We’re sorry to cancel tonight’s bread making workshop on short notice. We plan to reschedule it in the new year. Check back here for details!
The latest edition of the Overlook Views newsletter is being distributed now and you’ll find a few articles by Sustainable Overlook members. Overlook neighbor and landscape designer Mulysa Melco wrote an update on the group’s pesticide free neighborhood project and included a sidebar with 10 reasons people in our neighborhood feel non-toxic yard and garden care is important. Here is an expanded version of the list with References and Resources!
1. Better health for everyone! Yard and garden chemicals are linked to increased cancer risk and a host of other illnesses. Children, babies and pregnant women are especially vulnerable to toxin exposure, even in minute quantities.
American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations to Reduce Children’s Exposure to Pesticides
Metro : Why Care about Using Pesticides?
2. Your garden will be happier. Without toxic chemicals, and with natural gardening practices like composting, the soil life and critters in your yard will create a more balanced ecosystem and that makes for stronger, more resilient plants.
Metro Natural Gardening tips
3. Food safety and security. One of the many benefits of growing your own food organically is feeling confident that what you’re eating is not contaminated with pesticides. Plus, a neighborhood that grows its own food it more resilient in a disaster.
Organic Consumer’s Union
Union of Concerned Scientists
Mother Earth News: Why Grow Your Own Food?
4. Lower your carbon footprint. Pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are petro-chemical based, so when you avoid them, you are using fewer fossil fuels.
Transition US: Home and Garden Challenge
Union of Concerned Scientists: The Climate Friendly Gardener
5. Take good care of our pets. Dogs and cats are at risk from lawn and garden chemicals for some of the same reasons kids are – they are low to the ground, they touch and mouth everything and spend a lot of time outdoors. Pets’ risks of cancer and other health problems increase when they are exposed to lawn chemicals.
Pesticide Action Network: Your Health– Home, Pets and Garden
Beyond Pesticides: Pets
6. Protect wildlife and save the bees! Songbirds, raptors, butterflies and our salmon population are threatened by pesticide use. Bees and other pollinators that we depend on for our food supply are under particular threat from neonic insecticides, common ‘all-in-one’ rose and shrub products.
7. Keep our water clean. Chemicals don’t stay put – they run off into waterways and soak into ground water. By avoiding them we can be good stewards of our drinking water, rivers and streams.
8. Save money and time. Natural gardening techniques tend to be much cheaper than buying products or hiring a chemical service, plus they require less labor in the long run.
SPIN Farming techniques (Small plot intensive farming)
Grow BioIntensive (Sustainable mini-farming)
9. Keep it local. Use your dollars to support local, green businesses, not big chemical corporations.
Supportland (rewards card for supporting local businesses.)
Chinook Book (coupons for locally owned nurseries)
Check this website in the future for a list of local, organic landscape designers, installers and maintenance companies.
10. Practice peace. The toxic ingredients in many garden products fight nature rather than work with it. Fostering natural balance in your yard is good for your health and spirit and is a kindness to your neighbors.
Forrest and Trica McDowell Creating Sanctuary
*’Pesticide’ refers to insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, anti-microbials and other chemicals used to kill or deter pests.
Join Sustainable Overlook for these monthly get-togethers at Daybreak Cohousing in their common room at 2525 N. Killingsworth Ave. (unless otherwise noted.) Meet your neighbors, enjoy yummy local food plus learn new skills and sustainable solutions. Everyone is welcome!
Thursday, November 14 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Making your own bread is simple and makes even everyday meals special. Learn techniques for a few styles of bread including herb focaccia and pizza dough and take home a few loaves. Sliding scale $5-15 includes ingredients, all local and organic (and hot soup for dinner!) RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, November 21, 6:30 – 9:00 pm
Portland Permaculture Film Series
Tabor Space, 5441 S.E. Belmont Street
In lieu of a monthly gardening class, we’re joining Portland Permaculture Meet-up for a showing of ‘How to Build a Thermal Mass Rocket Heater’. Join Portland- based movie-maker Calen Kennett for the premiere of his film documenting the construction of a thermal mass rocket stove built by Ernie and Erica Wisner, renowned fire technology geeks and builders of things that burn wood and capture heat. Running time: 117 minutes, followed by a Q & A with Kennett. $5 per person
Thursday, December 12 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Documentary Film and Potluck ‘Passive House: A Building Revolution’
Sustainable Overlook Soup and Cinema is back! From the producers of the award winning film ‘The Power of Community’, “‘Passive House’ takes you on a journey through the most important development in building design, construction and retrofitting in a generation. For 20 years the Passive House standard has been quietly spreading across Europe, applied both to residential and commercial buildings.” It’s a must-see film for homeowners, builders and architects and anyone interested in reducing heating and cooling energy use by 80%. Bring a dish or snack to share. Free!
