Friday, December 23, 2016

Wendell Berry – On The Failure of Industrialism.

An Excerpt From a the October 22nd, 2016 Annual E.F. Schumacher Lectures in Great Barrington, MA of a conversation between, Wendell Berry, Wes Jackson, and Mary Berry.   

Transcribed from the You Tube video available here:  From the 27:26 to 29:34 minute mark.
I think what we’ve got to learn to say, and we’ve got to say it, is that industrialism is failing; it is failing very prominently and visibly in agriculture, as anyone can see who knows anything about agriculture.  But it is failing in general, too.  And it is failing because it proposes and tolerates no limits. 

We started the middle of the last century with the doctrine that there were too many farmers. And that has never been called off – nobody said how many we need to get rid of.  There is a whole story there. 

For example, in the Midwest at one time there was a mill every 12 miles.  And that was for the convenience of the producers, who were never thus more than 6 miles from the mill, which meant they were never beyond the possibility of hauling a load of grain to the mill and getting home again for dinner or supper. 

That’s a very good limit you see – it employed a lot of millers, and it employed a lot of farmers.  And if we were really serious about the importance of jobs, employment, and so on – we would have to take that seriously as an example from the past, irrecoverable.  But if we’d have been Amish, we would have stopped it right there, we would have accepted the limit of the horse – that’s the limit that was involved. 

So we accept no limits, and we do the most we can of everything we do, which is usually either explosive or toxic. 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Transition Tuesday Travel Talk

A quick note regarding our next gathering which will be held on Tuesday (yes that is Tuesday and not Monday) December 13th 2016.  We will be meeting at the Leeann Chin in Blaine again which is located at 1450 109th Avenue NE, adjacent to the Target at 109th Avenue and Highway 65.  The meeting will last from around 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., feel free to order food or drink to enjoy while we meet.  (Note the meeting room was booked for Monday night, hence the change to Tuesday.)

For a topic, since I have so far had no other offers, I thought I would subject folks to a slide show of some pictures I took on trips I was part of to Rwanda and El Salvador, that might give a vision of what life can be like living simpler (which might mean with less money, stuff, and technology) from the perspective of a visitor who has lived too complexly.  

Contact me at 763-807-3698 or if you have any questions.

Tom Jablonski

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Shrinking The Technosphere

We will be meeting Monday November 28 from around 6:30 to 8:30 at Leann Chin’s in Blaine located at 1450 109th Avenue NE.  Note this is right next to Target in the South East Corner of Highway 65 and 109th Avenue, just across the street from the Starbucks we meet at.  There is no charge or purchase requirements for using the room, but I know I will plan on eating there.

For a topic, Bob, who also found us the new venue, suggested listening to a podcast of Howard Kunstler talking with Dmitry Orlov about his new book “Shrinking the Technosphere: Getting a Grip on the Technologies that Limit Our Self-sufficiency and Freedom”.  See more on the podcast here: .  This should spark some interesting conversation amongst ourselves as well.  

Hope to see you then.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Simplicity in Complex Times

For the Monday November 14th gathering, how about we meet at the Starbucks in Blaine located at 1384 109th Avenue (the South-West corner of 109th Avenue and Highway 65.  We will meet from around 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.. 

And for a topic I thought that living simply might be a good one in these complex times.  One of my favorite sources on the topic is the Australian organization The Simplicity Institute.  If you get a chance check out their report titled “Your Delightful Day:  The Benefits of Life in the Simpler Way” by Ted Trainer available here: .  More information on simplicity can be found in their other publications available here: .

Trainers paper gives an overview of how living simply might look and covers the areas of time, work, housing, self-sufficiency, living frugally, community, town self-government, landscape, wealth, health, leisure, and peace of mind.  No need to read the paper, but come with thoughts on how you are working towards living more simply and how we might simplify our lives even more. 

Hope to see you Monday and peace to all in our troubled times. 

