Planning trips in an electric vehicle to work for Salish Sea protection, watching a 9 year old lovingly pet a bee, gathering food for land protectors, and working to ban neonics. It has been quite a week! Here’s the third review.
1. Go to and Facilitate Meetings: This week I attended the Steering Committee meeting for the Birchwood Food Desert Fighters and helped to solidify some long-range planning to broaden our work to grow and harvest more food in a wider area of the neighborhood.
2. Get into Gardens: I was only in my own this week. We’re doing late season planting of beets, greens, broccoli, and some medicinal herbs. It’s a lot of up and down with crops but everyday I see dozens and dozens of thriving bees and it’s such a tangible expression of positive impact our small actions can have in relationship with the ecosystems we live within.
3. Make Donations: In the wake of the horrible news of 3 more orca deaths, I made another donation to Sacred Seas: For a Living Salish Seas. If you are not familiar with their work or that of the Red Line Salish Sea (also linked above), they are doing amazing projects to keep seas habitable for orcas.
4. Agitate Politicians: I have definitely written to politicians whenever I have been sent links, including protesting mining in Northern BC and the critical salmon (and therefore orca) habitat of Bristol Bay but I didn’t many to spearhead a project of my own.
5. Ban Bee Killing Pesticides: Small steps! I emailed NRDC, Natural Food Certifiers, and Friends of the Earth who have all supported other counties in banning neonicotinoids. After requesting consultation and support, I have a meeting set up for this Monday morning with NFC and am really looking forward to what they recommend for the next steps. If you’d like to join me in this work, please join the Whatcom Bee Protectors.
6. Support Indigenous Events: I will be attending the Walk to Protect and Restore the Salish Sea Climate Emergency 2019. The event will run from 9am-6pm. It’s a few hours from our house so we are booking a nearby campsite, taking a day off, and getting our electric car set up with quick charge memberships so it will be road trip ready. On September 27th I will attend A Gathering to Celebrate (and Protect Xw’ullemy (the Salish Sea). I am currently working to support carpool coordination from both Bellingham (Lummi Nation) and Vancouver, BC (Musqueum, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh nations).
7. The Unist’ot’en Food Drive: Our next shift gathering donations from the Unist’ot’en Camp’s Needs List will be at the Bellingham Community Food Coop from 1-3. Please come by and say hi to us if you are in the area!
8. Create Networks: I’ve been booking some talks this week and will be speaking about Birchwood Food Desert Fighters at Common Thread’s new Americorps employee orientation and also with the WWU Food Security Week.
9. Get to Know Plants and Trees: With the abundance of bees in our back yard, the kids have actively been confronting their fears. Within the culture of domination they were raised in, they had been told that bees can smell fear and will get you if you are scared. Talk about putting us in an adversarial relationship with the creatures that keep us alive! The kids would freeze around bees. We worked on alternate narratives: what if they are flying by because they appreciate what you’ve grown for them, what if they love making food and our lives on this earth possible? What might they be telling you if you listen when they fly by? (If you are interested in supporting children in developing a less hierarchical relationship with nature, I highly recommend April Charlo’s talk on Indigenous Language Revitalization.) It was really powerful when our 9 year old got up the nerve to gently pet a bee and was so moved by the experience that he had to run instide and draw a picture of the moment as fast as he could. He greets them lovingly now and is excited to see their increased presence in our yard.
10. Utilize the power of Words: Again, this is blog post number 4. I’ve focused on revising my syllabi and initial lesson plans for courses I’ll teach in the fall. This week was tricky. We were out of town visiting my wonderful in-laws in Ladysmith (on the rightful, ancestral land of the Stz’uminus nation). Cousins met, aunts and uncles were there, the kids are better woven into the fabric of the family. What a week!