Grow It Yourself at the 2011 ESTIA conference

11orono giy Grow it Yourself Ipad vgaAt the 8th Annual ESTIA EcoPeace Conference, Still Water Co-Director Joline Blais asked her audience how to get more kids involved in growing food, connecting to the earth, and otherwise participating in conversations about a sustainable future.

“Why are there so few kids in conferences about sustainable futures? How do we wean them from Disney?” she asked. “We wonder why our kids are trying to kill videogame ‘bosses.’ Maybe we should start training them for livelihoods instead of jobs.”

Blais cited mobile games like Grow It Yourself (GIY), developed by her student Anna Werner, suggesting that we should forget Eat-Pray-Love in favor of Eat-Play-Learn.

Brenda Cartwright of Ellsworth cited the first rule of Transition Towns: “Set up a steering committee and plan its demise from the beginning.”

Soil specialist Mark Fulford, meanwhile, was in fine form discriminating between agribusiness and growing healthy food:

Birds don’t sing when you turn on the sprinkler, but they do when it rains.

Cow horns are dowsing wands. Cows carry 25 pounds of bacilli in their gut. Chi is also based in the gut, where communal gatherings start.

People have deeper conversations in farmer’s markets than in malls. There are no security guards watching your radishes.

The conference was held at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast on Friday, December 9, 2011, and co-sponsored by the University of Maine Peace and Reconciliation Studies, the Hutchinson Center, and Newforest Institute.

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