Archive for the ‘Food Sustainability’ category

Woodstock Interfaith & Woodstock Transition Waste NOT Dinner

May 24, 2012

Community Building & Partnership

Woodstock Interfaith Council

Woodstock Transition

Woodstock Restaurants

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Spontaneous camaraderie radiated throughout the fellowship hall of of the Woodstock Jewish Congregation on Wednesday, May 16 as members of six (6) Woodstock faith communities joined the Woodstock Transition environmental team to discuss food sustainability, good stewardship of the Earth, and waste management..

Congregants from St Gregory’s Episcopal Church, Shady United Methodist Church, the Woodstock Dutch Reformed Church, St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, the Woodstock Jewish Congregation, Overlook Methodist Church and Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery enjoyed conversation  over gourmet dishes prepared by local restaurants which support food sustainability.

Dinner guests also had the opportunity to share stories of how they and their families arrived in Woodstock and what they enjoy about living in town.

Participating Restaurants Were:

  • Garden Cafe on the Green
  • New World Home Cooking
  • Joshua’s Cafe
  • Violette
  • Press and Blend
  • Little Bear Cafe
  • Sun Frost Farms

Notes from the March 2 Woodstock Transition Gathering: Back to the Garden

March 7, 2012

Notes from the March 2 Woodstock Transition gathering: Back to the Garden

Vickie O’Dougherty opened the meeting and introduced the Transition Town Concept.

Kevin Kraft Introduced the Panel:

Wolf Bravo, Permaculture designer and founder of Ulster County Tool Exchange Project; and founder of Sustainable Urubamba Valley, which will bring permaculture training to a high school in the mountains of Cuzco, Peru. His work there is to create sustainable systems to alleviate the problems created by the melting of the Andean Glaciers, and to build community resilience.

Wolf talked primarily about his ideas for the Ulster County Tool Bank. He brought examples of old tools that need to be repaired and refurbished, and some examples of knives he has retooled himself. The plan is to have a “Tool Share Network,” in which people will bring old/used tools and others will borrow them for a time. This will prevent old/used tools from going into the landfill, will create a sense of community, and will support young farmers, gardeners, and others in need of tools. The sites for donating and picking up tools during the month of March, will be at the High Falls Food Co-op, Marbletown High Meadow Middle School on Rte. 209, Tweefontein Herb Farm, at 4 Jenkins Road in New Paltz, Jens at 845 636 8218, and the Woodstock Library 679 2213. They are collecting all sorts of hand tools, not power tools. In addition, Wolf will be organizing Tool Repair and Maintenance Clinics during the months of April, May and June. Volunteers are needed to help teach these workshops. Wolf’s contact information is 973 207 9869, and

Keiko Sono is the Woodstock Permaculture Meet-Up Coordinator, a certified permaculture designer, who relies on permaculture principles in all her activities, from daily time management to community organization.

Keiko described the principle of permaculture: connections among elements are more important than the elements themselves. Multiple functions are supported by multiple elements. She also described the important qualities in permaculture as Intuition (which she says can also be called common sense), Observation, and Sharing. She spoke of the edible forest garden, and a local strawbale house that her parents are building. Two important local sources for permaculture are Green Phoenix Permaculure, and UCCC.

Barbara Rosen is a member of the Woodstock Community Garden

Barbara spoke about the importance of saving (and buying) heirloom seeds, if you want to replicate one particular vegetable or flower variety year after year. Hybrid strains do not breed true, since they are made up of more than one variety. She talked about drying seeds in the oven if you have a pilot light, and keeping them out of the light until they “pop,” which is to say sprout. She expressed her fascination and love for all kinds of gardening, which was palpable in her presentation. She is committed to finding a way to develop four-seasons gardening in Woodstock.

Participants Michael and Lester discovered Woodstock Transition when they came to the Movie “Dirt” on February 26.

Michael has been Lester’s student in the study of pyramids for many years. Lester has been experimenting and learning about the power of pyramids in gardening since the 1970’s. They brought some examples of pyramids, and explained the energetic principles through with pyramids promote growth and health in gardens.

Polly Howells asked everyone in the room to introduce him/herself and say where they came from, and then facilitated a short open-space technology experience, out of which four discussion groups emerged: Reskilling, facilitated by Wolf; Fruit and Nut Trees and Community Gardens, facilitated by Barbara; Pyramids, facilitated by Lester and Michael, and Seed-Swapping, facilitated by Katryna.

