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Organic Manifesto

Green America Interviews Maria Rodale

The Buzz on Bees Understanding Father Warre’s Simple Design

Teeny Tiny Houses Living Well in Less than 1000 Square Feet

Mr. Simpson’s Wild Ride Bob’s Ultimate Driving Machine

Seriously Networked Two-Wheeling A Nationwide Bicycling System

Environmental Reasons to Get Organized

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IN 1 R R F SP 01 2 2

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011



Ongoing April 18-May 29

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Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 12 Spring 2011


Publisher’s Page Bob’s Ultimate Driving Machine ................................4 Local Notes............................................................................6 Money - Battered by Your Bank? ................................ 13 Nature Understanding Father Warre’s Simple Design... 15 Lifestyle Environmental Reasons to Get Organized........... 18 Building Living Well in Less than 1000 Square Feet........... 19 Sustainable Preservation............................................ 22 Pause for Poetry - To A Stranger’s Child . ............... 23 Gardening - Store Fixtures as Garden Decor ........ 24 Food - The Organic Manifesto . ................................... 25 Transportation A Nationwide Bicycling System................................ 28 Book Review - Bioshelter Market Garden............... 29 Events .................................................................................. 30 Classifieds........................................................................... 30

Green Living Journal P. O. Box 677, Cascade Locks, OR 97014 Publisher: Columbia River Press LLC PDX Editor: Gary Munkhoff 541.374.5454 Advertising: Susan Place 541.374.5454 Prepress/Graphics/Ad Production: Katie Cordrey iByte Company 509.493.1250 National Editor: Stephen Morris Webmaster: Michael Potts Distribution : Ambling Bear, Portland Pedal Power and Devin Richards Cover Photos: The following are used under licensing unless noted - bee on thistle by flickr user-JJD2500, Portland bike lane by flickr user Elly Blue, Tumbleweed tiny home by flickr user WBUR, background image by flickr user brx0 Printed: with soy-based inks on Blue Heron recycled paper by Signature Graphics. The Columbia River edition of the Green Living Journal is published quarterly and 16,000 copies are distributed free of charge throughout the Portland-Vancouver metro area. We encourage our readers to patronize our advertisers, but we are not responsible for any advertising claims. Subscriptions $9.95 per year. Copyright © 2011 Columbia River Press LLC The Green Living Journal Family is Proud to be a Member

Publisher’s Page Bob’s Ultimate Driving Machine By Gary Munkhoff

People with the ability to take something that interests them and turn it into a passion have always fascinated me, and, I might add, raised a certain amount of envy as well. And, even more so, when that passion makes a difference, not only in that person’s life, but in the lives of all of us as well. Quite often, and usually during times of crisis, these people come to our attention because the focus of their passions offer solutions to that very crisis. 4

Publisher’s Page continued Enter Bob Simpson, who gave a presentation at a recent Solar Oregon gathering that I attended. He briefly described the conversion of his gasoline powered BMW to an all electric drive system, but he also shared additional information that revealed that there was more to his story than just an electric car. Here was a person with a vision and a mission. Bob is passionate about electric vehicles, but that has not always been the case. “Be the change you It all started about want to see in the three years ago when a series of seemingly unworld” Mahatma Gandhi related events changed the course of his life forever. First, concerned with the environmental effects of his daily commute in his gas powered car, he was following the development of the Tesla electric drive roadster which was promising a new standard of performance for electric vehicles (EV). Bob wanted an EV and Tesla was proving to him that the time had come for him to go electric. The problem: an electric Tesla costs over $100,000. Second, high-speed internet connections were now available in the outlying area where he lived. He could now connect with the world using a 21st century tool. Third, the high tech company where he was working, and had been for the last for 30 years, was sold to a new owner resulting in a buy out of the stock that he had accumulated over all those years. This stock buy back presented him with an unexpected chunk of change that needed

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011

Publisher’s Page cont.

Publisher’s Page continued world, would be ready to rest on their laurels. Not Bob. He sees the big picture, he sees the looming crisis, and he sees now, after years of research and hard work, that there is a solution. He passionately believes that the EV is that solution and he is out to convince the rest of the world to go electric. Here’s the bottom line. We are all facing an oil driven, environmental/national security crisis which, if not addressed today, will spell disaster tomorrow. There are existing and emerging solutions that can alleviate this crisis and these solutions are available today because of years of effort on the part of a few passionate pioneers. We are all indebted to the many “Bobs” of the world and the least we can do is put the spotlight on them, give them the recognition they deserve, thank them and, most importantly, follow them. Too bad there aren’t any “Oscar”, “Tony”, “Grammy” and “Emmy” awards for them. Must be that those kinds of awards are only given to those involved in far more important endeavors. For more information about Bob’s work go to

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to be invested somewhere. Fate was obviously appealing to Bob’s inner pioneering spirit to investigate the emerging EV frontier. The internet became his door to an online classroom for expanding his knowledge of electric motors, battery technology, charging theory and dynamics, and Tesla innovation, as well as a tool for communicating with experienced EV experts around the world. He decided that building his own EV was the way to go, and so he committed himself and his windfall fund to doing just that. After three years of hard work, Bob is now driving an all electric 2003 BMW, that is not only on the cutting edge of technology, but is fun to drive. While building his EV, he started thinking about the electricity needed to “fuel” it. That led him to the idea for a solar array that would generate enough electricity to power both his home and his car, and so he made plans to install one. This ability to be a “net zero” energy consumer was a major turning point. Others have built their own EVs and gone solar, so Bob is not the first to do so. The Oregon Electric Vehicle Association and other chapters of the national organization, Electric Auto Association, have numerous members that have also taken this route to eliminate their need for oil. Still others make a living converting cars to electric drive or selling conversion components to do-it-yourselfers. But Bob marches to a different drummer, or perhaps more accurately, to no drummer at all. We could expect that someone driving a car that emits nothing into our air, and, at the same time, outperforms the original BMW that was designed and engineered by some of best minds in the

Local Notes Urban Farm Store Owners Write Chicken Keeping Book Portland’s Urban Farm Store stocks everything today’s modern locavore needs to live a sustainable life, from custom chicken feed to beekeeping equipment to cheese-making supplies. Owners Robert and Hannah Litt have spent hours each day researching and answering customers’ questions about their chickens. They have gathered all their best advice in this resource on breeds, feed, and care, including plans for a coop that can be built in a single weekend, and answers to common questions such as “How do I raise chicks?”, ”Which breeds are the best layers?” and “Should I bring a $5 chicken to the vet?” From behavior to broods to litter, the Litts share their hard-earned wisdom along with a few of their favorite egg recipes - proving that raising a healthy backyard flock is all it’s cracked up to be. 6

Robert and Hannah Litt have been keeping chickens for seven years. As Robert, a landscape architect, and Hannah, a nurse-midwife, became increasingly interested in urban food-growing, Robert returned to school to obtain an MS in sustainable agriculture. In early 2009, they opened an urban farm supply store. They’ve been featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting and Planet Green’s Renovation Nation.

