by Tom Sims
Tom Sims covers the Tower District, Downtown Fresno, and Old Town Clovis in his monthly column Strolling the Town.
We feel these are three areas in this Valley that are filled with history, culture and interesting stories. So join us each month as Tom goes Strolling!
I decided to follow up on the article I wrote about the upcoming Earth day events in Fresno by visiting Fresno’s Earth Day last Saturday at Radio Park. The result was that I ended up with far too many ideas and impressions to report, fodder for future articles, and inspiration for networking and implementing new ideas. It was worth the three hours I invested.
I saw cars powered with alternative energy and an eco-friendly school bus. I visited with old and new friends promoting products, ideas, and causes, all thoroughly screened for greenness. I call it the green screen. Anyone can label any product anything, but there are some standards. The local Earth day committee was committed to having only the “real deal” at the fair.
The Dakota Eco Village is a realm I have been wanting to visit and will visit soon. That is especially true after my conversation with Nancy Waidlow, the founder. Nancy bought a house and lot and turned it into a village for the homeless who are willing to live in community, produce food and energy and be as self-sufficient at possible. Their presence is on Facebook: ecovillage@gmail[dot]com and www.facebook.com/DakotaEcoGarden?fref=ts.
Jeff Adolph lives at the village and brought his air-cooled tent prototype to demonstrate. Outside was his power supply, a 50 Watt solar panel running four amps, producing 12 volts, charging two battery boxes and running a lamp, fan, tablet and radio in his tent.
Six people live in the “village house,” according to Nancy. Three live outside in their own self-created living spaces.
Jeff and others are active in Wings Fresno, a group born of community involvement for, with and alongside the homeless. Contact them on the web Wingsfresno.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Wings.Fresno.
Chef Naomi Hendrix with RawFresno.com regaled me with recipes and tastes of healthy raw, vegan treats. She can also be found on the web: www.rawfresno.com and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/rawfresno?fref=ts. Naomi says, “We are a community of individuals who know what we eat makes a difference in our lives and on the planet! We are not advocating 100% raw we are advocating 100% real food!!!”
It was delicious and deserves a Healthy Eating article in the future. In the meantime, do your own research at four locations: Metal Mark Climbing Gym – Mon, 4 p.m – 9 p.m. Kaiser Farmers Market – Wed 8 a.m. to 2 p.m, CartHop – Fulton Mall/Merced, Thurs 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Bella Fruita is Sat and Sun 6 a.m. – 2.p.m. and seasonally at various Farmer’s Markets as well as soon to be found at PDeQ. Their “Grab and Go Locations” are Peeves Local Pub, Tower Health and Abundant Harvest!
I visited with GMO activists who are still fighting the good fight to inform the public about the contents of their food. They can be found at their web address, www.labelgmos.org, where they say, “Ever wonder if we would have won Prop 37 if folks knew who was spending that $45M on confusing ads? AB 700 will require the real money to be clearly identified on ads. This is the first step in cracking Citizen’s United. It matters!!”
Check in for updates on the web: www.yesfairelections.org. Steve Popenoe drew me over with his wide smile and enthusiasm for creation of gadgets, widgets, and moveable art out of discards. Touting the ideas at their web address: www.Fresnoldeaworks.org. and Facebook page, www.facebook.com/fresnoideaworks, also invited me to a maker’s fair the next day. The admission was virtually free to anyone, child or child-at-heart who brought something they had made. Steve says they are “a community sharing the tools, knowledge, and support you need to bring your ideas to life.”
We are definitely going to connect.
Solar balloon energy systems were offered at a special introductory price in the $40 range. California Sunlight: www.facebook.com/CAsunlight “the ultra-portable solar balloon cooker in 2 oz. package for your recreation or emergency preparedness.”
Mr. Bing Gu posed for his picture with the simple solar cooker that boils water, makes soup, and bakes things with the power of the sun. According to Bing, “California Sunlight Corporation develops, designs, and commercializes high efficiency and cost-effective small scale solar energy systems. Using its patent pending technologies, California Sunlight offers a new breed of solar energy systems for your personal and business needs, including Solar Cooking systems, active day-lighting and solar electricity generation.”
I was offered A California Green Guide- Sustainability Made Simple from California Academy of Sciences: www.calacademy.org. They also supplied a free app for sustainable seafood downloadable at www.seafoodwatch.org I have downloaded it and will use it now that I am including fish in my diet.
The music was very green and folksy. I took Naomi’s food and sat at a table under the tree and tapped my foot.
I saw a machine that can take moisture out of the atmosphere, convert it to water, purify it with reverse osmosis and put it to work for drinking or hydroponic growing. Joel Hedgpeth majors in “True Aeroponics, Renewable Energy, Drought Response, Water Production, and Resource Efficiency. He can be contacted at his website, www.lifeflowertech.com.
If all that and other solar options look good, Tom Cotter is the go-to guy for figuring out how to make the numbers work www.facebook.com/solartomcotter?fref=ts and www.solartomcotter.com. Tom is at the forefront of most green thinking and implementation in the Fresno area and is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. He can also arrange financing.
There were close to two thousand in attendance, scores of volunteers, families, children, and seniors. Students showed off their ideas for sustainable creations. I saw art made from “trash,” and even a home school built around teaching green concepts. The line was too long for me to talk with anyone, but I will follow through.
Tree Fresno was among those planting ideas: www.facebook.com/pages/Tree-Fresno/278601304183?fref=ts
Mainly, it was a stroll, but it was a stroll through a world of ideas and networking relationships. I won’t miss next year and I will look forward to being among so many in one place with a common purpose.
Actually, I will not have to wait long, because this crowd tends to gather in different venues throughout the year to eat, talk, and exchange energy.
In a day when energy sources need to be conserved, it is fun to be in a place where energy is also generated.