Tom Jablonski


Friday, October 21, 2016

Wine Cap-aholic

Last year, I was introduced to Stropharia rugosa-annulata, or what many folks might refer to as the Wine Cap mushroom.  Mary had brought along one of these burgundy colored mushrooms to our Transition meeting and talked about how the good folks at the Garden Farme in Ramsey had been growing these beauties in the wood-chip mulch they use around their gardens.  She also shared how the spawn for these tastee and beautiful fungi could be obtained from Field and Forest Products and that they would be great additions to many gardens. 

Well I was hooked, so towards the end of June, I ordered a 5.5 pound bag for about $30 and spread the sawdust/spawn mixture to some simple cardboard and wood chip sheet mulching projects I had been doing around my yard, covered it with wood chips, watered, and then waited.  By the end of August, I was harvesting my first Wine Caps. 

This year I purchased another bag of spawn to add to a new sheet mulching project I did on my side yard and repeated the process.  This batch was also started in the early summer and again by early fall I was harvesting more mushrooms from both my old and new beds.  It is worth noting that the production from the older beds also produced a good harvest of mushrooms in the spring and early summer, along with a second harvest later in the summer and through the fall. 

I have been experimenting with preserving the harvests by drying in my solar dryer, pressure canning, and freezing.  And in between the preservation processing, I have been enjoying cooking and eating the fresh ones.  To harvest the mushrooms I use a knife to cut off the exposed portion of the fruits, wash off the dirt, cut them up into smaller pieces and then either dry, can, cook, or sometimes just eat them raw. 

This fall I have been making a mushroom/bean/ squash or potato stew with them.  I pan fry the mushrooms, add onions and garlic or chives, tomatoes, and kale or broccoli.  I add a can of beans (spicy blacks have been a nice addition).  Then I season with season salt, pepper, basil, and oregano.  I then cook up a squash or a few potatoes and add this to my stewing mixtures.  I look forward to cooking up more of this concoction with the preserved shrooms in the coming months when my Wine Caps rest up over the winter. 

So if you’re looking for a way to covert some of your lawn into food, throw down some cardboard, cover with wood-chips, add some Wine Cap spawn, and start eating instead of mowing.  And to expand your eating pleasures plant some other plants in between.  Probably harder than it sounds, but the work you put in will be worth the effort, I do believe.   

Monday October 24, 2016 Gathering - Ecological Economics

This Monday October 24th we will be meeting at my house located at 866 113th Lane NE in Blaine from 6:30 to around 8:30 p.m..  (See map here:,+Blaine,+mn&rlz=1C1GGGE_enUS459US465&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjf98fBrezPAhUFOCYKHR_3CGIQ_AUICCgB )

Sharon has arranged for Ken Pentel of the Ecological Democracy Network to join us and share some of his thoughts regarding creation of an ecology based economy and ideas on what we might need to do to get there, including the need for proportional representation in government and getting corporate money out of politics.

From the Ecological Democracy Network website (
"We aim for transition from a human-centered to an ecology-centered view of the world. From this altered perspective, as part of the bioregion of Minnesota, each economic exchange, be it barter or a traditional money transaction, inherently restores the water, air, soil, and habitats to health and sustainability. Or, to put it another way, a balance would be established by making Minnesota's economic health dependent on the health of our natural resources."

See the Ecological Democracy Website above for more on former MN candidate for Governor Ken Pentel and his organization. 

Hope to see you Monday.  

Tom Jablonski


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sacred Gardener on Permaculture Podcast


This was a very wonderful podcast I listened to twice the other weekend. There were many ideas that seemed to resonate with me and some things I think you will appreciate as well. Give it a listen to while you work.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Reciprocity for the pollinators

Even this hoverfly needs a winter home. Yup! That's not a bee.
Insect pollinators can spend the winter in a variety of life stages and this varies, depending on the species. Some have eaten a lot to make it through the winter; others wait in suspense as larvae, pupae or eggs. Most native bees spend the winter in their nest cells as pupae, emerging as adults the following spring or summer, so it is critical to protect nesting areas from disturbance all year long, not just during the nesting season.  Old bark, cane, leaves and especially undisturbed soil are the winter homes of pollinators.
Bumble Bee in my garden!

