Community Inspired  Solutions for a Sustainable Future

Post date: Oct 06, 2010 2:19:8 PM

By Judy Ferber for the Hay River Review, October 2010

The Hay River Transition Initiative (HRTI) began meeting about a year and a half ago. The mission of the HRTI is to foster local, low energy, community-inspired solutions for a sustainable future. I’d like to tell you about some of the things HRTI did this summer and also tell you about things that are coming up.  


Garden Till-a-thon: For those who wanted to have a garden tilled, we came to your home and roto-tilled up a spot in your yard. Alternative Energy Tour:  Eighteen people carpooled around this area and saw and heard about a highly-insulated home with a solar hot-water array, a prototype of a compost heater, a hybrid heat-pump, a masonry stove, a large photovoltaic array that follows the sun, a ground-source heat pump, an underground home, a timber-frame home with straw-bale side walls, a passive solar/super-insulated home, and a wind generator along with another PV for electric generation.  


Plant swap at Pioneer Park with very generous folks sharing their extra bedding plants, plus lots of interested gardeners on hand to share their plants and knowledge with one another.  


Community Conservation Carnival on the Village Hall grounds. Solar shower float in the Dairy Days parade. First Stone Soup suppers in both Ridgeland and Prairie Farm.


Stone Soup suppers in Ridgeland, Dallas and Prairie Farm.


Last Stone Soup supper of the summer in Ridgeland and Prairie Farm. Canning class at United Lutheran Church in Prairie Farm. SHARE is up and running!*

What’s coming up? Watch for information on 2011 Stone Soup suppers with a full-on farmers’ market at each one. In the meantime a series of traditional skills classes and workshops are being planned. These classes could include foraging for wild mushrooms, learning basic ferrier skills, or making a solar dehydrator. Perhaps a spinning class.  How about a wine and beer making class? The list goes on. New friendships will be forged along with the learning.  Together we will be a stronger community because of our new skills and because of our new relationships with each other.  

SHARE Email list serve (Now the TellAll Email List group)

Have you signed up for SHARE yet? I have and I love it! I received my first message on September 19. It was a message inviting folks to come pick at a U-pick raspberry patch. (That had my attention!) Since then I’ve received messages about a house for rent, someone wanting a retired cell phone, someone with black walnuts to give away, another person with two goats needing a good home, lawn mowers for sale, a lost dog… You get the idea. I get my messages bundled into one daily message so that I don’t get too many messages each day. The group email list-serve is for folks right here in our own communities—Dallas, Ridgeland and Prairie Farm. To sign up, go to our website for Hay River Transition Initiative: On the left side bar you’ll see “Share email list.” Just click on the link below it and an email will be sent to get you signed up. Tell your friends and neighbors to sign up, too. You’ll be glad you did. Think of it as our very own classified ad service.

There have been so many political ads on the radio and television lately. We can all become so polarized politically. And yet…if one of us were in crisis, the community would rally around us without regard to our political views.  If a disaster happened in our community, we would all pull together. You’ve seen it happen. So have I. We need to remember as we watch the political signs and advertisement pop up everywhere that even someone I wouldn’t vote for may be a good neighbor to me. A good way to make new friends is to spend time working together on something.  Hope to see you at a traditional skills class this fall.