Wednesday, February 27, 2013

RC Electric Update

 On Monday the 25th of February, A few of us including Joe Conner visited Oliver's Garage with intention to clean out the garage and install the headliner. Joe Conner will be aiding us in the installation of the headliner. He will teach us how to install and we all will gain a valuable skill. But when, we arrived those tasks were not able to be completed due to weather conditions and technical issues with design. Our visit wasn't a complete failure because we made dimensions for the Front and Rear Doors in order to make a template for our door panels. This will aid us in showing how the door panels will be installed but also make it able to put in the canals for the windows and help with the headliner installation. We are planning for another group to go up and clean out the garage and put in the headliner after spring break when weather won't be a factor and we have the right equipment.

Transition Staunton Project

With the poster completed, the Lasagna Bed group is looking to the future to establish dates to plan a trip to Staunton after spring break. The goals of this trip are to strengthen our ties with our groups in Staunton and familiarize our class with the garden site. What we are waiting for at the moment is a return dialogue from our friends in Staunton for ideas about dates and a final response to the Lasagna Bed Proposal.
Additionally there is hope to set up a separate trip to the local glass blowing shop in Staunton, which would be open to students at Roanoke college. This would be a day trip to have a basic glass blowing lesson with a potential,self made, souvenir.
The final task for our group is to determine the location of the Boar's Head Dinner, whether in Staunton or here in Salem , and send out necessary invitations. The emphasis of this dinner will be to stress the use of local products and produce.

The EC Tree planting is moving along nicely and it looks like we may have most of our trees ordered before Spring break. Last class we contacted highland Hill Farm about purchasing two copper beech trees. We discovered that they do not deliver to our region. Fortunately, Dr.Cawley is traveling in that direction over break and has offered to pick the trees up for us. Today I will be meeting with Bill Martin to discuss the budget for the project and to hopefully order the remainder of the trees (cherry and cedar).

I have been in contact with Earthbound and they have agreed to sponsor an event the day we plant the trees. We have proposed two possible dates: April 6th or April 20th. Once we have a date set we can begin inviting the orphans who planted the original trees on EC now and contacting PR to highlight the event.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

EC Tree Planting Updates

Our GIS map proposal was presented by Bill Martin to the board and was well received all around! We have also completed a poster on our project that gives background information on each of the trees we plan to plant this semester (cherry, cedar, and American chestnut) as well as the Southern Lutheran Orphanage, which used to be located on EC. We hope to present the poster during the colleges week of experiential learning.

In other news, Elizabeth Medical Parl LLC, has offered to be a sponsor for our project. They would like to purchase the cherry trees, given that the school will match their donation. They also suggested that we purchase two copper beech trees to plant in front of Elizabeth Hall. We have contacted Bill Martin regarding a budget for the project, and are waiting patiently to hear back. We have also reached out to Earthbound, asking if they would be interested in sponsoring an event centered around the planting of our trees during earth week. We hope that the event will be an opportunity to gather our campus community as well as alumni from the orphanage, who we will be inviting.

Staunton Poster Completion!

The poster for the Community Garden in Staunton VA was printed last week. Unfortunately, due to some type-spacing and spelling errors we were unable to claim that poster as a final product. Alterations have been made to correct these problems, and the poster is now complete! After it is printed in the print shop off of its new PDF format, to insure quality, it will be complete!

What we are working on now is getting in contact with personnel from Transition Staunton, the Local Food Task Force, and Mary Baldwin College in order to locate sources for biodegradable food material for the lasagna beds, establish a relationship with the Mary Baldwin College Community, and ultimately establish dates to visit and begin working on the additional raised lasagna beds.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Staunton Poster Update

Last week Clare Lloyd Owen and Sam Schultz worked on creating a poster to showcase the proposal, goals, and eventual implementation for the community garden project in Staunton Virginia. The poster should be completed by the end of this week, if not by Tuesday Feb 12. Its completion will be greatly sped up pending the review of Dr. Cawley of the information selected to be placed on the poster early in the week.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dunstan Chestnut Trees and GIS map Updates

Today we ordered ten chestnut trees from Chestut Hill Tree Farm. We chose Dunstan Chestnut trees because they are resistant to chestnut blight. The blight was introduced in 1904 and wiped out virtually all American chestnut trees on the east coast. The loss of the American chestnut tree was considered on of the worst ecological disasters in America, as we lost a mojor food source in our forest ecosystems. It also had an economic impact on the Appalachian region as its lumber was used for a wide variety of products. The Dunstan variety is a hybrid that can be traced back to American and Chinese lineage. A great history of the American Chestnut can be found on Chestnut Hill Tree Farm's Website. I was informed that our trees can be expected to arrive in late March or early April.

