Letter From Michael Conley

Friends and colleagues,

Here’s a brief update on our doings in the Souhegan Transition project.

We welcomed Tina Clarke as our first speaker in our speaker series this past Sunday. She was brilliant as she detailed the thinking that created the idea of “Transition” — that the cheap oil that brought us globalization and global climate change is coming to an end. The facts of the case are clear — all the easy methods of obtaining oil have been exhausted, leaving only those inefficient and expensive methods to extract an ever-dwindling supply. The price of gas is going to continue to go up, straining our social networks, our economic system, and eventually the nature of our communities. We have a choice: to prepare for the inevitable change or to not prepare. We are voting to prepare by developing as many intelligent and forward thinking relationships as we can.

One path that seems particularly productive is to hire Tina to conduct a full weekend training here in Milford, or thereabouts. These workshops are very powerful transformational tools and Tina is an expert in leading them. They cost usually $150 per participant, last for about 15 hours (typically divided between Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday) and require at least 16 people and no more than 25. Financial Aid is available — please contact Michael Conley (michael AT michaelconley DOT net), Mike Anderson (rma AT updownway DOT com) or Keith Badger (badgertrack AT tds DOT net) with any inquiries.

We initiated one important relationship on Wednesday evening, when several of us (Keith and Andrea Badger, Carol Mannarino, Cathy Goldwater, Bev Boyer, Brian and Darcy Drayton, Jo Deckert, Amy and Michael Conley, and Dino and Lorraine Salisbury) cooked a boatload of spaghetti and apple crisp for the community at the SHARE headquarters in Milford. Approximately 50 diners were served! Many conversations were conducted about food and farms, as some of the food we served was donated, very generously, by Paradise Farm in Lyndeborough (try the Northern Spy apples for apple crisp — wow!). They also sold us some sausage that was equally good. Good old Brad Miller of High Mowing/ Nomadic Farm also shared his summer squash. We are thinking of doing it again! Let Michael Conley or the list serv (souhegan-transition AT yahoogroups DOT com) know.

We have been discussing the best way to organize ourselves and decided that we needed a some time for our “initiating group” to jell. “Initiating groups” only exist to help the Transition Town begin — we are a group that plans its own demise! Please let us know if you would like to be a part of our initiating group — we’re seeking in particular folks that have time on their hands, that want to get more involved, and who are close enough to our geographic center (Milford) to continue to work with us for the next 6 months.

We are happy to announce two initiatives on the immediate horizon: the film “I Am” will be screened at the Wilton Town Hall Theater on Sunday Oct. 21 at 4:30 with refreshments and a discussion to follow. Also, the day before that (Oct. 20), several of us are planning to attend the New England Transition meeting and potluck in Jamaica Plain. Please write to the listserv (souhegan-transition AT yahoogroups DOT com) if you would like or could provide some rides.

We are also planning a day of foraging and walking in the great outdoors with Keith and Andrea Badger. The tentative date for that is Oct. 28. Please check the website to confirm. Speaking of websites — have you checked out our wonderful new website www.souhegan-transition.org? — please check it out and send community notices that way. We are also interested in any “transition friendly” activities, events, ideas that you feel are relevant. Please send them to Mike Anderson at rma AT updownway DOT com.

Milford’s own Farmers’ Market is thriving. So is the Boys and Girls Club of the Souhegan Valley, the Wilton Town Hall Theatre, the Hilltop Cafe, Paradise Farm in Lyndeborough, High Mowing/Nomadic Farms CSA in Wilton, the Beaver Brook Association in Hollis, SHARE Inc of Milford, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Milford, and the High Mowing School. We are seeking to partner with these organizations — please check out their outstanding programs and administration and support them yourself and tell them about STTN. For instance, Beaver Brook is sponsoring a nationally known beekeeper in November who can show you how to create a hive that will be resistant to hive collapse. Isn’t that cool? The more we can support what is already transition-like and is already going on, the greater the reception to our events and the more likelihood of an adoption of a community-wide sustainable planning. And of course, you can always like us on Facebook! :-)

Finally, our community garden group has been meeting! They are seeking to identify a site for a community garden in Milford. The site needs to be easily accessible, with good sunlight and access to water. Contact the listserv if you’d like to be informed about meetings, etc.

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom. Hope all is well with each of you!

Yours in Transition,

Michael Conley

Article written by Michael Conley

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