Thursday, January 9, 2014 6:30 – 8:30 pm
‘The Transition Companion’ discussion and potluck
Join neighbors for an informal reading group. ‘The Transition Companion: Making your community more resilient in uncertain times’ by Rob Hopkins asks the question “What if the best responses to peak oil and climate change don’t come from government, but from you and me and the people around us?” We’ll be discussing the ‘Connecting’ section. A limited number of books are available free of charge. Email email@example.com Bring a dish or snack to share. Free!
Thursday, September 19, 6:30-8:30 pm at Daybreak Cohousing
Class size is limited, please RSVP by visiting http://foodpreservation.doattend.com.
This Thursday, September 5 we’ll meet from 6:30-8:30 pm indoors (in the party room) at the Lucky Lab at 1700 N. Killingsworth St.
Come out if you are interested in helping the efforts for Pesticide Free Overlook, learning what being ‘pesticide free’ means and discuss effective ways of communicating about healthy lawns and gardens.
Thanks to all who came out for the garden tour and everyone who helped make it a success. It was a fun day with eight interesting gardens, each with their own style and story. Read about one in the Oregonian.
Sustainable Overlook has some great events coming up and lots of ways to get involved with making our neighborhood a healthier and friendlier place. We need volunteers to help with all of these events: Sign up to staff a booth, canvas your block or help in other ways. If you would like to help but don’t have much time, consider making a donation to Sustainable Overlook.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer or donate.
SUNDAY, September 1
Neighborhood Picnic (5:30 pm) and Movie in the Park (begins at dusk)
Stop by our booth for free organic seeds, Metro natural gardening information and take the healthy lawn and garden pledge to get a ladybug yard sign. Enter our drawing to win a garden consultation or a Bee Friendly gift basket.
Thursday, September 5, 6:30-8:30 pm
Monthly Meeting /Pesticide Free Overlook volunteer orientation at The Lucky Lab on N. Killingsworth St.
This month our meeting will be an orientation for neighbors who want to help with the Pesticide Free Overlook project.
Saturday, September 14, 11 am – 3 pm
Party in the Park – Patton Square Park
Meet other Overlook neighbors and enjoy live music, food and activities in this little park next to the historic Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center. Visit our booth for natural gardening information and free organically-grown ‘dancing gourds’ for kids, a natural, old-fashioned toy.
Thursday, September 19, 6:30-8:30 pm
Third Thursday Gardening Class – Food Preservation
Join Sustainable Overlook to learn hands-on how to preserve the bounty of the season. We’ll be picking green tomatoes, beets and more depending on what is ready to harvest. Class size is limited to 10, please RSVP by visiting http://foodpreservation.doattend.com.
Sunday, October 6, noon – 4 pm
Carrot Mob at Garden Fever
Bee Friendly Portland is hosting an event at Garden Fever to thank them for pulling neonic pesticides and other toxic chemicals off their shelves. Come by and show your support, visit booths with pollinator information from The Xerces Society, Portland Urban Bee Keepers, Sustainable Overlook and more. Visit www.beefriendlyportland.org for more info.
The Sustainable Overlook Garden Tour 2013 has put together a guide telling about the gardens and some of the natural gardening strategies they use. The tour guide is available as a pdf that tour goers can read on a mobile device or print themselves a copy. Please note that printed copies won’t be available on the tour, though a limited number of maps will be.
Download the tour guide here: Garden_Tour_Guide_2013
And the map here: GardenTour _2013_Map_web
Tour Stops #3 and #7 will have booths with Metro Natural Gardening information where you can take the Healthy Lawn and Garden Pledge and get a free ladybug yard sign. You can ask Sustainable Overlook members your gardening questions and get a free packet of organic lettuce seeds.
Sustainable Overlook is excited to hold the neighborhood’s 2nd annual garden tour. The eight featured gardens represent a wide variety of landscaping styles but are all pesticide-free.
Saturday, August 24
North Overlook (North of Going) gardens will be open 10 am – noon
South Overlook (South of Going) gardens will be open noon – 2 pm
A map and descriptions of the gardens will be posted here closer to the tour date.