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2 Day Hoop House Workshop with Will Allen

We’re going to try to get a few people from our neighborhood to this workshop. It is going to be a good one! Please spread the word. ~Gregg

On Saturday, October 30 and Sunday, October 31, 2010, Will Allen, a McArthur Fellow and founder of Growing Power, Inc of Milwaukee, will return to Detroit to share his knowledge and expertise on hoop house technology.

A two-day workshop experience, this hands-on event will include construction of a 30′ x 96′ hoop house at D-Town Farm and a lecture by Mr. Allen on hoop house technology.  Participants will be able to learn alongside Will Allen, a noted teacher and trainer in urban agricultural methods, and walk away prepared to build their own hoop house for year-round food production.  D-Town Farm is one of Growing Power’s eight Regional Outreach Training Centers in the U.S., and provides periodic lectures, workshops and hands-on training experiences in urban agriculture and food security.

Activities on Saturday, October 30 will begin at 9:00am and conclude at 6:00pm, with a lecture and PowerPoint presentation by Mr. Allen at 12:00pm. Activities on Sunday, October 31 will begin at 9:00am and conclude at 2:00pm. Lunch on both days is included with the cost of registration.

Participants are encouraged to wear work clothes (and bring a battery operated drill if they have one).  The 30′ x 96′ hoop house that will be constructed as part of this workshop will be built from a hoop house kit, which will simplify the construction process for do-it-yourself’ers who plan to use what they learn during the workshop to build their own hoop house.

Registration is now OPEN! The deadline for advanced registration is Wednesday, October 27, 2010. Advance registration is only $60.00 per person for this two-day workshop and learning experience and includes lunch for both days.  Registrations received after October 27 are $75.00 per person. Payments can be made in person or by mail at 3800 Puritan, Detroit, MI 48238.  Online registration is also available at www.detroitblackfoodsecurity.org (click on “Will Allen Visit”).

All activities will take place at D-Town Farm, a two-acre organic farm operated by the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network and located at Rouge Park on W. Outer Drive between Plymouth and W. Chicago in Detroit. Call Ebony Roberts at (313) 345-FOOD (3663) for more information.

GROWING POWER is a national non-profit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities.  Will Allen is the founder and CEO of Growing Power and the son of a sharecropper who has become recognized as perhaps the preeminent voice and practitioner for urban agriculture in America and throughout the world.

The Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN), a non-profit, grassroots, community organization aims to change our thinking about food, where it comes from, and who controls it.

October 22, 2010   No Comments

Press Release: Second Detroit Dome to be Erected at Bioneers This Weekend!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2010
Contact: Leeann Drees
Phone: 313.355.2009
email: leeann@detroitevolution.com

URBAN COTTAGE UP-START TO ERECT GEODESIC DOME AT BIONEERS CONFERENCE
City’s second geodesic dome greenhouse structure will offer space for reflection at sustainability gathering.

Detroit, Michigan – October 11, 2010 – This weekend Detroit’s Marygrove College will host the fifth annual Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit conference. Billed as a “revolution from the heart of nature,” Bioneers is a yearly national event. The Detroit satellite conference features a plethora of locally-focused learnshops relating to sustainability, as well as streaming video plenary speeches from the national conference. These presentations feature acclaimed thinkers such as Michael Pollan and Dr. Andrew Weil, to name examples from previous years. This year’s conference will include Jane Goodall and Gary Hirshberg, among others.

This year the local conference will have something brand new, too: a 26′-diameter geodesic dome constructed by Detroit Domes, a self-defined “urban cottage industry up-start” seeded by Detroit Evolution, the North Corktown-based organization which has also helped create People’s Yoga Detroit and the Corktown Community Kitchen. The Bioneers dome will be a welcome addition to the conference and its raw, uncovered structure and encompassing vertices will serve as a space for reflection and as an expression of interconnection.

The idea to build geodesic domes in Detroit was born when Detroit Evolution co-founder Gregg Newsom and friends Andrew Newton and Donde Hardison began to share their fascination with geodesic domes and low-cost sustainable design with others. When Gregg’s farming neighbor Travis Roberts expressed his interest in innovative farming methods and his need of a structure for year-round growing, they teamed up to raise funds and in September a prototype GreenDome was quickly designed and constructed by a crew of friends and neighbors.