A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store’s Guide to Chicken Keeping by Robert and Hannah Litt. - $19.99 hardcover 208 pages full-color photographs and illustrations - 6 1/2 x 9 inches ISBN: 978-1-58008-582-3 Publication Date: March 22, 2011 For more information, visit

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011

Local Notes continued Energy Trust Recognized for Helping Homeowners Go Solar

Imagine a world where everyone has access to plenty of healthy, local, organic food. The goal of the Portland yard sharing program is to further that goal by making sure that anyone who wants to garden and grow food for themselves can. One of the biggest barriers to growing food in the city is access to land - despite the fact that many yards, lawns, and backyards have plenty of room to spare. In Portland even the parking strips are often used for raised garden beds. Portland Yard Sharing encourages urban gardening by connecting those who have space to garden and are willing to share with those who would like to grow a garden but lack an appropriate space. The program makes maximum use of city and private space by making sure that even those who dwell in apartments, condos, and shared housing have ample place to garden. It connects neighbors of different socio-economic conditions together in an atmosphere of trust and self-sufficiency doing something that beautifies the homeowner’s yard and provides food for everyone. For more info go to:

Energy Trust received a State Leadership in Clean Energy award for its work in supporting Solarize Portland. In collaboration with the Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Coalition. Solarize Portland helped homeowners in Southeast Portland overcome financial and logistical barriers to installing solar electric systems, and resulted in 120 new solar energy systems in just six months last year. Over two years, multiple neighborhood-based Solarize campaigns throughout Portland resulted in 600 residential installations. Energy Trust was one of seven organizations recognized by the Clean Energy States Alliance for “accelerating adoption of clean energy technologies and advancing clean energy markets.”

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Portland Yard Sharing: An Urban Twist on Gardening

Local Notes continued Citizens Lead the Creation of Sustainable Culture 600+ Portland Metro area citizens have been involved in the Center for Earth Leadership’s no cost training on How to Be and Agent of Change in Your Circle of Influence. Each of us is a member of numerous circles of influence, such as a school, workplace, neighborhood, club or organization, center of faith, extended family, condominium association, etc.  Each circle provides a natural arena for the work of a person who would like to introduce sustainable practices and raise ecological awareness. Participants are trained to effectively facilitate positive changes in a cooperative and inclusive way. The class has been helpful to those just starting out as well as experienced leaders. The possibilities for change are endless - Leslie revamped her apartment complex’s waste system in NW Portland, Carolyn and Scott developed a training program on sustainability for all employees at their office, and Janet formed Friends of Crystal Springs in her neighborhood. Do you see changes that should be made in your circles of influence? Spring classes begin the week of March 28th. Contact Emily Klavins for details, 503-227-2315, 8

Portlander Develops Indow Windows Portland’s newest green business wants to save Oregon residents money on their energy bills and save the planet at the same time. Indow Windows recently scaled up its operations and is producing its patentpending window inserts for customers throughout the Portland metro area. Indow Windows are sheets of acrylic glazing edged with a patent-pending spring bulb, that simply press into place on the inside of a window frame, providing a tight seal against cold winter drafts without any nails, screws, or adhesives. They provide insulation and energy savings comparable to double-paned

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011

Local Notes continued

EFI Rebate for Paper Recycling Hits $3M In 2010, EFI Recycling, a commercial recycling and brokerage company based in Portland gave its clients rebates totaling $3 million, both helping local businesses and stimulating the economy. The company purchases recyclable waste from its corporate clients and then sells the materials to domestic and international paper mills that produce recyclable paper products. “We view each of our clients as a business partner, and it’s our goal to reduce their expenses and increase their profits by providing them with the biggest return on their recyclable waste,” said Scott Jenkins, vice president and COO of EFI Recycling. “Many of the companies we work with receive significant compensation for items that would otherwise be viewed as waste.” EFI Recycling (Environmental Fibers International) is a family-owned business located on Swan Island, and maintains facilities with sophisticated technology to collect and recycle a wide array of paper, cardboard and plastic film products. They collected about 90,000 tons of commercial paper waste for recycling last year, and employ 28 people. For more info go to

Local Notes continued Arcimoto Nears Production Eugene based Arcimoto is scheduled to have its electric vehicle (EV) ready for production later this year. The company brought their Proto4 version to the Portland International Auto Show in January along with several of their enthusiastic development team. Enthusiastic as they may be, the hard reality of the automobile world makes one question the chance of their succeeding in a game dominated by giant, global corporations.

History has shown that the odds are strongly stacked against any new car company, but after talking at length with their President, Mark Frohnmayer, and Chris Angot, one of their mechanical engineers, I came away with the sense that these folks just may be on to something. Basically they are betting the farm on the vision that in the emerging personal transportation revolution, there will be a niche market for an EV that is small, but with a definite personality, inexpensive to buy and operate, lots of fun to drive, and is produced locally by a company whose core values are based on the philosophy that “small is better”.

Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 12 Spring 2011


windows, yet at a fraction of the cost. They can be easily removed and stored during the summer or anytime a homeowner wishes to open a window. After independent performance testing, these inserts, in combination with an existing single pane window, were shown to be as good as or better than double- and triplepane replacement windows in air infiltration and were 94 percent as effective as double-paned windows at “R value”. When installed in a single pane window they also performed better at reducing sound transmission than double-paned windows did, delivering a 50 percent reduction in noise. Installation can be performed in hours rather than days, and without a major renovation’s hassle and high cost. Pardue believes the product will make homes warmer, quieter, greener and more comfortable. For More Information: Sam Pardue, CEO, Indow Windows (503) 516-5569,

Local Notes continued

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With a total of 338 GE wind turbines the 845-megawatt Shepherds Flat project is being developed by New York-based Caithness Energy in Gilliam and Morrow and will be the largest wind farm in North America. According to Caithness, the project is expected to create about 400 construction jobs and 35 permanent positions. With a 20-year contract to deliver electricity and renewable energy credits to Southern California Edison, the project is expected to start generating power in 2012. The Caithness Shepherds Flat project is the largest project to date to receive an offer of a conditional commitment for a loan guarantee under the Financial Institution Partnership Program (FIPP), a Department of Energy program supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Funded by more than two-dozen institutional investors, the $1.3 billion Shepherds Flat project will receive an 80 percent loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.

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New Hybrid Retrofit Offers Fuel and Cost Savings to Existing Heavy Vehicles KersTech Vehicle Systems in Beaverton, Oregon, is developing an economical, easy-to-install retrofit hybrid system for existing heavy vehicles that start and stop frequently. City and school buses and refuse and delivery trucks, when converted to hybrid, can achieve significant reductions in fuel consumption, exhaust emissions and noise levels in urban and neighborhood environments CEO Lester Erlston says that there’s a huge market of existing Class 6, 7 and 8 vehicles that need a fuel cost solution. “Due to high cost, new hybrids are less than 1% of new vehicle sales. Retrofit is the fastest, most affordable path to hybridize America’s millions of buses and trucks.” Heavy vehicle fleet operators’ budgets are squeezed by rising fuel costs and decreasing revenues. They own many long lived, non-hybrid vehicles, and new OEM hybrid vehicles are prohibitively expensive. The system concept has been well received by city and school bus operators, refuse companies and the US Army. The system consists of the TorqPak™ integrated motor and gearbox unit, an energy storage device such as a battery or accumulator , and a hybrid controller, all sized to bolt onto the truck or bus chassis. KersTech has patents pending for its innovative hybrid drive. Full scale prototype testing requires further funding and the company is currently seeking additional investors. Visit http:/// For more info: Lester Erlston, : 503-524-2404 (8am – 6pm PST)

