Learn about this innovative raised-bed technique as well as other permaculture principles at upcoming workshop



Learn about permaculture
GRUB’s Stephanie Elliott sent me an email recently about the upcoming Intro to Permaculture Workshop on June 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., hosted by Cultivating Community NV. Stephanie and Brian Ladwig-Cooper, owners of Gaia Creations Ecological Landscaping & Permaculture Solutions, will lead the workshop, which will introduce attendees to the basic principles (and ethics) of permaculture. Methods of effective food production in our area’s Mediterranean climate will be taught. Also, learn how to create a water-conserving “Hugelkultur” (German for “mound culture”) garden bed that will help control Bermuda grass.

“Permaculture is an integrated system of design encompassing not only agriculture, architecture and ecology, but also land access strategies and money management for businesses and communities,” according to a flier from Elliott. “The aim is to create systems that provide for their own needs, do not pollute and are sustainable for future generations to inherit. Conservation of soil, water and energy are central to permaculture as are food production and food storage methods that enable communities to rely upon each other for their basic needs.”

Fee for the workshop, which will take place at 875 Miller Ave., is on a sliding scale, from $5 to $15. Participants are asked to bring a dish to share at the workshop’s potluck lunch; beverages will be provided.

Go to to register. Call Monica Bell at 588-0441 for more information.

Small-farmer scholarships
Cultivating Community NV has extended the deadline to June 25 for applications for mini-grants of $240 each to aid small farmers in Butte County.

Small farmers: Don’t miss out on free money!

“Are you a new or young food grower wanting to try your hand at selling produce you grow?” reads the project’s website. “Cultivating Community is offering ten $240 mini-grants to lower-income urban and rural food growers to encourage them to sell at small farmers’ markets a minimum of 6 times in 2012.”

Go to to learn more and to apply. Applications may also be obtained from Richard Roth by calling 624-8844.

Cultivating Community NV, as representative Julie Estep points out, “is a project supported by a Specialty Crop Block Grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture and awarded to the [Chico State] Research Foundation.”

McLaughlin memorial
Suzanne Hanson, longtime partner of late local cycling advocate Ed McLaughlin, who passed away May 24 after a short illness, wanted me to spread the word that a memorial/celebration of Ed’s life will take place on Saturday, June 23, from 3 to 6 p.m., in the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Big Room.

Celebrate Ed’s life—Chico is a better place for cyclists (and everyone else) because of him.

“The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.” –Iris Murdoch

“Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race.” –H.G. Wells

Mark your calendar
Habitat for Humanity of Butte County has just announced its Raising the Roof Benefit Concert & Silent Auction, June 30, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., at Pleasant Valley High School’s Center for the Arts. Pianists Robert Bowman and Mark Friedman are among the local musicians in the lineup. Go to for tickets.