The Transition approach will help Berkeley to envision and create a future with more locally produced food and other necessities, cleaner forms of transportation and energy. Along the way, we'll build a more equitable and vibrant local economy and re-learn practical skills our grandparents once had.
Join us and discover just how powerful the collective genius can be when people work together!
"Honey bees are responsible for producing one in every three bites of food we eat, and the estimated value of the pollination services they provide for agriculture in the U.S. is $19 billion. Almonds, apples, cherries and many more fruits and vegetables rely on bees for pollination.
A growing body of scientific evidence shows bees are being harmed by widespread use of neonicotinoids, both alone and in combination with other pesticides. It's the job of the EPA to review such pesticides for safety — and take decisive action when they're found to be harmful.
In the absence of federal action, several states have taken action independently to introduce legislation that would restrict the use of bee-harming pesticides. California, Minnesota and New York are among the states considering action in their state legislatures. And this month, Eugene, Oregon became the first city in the country to restrict the use of neonicotinoids on city property.
Congress is also pushing to curb the use of neonicotinoids through the "Save America’s Pollinators Act" (HR 2692), introduced by Representatives John Conyers (D-MI) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). This bill would mandate EPA to remove neonics from the market until their review is complete. " - From the Pesticide Action Network Website
To learn what you can do to help the bees, download the Honey Bee Toolkit and come to a Transition-sponsored film screening. Information in listings below:
Learn more about Bees & Beekeeping: Take a workshop at the BioFuel Oasis.
This will be the third year that Transition Berkeley hosts our fabulous crop swap at Ohlone Park, across from the North Berkeley BART. In the winter, swaps are held the first Saturday of the month, and everything from books and clothing to homemade jam is swapped. Our next swap will be Saturday April 5, 10:30am-11:30am. In the summer, when more crops are available, swaps take place weekly on Mondays evenings, 6:30pm-7:30pm. We invite you to join us at Ohlone Park, and encourage you to start a swap in your own neighborhood.
Here are some tips for successful swaps, submitted by Carole Bennett-Simmons
1) Get a great story in the local press ahead of time (Berkeleyside or media of choice)
1a) Work with a small group of committed people so no one needs to work too hard
1b) Be reliable and consistent - holding your swap the same time and place every week is great if you can, so people come to expect you to be there and it's part of their routine
2) Pick a site that is:
- convenient to bike and public transportation routes
- very noticeable to large numbers of the public
- wheelchair accessible
- has water available - in the baseball field in our case
- has some shade if it is hot weather
- is green, has trees, nature because gardeners love that
- has plenty of room for visiting and relaxing together during the swap
3) Label the areas you want people to put their crops in - we had vegetables, herbs and delicate items on two long tables and fruits and potted veggies on blankets on the grass - the fruits didn't roll off the tables and looked great arranged on the blankets.
4) Put in some homey touches that are green - we made cloth drawstring bags labeled Crop Swap out of recycled curtains, they were colorful, had inexpensive jute for drawstrings, and illustrated a way that people can save on paper and plastic bags - we asked people to use the bags for collecting small items like fruit to take home and bring the bags back next time they come to the swap.
5) use the creativity of the group to create signs out of reused materials - we had two fabric artists in the group so we made signs out of recycled cloth A huge sign very visible on a main street from an old white curtain with maroon letters from an old sheet. At the swap site we had cloth signs Barbara Edwards created on curtains with loops so they were easy to hang - a huge carrot and a turnip out of scraps of fabric like a collage. We hung them between a pole and a tree.
6) Involve the youth - Jessica did most of the announcing for us one week. She is the daughter of one of the organizers and is doing outreach to youth.
7)Take lots of pictures and display them wherever you can.
8) If you think your group is too large to comfortably select items all at the same time you can make the process more leisurely (and fair) by having swappers pick a playing card when they place their produce in the swap. The order of the card then gives an orderly way for participants to come to the tables. For example, call Ace, 2, 3 etc and the folks who have aces came up together, the twos next and so on.
9) Make friends with neighbors that live near the swap site - you may be able to borrow tables from them or store your tables at their house so you don't have to bring them each week. That way the organizers of the swap can come to the event on foot or bike.