One exception is bumble bees, which do not overwinter in their nests. Bumble bees are unusual in that they can still forage in very cold temperatures due to internal thermoregulation. But in fall, all the males die off and the new queen searches for a log, tree root, leaf litter, loose soil or other niche where she waits, already mated and fertilized, to emerge and begin a new colony when the weather warms.

Another bee that seeks out logs for winter is the bright green sweat bee, which prefers to nest under peeling bark. Dead logs are particularly attractive locales. Like her cousin the bumble bee, it’s only the female that overwinters, and she must quickly rebound to raise a brood in spring.

Some native bees snuggle into hollow twigs or the pathways dug by beetle larvae in trees. Mason and leaf-cutter bees count on these sources, as well as clumps of dried grasses or hollow canes from brambles or other woody plants, to provide shelter during the winter.

The majority of native bees nest in the ground, finding a sunny spot that won’t flood. It may be a few inches of bare soil with one nest, or a colony occupying several feet. You may have mistaken them for anthills or spider holes. Usually, the mother bee dies at the end of the warm season, leaving her babies to emerge in spring.

Cecropia moth found at a gas station this summer.. Not a lot of habitat at a gas station.

Butterflies and moths also overwinter in a variety of stages (egg, larva, pupa, adult) and use plant matter to insulate themselves for the winter.

While the monarch flies south to overwinter in Mexico, most other butterflies stay put and take shelter somewhere dry and safe until spring. Some butterflies, like the mourning cloak, comma, question mark, and Milbert’s tortoise shell, overwinter as adults. They nestle into rock fissures, under tree bark, or in leaf litter until the days grow longer again and spring arrives. Butterflies that overwinter in a chrysalis include the swallowtail family, the cabbage whites and the sulphurs. Many of these chrysalises can be found either hanging from dead plant stems or tucked into the soil or leaf litter.

Tiger Swallowtail found on one of my hikes this past summer.

Tiger swallowtails that hatch in the summer feed and molt five times, then pupate and hatch in as little as 15 days. But when the caterpillar pupates in the fall, the chrysalis is brown instead of green to match the woody brush where it hangs, and the butterfly won’t emerge until spring. 

And still other butterfly species, such as the red-spotted purple, the viceroy, and the meadow fritillary, spend the winter as a caterpillar rolled into a fallen leaf or inside the seed pod of a host plant.

Pollinators need sheltered areas in which to spend the winter. To provide these safe havens, set aside undisturbed patches of habitat allowing leaf litter, standing dead twigs or stems, and other ground cover to remain. Do not till soil where there might be ground nests. Some other pollinators spend the winter in tall grass, bushes, trees, piles of leaves or sticks, or on man-made objects. In general, the best way to protect pollinators in the winter is to leave them alone.  If you need to manage your pollinator meadows by mowing or burning, try to do so in the late summer or fall while the insects are still active and can get away. 
It's worth leaving some overgrown, weedy spots, designated pollinator areas, to give these important insects a winter home. 
Bumblebees buzzy about in the flowers
These are the insects you will gladly welcome come spring and summer in your garden, so why not give them a winter home in return for their pollination of your garden?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Know Knapping

Our next Transition North Twin Cities Gathering will be next Wednesday evening, August 17th from around 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  We will be meeting at Tom Jablonski's house located at 866 113th Lane NE in Blaine. 

Bob has set up a flint knapping/stone tool making demonstration for us by Rod Johnson, past president of the Minnesota Archaeological Society and expert flint knapper.  Flaked stone tools similar to the ones that Rod and other knappers make have been a part of human cultures for tens of thousands of years and represent a significant indicator of fundamental human modernity.  We all have knappers in our past!  

Rod and Bob will guide us on a journey back to the times when humans lived a life with simpler handmade tools.  Living the simpler life is something we will likely need to relearn as we transition into the coming low tech future.  

Feel free to call Tom with any questions at 763-807-3698 or drop me an email at

Friday, July 29, 2016

Can We Keep On Trucking?

