Wednesday, May 9, 2018


Transition North Twin Cities own Larry Sable participated in a very nice project at the City of Blaine Community gardens the past month.  And a few of us from Transition North Twin Cities helped crown the gardens with topsoil.    For more on the project see Larry's write up below.   Nice work Larry along with all the other folks who helped out.


The community garden in Blaine, next to Blaine City Hall, has a new addition this year. Eight raised bed garden boxes were built, and are now filled with soil and ready to plant. 

The project was suggested by Shari Kunza, Recreation Manager, with Blaine Parks and Recreation. I volunteered to coordinate this project with the Boy Scouts for the construction.The Soil and Sunshine Garden Club, which has been active since 1954 donated the money for the project. For questions about them call Lynn at 763-786-5458. 

The Boy Scouts from Troop 522 provided the labor for the project. Many thanks to Rich Spartz their Scoutmaster, and Robert Upton their committee chairman for their help. A special thanks to Caleb, and his dad Adam, for their extra effort. Also, our appreciation goes out to the Menards in Blaine, and the Subway located by the Blaine City Hall for their help. 

The boxes are 4'X8'X2' tall. We started them on March 31 in less than ideal weather conditions. They were completed on April 26 after the snow FINALLY went away. 

The garden blend soil was added on May 4, 2018, with some help from members of my Transition Town North chapter. For questions on that group you can call me at 612-964-6547. 

Rather than complaining about things the city does that can never please everybody, I was happy to be part of something that enhanced our city.   

Larry Sable

Monday, February 6, 2017

Wednesday February 8th 2017 Transition TC Gathering

We will be meeting Wednesday evening February 8th, from around 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the new Blaine Cub Foods located at 10881 University Avenue NE, which is at the South-east corner of the intersection  of University Avenue and 109th Avenue in Blaine and Northdale Blvd in Coon Rapids.  I believe they have a conference room located up the stairs located to the left of the checkout registers as you enter the store. 
If time allows we will have a two part meeting. 
Wendy will start us off which some more applications on the practice of herbalism.  This will be a follow-up to Wendy’s yard tour last summer.  We discussed learning more about herbalism as a theme for this year at our last meeting.  And on that topic the classes being offered by the Women’s Environmental Institute might be of interest.  See more here:

Part two will be I believe a hands on opportunity for folks to practice the art of convivial tool making, which Bob will lead.  Bob will show us a project he is working on designed to help folks understand the “hafting” process where stone projectile point is hafted to a shaft to make a useful tool.   Attached is a photo showing the the materials used in the process.  I am hoping to get/make one of these to use for rooting around in my garden this year.

Give me a call at 763-807-3698 or drop me an email at if you have any questions.  

Tom Jablonski

Friday, January 6, 2017

Tuesday January 10th Meeting

I reserved the meeting room at the Blaine Leeann Chin for this coming Tuesday January 10th. The address is 1450 109th Avenue NE, Blaine, MN adjacent to the Target at 109th Avenue and Highway 65. The meeting should last from around 6:30 to 8:30 p.m..

I have some “business” type agenda topics I would like to review with folks regarding future meetings and plans for the group.

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