Saturday, February 19, 2011


For those of you who missed our sustainable agriculture event with the Center for Local Self-Reliance last Thursday, featuring "Dirt! The Movie", here's a re-cap.

The film was moving and educational, opening a discourse about the undervaluation of dirt, our source of life and sustenance. We learned that dirt is an amazingly complex living organism that requires care and balance in order to continue to produce our life source. We also got to see how dirt is used for various purposes around the world, supporting the survival of our race as a whole. I left feeling compelled to build a compost bin, and plant as much green in the open spaces around me to heal the soil that has been damaged by monoculture, pesticides, and the disconnection of city cement-laying. I'd encourage everyone to watch the film and allow it to "take root" in your personal constitution. You can visit the film's website for tips and facts about dirt and what we can do to care for it.

After the film, we heard from local expert
Walter Haugen of F.A. Farm, who brought us samples of dirt, compost, and it's fruits to smell, feel and taste. We discussed current trends in sustainable agriculture, methods and techniques for planting organically, and measuring efficiency based on caloric input. If you also have questions or comments about dirt, compost and sustainable agriculture, feel free to post your question on our blog.

Finally, Seth June of Homestead Habitats, introduced us to opportunities in our community to learn about home-sized food production, to include soil maintenance and composting. RE Sources will be hosting Homestead Habitats and BUGS' permaculture series this spring at the Sustainable Living Center. If you'd like to learn to garden, but don't have garden space, fear not! RE Sources is building a community garden this spring and is looking for curious neighbors to get their hands dirty. For more information about this upcoming educational series and to learn how you can become a garden caretaker, email

And finally, I'd like to thank the Center for Local
Self-Reliance for partnering with us on this event. Through volunteer help, CLSR has just finished installing deer fences around their gardens, and look forward to a productive season as they continue to expand the Caretaker's House. Jean Kroll, who spearheaded the film showing, is an active member of the sustainability movement in Whatcom County and a great resource. Please email CLSR if you'd like more info on their programs.

Special thanks also to the Community Food Co-op for generously donating our local, organic snacks.

Hannah Coughlin
RE Sources Outreach