A reminder that on Monday August 1st Bob Suchanek has reserved our old meeting room in the upstairs conference room at the Coon Rapids Cub Foods located at 2050 Northdale Blvd in the Village 10 Center in Coon Rapids.  The meeting will start about 6:30 p.m and again will last until 8:30 or so or until we get kicked out. 

Bob will be playing a recent Podcast from James Howard Kunstler who talks with science writer Alice J. Friedmann about her book WHEN TRUCKS STOP RUNNING.  

The two talk about oil, trucking, transportation, and the fate of Western Civilization as we run out of the fuel that keeps the whole thing grinding along.  More on the hour long interview can be found here:  

 We should have some time to talk about the talk, after the talk.  

If your interested in a prequel to the interview, check out this synopsis of Friedmann’s book here: .  

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July 18th and August 1st Gathering Details.

On Monday July 18th Wendy Barron has offered to show us at least 20 medicinal plants that grow in her and Roger’s yard in Coon Rapids.  Wendy will tell us about the plants and how to make medicine like teas, tinctures, and salves out of them.  And if she has time she may even give us a handout to help guide us in our quest for our own home grown medicines.  Wendy and Roger’s address is 1336 107th Lane in Coon Rapids (see map here:,+Coon+Rapids,+MN+55433/@45.1655437,-93.301392,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x52b33b42fb70c595:0xaf84fd71aba4e3ff!8m2!3d45.1655399!4d-93.3007054 ).  We will meet at their place at 6:30 and the gathering will last until around 8:30 or until we get kicked out.  Let’s hope the weather cooperates for us.

And then on Monday August 1st Bob Suchanek has reserved our old meeting room in the upstairs conference room at the Coon Rapids Cub Foods located at 2050 Northdale Blvd in the Village 10 Center in Coon Rapids.  Bob will be playing a recent Podcast from James Howard Kunstler who talks with science writer Alice J. Friedmann about her book WHEN TRUCKS STOP RUNNING.  The two talk about oil, trucking, transportation, and the fate of Western Civilization as we run out of the fuel that keeps the whole thing grinding along.  More on the hour long interview can be found here:  We should have some time to talk about the talk, after the talk.  The meeting will start about 6:30 p.m and again will last until 8:30 or so or until we get kicked out. 
I hope that everybody’s summer is going well and am looking forwarding to attending what I am sure will be two great gatherings and hope to see you there.  Also feel free to give me a call or drop me an email if you have any questions, or if you would like to share a Transition related topic in one of our other upcoming gatherings.  We always need new topics and I know there are a lot of folks with a lot of knowledge out there waiting to be tapped in our transition to simpler lives.  
Tom Jablonski

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Tuesday July 5th Meeting.

For our next Transition North Twin Cities gathering we will be meeting at the Springbrook Nature Center located at 100 85th Avenue NW in Fridley. Our meeting will be this coming Tuesday evening July 5th from around 6:30 to 8:30. See the website below for more info.  The center has been under renovation, and hopefully we can see some of the work that has been done, walk around the trails, and or find a place to just sit and talk.  

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Experimentation in Vegitation Fermentation

Experimenting with fermenting some vegetables.  Go to Blaine Farmers market and pick up some beets, carrots, radishes, & cabbage.  Wash veggies, chop them up along with their greens.  Go to garden and pick some green onions and chop them up.  Mix chopped vegetables and sea salt in a bowl.  Leave the lactic acid bacteria on the veggies.  Squish it all together with your hands until the liquids covers the mixture.  Spoon into quart canning jars makings sure that liquid covers the mixture.  Let sit a room temperature for several days.  Be sure to open jars daily to let off the pressure.  Eat - I hope.  

See chapter 5 of Sandor Ellix Katz book THE ART OF FERMENTATION for more details.  

Friday, June 17, 2016

June 20th Meeting Information

For our meeting this coming Monday June 20th, we will be touring a couple of Coon Rapids gardens.   To start off the tour we will meet at the the Coon Rapids Community Garden located on 121st Avenue between Foley and Hanson.  Mary Riha will be our host and show us around her plot on the site where she is practicing a no-till raised bed type of gardening.  We will meet at that garden site at 6:30 p.m.

