‘Mending for the People,’ and other excellence

Artist/mender Michael Swaine’s Dec. 5 Chico State talk tops list of compelling holiday-time events

Michael Swaine mends clothing in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

Michael Swaine mends clothing in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

Video still courtesy of cameron kelly

Mender extraordinaire
On Thursday, Dec. 5 (that’s tonight!), at 7 p.m., Bay Area artist Michael Swaine, a member of Bay Area art collective Futurefarmers, will present a free lecture titled “Object As Action” at Chico State’s Ayres Hall, room 201.

A bit about Swaine: Once a month, he sets up shop in San Francisco’s hardscrabble Tenderloin neighborhood with his old treadle-powered sewing machine and mends people’s clothing while he chats with them and anyone else who wants to strike up a conversation. Besides being helpful to those in need of repaired clothing, his mending mission is, as a press release announcing his Chico talk put it, “an opportunity to create social interaction where there would otherwise be none.”

Go to www.tinyurl.com/menderman to watch Swaine’s touching video, “Mending for the People”—seven minutes well spent.

Holiday fair!
Lana Kitchel, co-owner of Kitchel Family Organics Farm (25255 Third Ave. in Los Molinos), let me know that her farm is hosting its fourth annual Holiday Fair on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Let’s make the holidays affordable and give the best presents: locally produced and crafted fair-trade gifts!” says the flier for the event, adding that one can buy, sell and trade at this event. The list of items on offer from the farm and the various vendors attending includes locally grown fruits and vegetables, heirloom walnuts, olive oil, gourmet chocolates, garden art, wood carvings, jewelry, ornaments, candles, soaps, handmade clothing and “quality recycled items.”

Go to kitchelfamilyorganics.com to learn more about Kitchel Family Organics Farm.

Good food in the ’hood
Stephen Tchudi, co-director along with Nea Edwards of the Chapmantown: Good Food Now! project, sent me a press release about two upcoming free workshops—“How to Start a Cottage Industry”—on Friday, Dec. 6, at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m., at the Chapmantown Farmers’ Market (in the park at East 16th and C streets).

“At these workshops, we’ll talk about how the law [Assembly Bill 1616—the California Homemade Food Act] works, and describe the process of getting certified as a cottage kitchen … a home kitchen for the preparation, packaging, storage or handling of cottage-food products, as well as the ingredients and equipment used to make the foods,” Tchudi said.

“There’s really a wide range of things you can make,” said Edwards, “including baked goods, pasta, pies and tamales, herb mixes, popcorn, and even waffle cones.”

Information will also be provided on how to become a Chapmantown Farmers’ Market vendor.

Gandhi workshop
The Chico Peace and Justice Center (526 Broadway) is hosting a free, all-day workshop titled “Gandhi and the Call to Integral Nonviolence” on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“While many regard economic and environmental exploitation, rampant materialism, war and mass incarceration as utterly contrary to their moral convictions, most of us struggle to articulate and manifest the nonviolent alternatives to which we feel called,” said a recent CPJC newsletter, explaining the impetus for this event.

For more info and to reserve a space, send an email to chico-peace@sbcglobal.net or call 893-9078.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. –Mahatma Gandhi