Out of these groups, the following ideas emerged:

Reskilling group: The idea of a physical Hub emerged, possibly to be established in the Habitat for Humanity building on Route 28 (Susan is going to check into this). This could, ideally, be an office that would serve the Transition towns in the area, Permaculture, and possibly the Pachamama Alliance. Workshops could be taught there in craftwork, repair, reusing and recycling. It would possibly be a place where movies could be shown, and the tool exchanges could take place.

Fruit and Nut trees, starting gardens, and Woodstock Community Garden: The group discussed wild gathering of fruit and nut seeds, talking with arborist Vern Rist, collaboration with the Woodstock Land Conservancy, the Woodstock Environmental Commission, and contacting Cornell Cooperative Extension Center for seedlings. Jn addition, it was suggested that we get together with the Civic Design Committee and talk to schools and businesses in the community about planting gardens. Barbara is available to lead field trips around the community garden once spring arrives.

Pyramids: Lester and Michael encouraged us to put string pyramid structures over the community garden plots as well as private gardens. People experimented with sitting under the pyramid structures they brought, and experiencing their beneficial effects.

Seed exchange: There were some hubbard squash seeds and amaranth seeds exchanged, and the idea of using the Hub also as a center for seed exchanges was mentioned.

We reconvened in the larger circle, and Susan read a list of all the many TT and related events that are coming up in the next two months.


February 3, 2012


Back to the Garden


  • Permaculture Talk
  • Land Use Cooperatives Discussion
  • Tool Exchange
  • Seed Exchange

When: Friday, March 2, 2012
7:30-9:30 PM

Where: Woodstock Dutch Reformed Church
16 Tinker St, Woodstock, NY
Cost:     Admission by donation


When: March 17-18, 2012

What:  Training for For Transition (T4T)
Transition U.S. is offering the Training for Transition Course developed by the Transition Network and taught around the world. This participatory, 15-hour course is an in-depth experiential introduction to the theories and practices of Transition where we:

  • Explore ways of increasing community resilience
  • Learn to describe the challenges of our times in ways that bring people together and inspire action
  • Receive tools for community outreach, education and creating shared vision
  • Learn ways to work with obstacles that have prevented our communities from responding to the challenges
  • Learn how to facilitate community collaboration — supporting existing leadership and expanding the number and diversity of people involved
  • Meet others in your region who share your concerns and want to transition to greater stability and security
  • Become a part of a rapidly growing positive, inspirational, global movement!

Who should attend: People interested in learning ways to transition their community to greater resilience and sustainability

Where: Marbletown Multi-Arts (MaMA), Stone Ridge, NY

More info and Registration:

Carol Reingold at or 646-322-0239 and,

David Bruner at
or 845-309-2162.

OR Register online at:

More about the Transition Movement: &

Looking forward to a sustainable Woodstock…….AND MID-HUDSON VALLEY


November 8, 2011

Transition Woodstock Public Awareness Session
Meeting Summary – Woodstock Food Security
Woodstock Community Center
November 4, 2011

28 Guest participants
7 Transition Woodstock Initiating Team Members including one Presenter

  • Mila Funk – Permaculture Presenter
  • Katryna Barber
  • Pamela Boyce Simms
  • Polly Howells
  • Kevin Kraft
  • Vickie O’Dougherty
  • Jen Zackin

3 Guest Presenters

  • Melody Newcombe, Woodstock Dynamics and the Rotational Garden Collective
  • Megan Reynolds, Farm Market Committee, Woodstock Land Conservancy
  • Andrianna Natsoulas, Author: Food Voices: Stories of Food Sovereignty

1. Transition Woodstock will conduct a series of public awareness sessions on   various sustainability topics leading up to a comprehensive public event in July, 2012.
A major aspect of the July 2012 event will be the formation of issue-specific working groups of people interested in implementing projects which move Woodstock away from fossil fuel dependency and toward sustainable, resilient lifestyles.
Participants from each Transition Woodstock Public Awareness session conducted to date, i.e.:

  • The Power of Water in New York, and
  • Woodstock Food Sustainability

who expressed interest in delving more deeply into each of these topics
are encouraged to form independent working groups. Formation of issue-
specific working groups prior to the July 2012 event will provide an
important foundation and momentum for future work.