Around 7:10 we will caravan over to Marcia Baudino’s home to view her permaculture inspired gardens.  Marcia also lives in Coon Rapids I believe not too far from the Community Garden, but I am not sure what her address is.  We will figure that out before we leave for Marcia’s from the Community Garden Site.   Marcia’s tour should be over about 8:30 p.m.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Simply Simple Simpleton

“Live simply so others may simply live.”

It seems either Gandhi or Mother Theresa said this..
I have taken this quote to mean that by living more conscious and local and with less, we can provide others with opportunity to live in this world. I do not take it as by buying less, more goes to others. 
This is simple to remember and to be a reminder day to day that each and every action made will have an effect on something else. Obviously, we all know that. But do we act on it? 
In such a global economy it is very difficult for me to see what or how or who is behind every product or service I purchase. There is too much research to be done and decisions to be made to truly understand ones purchasing power.

I have come across the zero waste movement recently and have found more and more following this mindset. This would be a huge challenge for me, but I plan to take it on. The idea is basically to use and buy everything without creating garbage, items not recyclable or compostable. That would even be difficult shopping at Goodwill, they have those stickers on everything. It is more a challenge to think about each and every purchase. How each tag, sticker, tie, or wrapper can build up in only one year. It challenges one to find alternatives or do without. 
By keeping things simple, we bring more back to our local environment and can begin to observe and understand our relationship with the world. Keeping things simple allows us to be able to do much more ourselves or have a lesser impact on others. 

Speaking of impacting others...
The other night, I was listening to comedy radio and Louis CK came up and had an interesting bit about slavery. Not something we tolerate today, but he challenges how we think of slavery. I apologize for any profanity if it is not your thing, but he has some good points for thought.

Other things to check out to get some context around this quote: , or on netflix

I would love to hear your thoughts and interpretations of this quote!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Monday April 25th Meeting

Our next Transition meeting will be this coming Monday  April 25th from 6:30 to around 9 p.m..  

It will be held at Tom Jablonski's house locate at 866 113th Lane NE in Blaine.  If the weather is nice we will meet in the back yard and have a fireside chat (hopefully the smoke will keep any mosquitos at bay), or if the April showers show up we can meet inside.  

For a topic how about we talk about what brought us to Transition.  This will be a lead in for some future topics where we can take a look at firstly what are the problems in this world and our communities that we are concerned about, what do we think some of the root causes of these problems are, and what are some alternatives we would like to see in the future.  These discussions might then help us figure out what some of the solutions or possible paths might be to help us transition towards a better life. 

Hope to see you there.  Contact Tom at or 763-807-3698 if you have any questions.

Green Expo Saturday April 23rd.

The Coon Rapids/Blaine Green Expo ( ) is Saturday and we will be hosting a table there.  Anyone that is interested in sharing your take on Transition with visitors that stop by is welcome to come and sit at the Transition table as your time allows.  

The event is at the National Sports Center Campus located 1700 105th Avenue NE in Blaine.  Doors to the public are open from 9 am to 2 pm.  

I will be setting up our table and misc. stuff around 8 am and taking stuff down at 2 pm.  If you have something that speaks of your take on Transition that you would like to share, feel free to bring it along.  There will be some extra table space if you need it.  

I plan on bringing along an extra table, my box of free seeds to give away, maybe some examples of books I like that relate to Transition (and three slightly used ones that Bob is giving away as door prizes), the table poster backdrop Bob made that I added some new stuff too, maybe a garden plant or two, a clip board with email signup sheets, and a couple extra chairs (should be four total for us and visitors to rest in).  

No obligations to show up, but an open invite to anyone that is interested to come when you can and leave when you need to, and join in what I think is a fun time to meet and greet our neighbors, visit some of the other exhibits, just stop by to say hi, or share a little bit about what we do.   

