Tags >> conservation
May 21
2009

Fernwood Cemetery

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , technology , resources , nonprofit orgs , Marin , families , environment , conservation , chemicals

Bruce Robinson

If death is thought of as a natural part of the life cycle, why not burial as well? That's the approach being taken by a Marin County cemetery.

 The view from the hilltop at Fernwood Cemetery, with the historic gravesite area in the foreground. The newer, natural burial area is downslope and to the left. While the details of natural burial are certainly non-tradition,  manager Kathy Curry says the funeral or memorial services accompanying those burials can be whatever  the deceased of their family want them to be.

For those who are comfortable with the concept of natural burial, Fernwood Cemetery manager Kathy Curry adds that it can be significantly less expensive, too.

You can read a short history of  Fernwood Cemetery here, and locate it on the map below.

May 13
2009

Land Paths

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , volunteer , Sonoma , resources , recreation , parks , nonprofit orgs , environment , conservation , community engagement , coast , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

The Sonoma County non-profit Land Paths, founded a dozen years ago to help connect urban residents to the natural world around them, is finding that goal taking them in some unexpected new directions.

Landpaths' mission is "to foster a love of the land in Sonoma County," a broad goal that underlies their many day-to-day activities. The common thread among them, observes Executive Director Craig Anderson, is a shared appreciation for the natural world, and a willingness to listen.

 LandPaths offers both a busy list of hikes and other activities , and a wealth of volunteer opportunities such as creating new hiking trails (below).

 They also have a lovely online photo gallery of scenes from Sonoma County's outdoors.

Apr 29
2009

Good Humus Farm

Posted by Bruce Robinson in food , farms , environment , economy , conservation , chemicals , business , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

 Organic farming is hardly a novelty any more in Northern California, but that's only one way this kind of agriculture has changed over the past 30 years.

 Jeff and Annie Mains and their Good Humus Farm in Yolo County are one of the quintet of family farms featured in the new 5-part public radio series, Five Farms. There's more about the series below.

 Having spent three decades as an organic farmer, Jeff Mains has seen that business model undergo some big changes, a transformation that leaves his more than a little uneasy.

 Flowers, fruit, tomatoes and an array of other brightly colored produce are on display at the Good Humus Farm booth at the Davis Farmers market, which Annie Mains helped establish as a student in the  1970s. 

Counterbalancing the industrialization of organic farming is the mounting interest in sustainability and local sourcing for food. That's what gives Jeff his optimism about the future.

'FIVE FARMS: STORIES FROM
AMERICAN FARM FAMILIES'

Most Americans know little about where their food comes from and even less about the lives of farming families who plant, water, feed, herd, harvest and deliver that food to market. "Five Farms: Stories From American Farm Families" confronts that information gap head on.

This remarkable series of five one-hour documentaries uses compelling first-person storytelling to personalize the lives and work of five farm families in New England, the South, the Midwest, the Southwest and West Coast. By tracking these families for a full year-long cycle of the seasons, "Five Farms" reveals the resiliency of the American farmer and documents what they do to help feed the nation, while being caretakers and conservationists of the lands and resources they use. "Five Farms" profiles people who work hard and make considerable sacrifices, but who can also flourish, and for whom the benefits - including a deep understanding of the land they work - are rich.

William MacLeish introduces each episode of this powerful series, helping listeners make the critical connection between the food on their tables and families who work to produce it.

 

Apr 14
2009

John Muir

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , water , trees , students , speaker , sacred , resources , recreation , policy , parks , Ideas , history , Health , events , environment , education , conservation , author

Bruce Robinson

 John Muir (right) died 95 years ago, but he still speaks to modern day California. And not just through his writings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retired Methodist minister Don Baldwin (seen here in character) has embraced the role of ground-breaking environmentalist John Muir in public appearances throughout northern California and beyond.

 


         

 Even after studying biographies and Muir's own extensive writings, Don Baldwin remains amazed by the early environmentalist's ability to survive handily in the wilderness with the most minimal supplies.

 

 

 

 

 Despite his capacity for extended solo sojourns,  Baldwin reports that Muir was also a highly social person, when he came back down from the mountains.

 

 

 "John Muir" will be appearing twice in Sonoma County on Sunday, April 19th, first at the 11 am service at the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Santa Rosa  and at 2 pm in Sebastopol for the annual Earth Elders event (left) at Luther Burbank's historic Gold Ridge Farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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