Monthly Archives: February 2013

Edible Landscape Design Meeting

(Event Sponsored by Transition Albany Garden Group)
March 2, 2013 @ 2:00 pm - Event Details
Posted in , , , , on February 26, 2013

Food Security: Make it Local

(Event Sponsored by Albany Farm Alliance and Occupy the Farm)
March 6, 2013 @ 6:00 pm - Event Details

Food Security 8.5x11Come to a participatory forum to continue community dialogue and people-powered research around the future of the Gill Tract Farm.  We want the forum to serve as the next step in a collaboration with the City of Albany, UC, all interested organizations and agencies, and the broader community around the use of this precious regional resource in our town.

Community education and engagement are strategies the Albany Farm Alliance is employing to ensure the establishment of an agro-ecological education center and demonstration urban farm on the Gill Tract, in perpetuity. Areas of exploration at the forum will include farming, education, research, access and management, & race, class, and privilege. Participants will be able to identify other areas for exploration, as well.

Posted in , , , , on February 24, 2013

What are the priorities for a sustainable and resilient Albany?

Screen shot 2012-09-28 at 11.47.59 PMThat was the question posed to me by Sheri Spellwoman when she was running for Albany City Council in 2012.

And this is the answer I sent her:


As Yogi Berra famously said, “The Future Ain’t What It Used To Be.”

Let’s start by agreeing on a fully-responsible frame of reference that doesn’t shrink from the facts:

  1. The human race has to stop using planetary “resources” at a rate that is destroying habitat, causing the Sixth Great Extinction (see National Geographic article), and producing greenhouse gases at a scale that threatens to heat the global environment beyond the tolerance of plant and animal life.
  2. Going small and local will not only mitigate our effect on the planet, but help prepare us for when these “resources” run out – in the foreseeable future, and almost certainly within the lifetime of the young – so that we, and all our (human and non-human) cohabitants on the planet, can continue to meet basic needs and live with dignity.
  3. The global economy – based on extraction of limited resources yet demanding constant upward growth – is bound to fail, either quickly and dramatically or slowly and painfully, and we need to prepare for that by putting in place localized, alternative ways to get our needs met.

So what should our priorities be in Albany? At this point, “Sustainability” seems almost out of reach. “Resilience” might be a better goal as we adapt to an uncertain future – but these are just my thoughts. I strongly believe that we have the ingenuity right here in our own community to come up with effective solutions.

Posted in Community Building, Economy, Energy, Food and Agriculture, Resources on February 21, 2013

Edible Landscape Project

(Event Sponsored by Transition Albany)
February 24, 2013 @ 2:00 pm - Event Details

Keep up with our progress by going to the site. We are usually there on weekend mornings, either Saturday or Sunday. Check the calendar!


The City of Albany has given Transition Albany two mulched areas by the Snack Shack in Memorial Park on which to grow a permaculture “food forest” or edible garden. We have canvassed the neighbors and put out the word, and have about 40 people lined up to help in different ways. We meet most Sundays, 2 pm (some Saturdays – check the calendar) at the site. We’re about to finalize a vision and mission statement and come up with the first draft of a design for the plantings, paths, swales, berms, and methods to dissuade people from walking right across the soil, which is already extremely compacted and clay-ey.

ELPWe’ve taken soil samples (thank you, Ryan), measured contours on the very wet top portion (thank you Leonard), spent several afternoons at the site observing what goes on around there, come up with some good ideas (thank you Anna, Midori, Karen, Stephanie, Tina, Catherine and Marge), drawn up a beautiful version of the site plan complete with outside influences (thank you Bonnie), onto which we are superimposing our ideas for plantings.

After the design has been approved by the city, we will be doing some earth moving to make swales and berms to manage the excess water that sheets down the top portion, add good soil, and create paths. Planting follows!

Donations of food plants, trees, beneficial insect attracting plants, plants that enrich the soil, money, materials (including tree rounds, either long for barriers or flat for stepping on) and loving labor are all welcome at this stage. Perennials are especially welcome, so we can make this a low maintenance garden. We are very fortunate to have the support of Tony Wolcott, City Arborist.

Posted in , , , , , on February 20, 2013

Restorative Justice

(Event Sponsored by Transition Albany)
March 3, 2013 @ 2:00 pm - Event Details



with Harriet Whitman Lee and Deborah Tuttelman

Sunday March 3, 2013, 2 – 4 pm

Albany Library Edith Stone Room, 1247 Marin Avenue, Albany CA

Restorative justice is an emerging alternative to the retributive justice or punishment model of the criminal justice system. Our discussion is lead by two women actively engaged in restorative justice work with communities and schools.

Harriet Whitman Lee has been a mediator, facilitator, trainer, and circle keeper for many years. She has served on law school faculties and taught academic courses at various levels. She has trained people in conflict resolution in a variety of contexts. She is on the Alameda County Restorative Justice Task Force. She is a volunteer on the SEEDS Restorative Justice Task Force. She is a volunteer in the Insight Prison Project Restorative Justice  Offender Victim Education Group Next Step Program.

Deborah Tuttelman practiced law in the criminal justice system for over twenty years, and currently is a mediator and arbitrator. She volunteers in the SEEDS Restorative Justice Program, and participates in the inmate run restorative justice roundtables at San Quentin.

Join us in a discussion of this vital and timely subject as it relates to our communities and schools, inspired by the recent attack on Albany High School students on the Ohlone Greenway.


Posted in , , , on February 1, 2013