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10belfast Coho PrototypeOn 2 May 2010, Joline Blais gives a Permaculture walkthrough and workshop for University of Maine students at the Belfast CoHousing & Ecovillage, Belfast, Maine. Students in Emily Markides PAX class see a real ecovillage under construction and find out how its members balance practicality and idealism from BCHE member Blais and Radical Simplicity author Jim Merkal, who also attended the event.

Shown: BCHE’s zero-energy prototype house, built by G●OLogic.

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Waterfall Arts presents Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais talking about her work in ecology, the New Commons, and cross-cultural networking on Monday 26 April at 7pm.

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This year’s crop of New Media Majors from the graduating class have created more than just a couple dozen outstanding capstone projects. By inventing startup companies based on cradle-to-cradle design and other local economies, many have envisioned a future for themselves in which earning a living is compatible with living sustainably. And some have businesses that are already taking off.

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Still Water Senior Researchers John Bell and Craig Dietrich join Nicole Starosielski, Vanessa Vobis, and Jon Ippolito in the online presentation “Avoiding a Cultural Bottleneck: Networked, Distributed, and Agile Collaborations” as part of the HASTAC 2010: Grand Challenges and Global Innovations Conference. The projects presented include the Metaserver and other projects of Forging the Future.

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A network analysis of The Pool will be featured at the Leonardo satellite symposium on Arts | Humanities | Complex Networks at the NetSci2010 conference on 10 May in Boston. This conference, held at the lab founded by renowned network theorist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, brings together a cross-disciplinary group of scientists, artists, and scholars to examine old and new media through the lens of network theory.

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Docam LogoThe third-generation version of the Variable Media Questionnaire, an instrument developed by Still Water’s John Bell and Jon Ippolito to help guide the future of artworks endangered by technical and cultural obsolescence, will be launched publically this March at the 2010 DOCAM conference in Montreal.

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Bill Giordano hosted the Penobscot Valley Permaculture Meetup by giving a tour of the LongGreenHouse grounds.

Visitors feasted on Young Me’s cheesecake, potato salad made with our own duck eggs, sample a variety of greens in the polyculture bed, and strategized solutions for the persistent university stormwater run-off that flows into the north corner of the site.

We may be seeing the emergence of a permanent pond, with drainage to the street culverts.

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Join facilitator Bill Giordano
at LongGreenHouse
Wed, May 27, 3:30 pm
5 Chapel Road, Orono

Sheet-mulch gardening is a no-till method for making raised beds. Abundant organic materials such as grass cippings, animal bedding, leaves, manure, newspaper, cardboard, mulching hay, straw and more can be layered on top of earth rather than yearly tilling. All materials break down and become nutrients for the soil food web. Sheet-mulched beds maximize soil health and minimize watering, mineral leaching weeding, and human input for years to come!

Come get your hands in the soil and your heart closer to the earth!

During the month of May, we’ll be planting a dozens of fruit trees, hundreds of berry plants, flowers and annuals at LongGreenHouse and sneaking onto university grounds, along the Food Corridor. Main gardeners will include Bill Giordano, Joline Blais, Isis Bell, and gkisedtanamoogk, with help from 3-yr old Ellie.

If you help us plant, you will earn funds in our local currency, which you can then spend on our eventual harvest. More important, you will be helping us seed a food forest that will spread through the campus, ensuring local food security, and you will be learning some permaculture techniques, like sheet mulching, guild building, and berry pyramid building.

Some key dates are below:

Main Tree planting: May 2-7

Kiwi & Berry Shrubs: May 11 & 16

Strawberry Pyramid: May 19 or 21

Other fruit Trees: Last two weeks of May.

For more info, contact Bill or Joline

Learn how to plant seedlings with Eliot Coleman’s soil blocks. Just bring seedling soil (low nitrogen, plenty of vermiculite, green sand, perlite and peat; Johnny’s 512 mix is ideal), and a flat tray to put the block on, and we’ll supply the seeds.

See how you can plant a flat of soil blocks that easily transplant into your garden. Just lift the block from the tray and plant in a small hole. The roots will be suspended at the edge of the soil (when they reach the air, they become latent, ready to pop out as soon as they hit your garden soil)

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