Spring Creek Homesteading Update – Workshops & More

Please forward (12.30.13 SCHF Update) to friends & family who may be interested in homesteading workshops, energy activism at Penn State and general information about the transition to a steady-state economy in the State College area.

WINTER 2014 WORKSHOPS 

Spring Creek Homesteading is offering four workshops this winter. Maximum class size is 10. All classes will be held at 156 West Hamilton Ave. Register by calling 237-0996 or emailing. Suggested donations are payable by cash or check on the day of the class.

  • Making Sauerkraut Workshop – Saturday, January 18 – 9 a.m. to noon at 156 West Hamilton Ave. Instructors: Scott DiLoreto & Anne Quinn Corr. $12 per person suggested donation; proceeds go to instructors.
  • Beer Brewing & Beer Bottling Workshop – Saturday, January 25 (Brewing) and Saturday, February 8 (Bottling) – 9 a.m. to noon at 156 West Hamilton Ave. Instructor: Josh Lambert $12 per person suggested donation (for two-part class); proceeds go to instructor.
  • People’s Movements & Penn State Discussion Group – Saturdays, February 8, 15 and 22 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 156 West Hamilton Ave. Moderator: Katherine Watt. Free. Pre-requisite: Read Howard Zinn – A People’s History of the United States.
  • All About Peppers Workshop – Saturday, February 22 – 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 156 West Hamilton Ave. Instructor: Matt Sullenberger. $12 per person suggested donation; proceeds go to instructor.

SPRING CREEK HOMESTEADING NEWS

We got approved by the IRS for our 501(c)3 designation in November 2013, so donations are now tax-deductible (retroactive to August 2011) and we are now eligible for grants that require applicants to have the IRS designation.

I’m no longer posting information at the Spring Creek Homesteading blog, except for issues of Steady State College – a mini-newspaper with a similar focus on reskilling and transitioning to the post-carbon economy, but from a wider angle. More info below.

Next Homesteaders’ Potluck will be Saturday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at 156 West Hamilton Ave. Max. 20 guests. RSVP by phone (237-0996) or email.

Keller Street Community Garden had a productive year for food crops and thanks to Justin Wheeler, now has a beautiful pollinator garden as well, satellite to the Snetsinger Garden at Tudek Park. Roughly half of the dozen gardeners are returning next year, so there will be five or six open plots available. Plots are 5′ by 20′ (100 square feet) and cost is $25 refundable deposit plus $25 non-refundable land use fee for the 2014 growing season. Located behind the Friends Meeting House at 611 East Prospect Ave. Call 237-0996 or email if you’re interested.

FRIENDS & FARMERS COOPERATIVE

I’ve joined the interim Friends & Farmers Co-op board of directors as treasurer. The membership campaign will kick off first week of March. For more information, check out the Frequently Asked Questions page at the Friends & Farmers website. Also, Save the Date! January 26 at 5 p.m. Friends & Farmers Fundraising Dinner at Spats Cafe. Tickets are $38 and will be available online shortly.

FOSSIL-FREE PENN STATE 

Since last March, I’ve been involved in a citizens’ campaign to steer Penn State’s long-term energy strategy away from fossil fuels and toward deep retrofit conservation and renewables (documented at State College Energy Sovereignty Task Force). By mid-summer, the group successfully compelled Penn State to change the route of a Columbia Gas natural gas transmission pipeline from the Highlands neighborhood to the University Park campus; construction began in October and is ongoing.

Unfortunately, efforts to gain a community voice at the decision-making table on energy issues beyond the pipeline have encountered severe institutional resistance among politically-insulated power-holders in the Penn State administration, and significant apathy and/or fear of reprisal among Penn State students, faculty and staff.

Information-gathering efforts through the DEP office in Williamsport continue, and I’m also organizing a short series of discussion workshops on “People’s Movements and Penn State” for interested people to discuss ways to use the hard-fought wisdom of historic people’s movements to generate significant, democratizing change in Penn State’s energy strategic planning process over the next few years. The group will meet Saturday afternoons, February 8, 15 and 22, from 1 to 3 p.m. at 156 West Hamilton Ave. Maximum group size: 10. Penn State students especially welcome. Registration is free; sign up by phone (237-0996) or email. Pre-requisite: Read Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. Optional suggested reading: Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities.

STEADY STATE COLLEGE

Steady State College is a fortnightly publication covering local democracy, food, energy, skill-building, and investment during the transition to a steady-state economy. It launched September 16, 2013 in online and print versions to merge content formerly posted at the Spring Creek Homesteading and State College Energy Sovereignty Task Force blogs. Print copies are available at Webster’s Books & Cafe in the shadowbox on the ramp and back issues are online at the Steady State College blog. Next edition will be out January 6. Contributing writers welcome.

Topics include:

  • DEMOCRACY – Locally-controlled decision-making activities such as government meetings and legislation, public hearings and community-based organizational meetings
  • FOOD – Local food system building blocks such as Friends & Farmers Cooperative; community, school and church gardens; community kitchens; farms & farmers’ markets; potlucks; gleaning programs; and food banks
  • ENERGY – Local energy system-building activities such as conservation programs; fossil fuel and renewable energy infrastructure developments
  • SKILL-BUILDING – Local skill-building programs including workshops in homesteading skills like cooking, baking, food preservation, woodworking and fiber crafts; Happy Valley Timebank; homesteading book & magazine libraries; and tool libraries
  • INVESTMENT – Local investment activities such as microfunding, crowdfunding, credit unions, buying clubs, local currencies, local investment and mutual funds, targeted CDs, slow money clubs and “slow munis” (municipal bonds).

Best wishes to everyone for a Happy New Year in 2014, and again, please forward this message to friends & family who may be interested in the information.

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