CaneFields™ eco-friendly paper products help to preserve forests because no tree pulp is used. Sugar cane waste fiber, or ‘bagasse,’ is used to make these paper products. The use of waste keeps it from the landfill. They also use renewable energy to further reduce their carbon footprint. The high brightness “sugar white” multi-purpose office paper is designed to meet all the printing needs of a modern office, copy center, and a commercial printer. It is ideally suited for laser, inkjet, plain paper fax and digital copiers. Through the use of our sugarcane based paper, your business will experience less calls for copier and press maintenance due to dust build-up when compared to commonly used wood fiber based papers. This paper is also endorsed by the World Wildlife Fund, the world’s largest multinational environmental organization. CaneFields™ copy paper is now available on our online website at or in our store located at 6017 NE Sandy Boulevard, Portland, Oregon. It can be purchased by the 500-sheet ream, the 5-ream case, or 80-case pallet. 10 A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011

20 11

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Local Notes continued Food Trading Website Proves a Success in Portland

Wisdom of Wool Offers Good Sleep, Good health, Good life! Wisdom Of Wool LLC offers natural 100% organic woolfilled bedding made in Beaverton Oregon. Designed with the entire sleep environment in mind their collection includes comforters, pillows and mattress pads made of wool from the west coast that is milled in Northern California. Only natural soap is used to wash the wool and all bedding is encased in 100% organic cotton sateen that is domestically grown. Their bedding is designed to improve sleep quality and reduce common allergens while giving careful consideration to environmental sustainability.   During the night, our bodies replenish the physical and psychic energy spent during the day, shed metabolic waste, and go through many other processes that are essential for long-term health. A healthy bedroom is one that allows us to rest, heal and regenerate in a space free from environmental toxins and stresses. Wool bedding is comfortable in all seasons, resistant to mold, dust-mites, and mildew. Wool absorbs and releases moisture quickly to provide many health benefits. To learn more, visit:

Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 12 Spring 2011


Oganic veggies for your fresh eggs. Sound good? You’re not alone. Thanks to the launch of a new website,, local gardeners now have a convenient means of bartering food. Brian Connelly, along with a few other friends came up with the idea about a year ago. “I’ve been trading extra garden vegetables and veggie starts for a few years now and felt that we really needed an easier way to exchange food,” says Connelly. “We’ve all used various classifieds and community bulletin boards with limited success. Portland Food Exchange is a simple means for people to barter food in our community.” Portlanders seem to require this kind of forward thinking. The site currently has five main categories; Vegetables & Fruit, Seeds & Starts, Herbs, Eggs/ Cheese/Milk, and Other. Listings include up to four photos and are free of charge. “The site is about building a community. Our mission is to maintain a community based food exchange focused on natural, organic and sustainable farming practices. We invite everyone to join us on this exciting journey to promote a longer, healthier and more positive lifestyle,” says Connelly. Nettle pesto, farm eggs, goat cheese, whole grain bread and Texas longhorn cattle beef. These are some of the recent ads. Connelly asks, “Who likes buying groceries from

big grocery chain stores? With so many people growing their own food in Portland, it just makes sense to trade with your neighbor.” We think so too. Visit the site at Contact: Brian Connelly 503.380.2026

Local Notes continued Victory Garden Farms Celebrates It’s One Year Anniversary

Katie Boeh and Nicole Sangsuree Barrett launched Victory Garden Farms last year with a handful of clients whose yards they hoed, raked,

er. They reap the benefits of produce grown and harvested for freshness, flavor and nutrient value. Instead of produce traveling 1500 miles to the grocery store, these urban farmers now grow herbs and veggies that have traveled mere feet from farm to fork. Victory Garden Farms provide local residents with healthy homegrown produce and promotes self-reliance and sustainable food systems in the city of Portland. Now that’s fresh. For more information about Victory Garden Farms visit

Solopower Comes to Wilsonville SoloPower, Inc., a California-based manufacturer of flexible, thin film solar cells and modules, will locate a high volume manufacturing facility in Wilsonville. The initial phase of this

planted, weeded and watered providing each household with a bountiful weekly harvest of truly homegrown herbs and vegetables. After a successful first year Victory Garden Farms is excited to announce that they will be expanding their client base and still have room available for the 2011 growing season. The victory gardens you may be expansion will be the construction of a familiar with were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted on both private 75 MW manufacturing line which will residences and public land during create 170 new jobs. Upon compleWorld War I and II to reduce pressure tion, the facility is expected to have on the public food supply brought on nameplate capacity of 300MW, employ by the wars. By 1943 an estimated approximately 500 people, and have a 41% of the produce consumed by the total investment of approximately $340 nation was harvested from these home and community plots. Inspired by this Million. Photovoltaic cells and modules are movement, Katie and Nicole created fabricated using Copper-Indium-GalGarden Farms to help localize This spring give TREES! Victory lium-Selenide (CIGS) and a proprithe food system here in Portland and A gift that honors your loved etary and innovative electrochemical reduce the eco-footprint of eaters in ones and restores the region. process. The SoloPower device is built a forest in the city. They create and maintain customon a thin, flexible foil substrate in a ized mini-farms right at their clients’ high throughput, roll-to-roll process. doorsteps thereby bringing the farmer SoloPower’s unique and farm field directly to the consum12 A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011


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Local Notes continued based CIGS technology enables production of highly efficient solar cells at a fraction of the cost of traditional silicon-based solar technologies and alternative CIGS solar cell manufacturing techniques. “SoloPower is bringing exactly the kind of new jobs Oregon needs. By bringing their manufacturing headquarters to Wilsonville, we are continuing on the path toward establishing a stronger clean technology manufacturing base in Oregon.” said Governor John Kitzhaber.

By Stephen Morris

You aren’t bound to your big, international bank. A lot of us are really and truly sick of getting socked with fees, tripped by hidden penalties, and earning lousy interest rates. We’re tired of being treated like a nuisance. Relief, thankfully, may be just down the street at your nearest credit union or its close relative, the locally-owned bank. “We Know Your Dog” Cheryl Cebula, President and Chief Operating Officer of Albina Community Bank in Portland shares some thoughts on why local banking can be the best option: 1 - Does your bank live here or work here? At local financial institutions, decisions are made locally, rather than across the country. Because of better access to the decisionmaking process, decisions are made quicker and take our local neighborhoods into account. 2 - Deposits work harder in a neighborhood than a vault. At local financial institution, deposits are reinvested back into our local neighborhoods to help build small businesses and create jobs. 3 - At local financial instituCheryl Cebula tions, we not only know you by name, we also know your dog. We take the time to get to know each customer - including their individual financial goals, their favorite local causes, and even their pets.” Local banks are not the only financial institutions that support local non-profits with charitable donations. John Benoit, President & CEO of NorthCountry Credit Union in South Burlington, Vermont points out that his organization distributed more than a quarter million dollars to local organizations. Says Benoit “When you keep your business local, your money stays local. Deposits are turned into loans to other account holders to use for important purchases like homes, vehicles, and college tuition. Money also makes its way back into the community in the form of salaries John Benoit for our employees, all of who live in the region. Everybody wins.”

Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 12 Spring 2011



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Money continued Benoit says the shorter chain of command makes for much more efficient decision making. “No calls to strangers in Ohio, Arkansas, or Florida,” as he puts it. This means decisions on loans are made more quickly. And since the person making that decision is likely to be the same person you wave to in the grocery store, you know they will be doing their best to keep you happy.

