Treadmill Mantra

Mantras are memorable words or slogans repeated over and over to point one’s thoughts in a positive direction. As I do my treadmill routine each morning, I reflect on key words. These words focus my mind, allowing me to maximize my energy. I asked Jay and Emma–one a ski instructor, the other a competitor in Cheer–to participate in a film version of the treadmill mantra. It’s the first project I’ve shot on a cellphone.

Two Rooftops

cropped-SunsetPrud2l.jpgOn a recent visit to Boston, Kathleen, Jay and I did one tourist thing,
JaySkywalkvisiting Skywalk in the Prudential Building, for a sunset panorama of the city. The sun appeared as a fantastic molten ball, dwarfing all things human, making the skyscrapers and freeways look like abandoned toy sets. Even in a city with so many sights and distractions, the glowing sun stole the show.


RooftopGarden2The next morning, the three of us found ourselves on the roof of the Boston Design Centre, guests of Higher Ground Farm, an urban farm taking advantage of otherwise unused space atop a sprawling 8-story building in the heart of the Seaport District. It was Higher Ground’s last day of the season and a crew of volunteers were busy harvesting salad greens from many neat rows of identical raised beds. The greens are sold to local restaurants, as well as to shoppers in the spacious design centre below.



The rooftop farm was co-founded by friends Courtney Hennessey and John Stoddard. The two share an interest in sustainable environments and locally grown organic food.  Courtney explained to me the difference between urban farms and community gardens. The farms are for profit, with all produce sold to the public; while the gardens support individuals growing small quantities of food for their own use.

DSCN1954 copyFarming on top of a large city building has its challenges. Birds use mulch material for nests; what’s left tends to blow away in the high winds. Luckily a nearby hotel has beehives on its roof. A construction crane was needed to lift the soil to the roof. There are advantages to the roof as well: lots of sun and rain and the heat from the building warms the soil and extends the growing season. The farm supplies fresh produce for city dwellers, eliminating carbon costs of shipping food.

The green roof is an eco-friendly oasis that turns an unused space into a healthy and productive resource. Thanks Courtney and John for sharing your experience.


Shoulder Season Done

During Shoulder Season I’ve been hanging out in Nova Scotia with family for the last month and a bit, but it’s soon time to head back to Whistler and my favourite season, Winter!

It’s always recharging for my soul to visit my close family here.  One great aspect is the effort Kathleen and Doug make to eat locally, right from the back yard! This is something we do in Whistler through our farmers market, but I’d really like to grow my own produce too, and seeing the rooftop farm of Higher Ground at the Boston Design Center has given me some great ideas for the roof of the garage.

I’ve been lucky to have a few days this week with snow on the ground in Hantsport and it’s getting me pumped up for my return to Whistler and the land of big mountain skiing.


Music video promotes solar power

I met with Ian Guppy from Solar Nova Scotia and we had an animated conversation about using social media to promote alternative energy and community health. I mentioned there is a lot of serious material out there that is often difficult to navigate. Some fun and stupid snippets might help lighten the mood. In response, Ian sent me this link. Thanks Ian.

South Shore Seaweed Sourcing

On Sunday Kathleen, Doug and I drove to Nova Scotia’s south shore to visit family friends. Margaret and Ed, who live in Petite Riviere in a little cottage dubbed “le Petite Bleu”.

After an excellent meal, featuring produce from the garden, we set out together for Crescent Beach. This was our second year making this trip together to the beach to collect seaweed to mulch our respective garden.

seaweed  hoopgarden

Hello world!

Brian-Eno-04In 1975, British musician Brian Eno created a ground-breaking album combining catchy pop riffs with experimental ambient sounds. He called it Another Green World. The music  sounded like a soundtrack for aliens or music for astronauts orienting themselves to new physical laws. There were few lyrics and songs had titles like “Sky Saw,” “Sombre Reptiles” and “Spirits Drifting.” And of course, “Another Green World,” a song that painted not a picture, but a blinding expansion of vision. Listening to it, I felt as if I was emerging into an  open meadow from a dark woods or suddenly discovering another habitable planet after years adrift in space. It’s one of the great dreams of science fiction or any fiction, to escape and find a better place. I grew up listening to Eno’s music. So I adopt his title, with a minor change, to suggest our challenge today is not to leave the planet but to see it differently and behave differently toward it.

Our environment faces many threats that require action. But what can one person do about it? This blog is an attempt by a small group of friends to answer that question. Trying to live sustainable lifestyles, sharing information, experiences, recipes and tips. We hope this blog is of some use and we invite you to join our on-line community.

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