In addition to ordering the chestnut trees we were able to complete a GIS map showing the existing trees on EC as well as the planned locations for the chestnut, cherry, and cedar trees we plan on planting this year. We will be reviewing the map one last time with Dr. Cawley tomorrow in class and hopefully submitting it to Bill Martin for the board meeting later this week.

Lastly, we looked into what trees were available from Sharp Top, another nursery we may potentially be ordering from. They have a variety of cedars in stock, however they do not have beech. We may have to look into using an alternative such as birch, oak, maples, or elm.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Transition Town of Staunton Proposal

Print:    By Rob Hopkin. From The Transition Handbook
For the past week both Sam Schultz and Clare Lloyd Owen have been working on a proposal for the Transition Town of Staunton. The proposal entitled the “Proposal for lasagna bed composting of raised beds at Transition Town of Staunton Community Garden, Augusta County, Virginia" proposes the installation of lasagna bedding at the town garden. Lasagna bedding is a new type of gardening that utilizes layering both food and paper waste to enrich the soil with the addition of earth worms. This Transition Town hopes to become more sustainable with the production of food back to the local level it once was. This proposal will be brought down to the town of Staunton tomorrow to be proposed to the town by Dr. Cawley.

The following are the main steps of the transition movement:

Step 1: Set Up a Steer Group and Design its Demise from the Onset
Step 2: Awareness Raising
Step 3: Lay the Foundation
Step 4: Host an official “unleashing” event
Step 5: Form working groups around specific themes
Step 6: Facilitate community involvement
Step 7: Develop Visible Practical Manifestations of the Project
Step 8: Facilitate the Great Reskilling
Step 9: Build a Bridge to Local Government
Step 10: Honor the elders
Step 11: Let it go where it wants to go…
Step 12: Create an Energy Descent Plan

Sunday, February 3, 2013

According to our liason Joseph Lombard from Transition Staunton, Local foods are one of the hot-button items --with a Local Foods Task Force, which Joseph attends.  Hopefully he will be adding his own blog entries here on our site as well.  In the mean time, it seems appropriate to glance at where some of the more developed Transition Towns are on this topic. 

Although Roanoke College has done its February Boarshead Meal, and various 30-mile and Harvest Dinners for nearly a decade now, so far this year there has been no organization among the envi majors yet to make one happen this semester.  Perhaps this information below will inspire either Earthbound or Envi majors to put something together before we miss this spring entirely....

I will try to find some photos from earlier meals we have done for posting here in a bit. 
Transition Cities Somerset (UK)

"Food is often where Transition initiatives start, and it offers a great way of finding common ground, given that everyone interacts with food on a daily basis! Here is a taster (pardon the pun) of some of the varied projects under way. Some start by planting productive trees in urban spaces. Transition Town Finsbury Park planted fruit trees around their local train station, and Taunton Transition Town developed their ‘Tasty Borough’ scheme with the local council, planting traditional apple varieties around the town (leading to a dreadful pun on their website about wanting to ‘put Taunton Deane at the core of the apple country’). Transition City Lancaster’s urban tree-growing project is called ‘Fruity Corners’.

Transition Town Tooting’s annual Foodival is a great way of reaching people and bridging cultural divides. Growers from across the area bring their surplus produce, which is cooked by a range of local cooks in different ethnic styles. One of the intentions of the Foodival is to create new traditions, which was apparent at the 2010 event when two local people were overheard having a conversation: “Has this happened before?” The reply was, “Oh they do it every year”, in spite of its being only in its third year!

Some Transition initiatives, such as Tunbridge Wells, Bramcote and Wollaton, Ashtead and Forest Row, are creating community allotments, where people for whom a whole plot feels daunting get together and share one. One of the earliest incarnations of this idea was in Transition Canterbury, where they also keep a very informative blog about what they are learning and how it is progressing.

Other Transition communities, such as Wandsworth in London, Louth and Ashburton, have set up community gardens, where people learn to grow food together and support each other. Inspired by the Fife Diet, some places are experimenting with eating a seasonal and local diet. Transition groups in North Cornwall and in the New Forest are exploring the practicalities of eating a more local diet, and what this can teach us about food relocalisation.

