September 2011

Monthly Archive

Ecotopia #156 Moving Planet and Solar Decathlon

Posted by on 21 Sep 2011 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

20 September 201

About the Program

Our first guest tonight is local activist, Peter Hollingsworth. He’s here to tell us about the work he’s doing with Moving Planet Day and, local and global efforts to stop climate change. Moving Planet Day will be a part of the Earth Dance Celebration, to be held in Chico, this Saturday, September 24,

Later in the show we’ll talk with Richard King, Director of the Solar Decathlon. He’ll tell us about Solar Decathlon, a competition in which “The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.” The results of that competition will be displayed in Washington D.C.. September 23-October 2.

Listen to the Program. (Unfortunately, we were only able to record the interview with Peter Hollingsworth–well worth listening to.)

Out Questions for Peter Hollingsworth

Our first guest tonight is Peter Hollingsworth. He has brought together a couple of important events and initiatives that will be part of the focus at Earth Dance this coming weekend. Welcome, Peter Hollingsworth.

1. You’re involved in helping bring attention to and Moving Planet Day.  Can you start by telling us about

2. What is the mission of And why is it called

3. Who’s involved in

4. How is different from other organizations that are taking up the issue of climate change?

5. What are some of the projects that has sponsored or initiated?

6. Can you explain the science of

7. What’s the relationship between Moving Planet and What’s the goal of Moving Planet?

8. Who organized Moving Planet?

9. What will be happening in Chico? Are there other regional events?

10. What motivated you to become apart of these actions?

11. How can people in Butte County become involved?

You can find out more about, by what else, going to And there’s more about Moving Planet at

Our Conversation with Richard King

On September 23-October 2, in Washington D.C., there will be an interesting sight on the Captiol Mall—a village of 19 solar-powered houses, created by college teams from around the country and around the world. With us tonight is our guest, Richard King,, director of the Solar Decathlon, who will tell us more about this Department of Energy competition.

  1. First begin by telling us what the Solar Decathlon is. What is the goal of the Solar Decathlon?
  2. What is the history of the Solar Decathlon? When did it begin? What was the impetus for its creation?
  3. Who’s participating in the Solar Decathlon? How do students get involved? How many people are usually involved in a team?
  4. What are the criteria for the creation of the houses? What are builders and designers trying to accomplish?
  5. How do the houses get transported to Washington? What’s the process of getting them constructed like? How long does it take?
  6. What will visitors to the Capitol Mall see when the come to Washington in the next couple of weeks?
  7. What are some other events that are going on at the Solar Decathlon?
  8. Have there been important innovations or inventions that have come out of the Solar Decathlon? What kinds of exciting discoveries have students made?
  9. Tell us about how people going to D.C. might participate in the Solar Decathlon. Can they tour the houses? Do they need to enroll in the workshops? How can colleges or universities become involved in upcoming Solar Decathlons?

Thank you, Richard King. This sounds like a really exciting venture of the Department of Energy. We wish you luck with it.


1. Harvest Moon 5:05 Neil Young Neil Young: Greatest Hits Rock

2. Supernova 4:42 Liquid Blue Supernova

3. Global Warming Blues 3:42 Lenny Solomon Armando’s Pie

4. Solar Power Princess 2:45 Nooshi the Balloon Dude Ready, Set, Go Green

5. Shine on Harvest Moon 3:12 Leon Redbone Double Time

6. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) 3:16 Marvin Gaye What’s Going On

7. Slower Than Guns (LP Version) 3:50 Iron Butterfly Metamorphosis

8. Clear Blue Skies (LP Version) 3:07 Crosby, Still, Nash & Young

#154 GRUB and Sierra Nevada–Ecopractices

Posted by on 21 Sep 2011 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

6 September 2011

Guest Host: Bill Fritsch


Exploring Ecosystems: Environmental, Social, Technological” Each week Ecotopia explores a topic on a concern that relates to a more sustainable world, and we tie together diverse concerns from science, technology, and society.