Just the Facts Like bank deposits, money in credit unions is insured for at least $250,000 per account. Instead of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which insures bank deposits, the coverage is provided by the National Credit Union Administration, but both agencies are backed by the full faith and credit of the federal government. And you aren’t restricted to using your own credit union’s ATMs. Most CUs either offer fee-free access to a huge network of ATMs or reimburse your fees if you use other institutions’ machines. The difference between banks and credit unions can be summarized fairly simply: Credit unions are member-owned. If you have an account at a credit union, you’re a part owner in the enterprise. There is always an affiliation between the members. Often this goes beyond geography. Bob Furman of the River Valley Credit Union points out that one of the first credit unions was at Filene’s, the legendary Boston Department Store. “Edward Filene is the recognized founder of the Credit Union Movement. Filene pioneered things like Workers Compensation and equal pay for women. The Credit Union was created to give working people a financial institution that they would co-operatively own so that they could determine its course and policies. Part of this concept is the charge of providing financial literacy to the credit union members.” (Echoes of contemporary phrases like “social responsibility” and “triple bottom line.”)


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Money continued Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act into law in 1934 to “promote thrift and thwart usury.” Says Furman “Credit Unions look at more than credit scores when lending money. A credit union member’s character and history of repayment is also considered, regardless of numerical credit scoring.”

Part of the mission as a credit union, says Furman is “to work with their members to educate them on what they need to do to acquire mortgages, automobile loans, and credit cards, and how to manage their finances.” Don’t expect that kind of help from Citibank. Credit unions are not-for-profit. This explains why interSome of the “unfair advantage” of credit unions comes est rates can be significantly better, and fees fewer and from the fact that they are exempted from most state and smaller than at nationally owned banks that are driven federal taxes. For-profit banks (who do not receive this by bottom-line profits. Any profits credit unions do benefit) spend time, energy, and money lobbying to legislate make are distributed as dividends to their members. credit unions out of existence, or at least limit who can join. (The banks counter by saying they are just trying to keep Contrast that with banks, which continually invent new the credit unions true to their charters.) Despite these effees and policies to boost profits to pay those outraforts the Credit Union National Association, the CUs’ trade geous executive salaries. group, brags that virtually everyone in the U.S. can belong Credit unions are governed by different financial regulato a credit union. tions than banks, giving them, in the eyes of traditional Credit unions count 90 million members nationwide; banks, an unfair advantage. President Franklin D. yet remain in the best-kept secret category. Their members 14 A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011




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Money continued Local banks, similarly, avoid slickly merchandised promotional programs in favor of fair rates and rock-solid service. For recommendation on a good local bank, see who sponsors the Little League teams, is active in the Rotary, or best of all, ask a neighbor. For a slick tool to help you find a nearby credit union, go online at Stephen Morris is the National Editor of the Green Living Journal

Nature The Hanky Book When Leslie Uke read the book, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester Brown, she found it was a life changing read. She felt that anyone who read the book would have the same reaction. So when she developed her product the HankyBook (patent pending) she decided to offer one of her HankyBooks free to any one who would read or had read the book. You will want some HankyBooks anyway. They were invented to address tissue clutter and waste caused by drippy noses and baby dribbles. The ultimate mission of HankyBook is to steer people HAPPILY towards a non-disposable culture, a culture that values resources, produces little waste and causes minimal environmental stress. All HankyBooks pages are handmade from 100% organic cotton, are washable and reusable. The covers are organic cotton or repurposed fabric. To purchase HankyBooks or to read Plan B 4.0 and become eligible to get one free go to:

Understanding Father Warre’s Simple Design By Preston Shea There is a lot of buzz about bees these days. Pesticides, parasites and diseases have reduced the population of these vital pollinators, lowering yield from gardens and orchards as well as putting commercial food growers under threat. Besides helping bees make a comeback, more and more folks are interested in a backyard beehive as a fun hobby, a fascinating science project and a source of precious propolis, beeswax and, of course, delicious local honey. But then there’s the downside: the cost of all that clothing and equipment, the need for time-consuming training, and what about getting stung? There have been some major changes in the ancient art of beekeeping in the past couple of years, changes that make a hive or two at the end of the garden simpler, safer and cheaper than it used to be. As with any other form of agriculture, beekeeping depends on a combination of equipment and techniques. Different equipment has arrived that is simpler yet allows techniques that take a lot less time and effort to produce those honey-sweet results. But before we get to the newfangled help available for the backyard beekeeper, let’s take

Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 12 Spring 2011


save an estimated $8 billion a year in better interest rates and reduced fees. Their credit cards often do not have annual fees or charge punitive interest rates for a single late payment. Many offer free checking accounts, and penalties that are 50% less than those charged by megabanks. What they don’t offer, however, are elaborate schemes for accumulating “points” that can be accumulated towards luxury goods or airlines tickets that are impossible to schedule.

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    

 


 

   

Nature continued a minute to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the traditional methods that are being replaced. Over 90% of all the hives in America today are “langs,” named after their inventor, Lorenzo Langstroth back in the 1880’s. If you have seen a stack of square beehives in somebody’s yard, chances are that they were langs. Beekeeping with langs is intensive, with keepers taking the top off the hive and pulling out the frames on which the bees build their comb every week or two to check for problems. Not surprisingly, bees don’t like being disturbed this way, which is why the keeper wears that screened-in hazmat suit and carries a smoking gun. When harvest time comes around, the frames are uncapped with a special knife and the honey spun out in a centrifuge extractor. The lang system is expensive and the boxes and frames are heavy but langs have real advantages, which is why all commercial bee operators use them. The system lends itself to mass production – it is not unusual for a commercial operation to run thousands of hives and yields a high ratio of honey to wax, as the wax foundation on the frames is reused after the honey has been extracted. On the other hand, the frequent opening of the hive and reusing foundation increases the risk of parasites and disease. The alternative to the lang system was designed by a French priest, Emile Warre in the 1920’s. Warre spent his life designing hives and studying beekeeping in a search for what he called the people’s hive (la rouche populaire). He wanted a hive that was not only easy and inexpensive to build, but which would require much less time and work for the beekeeper. The Warre system is less stressful for the bees as well and appears to provide better protection against the Chinese Varroa mites, which were unknown in the West before the 1980’s but have become a major plague today. Put a lang and a warre side by side and two differences are immediately apparent. First, the warre boxes are smaller. 16

Nature continued This makes them easier to handle for the beekeeper, but more important, the smaller volume makes it easier for the bees to keep warm in the winter, an important factor in their survival in our cold climate. The second difference is that where the lang has a plain, flat roof, often covered with aluminum flashing, the warre has a house-like pitched roof with open eaves. Under the warre roof is an “attic” filled with a cloth bag stuffed with leaves, dry grass or some other natural insulation. This attic breathes, allowing excess moisture to escape while insulating the bees against the winter cold. The bees actually control the climate, sealing off the attic with propolis to keep circulation down and removing their antiseptic glue to allow moisture to escape when necessary. The warre roof with its attic is bulkier and more cumbersome than the simple box top of the lang, but this is where the sophisticated features of the warre design begin to become apparent. Whereas the lang beek (“beek” is slang for apiculturist – a beekeeper) frequently removes the top of the hive to inspect the bees or add a new box (or “super”) for honey storage, the warre beek leaves the bees alone to do their magic and adds honey supers from the bottom, a task made easier by the smaller design of the boxes. While the lang beek inspects his hive frequently, adding supers and harvesting honey across the season, the warre beek puts an empty box under the hive in the spring and pulls it out in the fall to harvest the honey. This more natural management system is not only much less work, it is far less stressful for the bees, who don’t like having their hive opened up one bit! Warre beeks who like to check on “the girls” but don’t want to stress them, build a simple glass window into the side of the box. This allows the beek and friends to observe the miracle of a beehive without worrying about stings or using smokers, veils etc. The lang will yield a bit more honey per hive, but one or two warres will provide all the honey a family can use and, with a good season, some extra to sell or give away. The third major difference between langs and warres shows up inside the hive. The lang uses a system of frames, four-sided wooden shapes covered with a wax or plastic foundation in which the bees build their comb, lay eggs and

