variety that has been cast towards urban gardening in the recent past, both here in Syracuse and nationwide,  is not a secret. Fortunately, the obstacles being faced are generally not those of lack of support, but of practical matters that we have the tools to overcome.  One of the primary of these challenges is that of lead contamination in soil; and a new poster (illustrated by Michael Scott and James Owen of the Plain Dealer) with simplified guidelines gives everyone the immediate tools they need to overcome this issue in an affordable and grassroots manner.
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Chris Jordan is a nationally acclaimed artist who has taken his role of photographer to extremes - the extremes of our culture's waste and consumption that is.  His latest project involves documenting the atrocities that disposable plastics have on the albatross within the Midway Atoll, also known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch of the North Pacific Gyre.  See his photos in a musical slideshow titled Midway: Message from the Gyre.

 These amazing photos show plastic where stomachs and intestines should be.  The sense of grief and sorrow is palpitating.

From a common objects perspective, Jordan's series "Running the Numbers" depicts the extensive consumerism and social degradation of our culture through abstract images composed of many multiples of singular objects.  For instance, "320,000 light bulbs, equal to the number of kilowatt hours of electricity wasted in the United States every minute from inefficient residential electricity usage (inefficient wiring, computers in sleep mode, etc.)"  depicted in a composite of the night sky.

Artworks from Alchemical's  TTP most often take this form, abstract or inventive rather than Jordan's documentarian approach of Midway Atoll. . . .

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Why try to drive a cart with a broken wheel when all you have to do is put on the wheel that does work? -- and the wheel is right there. We just have to start.Imagine walking down the street on the way home from work or from doing a few errands next autumn and plucking off a few apples and putting them into your basket for your family then walking on to the next block and collecting the walnuts there.They may be misshapen or there may be a worm or two but there are no toxic chemicals or strange genetic materials in them and...they are free. They are growing on what used to be high maintenance green space -- park lawns.

There is a practical method of developing ecologically harmonious, efficient and productive systems . . . .

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