Tonight’s Topics
1. Farm products
–GRUB: growing, raising, & selling farm items
–Sierra Nevada Brewery: buying & preparing items for consumption

2. Recycling/Composting
–Sierra Nevada Brewery:

3. Bicycling as alternative transportation
–GRUB: hosted most of the recent Chico Bicycle Festival
–Sierra Nevada Brewery: encouraging employees to bike to work

Listen to the Program

Camerone Scott

  • GRUB Farm
  • The Noetics (bass, manager) / Strange Seed Studio
  • People On The Moon

Bob Littell

  • Taproom and Restaurant General Manager (also the Big Room)
  • Mossy Creek
  • Make It So


1525 Dayton Rd (continuation of Nord Avenue)

Who is the GRUB Cooperative?

We live in intentional community; a collective of resources connecting communities in our community to food in one way or another.

Sustainably Farming in Chico since 2007, the GRUB CSA Farm (Community Supported Agriculture) is a diversified vegetable farm growing forty-five crops in more than 180 distinct varieties to feed Chico’s longest running CSA. While we specialize in growing heirloom tomatoes, summer lettuce, gourmet potatoes, and heirloom dry beans, the strength of a CSA lies in the diversity of its crops. It is the great diversity of crops that we grow combined with responsible land stewardship that allows us to be confident in our ability to provide our members with an abundance of produce each week throughout the growing season. Compost, cover crops, and crop rotations, along with OMRI listed soil amendments help us give back to the soil that gives us so much. No chemically synthesized or petroleum based fertilizers, fungicides, or pesticides are ever used on our farm. At the GRUB CSA Farm we are dedicated to sustainable farming practices, and take our responsibilities as stewards of the land seriously. Everything in your weekly CSA share is grown by us truly, and is as local as the trip from your house to ours.

The best way to enjoy what the farm has to offer is to become a member of our CSA program (Community Supported Agriculture).

Thursday Night Farmer’s Market 6-9 pm,

Wednesday Morning Farmer’s Market 7:30 am–1 pm in North Chico, North Valley Plaza parking lot near Trader Joe’s.

Our produce can also be found at the Chico Natural Foods Co-op at 8th and Main St, at S&S Produce on Mangrove Ave just south of highway 99, and some of the more distinctive kitchens of Chico restaurants.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

1075 E 20th St

Taproom and Restaurant General Manager Bob Littell and Chef Micheal Iles.

Our vegetarian entrées change with the seasons, showcasing the freshest locally grown produce and most succulent ingredients. All of our breads are baked in-house daily. Malted barley from our brewing process gives our whole-grain rolls and pizza crusts a tender, chewy bite, and sauces based on our ales and lagers flavor many other dishes.

We serve choice aged beef from our own locally raised herd, fed on a special natural diet that includes brewer’s yeast with beer and the nutritious spent grains from our brewery. Like our wood-fired pizzas and flatbreads, our grilled meats are cooked over local almond wood – which burns hotter than most woods – to sear meats quickly, locking in juices and flavor.

Sustainability Practices

Honored 2010 by:

  • Sacramento Area Sustainable Business program
  • Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP)
  • Environmental Protection Agency.

The Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) is administered by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). WRAP provides an opportunity for California businesses and nonprofit organizations to gain public recognition for their outstanding waste reduction efforts and lets the community know the business takes waste reduction seriously. WRAP evaluates the waste reduction, procurement, and education activities in the internal business practices of the applicant, not in the services or products it may provide. WRAP also provides businesses with examples of successful waste reduction techniques, which they may adopt as their own.


Since 2005, we have significantly reduced the amount of material sent to landfill and increased the amount of material recovered for beneficial use. Our comprehensive waste diversion program diverts 99.6% of the solid waste leaving our facility from the landfill.  With the addition of more awareness and even more creative recycling programs, we hope to drive this number as close to 100% as possible.  Materials that are currently being collected for recycling include (but are certainly not limited to): cardboard, shrink wrap, glass, scrap metal, wood, paper, and plastic strapping.  One hundred percent of the spent grain and yeast is recovered and used as a protein rich supplement for cattle and dairy lots within 50 miles of the brewery.  A small portion feeds the Sierra Nevada cattle that are served in the restaurant.

The newest addition to the Sierra Nevada resource recovery program is a HotRot composting system.  The HotRot is a large, in-vessel composting system that allows us to compost waste from the brewing process and discarded food scraps from our restaurant and is the first of its kind in the country.  Sierra Nevada invested in this state-of-the-art composting system due to a lack of composting options in our region.  We can compost filter pads from our filtration process, spent hops from the dry hopping process, spent grain screened from our water treatment plant, food and paper towels from break rooms, and all food and paper materials from our restaurant and concert venue.  We can feed approximately 5,000 lbs of organic material into the machine daily. The finished compost is highly valuable and provides a nutritious amendment for our hop field, restaurant garden, and employee garden area. This composting system helps us close the loop on discarded organics and prevents these materials from ending up in a landfill.

