Food Sovereignty Discussion January 19, 2012

Jan. 19 @6pm-7:45pm

Kellogg Hubbard Library

135 Main St. Montpelier

Phone: 223-3338


Join the Rural Vermont statewide discussion on growing local food sovereignty. These discussions are designed to assist in (1) defining a particular food shed’s current food system, (2) identifying gaps and barriers, and (3) creating a long-term vision. Also, learn how Vermont’s tradition of Town Meeting Day resolutions can help communities like Montpelier develop local food sovereignty as a way to further support our agricultural heritage.

Robb Kidd is an organizer at Rural Vermont, a non-profit farmer’s advocacy organization, which has recently launched a local food sovereignty campaign to further elevate discussions outside traditional legislative platforms and back into local communities. Joining Robb will be a farmer to fill in with personalized stories of farming in Vermont.

Co-sponsored by Transition Town Montpelier and Kellogg-Hubbard Library. This is the November Third Thursday Transition Speaker Series at the Library.

Citizens United Can be Overturned by a Simple Majority Vote by Congress

Video by on Dec 19, 2011

In this video starting at minute 01:38, Attorney James Leas shares his view on how to change the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. The Citizens United case gave corporations the right to spend unlimited funds on campaign contributions, effectively buying our electoral system. Congress has the Constitutional power to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Article 3.2.10:

In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

This is James Leas’s (and our founding father’s) remedy, simply using the Constitutional power of Congress to remove this jurisdiction from the Supreme Court. James Leas goes further saying, that by passing a Constitutional Amendment we are actually legitimizing the Supreme Court’s involvement in this aspect of our policy making. This Constitutional solution is also easier to accomplish only needing a majority vote from congress, whereas a constitutional amendment needs a two thirds majority of congress and then three quarters of the states to ratify it.

Whole Systems Design – Regenerative Landscapes

Regenerative Landscapes is a series of short films about Permaculture designers in the Northeast – By TerraVisus

This film is a tour of the Whole Systems Design Research Farm, presented by Ben Falk. Ben explains how they established their diversified Agroforestry systems. The Agroforestry systems include; storm-water detention basins; ponds, swales and rice paddies, silvopasture systems and intensive rotational grazing. These systems work together to restore the ecology and at the same time yield a useful product. Great film, check it out!

Occupy Burlington – Candlelight Vigil December 17th

by on Dec 17, 2011

December 17th marks a year since our brother Mohamed Bouazizi lit himself on fire in Tunisia. His act began the Arab Spring where ordinary people like ourselves began to stand up for democracy and justice. Nine months later on September 17th in New York City, the Occupy Movement began.

In remembrance of Mohamed Bouazizi and in celebration of three months of occupation, Occupy Burlington is holding a candlelit march and vigil to remember all those who have suffered under a system that solely supports the interests of the 1% at the detriment of the 99%.

Permaculture Helps Us Share the Surplus!

Burlington Permaculture proves that this time of the year doesn’t have to be, a “shop till you drop” typical holiday experience. Permaculture is a way to design sustainable human societies, it is guided by three ethics; Earth care, people care, and “share the surplus”. Burlington Permaculture has brought these three ethics together online and into the community, with their web page Perennial Exchange which is,

a community tool facilitating the free exchange of plant resources among residents of Burlington and its environs. This site allows members of the exchange to both offer and request plant resources from neighbors and fellow community members in the form of transplants, root divisions, cuttings and other propagation materials completely free of charge.

We hope this tool helps to enhance our region’s food security and foster urban agriculture while building new social connections and strengthening our community.

All members of the public can view offers and wants. However, to create an offer, or to contact a member, you must first create an account.

I leave you with a quote from John McConnell, founder of International Earth Day

“Let every individual and institution now think and act as a responsible trustee of Earth, seeking choices in ecology, economics and ethics that will provide a sustainable future, eliminate pollution, poverty and violence, awaken the wonder of life and foster peaceful progress in the human adventure.”

From – Environmental Quotes

The Vermont Legislator can Help Save our Honeybee Population

Colony Collapse Disorder CCD honeybees pesticides vermont agriculture sustainability

The Future of our Honeybees

Why are honeybees so important for humans? well, It isn’t just their divine honey, over one third of our fruits and vegetables are reliant on honeybees to pollinate them so they can reproduce. The reproduction of the plant is also the production of our food. As most of us know bees are having a hard time these days, in 2006 a phenomena know as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) was first observed.