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011

Nature continued


Affordable, Sustainable, Green Cleaning Services store their honey and pollen. This setup is tricky for the amateur to make and a In the Portland Oregon Metro Area significant part of the cost of a purFamily Owned with Over 5 Years Combined Experience chased set-up. Cleaning Homes & Offices The warre, on the other hand, uses NO paper products used! a simple series of slats (called top bars) NO harsh chemicals allowed!! first clean across the hive box, leaving the bees just mention Contact Matt at 503-757-4003 this ad! to build their comb freestyle as they WWW RISTINE REENING COM do in the wild. The top bar system is cheaper and simpler. Because there is no foundation re-used from year to year there seems to be Father Warre’s simplified design and low-maintenance less transmission of disease and parasites. Allowing the bees management techniques have brought backyard beekeeping to choose the size of the cells in the honeycomb rather than within the reach of thousands of gardeners who are interforcing them onto the template of a foundation also seems ested in bees but do not have the time or resources to invest to affect the bee’s in commercial-type operation. Father Warre’s ability do mange If you would like to know more about beekeeping with the hive. The bees, the Warre system, try one of these links: simplified design after all have been and low-maintenance doing this for fifty (great forum with an emphasis on sustainable beekeeping) management million years, they (another UK don’t need help forum with emphasis on natural methods) techniques have from human new (free plans and ideas brought backyard comers! to get you started) beekeeping within the The natural Local Sources: reach of thousands honey comb proBee Thinking specializes in Warre beekeeping duced in the warre of gardeners who are is harder to proRuhl Bee Supply classes and supplies interested in bees but cess in mass pro do not have the time duction than the Urban Farm Store or resources to invest lang frames that fit into a mechaniin commercial-type Livingscape Nursery clases and supplies cal centrifuge, but operation. for a family honey Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply Bee classes harvest things couldn’t be simpler. The honeycomb is cut off the top bars with a knife and either stored in the comb, as beeks have done for centuries, or the comb is mashed up and the honey strained into jars. ���������������������������������c���������� A simple glass-topped box serves as a solar powered wax �����������������c������������������� melter, separating the beeswax from the remaining honey, which can be added to the harvest or just left out for the ����������c��������������������������������� bees to clean up. They won’t waste a drop! The wax makes the finest candles in the world. It is also used for soap and cosmetics. In fact, beeswax sells for more than honey. Besides honey and wax, the hive can be set up to harvest propolis, so-called “Russian penicillin,” 15 day trial - no credit card needed the powerful antiseptic that has been a staple of traditional medicine since ancient times. The demand for propolis is www.ZenMomentum.Us devin@ZenMomentum.Us growing all the time; propolis sells for more than beeswax. 17 Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 12 Spring 2011

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Lifestyle Environmental Reasons to GET ORGANIZED!

By Diane Luck

Most people understand that an organized home or office is more efficient and looks nicer, but have you ever thought of getting organized as a way to live a “greener” life? Here are some facts that may surprise you. Each US citizen consumes twice his or her weight in “stuff ” (fuels, minerals, wood products, metals, agricultural raw materials, etc.) per day - around 400 lbs. per person. Representing 4% of world’s population, we use one-third of all materials consumed on earth. Every product we purchase requires on average 30 times its weight in materials to make, package and ship. Dividing the earth’s productive land by the world’s population of just over 6 billion, there are approximately 4.5 acres of land available to meet each person’s consumption needs. Global per capita consumption is about 5.1 acres per person. In the US, per capita consumption demands 23.7 acres of productive space. Paper production is responsible for 20% of the world’s deforestation. It takes 3.5 lbs. of wood to create 1lb. of paper. Per person municipal waste in the US per year is1800 lbs. The good news is that our volume of consumption and waste presents a tremendous opportunity to make a meaningful positive impact on the environment by creating a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle. And in the process, we reap the additional benefits of a more organized life. Read on to learn how you can be an environmental activist by getting the clutter out of your life.

Go Paperless: Going paperless saves time, money and resources. Record storage is easier, safer and faster to retrieve. Begin the process by changing over to online banking and paperless billing. Reduce the amount of paper that comes into your house in 18

the first place by getting off junk mail lists. Two resources for reducing junk mail are:

Reduce and Recycle Room by room; create a calm, peaceful, simple space by taking out what you don’t need. Give away or recycle anything that is not essential to your well-being. Make each space “your ideal environment”, keeping only things that have a function for you or bring you joy. It may be hard to part with some items, but keep the goal of simplicity in the forefront of your mind and it may not be as hard as you might imagine.

Buy only what you need: Once you have downsized and created your optimal environment, the challenge is to keep it that way. A good way to preserve your organized environment is “the exchange policy”. If you want to make a purchase, then something in your house has to leave to make space for it. For example, if you see a shirt on sale, do you love it enough to give up a shirt you already own? If not, you don’t have room for it and the new shirt probably won’t improve your life. Save your money and pass on it. Being very conscious about the boundaries of your storage is a great way to keep your possessions in balance and reduce your overall consumption.

Make Room in Your Life Living an organized life means you spend less time looking for your keys, less money buying things you already have but can’t find, and you use fewer resources. It also means you have more time and energy for things that matter to you – family, friends, and community service for instance. Statistics show that you will also be more successful in your career and raise happier children if you are organized.

I Like the Idea Do you like the idea of getting organized but feel a bit

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011

Lifestyle continued overwhelmed? Consider asking for help from family and friends. Or consider hiring a professional. The money you invest for the services of an organizer will come back to you many times over. Remember, you’re worth it! Sources: World Watch Institute, United Nations Development Program, Bread for the World, Our Ecological Footprint, State of the World’s Children 2005 (Unicef), US Census Bureau. Diane Luck is a personal organizer in Portland. For more info visit

Building Live Well in Less than 1,000 Square Feet By Carol Venolia

Welcome to the world of authentic, fresh, localvore publishing.

Early May, August, November and February.


