Accomplishments

  • September 14 – Green Home Tour of three unique energy efficient homes:
    First, an earthship made of recycled materials with a greywater recycling system, composting toilet, bottle wall, passive solar;
    Second, a balecob house on an earthbag foundation, using strawbale, earthbag, rubble trench foundation, cob, wattle daub, and features a rocket mass heater, earthen floors and ferrocement garden beds; and
    Third, a super insulated frame house with a CO2 heat pump that is under review in the U.S., and a ventilator with heat recovery
  • June 15 – Another Victor Community Garden Work Day with help from the Trapper Creek Job Corps
  • April 27 – Victor Community Garden Work Day with help from the Trapper Creek Job Corps
  • April 21 – Victor Community Garden Work Day with help from the Trapper Creek Job Corps
  • May 4 thru May 22 – A Walk Through Time: From Stardust to Us exhibit set up in Hamilton.  The exhibit consists of 90 colorful panels that depict points in time of the 4.6 billion year life of our solar system and our beautiful planet Earth.  The exhibit is one of only three in the world.  Jill Davies heard that the exhibit was available to move on to a new home,  contacted Vicki Watson, retired professor of environmental studies at UM, and together they arranged for the exhibit to be gifted to UM in April of 2017 where the exhibit was shown for the first time.  SLS members donated the funds to cover the cost of bringing the exhibit here from California.  The panel may also be viewed online
  • April 15 – Victor Community Garden Work Day with help from the Trapper Creek Job Corps
  • June 21 thru October 19 – Building the composting outhouse at Victor Community Garden.  Designed and led by Roger DeHaan, we worked for 10 long days over the summer in construction with volunteer help from the Trapper Creek Job Corps and some community members.   Nearly all of the materials for the project were donated by various building supply businesses in the valley
  • April 16 – Victor Community Garden Work Day with help from the Trapper Creek Job Corps
  • September 15 – Presentation from Janine Benyus, who co-founded the Biomimicry Institute in 2006 to share nature’s lessons with the people who design and make our world.   Biomimicry Institute empowers people to create nature-inspired solutions for a healthy planet.
  • July 11 – Geology tour in the Bitterroot
    with George Furniss – a tour of the sites in the valley that show the effects of the ice ages and Glacial Lake Missoula, including Roaring Lion,  Judd Creek, Lost Horse Creek and Lake Como.
  • May 18 – Native Bee Presentation and Workshop by  Leah Grunzke.  Leah presented a slide show of flowers and native bee pollinators, going over the basics of pollinator gardening and habitat requirements (what types of flowers attract different pollinators, planting suggestions), the life cycle of native bees and how they differ from honeybees (in terms of biology, nesting, pollination, beekeeping, etc), and the specifics of building a variety of native bee nesting houses.
  • April 18 – Fruit tree workshop led by MSU Extension, followed by Victor Garden Work day.
  • September 20 – Harvest Dinner and Pollinator Workshop – led by native bee researches Marirose Kuhlman and Leah Grunzke. Lots of info re/ native bees given, plus how to make bee hotels.
  • June 14 – Geology Tour in the Bitterroot, led by George Furniss, showing the effects of the Ice Ages and Glacial Lake Missoula. 
  • April 26 –  Montanans for Climate Solutions – A statewide rally calling for solutions to climate change. 
  • October 19 – Annual Green Home Tour, including four energy efficient structures –
      – a monolithic dome,
      – a biodiesel plant on a farm,
      – a grid-tied home with integrated solar and wind generation, and
      – a earth source heat pump home.
  • September 21 – Annual Root Food Dinner, salsa making and Harvest Party at the Victor Community Garden
  • April 20 – Annual Earth Day, with a Community Garden Work Day and Potluck Party at the Victor Community Garden
  • September 15 – Annual Biterroot Dinner – annual potluck party at the Victor Community Garden to celebrate the harvest with games for children.  Music provided by the gardeners.  Potluck dishes made from garden produce.
  • August 12 – Garden Tour of five gardens in the Hamilton and Corvallis area
  • April 21 – The Annual Seed and Bedding Plants Swap/Sale for Earth Day
  • April 14 – The first Victor Community Garden / Editble Schoolyard Workday and community plots rented
  • March 23 – Free viewing of the video The Economics of Happiness – Creating a Better Economic Future for All.  Examines the structures and myths on which the corporate-controlled global economy is based, and explores how a new economy, one based on an economics of happiness, can be built by supporting the local economy.
  • October 22 – Annual Bitterroot Food Dinner.  Work pary and salsa making, creating a native pollinator garden and a picnic area of native trees and bushes.
  • September 17 – Annual Bitterroot Green Home Tour of 4 homes and 1 business; viewing an earthship under construction, passive solar heating, solar power, strawbale, ecological water systems, and a pyramid home / greenhouse.
  • April 23 – 1st Annual Earth Day Event – “Spring Celebration of Gardens and Local Food”, with a presentation from Jeremy Smith, author of Growing a Garden City, and Ria Overholt, coordinator of the Hamilton Community Garden
  • February 26 – Seed and Natural Products Swap, Sale, and Music – Group discussion on how to grow seed and how to keep varieties true-to-seed.
  • February 1 – Bitterroot Food Cooperative Steering Committee meeting