CCD is the mass die-off or disappearance of entire colonies. Every winter since 2006 one third of the US bee population has vanished, nearly twice the amount annually prior to 2006. The loss of the honeybee and the subsequent loss of 1/3 of our fruit and vegetables, would also cripple the already struggling US economy, by collapsing the US agricultural and commercial pollinating industries.

So what is happening? Many people claim it is a mystery and there is no hard evidence what is causing CCD. It is true that there is no single cause for CCD but there is plenty of scientific data that proves some of our current agriculture practices are a portion of the problem. Chemical pesticides sole purpose is killing insects, these products are supposed to be tested to ensure standards that prove they are safe. “Conditional registrations” are a way that the Chem-Ag. industry uses to avoid these standards. which is explained in this article.

Also in the same article it explains Neonicontinoids type pesticides. It states that there are three forms that the treated plant will expose honeybees to the pesticide; Through the pollen, the plant nectar and the plants perspiration, called gutation, which the honeybees drink. Neonicotinoids kill insects by disrupting their nervous systems. This would explain why the worker bees (which are the ones that forage the pollen and nectar) in a colony that has collapsed never find their way back to the hive.

Two of these Neoeicotinoids; Clothianidin and Imidacloprid have been addressed in House Bill H.34 by three Vermont representatives calling for them to be banned in sales, use and application in the state of Vermont by July 2012.

Here is the link for a letter to the EPA on this subject from; the National Honey Bee Advisory Board, the American Beekeeping Federation, the American Honey Producers Association, Beyond Pesticides, the Pesticide Action Network, and the North America Center for Biological Diversity

more information from the Vermont Rural Water Association –

Please help to save our honeybees by sharing this information and by writing your representative to tell them to support H.34

 VT State Reps listed by District & Senators By County

Here is a sample letter:

I am writing you in regards to Bill H.34 . This is a very important bill for the future ecology of Vermont. If you don’t know anything about Neonicontinoids pesticides please read this article and follow the links for more detailed information. Neonicontinoids are not only polluting our water but are also threatening our pollinators, including our honeybees, whom we rely on for pollinating our food crops. The call to ban these pesticides is backed by the National Honey Bee Advisory Board, the American Beekeeping Federation, the American Honey Producers Association, Beyond Pesticides Pesticide Action Network, and the North America Center for Biological Diversity and others. Please help by educating yourselves and others on this important subject and by supporting the passage of this bill. Thank you for your efforts to protect the future of Vermont.


Lake Champlain – Restoring our Water

Vermont For Evolution is now compiling a resource page for The Remediation and Restoration of Lake Champlain (Link), It is located in our ECO & VT VIDEOS Page. I have always wanted to do this, the following movie trailer kicked me into action!

Bloom: The Emergence of Ecological Design

This is the follow-up series to last year’s award-winning documentary on the health of Lake Champlain premieres on December 15th at 7:00 pm at the Palace 9 Cinemas in South Burlington, Vermont. The first Emmy award winning film, Bloom – the Plight of Lake Champlain, addressed the main sources of phosphorus pollution contributing to the growing problem of algae blooms in the sixth largest lake in the United States. The follow-up film, Bloom – the Emergence of Ecological Design, further investigates pollution sources from wastewater, agricultural, and urban land use, but with a focus on integrative design solutions. (more)

Movie Website –

Industrial Hemp – Reduce Co2 Emissions & Support Sustainable Agriculture

In this video, filmed on July 28, 2011, Congressman Peter Welch of Vermont was “cornered” into answering some of his constituents. They ask why he had not yet supported the federal resolution H.R. 1831: The Industrial Farming Bill, when Vermont had already passed Hemp farming legislation back in 2008.

Well, it took the Congressman a little over 3 months to finally cosponsor the bill, the point is that he did. This just goes to show how important it is to confront our representatives face to face and educate them on issues that we believe in.

Hemp is by far the most ecologically sound cash-crop that we are forbidden to grow. The web site Vote Hemp was set up to educate people on the issues surrounding hemp, register voters, and build coalitions to fulfill their mission. To get a deeper understanding of the mission of Vote Hemp please read The Vote Hemp Treatise: A Renewal of Common Sense: The Case for Hemp in 21st Century America.

Vote Hemp – Take Action Page

The amount of information on hemp and the implications of legalizing industrial hemp farming is astounding. Many of the European countries that followed the US in prohibiting hemp cultivation, have since repealed these laws and are now growing, processing, using and exporting it.

Here is one videos illustrating just a few out of the thousands of its applications. 

I was inspired to write this post after visiting this Hempcrete building in Switzerland (slide show below). At first glance it looks as though the building was carved out of one solid piece of sand stone, on closer inspection you see it fibrous reality.

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