Sunday, April 10, 2016

April 11 Meeting Notice and Upcoming Events

Our next Transition meeting will be tomorrow Monday  April 11th from 6:30 to around 9 p.m..  It will be held in the community room of the Cub Foods located at 2050 Northdale Blvd in the Village 10 Center in Coon Rapids.  The community/conference room is located up the stairs located to the left of the checkout lanes as you enter the store.  Mary will be sharing with us her ideas on the fine art of making yogurt. 
We will also be finalizing plans for the April 23rd Green Expo that will be at the National Sports Center in Blaine on Saturday April 23 with doors opening from 9 am to 2 pm.  See more info here:  If you can’t make the meeting, let me know if you are interested in helping out with a tabling and/or have ideas you would like to share with folks during the tabling and we can work you into the working the booth schedule. 
Emily also suggested sharing the events pasted below with our group that came to her via the Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation.  Check them out as they do look interesting.

Urban Pollinators
Thursday April 21st, 2-4pm
Ramsey County Public Works, Marsden Room 1425 Paul Kirkwold Drive, Arden Hills, MN 55112
This event is centered on conserving native and managed pollinators in urban areas. I'll be focusing on bumble bees, including their amazing biology; conservation status; and ways you can improve habitat for these animals in your landscape. Other speakers include Dr. Marla Spivak (University of MN Bee Lab), Heather Holm (Restoring the Landscape with Native Plants), and Victoria Reinhardt (Ramsey County Commissioner). Thanks to the Ramsey Conservation District for organizing! More information here: 
 International Migratory Bird Day and Pollinator Party 
Saturday May 14th,
Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge: Oak Savanna Learning Center,
1/4 mile west of Refuge HQ on Sherburne Co. Rd. 9.  
Don't miss this fun, family-friendly event at Sherburne's brand new Oak Savanna Learning Center! Bird tours begin at 7am. I'll be speaking at 10:30 am about native pollinators and what you can do to promote them in your own landscape. More information here:
 Bee Monitoring "Refresher" Field Day
Sunday May 15th (rain date Sunday May 22)
Fish Creek Natural Area, Maplewood MN
This field day is open to participants who completed our “Bee-come a Bee Monitor” native bee identification and monitoring training workshop last September.  We will be practicing our ID skills and the monitoring protocol in order to prepare you for the monitoring season ahead. Please contact Maplewood Nature Center for further details and to register. (651) 249-2170. If you are interested in being added to our wait list for future Native Bee Monitoring training workshops, let me know!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Monday March 28th Meeting

Our next Transition meeting will be tomorrow Monday  March 28th from 6:30 to around 9 p.m..  It will be held in the community room of the Cub Foods located at 2050 Northdale Blvd in the Village 10 Center in Coon Rapids.  The community/conference room is located up the stairs located to the left of the checkout lanes as you enter the store. 
During the meeting we will be watching the third part of the film Permaculture Skills, A Cold Climate Applied Permaculture Design Course.  The film will cover:  herbal medicine, food forest fundamentals, whole systems design, homestead infrastructure, rope knots, seed saving, stone construction, wood splitting, and uncommon fruits. Length: about 2 hours.  No need to have seen the first films to understand the concepts covered in this one.  See the following link for more on the series  Thank to Sharon for sharing her DVD’s with us!  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Quote for the day

"I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential."
 ― Vandana Shiva

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Monday March 14 Meeting

Our next Transition meeting will be tomorrow Monday  March 14th from 6:30 to around 9 p.m..  It will be held in the community room of the Cub Foods located at 2050 Northdale Blvd in the Village 10 Center in Coon Rapids.  The community/conference room is located up the stairs located to the left of the checkout lanes as you enter the store. 

For this meeting how about we have a show and tell night.  Bring along an idea, book, event, project, practice, or something else related to how you have, will, or would like to transition to a more local/sustainable way of life.  This could be related to growing or obtaining local food, making or repairing items instead of purchasing new, energy saving practices, community creation events, spiritual practices that help you stay centered, etc. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

The 7 Guiding Principles of Transition

(As adapted from Transition United States available here.  )

1. Create Positive Visions.  Our primary focus is on creating positive, empowering possibilities and opportunities that go beyond dependence on fossil fuels. 

