Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Apr 19th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Self Reliance, Now

ae3_solarpanelSA local, free, DIY, skill-sharing event gains momentum
Think globally—act locally. The Santa Cruz Reskilling Expo takes this meme to a new level with a daylong symposium of sustainable living skills sharing. Fifty free and diverse classes will be presented by 30 local teachers including fruit tree care, composting, bike maintenance, bird language, community safety, micro-radio broadcasting, restorative justice, and tool sharpening. For the full schedule see reskillingexpo.org. The spring Expo will be blossoming on Saturday, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Live Oak Senior Center at 1777 Capitola Road, by 7th Avenue.

Bonnie Linden, the main organizer of the event, is now celebrating three successful Expos under her belt. “The community response has been fabulous,” she says. “The presenters step up with this incredible energy and the audience is so appreciative and eager to learn. It’s filling a real need.” The Expo has also spawned sister projects with the same self-reliance model. Bonnie explains, “We installed two mini orchards and plan to do more next winter. We also had a Seed and Biodiversity Forum and we’re starting a public seed lending library modeled on a successful one in Richmond.”

The Reskilling Expo is a free-of-charge event held twice a year in spring and fall.  Participation and interest have steadily grown since the first Expo in 2009, now a nonprofit organization sponsored by private donors and the William James Association.  “The “Expo” part of it is that we set up displays of simple technologies, crafts or innovations,” says Linden. “These are easy-to-implement skills that build self-sufficiency. For example at the next Expo we’ll have a display on how to make herbal salve and how to grow potatoes in containers.” There will also be panel discussions including one with UCSC-based cosmologists Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack.

ae3_fireThe Reskilling Expo idea came to Linden when she took a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class a couple of years ago. “It’s a 25 hour emergency preparedness class that’s offered at fire stations. At the end of it they give you a green hard hat and you’re supposed to be prepared to set up a command and control center and do search and rescue and triage in case of a major disaster. I thought it was fairly useful but it got me thinking that our community needs to be really prepared in a lot of deeper ways than that.”

“Most Californians don’t even have three days of emergency supplies,” says Dearie, an Expo presenter. “In an earthquake state it’s really time to make that shift.” Kelly describes the class she’ll be leading: “I’ll be talking about practical family food security; having a system in place with your community of barter and networking. It starts with the family because that’s where the heart is. And then you branch out. It’s about networking with neighbors.”

ae3_chickenDearie will also discuss food storage, fermentation, pantry rotation and creating emergency bins. “If you have to go campout for two weeks, you have everything you need in three bins, including special water filters that can filter lead and mercury. There’s so many ways that rope can come in handy in an emergency.  Tea Tree Oil could be a life saver if there’s open wounds or to sterilize things. In an emergency, if you have access to food and there’s no power for refrigeration you may want to ferment your food. That’s the ancient wisdom. You make bridges and create beauty through those bridges.”

Delmar McComb will present a class called Reflecting on Beauty. “Something near and dear to me is aesthetics and beauty,” says Delmar. “I have this experience sometimes where beauty is kind of pushed aside to get practical things done.  That’s necessary at times but I don’t want to forget beauty. We can’t forget our higher self.” He asks, “How do we reskill ourselves into being kind human beings? How can we look at the world and look at each other and allow space? This relates to the nonviolent communication movement and deep listening. I’m trying to find this balance between beauty and practicality.”

A professional gardener and hobbyist opera singer, McComb sees his work with plants as an art form: “Working with living things is one of the more difficult arts because someone can paint something but the painting pretty much stays the same. But a garden expands in the forth dimension and to anticipate something 10 years down the road or 100 years down the road is amazing.”

ae3_gardenLinden has lived in Santa Cruz since 1963 and sums up an underlying philosophy of the Expo; “People shouldn’t have to pay to learn basic skills such as how to grow food, conserve water or create bonds with each other. We’re able to do this event because our teachers volunteer for free. This is not a trade show, although most of our teachers do have some business interest in what they teach. They’re willing to put their community service first. I like to think of what Martin Luther King said, “Community service is the rent you pay for your home here on Earth.”


John Malkin is a local writer and artist who hosts a weekly radio show The Great Leap Forward from 7 to 9 p.m. on Free Radio Santa Cruz, 101.1 FM and freakradio.org. His book “Sounds of Freedom” (2005, Parallax Press) includes interviews with Laurie Anderson, Philip Glass, Tom Morello, Utah Phillips and Ani DiFranco.
Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?