A group of us assembled the other evening to kick around ideas about resilience and sustainability for Lummi Island. We talked about the Transition Town Movement and, more or less, decided that since Transition Whatcom was following that 12 Step program for the county that we didn’t have to reinvent that wheel. Transition Whatcom will work their way toward the goal of producing an Energy Descent Plan for the county as a whole. Because we are an island we have some particular problems that the rest of the county doesn’t need to deal with.
The direction of the discussion was to come up with projects that would have an impact on the island’s ability to weather an uncertain economic future, the possibility of fuel and other commodity shortages, ferry service reductions and the various ramifications of climate change. Many ideas were thrown up against the wall (or in our case a flip chart). Below I’ve categorized these ideas and invite your comments. After that we will poll readers of this blog to try and establish some priorities.
That said, I want to point out that this is an informal group with no officers, board, by-laws, secret agendas or mandates. Anyone is free to participate. Likewise, no one has to wait for any approval to move ahead on whatever they deem to be a great idea. In fact, many of the ideas will inevitably lead to individual action. Other ideas will require some group thought or action.
So, here we go (and I will attempt to do this without allowing my own individual biases to prevail):
SKILLS INVENTORY — Which could include an on-line data base and a hard copy Island Yellow Pages (such as has existed in the past). Find out who knows how to do what and the kinds of equipment they have.
RESKILLING — Using the skills inventory come up with a series of (workshops, classes, tutoring programs, mentoring situation) to teach a variety of subjects: gardening, food preserving, food storage, composting, beekeeping, thermal syphoning, welding, coppicing, charcoaling, fuel production, foraging, water catchment, animal husbandry, seed saving, plant breeding, etc. etc. Note: reskilling is an integral part of the Transition Town Movement and there are reskilling classes offered at Inspiration Farm.
RECRUIT YOUNG GROWERS TO THE ISLAND — Provide assistance with land and housing. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
CREATE A TIME BANK — Suggested in comments prior to the meeting.
START AN ELECTRONIC BULLETIN BOARD — Use this for ride sharing, exchange of items, time sharing, etc.
COMMUNITY WATER SUPPLY — Solar powered well; hand pumps; desalination.
CENTRALIZED ISLAND PROPANE STORAGE —From an earlier suggestion in the comments.
COOPERATIVE BUYING GROUP — To purchase food and supplies in bulk and get them to the island. Possibly to be done in coordination with a store.
MATERIALS EXCHANGE —Location where surplus stuff can be dropped off and picked up.
MAKE PLANS FOR ISLAND FUEL PRODUCTION — Using crop plants
PLANT FOOD PRODUCTION TREES —in common areas. Trust land etc.
EXPLORE HEALTH AND WELLNESS —It was noted that there are groups on the island working on this.
This list is not inclusive. It is just a start. Feel free to make any comments or additional suggestions.