  • October 9, 10 – Green Home Building Workshop and Bitterroot Food Dinner – In conjunction with 350.org ‘s “Get to Work” campaign which consists of a Global Work Party taking place in thousands of communities all over the world.  Our workshop focuses on living in shelters that have the the lowest ecological footprint on the earth as possible, using energy systems that are simplified and off the grid, and using building materials that are considered waste in this society.
  • August 21 – Garden Tour
  • April 17 – Awakening the Dreamer Symposium
  • February 27 – Workshop by Michael Pilarski – “A Permaculture Approach to Food Production & Biomass in Agriculture and Gardening”
  • January 29 – Bitterroot Food Coop Meeting and potluck with an  update on new developments in the works for the Co-op, and the election of new board members.   Plus second showing of the eye opening movie/documentary Food, Inc. 
  • December 12 – Global Day of Climate Action,  focusing on the Copenhagen Climate Conference. 
  • December 4 – Workshop by Kathleen Kennedy – “The Work that Reconnects”
  • October 30 – Video The Killing Fields – how genetically modified soy is causing havoc in South America
  • October 24 – Bitterroot Food ’09 and Global Day of Climate Action.
      –  A gourmet, home cooked dinner featuring fresh, local foods
      –  A silent local food auction and a speaker on solutions for climate change.  This event is in conjunction with the International Day of Climate Action, organized by Bill McKibbon and associates of 350.org, to take a stand for limiting CO2 in the atmosphere to 350 ppm and to encourage world leaders to pass policies strong enough to get us back to 350.
  • September 19 – Bitterroot Green Home Tour – Five homes all offering a variety of green capacities, including: passive solar heating, solar power, solar-water heating, earth berm and concrete block for thermal mass, composting toilets, recirculating gravel filter with wetland plants for gray water, local rock and strawbale construction, attached greenhouses, food storage and processing, R70 cellulose walls.
  • August 27 – After discovering that the herbicide Milestone was responsibile for contaminating compost and potting soil, a community meeting was called to collect stories, compile what we know, and identify the questions that need answers. 
  • July 31 – Showing of the video Home with potluck
  • July 20 – Baroque Orchestra Concert by Brandhout
  • June 12 – Book reviews and a video of Jill Bolte Taylor describing her “Stroke of Insight”
  • June 5 – “Gentle Winds in the Bitterroot” – Recorder concert by the Backyard Recorder Consort of Missoula
  • May 29 – Bitterroot Food Co-op Annual Meeting
  • April 23 – Final Strategic Planning Meeting for building a Local Food System.
    Also, the Community Food Project Coalition formed a Community Food System Plan.  A Planning Grant from the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (administered by USDA) was awarded to Sustainable Living Systems in October of 2007.  By March of 2009 we completed an extensive Community Food Assessment involving well over 1000 citizens in the valley. In the process, a Community Coalition was formed to participate in facilitated meetings to develop a plan for a secure community food system.  The plan consists of specific goals and recommendations to ensure that the food needs of low-income people are met, to increase the food related sustainability and self-reliance of the valley, and to create an economic environment where diversified farming and processing of locally produced food is stimulated and encouraged.  Contact Us for the supporting detail.
  • March 27 – Showing of the video “Escape from Affluenza” organized by the Great Turning Group, with refreshments and discussion following
  •  February 27 – Showing of the video “The Great Turning” – an inspiring presentation by author David Korten about these troubled times and the solution is building local economies via local food and energy.
  • October 3 – Bitterroot Food for Sustainability – a local harvest dinner, fundraiser, silent food auction, and educational event with Bruce Smith speaking on “Why Local Food and What We are Doing About It”
  • September 13 – Green Home Tour of five Bitterroot homes – passive solar power, an Earthship, the latest solar technology, straw-bale structures, a concrete home, and learning how recycled material can be revived
  • April 12 – Bitterroot Food Co-op First Annual Meeting – we elected a new 9 member board of directors, and adopted By-laws.  This has enabled us to formally incorporate as a Cooperative Association and then we may “call in” the actual membership funds and begin implementing a new business plan.
  • January 31 – Showing of the video Montanans at the Crossroads of Global Warming. This video was made in Missoula, is relevant for Montana, and was entirely locally produced with experts, leaders, and individuals from around the state, including Nobel Laureate Dr. Steven Running.
  • January 26 – Co-op Social Last Best Food by the Bitterroot Food Co-op Team.  A local food dinner, prepared by Riversong Catering, with local beer and wine available.  Acoustic music provided by Crested Hens, and dance music by Blue Melon.  
  • November 3 – Nation Day of Action for Climate Change with two speakers, social hour, and live Celtic music.  Presentations by Nobel laureate Dr. Steve Running on ecosystem changes resulting from global warming and Ben Brouwer on Blueprint for Montana’s Energy Self-Reliance
  • March 29 – Discussion with “Grow Montana” – a coalition of state-wide organizations working towards food security in the state
  • March 25 – Bill McKibben reading from his new book Deep Economy
  • January 29 – Jill Davies presents How Life Works via Cells and How GMOs are Made
  • November / December – Jeffrey Smith, speaker and writer on GMOs in food and author of the book Seeds of Deception, exposed industry and government lies about the safety of genetically engineered foods.