Honored 2010 for its sustainability practices by:

  • Sacramento Area Sustainable Business program
  • Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP)
  • Environmental Protection Agency.

The Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) is administered by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle). WRAP provides an opportunity for California businesses and nonprofit organizations to gain public recognition for their outstanding waste reduction efforts and lets the community know the business takes waste reduction seriously. WRAP evaluates the waste reduction, procurement, and education activities in the internal business practices of the applicant, not in the services or products it may provide. WRAP also provides businesses with examples of successful waste reduction techniques, which they may adopt as their own.

Ecotopia #155 Events–Local to Global

Posted by on 13 Sep 2011 | Tagged as: Uncategorized

13 September 2011

This week we’ll be looking at some coming Northstate events that have local-to -global importance.

In the first part of the program, we’ll talk with Luisa Garza of the Label GMOs campaign, which aims to get legistlation requiring GMO labeling on the California ballot. She’ll also tell us about an event coming next Monday night, when Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, will be speaking here in Chico.

And in the second part of the show, we’ll talk with Allen Harthorn of Friends of Butte Creek about the Wild and Scenic Film Festival coming up this Friday at the Sierra Nevada Big Room.

Listen to the Program

Our Conversation with Luisa Garza

Luisa Garza is a longtime promoter of safe and healthy foods and has served on the Board of Chico Natural Foods. She is also active in the Label GMOs initiative that would place GMO labeling on a ballot initiative. Welcome Luisa.

–Before we get to a discusssion of the Label GMOs petition, we’d like to ask you to tell us about an event coming up next week, where Jeffrey Smith, author of the widely respected Seeds of Deception: Genetic Roulette, will be speaking.

–Please tell us about the event coming up. [Monday, September 19, 5 pm, Masonic Family Center. Folks can get tickets here online or at Chico Natural Foods Co-op.]

–Can you tell us a little about Jeffrey Smith and why this lecture is so important? [Background: Jeffrey Smith–Seeds of Deception: Genetic Roulette The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods Jeffrey M. Smith argues that eating genetically modified food is gambling with every bite. The biotech industry’s claim that genetically modified (GM) foods are safe is explored in this book book. Sixty-five health risks of the foods that Americans eat every day are presented in two-page spreads: The left page is designed for the quick scanning reader; it includes bullets, illustrations, and quotes. The right side offers fully referenced text, describing both research studies and theoretical risks. The second half of the book, called, Genetic Roulette, argues that safety assessments on GM crops are not sufficient to identify the health problems presented in the first half.]

–In an earlier program, we talked with Pamm Larry about the Label GMO initiative in California. Can you remind us of what that involves and where the project stands? How many signatures will you need? How are you collecting them? What kind of support do you have in the legislature? What are the barriers to, first, getting the initiative on the ballot, and, second, once you’re on the ballot, what are the obstacles and the timetable?

–Why do you personally feel so strongly about this issue? What’s the harm in not knowing whether foods have been genetically modified? –The GMO industry has always reassured consumers that GM products are safe and well regulated. We assume you beg to differ with that assurance : ). Why do consumers need to be self-protective?

–Finally, how can people sign onto the Label GMOs project and even become engaged in the process of gathering signatures? What’s on your web site and what’s its address? []

Followup on Food Democracy: We want to follow up on our continuing coverage of the efforts of Dave Murphy and Food Democracy Now project to monitor Federal handling of food safety in general and GMOs in particular. Michael Taylor was appointed by the Obama administration as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration–he’s widely regarded to be the “Food Safety Czar,” advising the commissioner on food safety, small farms, factory farms, use of antibiotics, and control of GMOs.

When Taylor was appointed, many food activists, including Jeffrey Smith, (speaking next week in Chico) complained. In an article in Huffington Post, Smith said this is a classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse, because Taylor has been Monsanto’s attorney and has also served as Monsanto’s vice president and chief lobbyist.