A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment

Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 12 Spring 2011


During the past 60 years, the size of American homes has exploded, but the trend is now moving in the opposite direction, proving once more that bigger isn’t always better. In 1950 the average American home size was 983 square feet; by 2009 the average home was 2,343 square feet — even as family size shrank. Finally, it appears people are rethinking housing size. In 2010, aver“ “ age home size is down 9 percent, and many comPublished Quarterly by Season: munities — such Summer, Fall, Winter & Spring. Deadlines: as California’s

Marin County and Georgia’s DeKalbe County — have enacted laws limiting new home size. A moment’s thought yields a multitude of reasons to consider living in less than 1,000 square feet. Smaller homes generally cost less and require less maintenance than larger ones. A small house consumes fewer natural resources in construction and requires less energy for heating and cooling. But perhaps the most compelling reason for going small is that it feels good. People who live in small, welldesigned houses say their homes feel cozier, and they love having everything they need within reach. Design makes all the difference. A poorly designed 900-square-foot house can feel smaller than a well-designed 400-square-foot house. Homes feel cramped when they have small, dark rooms and insufficient storage space. Welldesigned small spaces feel open, efficient and cozy. As architect and small-space specialist Henry Yorke Mann proves in his homes, living in a cozy space doesn’t mean sacrificing convenience or livability. “You don’t want to get too mean about things,” he said.

Building continued The Spirit of the Sea

Keith and Judy Scott loved the 450-squarefoot cabin Mann designed for them on their British Columbia property so much that they moved out of their main house and now live happily in the small home. “We never thought we could live in 450 square feet,” Keith said. “The home we’d lived in was 5,000 square feet. But the spaces just work right. They’re not too big, and they’re not too small.” How did the architect do it? “Anyone who’s lived on a boat knows that there are lots of things you can do to save space,” Mann said. He hid storage everywhere, including under the stairs, and he didn’t skimp on quality. The materials are beautiful and earthy. The kitchen and bathroom are efficient and luxurious. Keith calls the sleeping loft “a really comfortable nest.” The vaulted ceiling is expansive, and thoughtfully placed glass embraces the sky, trees, birds and water. “A home has to have a spirit,” Mann said. “It has to have its own presence — something you can settle into, that you can be quiet in. It’s a question of design; that’s the most important thing.” “It’s like a little jewel box, a beautiful piece of wood work,” Keith said. “I wish everybody would build half the size of house and use the space right — and use an architect to design it.”

Tumbleweed: A Tiny Home Tumbles Along In the past 12 years, Jay Shafer has lived in homes with less than 100 square feet. At 130 square feet, the first tiny house he built in Iowa City, Iowa, was too small for the city’s minimum house size requirement, so Shafer put it on wheels and called it a trailer. Through his Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, Shafer has spent the past decade design20

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011

Building continued

A Garden Home Grows Great Little Spaces Michael Ann Brown wanted a small house in a large garden. Her 1,200-square-foot house just felt too big. She disliked unused space and fondly recalled once having lived in a small trailer with a big sunroom. The result is a 996-square-foot, one-bedroom house, perched high on her south-facing slope. The main living areas face south for passive solar gain. Outdoor spaces include a screened porch on the east, a narrow porch on the south (to avoid blocking winter sun), a deep west-facing porch for shade from the hot afternoon sun, and a cool summer patio on the north. The outdoor rooms expand the living space and make the house more energy-efficient. “I absolutely love that west porch,” Michael Ann said. “I cook out there. I often bring out a glass of wine, sit in the porch swing and watch the sunset. Who needs more?” Indoors, the architects used some classic spatial tricks. They kept the living spaces open to one another yet subtly

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divided, striking a balance between lots of small rooms, which feels cramped, and one big room, which is uninteresting. You can subtly divide spaces using ceiling or floor height. In this case, they designed the floor slab so it steps down two feet from a higher bedroom/bathroom/laundry/ storage area to a lower living/dining/kitchen. This helps subtly divide the spaces and gives the living areas a spaceexpanding 10-foot ceiling while giving the bedrooms and bathrooms a more intimate feeling, and maintains moneysaving flat ceiling framing. Well-placed windows and French doors add to the feeling of space and light. “I like the amount of glass and the views outward,” Michael Ann said. “At the same time, I like how solid and cozy this small house feels.” Excerpted from Natural Home, a national magazine that provides practical ideas, inspiring examples and expert opinions about healthy, ecologically sound, beautiful homes. To read more articles from Natural Home magazine, please visit or call (800) 340-5846 to subscribe. Copyright 2010 by Ogden Publications Inc. Read more: articles/Green_Homes/3250.aspx#ixzz19cFyhXoy

Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 12 Spring 2011


ing and building tiny homes for those who share his love of intense coziness. “When it comes to my domestic environment, anything that’s not working for me works against me,” Shafer said. “More stuff means more space and more cost. So I’m liberated by small spaces.” It all comes down to quality of space, not quantity. And storage. “If your stuff ’s not out of sight, it can drive you crazy,” Shafer said. “On the other hand, when everything you need is right there in reach, it feels great.” Now that Shafer is marPhoto: flickr user Telstar Logistics ried and has a baby, he’s added another criterion. “To make a small space feel big, every individual has to have private space,” he said. Shafer designed a 400-square-foot home for his family, with private space for all. Someday, he imagines each family member having their own tiny house on wheels — “kind of a little family village.”

Building continued Sustainable Preservation

By Valerie Garrett

Old buildings work very well. They are rich, working reminders of the past that shaped us and also provide unique opportunities for innovative preservation and retrofit. We can preserve our region’s architectural heritage by adapting and rehabilitating for today’s needs and future uses. Looking through lenses of sustainability, reuse, conservation and historic preservation sets a natural stage for reusing aged structures, conserving precious resources, and skilled job creation and retention. Here are some of the benefits from preserving and adapting old buildings to contemporary business and household needs. Waste Minimization, Reclamation and Reuse What is embodied energy? Embodied energy is the sum total of all the energy required to grow, harvest, extract, manufacture, refine, process, package, transport, install and dispose of a particular product or building material. When a building is demolished with no plans for recycling or reclamation, this energy that was paid for by past generations is lost. Reusing an existing building or its components, having a working recycling plan in place and educating subs on the job site to recycle and minimize waste all contribute to a successful waste reduction and reuse goal. A few large local rehabilitation projects have successfully recycled 98 percent or more of their construction waste. 22

Building continued Living Wage Jobs According to Donovan Rypkema, a nationally known historian and economic development consultant, “Here in Oregon for every million dollars of production by the average manufacturing firm 24.5 jobs are created. But that same million dollars in the rehabilitation of an historic building? 36.1 jobs. A million dollars of manufacturing output in Oregon will add, on average about $536,000 to local household incomes. But a million dollars of rehabilitation? $783,000.” Living wage construction preservation jobs require training and skills and cannot be outsourced; they are boots on the ground. They involve deconstruction, restoration, salvage, period reproduction, manufacturing, adaptive reuse (adapting an old outdated structure to be functional in the present), as well as more traditional construction jobs like carpentry, plumbing and weatherization. Livability and Complete Neighborhoods Complete neighborhoods, also known as twenty-minute neighborhoods, push for compact communities where amenities like schools, places of worship, retail are located within a walking distance of twenty minutes. It is a component of Smart Growth. Older neighborhoods that developed

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011

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To A Stranger’s Child

If I could, I would say that everything is beautiful, not just the caterpillar you hold in your hand. Sheila Elizabeth Gray

Building continued pre-automobiles have diversity and density from varied small local business and community uses. Retail storefronts in low-scale buildings are interwoven alongside homes, apartments, schools and libraries. Portland planners are researching ways to develop and enhance existing Portland neighborhoods recreating the compact urban patterns established in the streetcar era. Some vibrant examples, all featuring old revitalized buildings, include Hawthorne-Belmont, Alberta Arts, Woodstock, the Pearl, St. Johns, Kenton, Multnomah Village and North Mississippi. The Oregon Main Street Program was created with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to leverage the “unique assets, character and heritage” of small communities for economic and cultural revitalization. To date, 63 Oregon communities are utilizing these resources as part of a nationwide network of 2,500 communities. These towns are successfully using their architectural heritage and community partnerships to drive tourism, provide employment, and enhance livability and pride of community. They include The Dalles, McMinnville, La Grande and Roseburg. Craftsmanship and Architectural Character Historic homes and commercial structures were often built with materials and detailing not economically feasible Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 12 Spring 2011


Building continued to build with today or the manufacturing and construction skills have been lost. Some examples are old growth fir, cast iron storefronts, terracotta façade detailing, massive solid wood beams, and wavy window glass among others. Respecting and celebrating these materials and craftsmanship ensures diverse streetscapes, creates living architectural laboratories and contributes to the liability and beauty of a place.