 

Following are thought-provoking documentaries presented about us and our society:

  • May 17 – The Corporation

    a provocative study of the inner workings, history, and power of the modern multinational  corporations, with testimonies from corporate insiders

  • May 3 – Hidden Dangers in Kids’ Meals – why genetically engineered foods are dangerous, how biotech companies drive regulations, and the positive impact of healthy foods on kids
  • April 19 – Affluenza – about excessive consumption and materialism, and why many seek voluntary simplicity
  • April 5 – The End of Suburbia – about the unsustainability of our fossil fuel society
  • March 22 – Outfoxed – Rupert Murdoch’s domination of the press and war on free journalism
  • March 8 – The Future of Food – a stunning documentary about GMOs and the patenting of life
  • February 22 – Ancient Futures and Local Futures – Documentaries by Helena Norberg-Hodge about the impacts of globalization on undeveloped countries, focusing on Ladakh
  • February 8 – WalMart – the Hight Cost of Low Prices – effects on communities, and campaigns to keep them out
  • Steering Committee meetings for Bitterroot Valley Food Co-op
  • Conversation Cafes – monthly meetings on creating a sustainable economy in our community
  • Seed Growers’ Network Meetings
  • Video showings, including Is WalMart Good for AmericaAncient Futures & Local FuturesThe Future of FoodGlobalization vs. CommunityThe End of Suburbia, and Escape from Affluenza
  • Susan Witt and Chris Lindstrom from Schumacher Society spoke on the benefits of setting up a local currency, and on the SHARE program and on Community Land Trust
  • Herbology Workshop with Lisa Classen on the making of Comfrey Salve
  • Green Homes Tour – a self-guided tour in the Bitterroot Valley and in Missoula, featuring strawbale, earthship, super-insulated, recycled materials, passive and active solar,  and alternative gray water
  • Permaculture Workshop with Michael Pilarski from Friends of the Trees Society, focusing on Permaculture Design for Small Properties – Increasing Biological & Economic Productivity
  • Salsa Festival with potluck dinner and live music by The Crested Hens – 16 gallons of salsa were made in ~ 2 ½ hours!
  • New members meeting, volleyball & potluck
  • Building an Earthship Workshop
  • Bitterroot Green Homes Tour
  • Salsa Festival
  • Spinning & Weaving Workshops
  • Biodiesel and Used Fry Oil Applications Workshop
  • Helena Norberg-Hodge spoke on Globalization versus Community
  • Conversation Cafes – monthly meetings on creating a sustainable economy in our community
  • Bitterroot Valley Food Co-op – first organizational meeting