Detroit Domes recruited design assistance from the Mt. Elliott MakerSpace and displaced auto engineer Jay Harnish. The engineering team quickly designed a revolutionary appropriate technology dome connector while the rest of the team sought out Detroit-local material suppliers able to compete with big box store prices, and learned every step of dome fabrication and building. Detroit Domes is actively seeking funding and space to build an off-grid machine shop to fabricate domes and other structures, further their skills, and inspire further innovation at the block level by connecting with other community-minded organizations.

“Just as many of us have forgotten how to grow food, many have forgotten how to make/craft/build things” says Newsom, “Building domes and other alternative structures provides an opportunity to reconnect with practical skills that have been devalued and outsourced. While building the GreenDome we learned how to source local materials, measure, cut metal, drill, create systems, manage work flow and most importantly, to work as a team.”

Now that Detroit’s first GreenDome structure is up the Detroit Domes team is entering a second design phase and will continue to collaborate with Detroit-local techies, makers and farmers to develop low-cost sustainable approaches to appropriate-technology covering and off-grid heating of the dome. Travis’s goal is for his dome to provide year round space for chickens to graze on the ground and to grow food from the dome’s ceiling.

This prototype GreenDome is just the beginning for Detroit Domes, and urban agriculture represents only one of many potential applications of dome design. Domes also serve as a great space for community-gathering and -building, which will be shared at Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit. The dome will be located on the lawn between the theater and Madame Cadillac buildings on Marygrove’s beautiful campus .

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About Detroit Evolution
– Detroit Evolution promotes sustainable practices, social and environmental justice through Seed Programs: Detroit Abides, the Corktown Community Kitchen, People’s Yoga Detroit and Detroit Domes. In addition to offering healthy local catering we present workshops and community focused events that assist in and inspire the co-creation of a resilient and relocalized Detroit. http://detroitevolution.com

About Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit – Bioneers comprise a network of visionary innovators working to build a sustainable, positive and creative future for the web of life. This year’s Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit Conference, held October 15-17 at Marygrove College, will combine local sessions, solutions and events with international innovations. http://www.glbd.org/

Detroit Domes actively promotes “off the map,” low-cost, sustainable tools, techniques and concepts in Detroit. http://detroitdomes.org

Travis, Andrew, Donde and Gregg are available for interviews or further information. Please contact Leeann Drees, Detroit Evolution’s Project Coordinator, at 313.316.1411

October 12, 2010   No Comments

From Detroit Domes: The Story So Far…

Cross-posted from Detroit Domes.

About 6 months ago I started to share my love of Buckminster Fuller with some of my young friends here in North Corktown. Fuller invented the Geodesic Dome amongst other amazing innovations. When we we’re approached by my neighbor Travis to help build a greenhouse, we suggested a dome. We sought funding through kickstarter and, in short order, built a 26′ diameter, 15.5′ high dome with some innovative features.

We recruited design assistance from the brilliant engineers at Mt. Elliott MakerSpace and long time friend and displaced auto engineer Jay Harnish. Through collaboration, over many late nights, the engineering team quickly designed a revolutionary appropriate technology dome connector and have offered support and sweat equity on the GreenDome since. We are extremely thankful for Jeff, Ted and Jay for their assistance on the front end of this project.

photo by A.j. Viola

We shared this dome with the Food Justice Task Force at D-Town Farms Harvest Festival in September. Domes seem to attract people and are wonderful tools for team building and express innovation and interconnection. We shared our story at D-Town and many we’re very excited to learn about the dome. After the Harvest Festival we rebuilt the dome next to our house where Travis will use it to grow produce from the ceiling while his chickens have space to roam all year round.

We’ve received national and local media attention. The PBS show Food Forward shot a time lapse video of our erecting the dome last Tuesday and both the Michigan Citizen and Real Detroit Weekly ran stories on the dome. Moving forward, we’re building a second dome for the Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit Conference, October 15-17 at Marygrove. The dome will serve as a space for reflection during the conference.

October 12, 2010   No Comments