Stewardship for Our Built History Most of Portland’s building inventory is existing building stock. In terms of carbon footprint, embodied energy, waste minimization, historical stewardship and diversity of neighborhood fabric, it makes good economic sense to preserve, rehabilitate and adapt these aged homes, commercial and industrial buildings. Insulation and weatherization can be easily added to an old home for immediate energy savings. This trumps window replacement since most of a building’s energy is lost through uninsulated walls and attics.

Green Building Questions Answered Here Regional Green Building Hotline 503-823-5431 A free service from Metro, City of Portland, Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah Counties. Got questions on construction strategies, materials, financial incentives? Facebook Green Development Resource Center Twitter : greenhotline City of Portland Construction Waste Specialist 503823-5468 City of Portland Historic Resources Specialist 503-8237666 Architectural Heritage Center For a business directory of local preservation professionals National Trust for Historic Preservation The benefits of window repair over replacement. 24

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Building continued Currently Portland showcases several commercial buildings that have been sustainably restored, enabling them to charge high rents, and some that are in demand for event spaces: Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center (Ecotrust), Mercy Corps Global Headquarters, LeftBank, Gerding Theater at the Armory, the Morgan Building and the White Stag Block. Environmentally, culturally and economically sustainable preservation is a powerful tool as we move into a time of resource scarcity demanding creative solutions. For historic building case studies, historic homes and solar, technical assistance, training programs, tax credits and more check out our new Sustainable Preservation page here; Photos courtesy of Flickr; Ecotrust Building – sambeebe, Gerding Theater - samgrover

Gardening Store Fixtures as Garden Decor by Erin Wilson

We know that store fixtures have multiple uses - you don’t just have to use a clothing rack to hold clothes. But what about outside of your house or your store? What about store fixtures as vehicles for plants or decoration in your yard? Never thought of that, did ya? Think about this... use gridwall panels as trellises for Morning Glories or gridwall panels as an archway from which to hang a basket full of Violas and English Ivy. How about mannequin legs or arms. You could stake tomato plants or hollyhocks. Or you could plant them around your yard and paint clothes on them to give your garden some color.

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011

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Gardening continued

Reprinted with permission from:

The Organic Manifesto By Tracy Fernandez Rysavy

Maria Rodale is the Chair and CEO of Rodale Inc., a multimedia company focusing on healthy living on a healthy planet. The company includes the nonprofit organic research arm, the Rodale Institute, which has been running what may be the country’s longest side-by-side comparison of organic and chemical growing methods. Rodale’s grandfather, J.I. Rodale, founded Rodale Inc. and is widely known as an organic agriculture pioneer in the US. Maria has won numerous awards, including the National Audubon Society’s 2004 “Rachel Carson Award” and the United Nations Population Fund’s 2007 “Award for the Health and Dignity of Women.” She is also founding editor of the company’s newest online venture,, which features the latest news and information about healthy living on a healthy planet, as well as her popular blog, Green America talked with Maria Rodale about her new book, Organic Manifesto (Rodale Books, 2010), and what it’s going to take to change our food system. Green America/Tracy Fernandez Rysavy: Your grandfather founded Rodale, and you’ve taken up his mantle and his cause. You also seem to have inherited his very real passion for organics. Where does this passion come from? Maria Rodale: It does come from inside of me, not something I’m forcing on myself. When you’re in a family lineage

Visit Our Advertisers They Have Great Goods & Services And They Make This Magazine Possible Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 12 Spring 2011


Metal or acrylic sign holders make excellent plant markers. They hold up well and won’t be disturbed by the errant creature who comes in to take a look and a nibble. Metal and wire jewelry displays are great for shaping small decorative plants or topiary design. You could use random shelves to build a small garden hut for keeping your tools and equipment, or for your garden gnomes to hang out in. And then anything colorful – plates, rocks, cups, or clear acrylic with contact paper on it – planted CC Image courtesy of Flickr User: around will give your very dorywithserifs / dory kornfeld green garden some much needed color. And one more crazy idea – take a jewelry showcase and place it face down in your garden. Remove the doors from the back (which is now the top). Fill it with dirt and plant your choice of stuff in it to make an over the top, fabulous container garden. See... we said you could use store fixtures for anything.





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Food continued like this, you have to make a choice— do I want to do this, or don’t I? Nobody should be forced to do anything. I think for me, it starts from a personal love of food and gardening and my children. I had my first child when I was 20, so I started young. All of our research about organics shows that the most important time when women, in particular, get interested in it is when they get pregnant. You have this immense love for this tiny thing that is dependent on you. For me, that happened when I was 20—so I’m gardening, cooking, learning, and reading, and all of a sudden, I felt like I was just put into the right place.


Tracy: We at Green America get asked by our members all the time, “Which is better, organic or local?” I loved the message in your book that unity in the food movement is vital to creating a healthy food supply.

I love sniffing out the Green Living

Journal online 26

Maria: Intellectual debate is hugely important, and the freedom to debate is essential and what is great about America. That freedom to debate means that we also have the freedom to be a vegetarian, a vegan, a meat eater, or the freedom to only eat white food. But that freedom shouldn’t ever be at the expense of poisoning our children and the environment with farm chemicals. There comes a time when in order to get things done, people have to agree—or agree to agree on major

points. There’s enough evidence to know that embracing organic food is the right thing: We’d be a lot healthier, and the planet would be a lot more hospitable to us for a lot longer. Buying local is good, but organic is great, and local and organic is the ideal. Tracy: What about people who are concerned that organic farming is becoming “corporate” and “corrupt”? Maria: I find that attitude disappointing and unrealistic. I personally know Myra Goodman, the cofounder of Earthbound Farm, which is often the target of that kind of criticism. There are very few people who have better intentions and work harder and are doing more good in the environment than Myra. People need to go food shopping. People need business. I think people who complain about companies like Whole Foods don’t remember what it was like before Whole Foods. Back then, organics certainly weren’t available in every community. And regular supermarkets were often sterile warehouses where the only lettuce was iceberg and tomatoes were like red baseballs. Whole Foods brought organic food to places that had never had much access to it. What we really need to do is turn around and face the enemy—the chemical industry—together. And while organic standards are good, we must make them better. We must work

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011

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Food continued together to create the best definition of what organic means: social justice and Fair Trade standards, humanely raised and grass-fed animals, and worker rights, and more all make the label more credible. We can make it true.