We’ve discussed Monsanto’s monopolistic practices in several Ecotopia programs, including their threats to organic farmers in Oregon, whose crops may become pollinated by Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” beets and other Genetically Modified Organisms. Because of Michael Taylor’s background with Monsanto, he is widely seen as favoring big ag and the production of food using chemicals and GMOs. He’s also responsible in part for the FDAs raids on small dairies that do not pasturize milk. Food Democracy now is circulating a petition to Preisident Obama to “fire Michael Taylor for putting family dairy farmers in the crosshairs of his federal agency while letting giant factory farm violators with massive food safety outbreak violations off without even a fine.” To learn more and to see the petition, go to To read Jeffrey Smith’s article Michael Taylor’s background, go to We will also post the full links to the petition and article on our website:]

Our Conversation with Allen Harthorn

Tonight we are talking about some upcoming local events that connect with broader, global issues. With us in the studio now is Allen Harthorn  of Friends of Butte Creek, and who will tellus about a film festival coming up on Friday. It’s called “Films to Change Your World.” Welcome to Ecotopia.

–Please tell us about the festival: when, where, etc.

[Sierra Nevada Brewery Big Room, Friday, September 16th. Doors open at 5:00. Films start at 6:00

•Music by the Gordy Ohliger Trio

•Farmers’ Market Buffet featuring organic and local goodies prepared by the Sierra Nevada Restaurant

•Silent auction items

Tickets available for films only and films plus buffet. There is also a membership special. Tickets available at: Pure Skin at 136 W. 3rd Street or online at: Brown Paper Tickets More information at: or call: Pamela at 893-0360]

–Let’s talk about the films. The one most prominently featured in your promotions is called Truck Farm. Please tell us about it. Why is it the centerpiece of your festival?

[This year, Friends of Butte Creek is proud to feature the new and award winning film: Truck Farm: A whimsical, musical documentary about the quirky world of urban agriculture. After filmmaker Ian Cheney plants a garden in the back of his pickup truck, he and the Truck Farm set out to explore the rooftops, barges and windows that represent New York City’s newest edible oases. Can these urban farmers feed a city? Can the old Dodge and its crops survive the winter? Featuring time machines, Victorian dancers, physicists, nutritionist Marion Nestle, chef Dan Barber, and explorer Henry Hudson. Award for WSFF One of the Best of the Festival.]

–What other films will you be showing? Is there are schedule online or elsewhere?

–This may be an obvious question, but how do films “change your world”? Could you give us a couple of examples?

–How does the festival benefit Friends of Butte Creek? What are your particular interests–passions–through your involvement with the Friends. [Salmon restoration. Other projects?]

–In addition to attending the festival and becoming a member, how can people become involved in the work of the Friends of Butte Creek? [] [Repeat festival info.]

Additional local events: The September issue of David Grau’s Valley Oak Magazine is now available online at It includes gardening tips for the fall and information on Bill McKibben’s project. In addition, David alterted us to several upcoming events in the Northstate.

–Tomorrow evening, September 14, 6pm to 7:30pm. Hands-On Canning Class with Stephanie Elliott at Cocina Cortes, 1110 Dayton Rd., Chico. 781-3253. There’s also an interview with Stephanie in the magazine.

–Sunday, September 18. Vegan Whole Food Prep with Eartha Shanti. Cocina Cortes, 1110 Dayton Rd., Chico. 781-3253.

–Saturday, September 24, 10:30am to 7:30 pm at Cedar Grove in Bidwell Park. Chico EarthDance. features live music, dance, vendors, veggie foods, and more. This is Chico’s Moving Planet event. There will be an info booth on and Moving Planet, and a solar oven display and workshop. You can get more info at or Sunday,

–September 25. A workshop on Live Food Prep with Eartha Shanti. Cocina Cortes, 1110 Dayton Rd., Chico. 781-3253.]


Back To The Garden 4:03 Jason Webley Against The Night
Monsanto (Go Away!) 6:17 Human Naked
Let’s Go To The Movies (Album Version) 4:42 Aileen Quinn;Albert Finney;Ann Reinking;Chorus
Let’s Make a Movie 2:57 Ratcliff Bailey Deuce

Earth Anthem 3:54 The Turtles Go Green: Songs for Earth Day,
God’s Away On Business 3:00 Tom Waits Blood MoneyI Remember California 5:04 R.E.M. Green RockRain On The Scarecrow 3:46 John Mellencamp Scarecrow
Break Up The Concrete 2:39 The Pretenders Break Up The Concrete