Some places are setting up their own community-supported farms, for example Glastonbury, Matlock, Stroud and Kippax (near Leeds). Here the community owns shares in the farm and is involved in what it grows. Transition Town Kinsale set up a community supported agriculture scheme (CSA) with a local farmer to produce potatoes and oats for its members. Transition Town Dorchester are creating a two-acre community farm on land made available by the Duchy of Cornwall for a peppercorn rent. Many places produce a local food directory to help people source local produce: Forest Row, Glastonbury, South Kerrier in Cornwall and High Wycombe have done so, and Transition Cheltenham is going for an online rather than a printed version."

And this one : These are the sorts fo things that our neighbors in other places are concentrating on--it sounds like they are having a fair bit of fun.

The Transition Ipswich 30-Mile Food Challenge, September 2012

 by Lucy Drake, originally published by Transition Network  | Jan 23, 2013

Probably our most successful events, in terms of people clamouring for more, were four Cook Local evenings, held at the WI demonstration kitchen in Ipswich. This was a well-equipped venue with space for 12 people to cook and eat together. The first, pasta-making, gave everyone a chance to discover how easy it was with local flour, eggs and rape seed oil, especially if instructed by someone who knew what they were doing! [Image 3] An old-fashioned clothes airer proved perfect for drying the strips of pasta while we cooked up 5 or 6 sauces from local ingredients, then somehow found space for a damson and plum desserts.  Vegetarian, beef and game evenings were on successive weeks.
We are lucky in Suffolk to have a lot of excellent local food suppliers and almost everything we needed could be sourced within 10 miles, but for some things, and certainly for the best quality and choice, we had to drive out of Ipswich to get it. Most notably for butter – we were determined to make an apple pie! We really appreciated Marybelle at Halesworth as one of the very few remaining local suppliers of milk, cream and yoghurt.  They do doorstep deliveries in Ipswich but they didn’t do butter.  Through the wonders of the web we tracked down Domini Dairy a small family business, just over 30 miles away in Norfolk. Kirsty and I were heading north to pick up a selection of traditional apples from a grower and attend Sustainable Bungay’s Happy Mondays meal. A few phone calls led to an assignation on a village green in N Suffolk where blocks of frozen butter were transferred from one cool-bag to another. It certainly felt like precious contraband - and a lot of other people had put in orders once they had heard where we were going.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Joseph Lombard, liason with Transition Staunton, played banjo and sang wednesday evening from 9:00 to 10:30 PM in the Cavern in the Colket Center at Roanoke College. Joseph has been working with us on our projects. He is a member of the Local Food Task Force for Transition Staunton. We had very good reception despite torrential downpour that evening. Thursday night Joseph gave a jam session for our campus representatives and several alums at the Pompeii Room in Stauton. He presented the proposal posters for the Elizabethean Pocket Orchard and the video project. We look forward to having Joseph and the Winter Line back again, sponsored by Earthbound during Earth week April 2013.
From: Caitlin Mitchell []
Sent: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 9:47 AM
To: King, Kyle; Cawley, Jon
Subject: RC Electric--possible story, advising and funding
Dr. Cawley and Kyle,

I don't know if you recall, but I wrote a story about RC Electric early last semester for Roanoke College's Public Relations Office. In addition to working for Roanoke's Public Relations Office, I am also and intern at Neathawk, Dubuque & Packett, which is a PR agency in Downtown Roanoke.

At Neathawk, Dubuque & Packett, I am working on a possible opportunity for one of our clients, who specializes in electric cars, to help RC Electric with the classic car conversion. I am unable to tell you all of the details at this point until we confirm with our client, but this has the potential to be a great partnership between our client and RC Electric.

What I would need from you both is a list of services you might need. Beyond simply funding, what else could this electric car shop offer you? I know last time we met, you mentioned that your goal this year was to complete a lot of the smaller remodeling projects of the car this year (i.e. wiring and upholstery). Please let me know any other specific services that this car company could offer you, and I will work my magic on my end.

This has the potential to result in future media stories and a lot of benefits for RC Electric and its students, so your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much for your time, and I am looking forward to working with you further.

Caitlin Mitchell
ND&P | Neathawk Dubuque & Packett
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