Maria: We need to change our paradigm about how to grow food and what food to grow. We’re growing the wrong stuff. You have to change the whole way we think about growing food and farming, and have a more integrated approach. Right now, we grow too much corn and soybean, but it’s land that’s wasted on food both animals and people shouldn’t really eat. Is that that healthy for us and for the planet? NO! Studies from the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial show definitively that organic agriculture is just as productive as “conventional” agriculture -- and even more productive in years of drought and flood. It’s about changing what farming is. You can’t do the same thing without chemicals. You have to change the whole method. We’ll be eating better food, a more diverse diet. Farmers will have more diverse business model. Cows will be happier! Tracy: You note in your book that organic would even be cheaper than conventional if it weren’t for Farm Bill subsidies.

Tracy: What kinds of changes would you like to see in the 2012 Farm Bill? Maria: I would love to see a huge amount of support for farmers to transition to organic. And a huge reduction of support for commodity, chemical, and biofuel farming, and waste. And tougher regulations on the health—antibiotics

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Maria: It’s true. In an effort to preserve American jobs, the latest version, the 2008 Farm Bill, puts farmers on an economic treadmill by providing payment incentives to keep growing crops like corn and soy chemically. It incentivizes the cultivation of foods that make us sick and fat, yet it bears no responsibility for the costs related to all of us being sick and fat. And ironically chemical farming reduces jobs! We’re already paying for the health costs and environmental clean-up costs of this chemical use with our taxes. We’ve also got problems with our health. The US is one of the most developed countries, but we’re not in the top 25 Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 12 Spring 2011


Tracy: The argument I hear about most when it comes to organic is that we can’t possibly feed the world without conventional chemicals and genetically modified organisms.

when it comes to longevity and mortality and education. I do believe there’s a connection to the poisoning that’s happening in our food system.

Food continued and growth hormones and atrazine [an herbicide classified by the EPA as a “likely human carcinogen”] should be banned.

Tracy: Do you have hope that we can get there? Maria: I do have some hope. But it’s going to take people joining together, and getting really active. I don’t think the chemical companies are laughing, but they are probably feeling kind of smug at the fragmentation in the food movement. I’ve been thinking about the Civil Rights movement lately. When you think back, for how many years did people argue over slavery and African-American rights? People could have argued forever, but what finally changed things was the groundswell, the marches, the being loud enough that you can’t be ignored anymore. But that takes a kind of courage and boldness. It’s going to take all of us to change our food system. But I do have hope. Go to for more information. Buy my book and give it to other people, and really get involved in any way that you can. Tap into your own personal passion and embrace diversity and also commit to making positive change. Because it’s going to take all of us. Reprinted with permission from Green America, 800-58-GREEN,


Transportation An Interstate System for Bicyclers A Nationwide Bicycling System is closer to becoming a reality now that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has embraced the creation of a U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS). From the Fast Lane website: “This system will connect urban, suburban, and rural areas. And it will lead to stronger regional connections as neighboring states coordinate their trails into routes. I’m also pleased to see how the FHWA and state and local transportation agencies are working with bicycle advocates and volunteers. That’s the kind of partnership that gets things done. The USBRS is not just a bunch of bike paths; we’re talking about a transportation system. It will facilitate travel between communities and to historic and cultural landmarks. It will give people living in more rural areas a way to travel into a nearby urban area by bicycle. Urban and suburban residents will have better access to rural recreation areas. And--like our interstate highway system--it will facilitate longdistance travel by bicycle, whether across one’s state or across the country. So, whether you’re interested in riding west from Ohio to South Dakota and south to New Mexico, or just want to get to a nearby park, please visit the terrific USBRS resource pages at to learn more about the great network taking root across the nation. The USBRS will generate economic activity, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote a healthier America. And because bicycle infrastructure is relatively inexpensive, the USBRS can achieve these benefits cost-effectively. It’s a win for states, a win for local communities, and a win for America.”

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011

Book Review Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm By Darrell Frey New Society Publishers 2011

• Design and management of an intensive market garden farm • Energy systems and bio-thermal resources • Ecological soil management and pest control • Wetlands usage • Solar greenhouse design and management. Whatever your gardening experience and ambitions, this comprehensive manual is sure to inform and inspire. Darrell Frey is the owner and manager of Three Sisters Farm, a 5 acre permaculture farm, solar greenhouse and market garden located in Western Pennsylvania. Darrell writes extensively on permaculture design and ecological land use planning and has been a sustainable community development consultant and permaculture teacher for 25 years.

“From our orchard to your home.” Ahhh, Spring...

Just the word itself makes you feel warm with enthusiasm and anticipation as the fall bulbs begin to break through the wintered soil with their green little heads. I always look forward to the first blossoming of spring flowers. The beautiful colors and wonderful scents are so spectacular. So fresh. So new.

Our organic products are prepared with the fresh fruits grown on Middleton Organic Orchards and are free of preservatives, artificial flavorings and sulphites. Just pure fruit taste just the way good food was intended to be. From Our Orchard to Your Home we wish you a spring season filled with possibilities, beautiful color, scents and loads of flavor.


- Lori Middleton Columbia River PDX c Green Living Journal d No. 12 Spring 2011


To ensure food security and restore the health of the planet, we need to move beyond industrial agriculture and return to the practice of small-scale, local farming. Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm describes the creation of a sustainable food system through a detailed case study of the successful year-round organic market garden and permaculture design at Pennsylvania’s Three Sisters Farm. At the heart of Three Sisters is its bioshelter — a solar greenhouse which integrates growing facilities, poultry housing, a potting room, storage, kitchen facilities, compost bins, a reference library and classroom area. Bioshelter Mar-

ket Garden examines how the bioshelter promotes greater biodiversity and is an energy efficient method of extending crop production through Pennsylvania’s cold winter months. Both visionary and practical, this fully illustrated book contains a wealth of information on the application of permaculture principles. Some of the topics covered include:

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Earthbag Building Basics in Portland, Oregon March 26th-27th How to be an Agent of Change 6 sessions Starting Mar. 28, Apr. 4, 11, 18, 25, (break) and May 23 Starting Mar. 29, Apr. 5, 12, 19, 26, (break) and May 24

Gorge Local Economies Pioneer Center, White Salmon, WA May 13

City of Beaverton Living Greener Summit Beaverton City Library April 9th

River Peoples Cultural Exchange Lyle, WA May 14th

Hardy Plant Society Spring Sale Portland Expo April 9-10

American College of Healthcare Sciences Online Classes Begin May 16th

Goldendale Home and Garden Show Klickitat County Fair Grounds April 15-17

Village Building Convergence 2011 May 27th - June 5

Washington County Restore Grand Opening Beaverton April 22nd 11th Annual Earth Day City Repair Washington High School April 23rd Earthen House Design Portland, Oregon April 23rd-24th Northwest Solar Expo Oregon Convention Center April 29-May 1 30

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Eastern Oregon Solar Fair La Grande, Or June 4-6 The Oregon Green Expo Medford, OR June24-26 North American Organic Brewers Festival Overlook Park June 24 - 26 Recycled Arts Festival 2011 Ester Short Park Vancouver June 25-26

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A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment c d Spring 2011

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Green Living Journal PDX Spring #12  
Green Living Journal PDX Spring #12  

A Practical Journal for Friends of the Environment. Small Houses, National Bike System, Warre Bee Hive, Organic Manifesto, Credit Unions, Bu...