All posts by PJC

February 2015: Creating Diverse, Edible Landscapes

Transform your yard into a beautiful place full of food, flowers,  medicinal plants—a landscape friendly to birds, bees, butterflies  and other allies.  We’ll show ways to do all of this and more, with  fruit and nut trees, useful perennial plants, native wildflowers, rainwater collection—increase your household resilience while you beautify your landscape and neighborhood, it’s a win-win!

We’re meeting Wednesday, February 18th at 7pm in the Community Room (same building as the Village Clerk’s office), downtown at 125 S. Main St., Lawton, MI 49065. All are welcome, so please join us!

Edible Landscaping Flyer

January 2015: Brainstorming

Transition Towns are an international program to help towns and cities across the world work together to build local resilience in the face of climate changes, oil depletion, and economic crisis. (see transitionus.com)

We’re meeting on Wednesday the 21st at 7pm to talk about what programs we want to offer this year. Please let us know what YOU are interested in seeing (and helping out with) to make Lawton more vibrant and resilient.

We are an all-volunteer, small grassroots organization. Last year we published an awesome, free Local Food Guide (made with zero advertising or budget), held educational film programs such as Food, Inc., FLOW (How Did a Handful of Corporations Steal our Water?), and The Sanctity of Sanctuary; we held “reskilling” events like Canning and Freezing, Probiotic Fermentation, Medicinal Herbs, Solar Dehydrators and Ovens; we held a spring seed exchange and continue to monitor our Seed Bank in the Lawton Public Library, and work with 4th and 5th graders in the Elementary School garden. We also had a campaign to get backyard Chickens accepted in the Village ordinances — not successful, but at least it opened the discussion! We can’t do these without you and your support, so please join us!

Local Lawton Meeting Flyer, 1/15

Solar Cooking Demo / Potluck

We met at Lewis Park (Kids’ Dream park, south of town on M-40) Sunday August 3 at 3pm for a presentation on solar dehydrators, solar ovens, and an informal potluck meal (bring whatever you like, doesn’t have to be cooked by the sun!). We talked about ways of preserving the harvest and demonstrated how a simple homemade dehydrator works, as well as a solar oven. See the flyer and event photos below!

Saolar Cooking Flyer

Local Food & Farm Guide

Hot off the Press and Ready for Summer!

We’re very pleased to present a project we worked on over this last long, cold winter: a Local Food and Farm Guide made just for Lawton! It features most everything within a 10-mile radius—farm stands, farmers’ markets, CSAs, nurseries, other supportive business and more!

We’ll be adding this information to the website soon (as webpages and a Google map), but in the meantime you can view a PDF of the guide below, or pick up a printed copy at Adams Hardware, the Lawton Public Library, or the Village Clerk’s office (other locations to be announced soon). Let’s support our local farmers, growers and businesses!

Local Lawton Food and Farm Guide

June 2014: Water Issues

We met in June to watch an excellent film about water, and followed that with a lively discussion of the many issues presented in the film, as well as a few more which weren’t covered (like “Fracking,” which has recently arrived in West Michigan). Take-aways:

  1. Bottled water is bad news (secret: it’s just tap water from somewhere else, and is less-regulated and less-tested than municipal drinking water). Moreover, people often pay more for it per gallon than gasoline, even while they have perfectly safe water freely available to drink!
  2. Water privatization is a huge issue, especially in the “developing” world, where people’s rights are being undercut by ruthless corporations, who are forcing them to either pay dearly for what used to be free, or drink from polluted streams and lakes, with many getting sick and dying from the latter.
  3. There are a lot of concerns locally about aquifers and wells being ruined by the “fracking” process, as well as the wastefulness and unsustainability of large-scale irrigation pumping by industrial agriculture to grow commodity crops (humans don’t generally eat GMO field corn / soybeans directly). The aquifers are being pumped down at a much faster rate than they’re being replenished, which has already caused thousands of wells to run dry in the more arid west—this will happen in Michigan if we don’t change our ways!

Here’s a trailer for the movie we saw:

Water Meeting Poster

May 2014: Medicinal Herbs

This Sunday’s meeting: Herbs for the Family

Come and learn some of the herbs which can help your family with everyday health issues. We will meet at the Lawton Community Room, 125 S. Main St. (same building as the Library/Clerk’s office), from 3-5 pm., Sunday May 4.

Herb Garden

This will also be the meeting where we debut the Local Food Guides we’ve worked so hard on putting together, hot off the press. See you then!

UPDATE: We had a great meeting and learned a lot from Rita, who has been working with medicinal herbs for decades. Thanks to all who attended!

Herbal Medicine Meeting

Medicinal Herbs

Spring Seed Exchanges

For the last couple of years we’ve met in late winter to talk about, share and trade garden seeds.

This is a great way to learn more about gardening, meet neighbors, and learn which varieties do best in our area. It’s also a way for those without the financial means to still grow a garden (in conjunction with our free local Seed Library inside the Lawton Public Library and/or the Lawton Community Garden). We shared seeds for vegetables, flowers, herbs, native plants, grains and more! Here are a few photos from past events, we hope you’ll join us next year!

Local Lawton Seed Exchange

Local Lawton Seed Exchange

Local Lawton Seed Exchange

Last Fall we also had a seed-saving workshop where we showed how to save seeds from many common garden plants.

March 2014: Fermented Foods

At this meeting, we discussed and sampled a wide variety of naturally-fermented foods. Foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, wine, beer, cheese, chocolate, soy sauce, kombucha, miso, kimchi, are all fermented and these, along with many others, are consumed daily all over the world.

We watched a video by master fermenter Sandor Ellix Katz, learned about the process and the health benefits of of preserving food this way, and had samples of homemade sauerkraut, miso soup, as well as dill pickles, sourdough bread, kimchi, pickled radish, pickled greens, and more.

Here’s a short video introducing you to the concepts, followed by a longer, more in-depth demonstration video like the one we watched, for those who want more detail.

August 2013: Field Trip to Stone Circle Farm

We visited Stone Circle Farm—the home of Rita and Norm Bober,  south of Lawton. We saw how they are working on sustainability during a tour of their 15 acres, including a passive-solar home, PV solar array, fruit and nut orchard, vegetable garden, small livestock, medicinal plants, trees, shrubs and more! Rita and Norm are founding members of Local Lawton  and it was great to see how they live lightly on the earth on this beautiful property.

September 2013: Community Potluck Picnic

We met at Lewis Park for a picnic & discussion—where we got to know some neighbors and community families. We brought dishes to share (mostly stuff from our own gardens or the Lawton’s Farmers Market), our own tableware, plates and drinks. Families were welcome. We talked about what we’ve been doing as a group and looked toward future projects, such as a possible tool-lending library, fix-it shop, and more. Great time had by all, as usual!

Potluck Plate