2. December 2, 7:30 PM, Reformed Church of Woodstock: Transition Woodstock presents: Energy Conservation- Winter Weatherization


Introduction to the Transition Initiative and the Transition Woodstock Initiating Team, Vickie O’Dougherty

Neighbor Introduction Questions: Moderator, Polly Howells

  1. What about food and the way we eat am I grateful for?
  2. What about food ant the way we eat troubles me?

Guest Speaker Introduction – Susan Moran

Adrianna Natsoulas: Andrianna’s upcoming publication, Food Voices: Stories of Food Sovereignty Movement was written against the back drop of the goals set forth in the 1996 World Food Summit. The Summit was called in response to the continued existence of widespread undernutrition and concern about the capacity of agriculture to meet future food needs. During that Summit, a famers’ movement, called La Via Campesina, coined the phrase “Food Sovereignty,” which addresses the goals of the Summit. Food Sovereignty is the right of people to determine their own food and agriculture systems. It calls for a governance and distribution system imbedded in communities and environmental sustainability. It ensures the health, cultural, political and economic needs of a community are securely met.

Inspired by this international peasant farmer and fisher movement which promotes the implementation of alternatives to the current industrial food model, Andrianna focused her research on five countries in the Americas. The countries she chose are Venezuela, which has incorporated food sustainability into its constitution and is implementing a plan and Ecuador which has a food sovereignty constitutional provision but is not yet implementing it. Brazil was chosen to investigate the struggle of its disenfranchised landless people’s movement to reclaim their land. And Haiti, often viewed as being as a lost cause, was selected as a study in countries that need to be left alone to pursue their own strategies for food sovereignty.

Adrianna interviewed 80 people in the selected countries about five ingredients of food sovereignty:
1. Community

  • People’s right to live in dignity
  • Local outreach and education
  • Organizing for change

2. Trade reorganization to create local markets

• CSAs Community Supported Agriculture – way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer

  • Selling at farm or boat
  • Local food system is at the heart of local economies
  • Community builds a relationship with the growers of their food

3. Governance: democratic control of local government
Examination of:

  • How decision making determines what can be produced
  • Local ordinances
  • Regulations that usurp local control of the food supply at the state and federal level

4. Consolidation and protection of access

  • High price of land
  • Laws that bankrupt and disregard the rights of fishermen, eg. shrimp farm hegemony in Ecuador

5. Environmental Stewardship

  • Agro-ecological approaches to farming
  • Diversity in Fishing

Megan Reynolds
The Woodstock Land Conservancy (WLC) works to ensure that natural environments will be protected and has safeguarded 1000 acres of land for perpetuity.

Megan and the WLC work to promote conservation values and sound agriculture by encouraging community involvement with local food systems, and the maintenance of family farms. To that end WLC pairs available land with farmers.

In response to a question about Woodstock’s potential food self-sufficiency at some future point Megan commented that the Woodstock area was a subsistence farm area. Woodstock could institute a land-link model with smaller tracts of land to connect people who want to farm with land. There are currently many young farmers looking for land. A community clearinghouse for methodically paring prospective farmers with land owners who have acreage to offer was discussed. A participant who had land he was willing to offer for farming volunteered to explore exploring the land pairing clearinghouse with a small group of interested persons.

Mention was also made of the need to bring grain milling back into the area.

Megan’s work with the Woodstock Farmers Market is to encourage residents to by food locally and invite farmers to build the local food supply in order to address gaps in the local food system.

Mila Funk
Mila spoke of permaculture as a way of working with the land that mirrors the perfection of nature. Permaculture initially referred to “permanent agriculture” but is now a more expansive term representing a design system for sustainable culture. Permaculture is a way of looking at human culture through ecological lenses; and fostering community diversity at many levels including biodiversity.
Permaculture design encourages us to start small.

Melody Newcomb
Rotational Gardening is a system whereby for one year, each member of a group of gardeners specializes in growing one main crop, related family of crops or crops with similar nutritional or horticultural requirements. The harvest is then distributed among group members.

The system serves to break pest and disease cycles, build and improve soil fertility and provides a way to share and simplify work. Community-building is an inherent result.

Local Woodstock Food Sustainability Solutions

November 3, 2011

Woodstock Food Sustainability
Local solutions to a global challenge…

Friday, November 4, 2011

7:30-9:30 PM Admission by donation
Woodstock Community Center
56 Rock City Road, Woodstock, NY

Panel Discussion will provide tools and information to move our community towards a sustainable food future.

* Food Matters: The current state of food in our communities
* Knowing Our Resources
* Transition to Sustainability: What we can do

The Panel

* Mila Funk, Permaculture Landscape Designer, Nurture Nature Designs
* Megan Reynolds, Farm Market Committee; Woodstock Land Conservancy Outreach Coordinator.
* Andrianna Natsoulas, Author of Food Voices: stories of food sovereignty.
* Melody Newcombe , Woodstock Dynamics and The Rotational Garden Collective.

For information: Call Vickie (845) 679-2135