Visions of ecotopia

Bioneers and permaculture

The slime mold that did not eat Tokyo’s subway system.

The slime mold that did not eat Tokyo’s subway system.

I want to know more
I received an email the other day announcing the upcoming annual eco-visionary Bioneers Video Series to be held on three Thursdays in February starting at 7 p.m. at the Chico Women’s Club (592 E. Third St.). The series, according to, introduces the annual Bioneers Conference in Marin County to the community.

On Feb. 9, the evening’s intriguing program, titled “New Energy, New Medicine & New Design,” will feature “a fabulous short film by Louie Schwartzberg"; mycologist/author Paul Stamets discussing the benefits of fungi; environmental scientist/writer Amory Lovins talking about new energy sources; and astrologer/radio host Carolyn Casey “connecting shamanism with transportation, or how slime mold redesigned the Tokyo subway,” according to the Women’s Club’s Rosemary Quinn.

Up Feb. 16 is “Youth, Food Justice & Computer Games,” featuring Anim Steel, director of national programs at Boston’s Food Project, “mobilizing students for the real food challenge"; digital-media and cultural-relations strategist Joshua Fouts explaining “how 12-year-olds with computers can solve real problems"; and Karen Brown, creative director at the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, “with her mini-turbine emphasizing the importance of sustainability in K-12 classrooms.”

And on Feb. 23 is “Scaling Up": Kenny Ausubel, co-CEO and founder of Bioneers, “reminds us that self-deception is our Achilles heel"; United Steelworkers assistant legislative director Roxanne Brown unites the communities of steel workers and sustainability; and Chinese-American journalist/filmmaker John Liu presents his spectacular film detailing “the revitalization of a dead zone the size of France.”

I’m intrigued and I want to know more, and as soon as I get the further scoop from Rosemary, I will share it with readers. For those wanting more info right away, Rosemary Quinn can be contacted at 892-8191. See for more on the fascinating relationship between slime-mold growth and the rail system in Tokyo!

Downspout gardening.

Mark your calendar
“Dear Gardening Friends,” writes the inimitable, knowledgable permaculture educator/practitioner Carla Resnick in a recent email, “I will be giving a presentation as part of the Chico Organic Gardening Series.” Her presentation, scheduled for Monday, March 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m., will cover Downspout Gardens—Home-Scale Water Harvesting, and Fruit Tree Guilds—Using Plants and Animals to Benefit Your Fruit Trees.

“These topics are deeply rooted in permaculture principles, and I hope you will come to the presentation. Here is a link to the website on which the series is organized. Many other classes are being made available too:”

Resnick added that she’s been blogging about permaculture since 2008. Her blog can be found at

Cost for Resnick’s class, held at Matthew’s Cafe (1600 Mangrove Ave., #175), is $12 at the door.

Gee, it’s nice to be back in Chico.

“I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?"—Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985

“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment."—Ansel Adams