2. Provide People Good Information and Trust Them.  We raise awareness of peak oil, climate change, the downfalls of economic growth, and related issues in an enthusiastic, empowering, and honest way.  We respect each person’s ability to make a response that is appropriate to their situation.

3. Foster Inclusion and Openness.  We appreciate diversity and welcome all community members to join us. 

4. Enable Sharing and Networking.  We share our personal and communal successes, failures, insights abilities, and connections to build a collective body of experience.

5. Build Resilience.  We work towards increasing the capacity of our communities (which includes our ecosystem) to withstand and adapt to shock, and change as needed – in particular as it relates to our food, economy, and energy uses. 

6. Be Aware of Inner and Outer Transition.  We become more aware that the challenges we face are not just caused by our technologies but are a direct result of our world view and belief systems.  We journey together through the fear, grief, and denial that this awareness can create by following our passions. 

7. Encourage self‐organization.  Decision making is allowed to occur at the most appropriate, practical and empowering level, and in such a way that it models the ability of natural systems to self-organize.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Love to eat, eat to love

I absolutely LOVE to eat. Anything spicy, sweet, umami, salty, sour, maybe not always bitter, pretty much anything. Love to eat, eat to love, right? Food is our life source and food has life. Love is life, Life is love. Eat, Live, Love. Repeat.

I have a big flock of food in my backyard that I just love so much. My flock of ducks bring me so much joy and happiness, just to watch them waddle and splash around. When they beg for treats, I provide for them. In the dead of winter, I provide a bath for them. What a pleasure! They also provide me with delicious eggs and yes, a roast duck from culling. I recently learned how to render their fat! I respect and honor them by using every bit of "life" they can provide for me. I provide them with the best life I can give and in return I receive life.

Relaxing with my ducks this past summer.

Circle of life. Yes, I heard that mentioned in the Lion King. I get it, or so I thought. I heard the concept, I could understand it, but only to an extent. I was and am still not entirely aware of my circle of life and how I fit in, but now that I am trying to be a part of that circle, I am understanding much more. I  have been on a journey to understand and know my life source. To raise it, care for it, process it, and continue its circle of life. If I want to live to the fullest, what better way to understand life than to know your source of it? What gives me life? What gives you life?

Bones from stock drying to become bone meal for my garden, finished stock ready to be canned,
rendering fat in the small pot.

I once read Wendell Berry's poetic essay about the pleasures of eating. Beautifully written about what we can do. I highly recommend reading it if you haven't already. It is a very short 4 page essay with some pictures, so not really 4 pages.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Who is Transition North Twin Cities

We are a group of people in the Northern suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota who come together to share ideas and support each other as we transition to simpler lives in community with our neighbors and our ecosystem. We try to follow the Transition model and find the concepts of peak oil and climate change big motivators in driving us to change the way we live. 

We are currently in the “mulling” stage of trying to figure out if we want to become a formal Transition Initiative.  While we mull, we currently typically meet every other Monday evening, in members houses, local coffee shops, parks, and various community meeting places to get together and share ideas, watch movies, share the bounty from our gardens and our gardening knowledge, practice permaculture, talk about climate change and peak oil, share resources, learn to forage, and support each other to transition to a more conscious way of life. 

We have folks who have attended our gatherings from Coon Rapids, Blaine, Brooklyn Park, Shoreview, Andover, Anoka, Ramsey, East Bethel, Fridley, New Brighton, Stillwater, Minneapolis, and St. Paul - and folks from anywhere are always welcome!  Many of our gatherings are typically held in Coon Rapids or Blaine.  Because of the large area our members come from, we tend to focus more on connecting with the people that come to our gatherings than we do on connecting with the large number of institutions that exist in our communities.  We have been meeting since the Fall of 2013 and typically anywhere from 5 to 15 people will attend our gatherings. 

The best way to find out when and where we will meet would be to join the 40 people on our email list by sending Tom Jablonski a request to get on the list at  We also have a Facebook page where we share information which is available here: and we also have a blog available here: .  And for those without access to the internet, feel free to give Tom a call at 763-807-3698 and he will be glad to give you telephone updates on our next gathering.