Graham News, February 15, 2011

The Self-Reliant Community

 At the next Self-Reliant Community Meeting on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, we will review the seven tasks needed to gain self-reliance and discuss specifically how we might create a closer “neighbor net” of a group of “interdependent” neighbors, as Steve Pruitt described at our last meeting.  In addition, we will actually see a five gallon bucket loaded with dry food that is de-oxygenated and sealed for long-term storage.  Also, we’ll discuss our upcoming “hands-on” classes in canning and preserving, see a chafing can/ceramic room-warmer and a prepared rain barrel, etc.  We will also have some of the 50 or so windows Paul and I obtained that can be used to build a greenhouse. 

At our last Self-Reliant Community meeting on February 2nd, Steve Pruitt, of Pioneer Farm and the Nisqually Land Trust, talked about self-reliance being the fourth phase of five.  Interdependence is the fifth and most mature phase.  We are able to care for ourselves as well as helping care for the community. 

 Along those lines, author Carol Depp, in her new and very popular book, The Resilient Gardener, says she wants to be self-reliant enough to be able to hold up her end of an “honorable interdependence”.  Her most important objective is growing enough food.



Youth News:

Jacob Christensen, in a very impressive ceremony conducted mostly by other poised and confident Eagle Scouts of Troop DXVI, was elevated to the rank of Eagle Scout.  He credited his parents, Kurt and Omma Christensen, and other troop leaders, for his success.  His Eagle Scout project was to make significant improvements to the playground at Graham Elementary School, including a large sandbox containing forty yards of sand.

Graham Can Dance!  Another community dance will be put on by the Graham-Kapowsin Community Council Youth Group (, and will be held on Saturday, February 26th from 7-10 pm at Frontier Junior High School.

Entry is $5 each, or $15 per family.  (You don’t have to know how to dance, just come and hang out and enjoy.)



Graham-Kapowsin Community Council News:

The G-KCC’s “Expo 2011,” will be held Saturday, March 5th at Frontier Junior High School.  This annual fund raiser that features storytelling, music, dancing and art and crafts will be held in the commons area from 10 am to 4 pm.  Booths will display the many activities, products, and interests of the amazing people who live in Graham.  Raffle Baskets are available, such as a “Pirate’s Treasure” basket, a BBQ basket, an “At-Home” basket and a “Candle” basket – or you-name-it baskets – are ready to pick up and finish filling.  Provide a list of what you put in and a rough total value, and bring it before 10 am.  Phone Carol Wright at 847-9755 for more details.  


Buy-Local, Eat Local, etc:

 Regarding “Life Dollars,” our new local monetary system, we recommend you join Fourth Corner Exchange.  I did, and just today learned that a “Steve” in Puyallup, has handmade crafts for sale for Life Dollars only.  It will never take the place of money, but provides a medium of exchange opening up an internet market of people you “know” vaguely but now discover their talents, skills, and, yes, excess stuff.

 Raw Milk Drop Site.  Becky Dow, ( is working to become a “drop site” for a local WSDA certified organic dairy.  She needs 20 people to sign up for whole raw milk by the gallon. 

 If you are interested in joining a GLEANING group and obtaining free, fresh produce, please contact Sue and Wayne Hollins, on your contact list.  They will be active this summer and fall.

 Put food SEEDS in the ground and watch them growThere is a little more to it than that.  Visit www.billyandanuttama.wordpress.comand arrange to actually go to the Budd’s home on Mountain Highway and learn how to grow food successfully, incorporating features of Permaculture.  They are willing to organize small hands-on classes, for a small fee.  (253) 875-1842.

Plant FOOD.  The last straw in Egypt was rising prices and lessening supplies of food, along with unemployment, etc.  In China, a prolonged drought in their vast grain-growing area has forced them into spending a billion dollars drilling wells.  In our country, commodities grain prices have risen about 50%, only beginning to be reflected in store prices.  (Remember that food and fuel are not included in our government’s “Base CPI” index).

 Need a Place to Plant FOOD?… How about in Robert Borten’s fertile 60′ x 60′ garden on 82nd near 224th.  Four people are interested so far.  Simply following 89-year-old Robert’s advice will teach you much about growing food.  I have our big old Ariens roto-tiller almost ready and looking forward to using it first on the Borten Garden.

 The Graham Community Garden, at the Montessori Academy, 9716 224th, received a load of sandy topsoil (into bed #7) from Debb’s pickup truck (Thanks, Debb).  It needs to be transferred to the other beds.  Then, Graham’s Washington Quarries have agreed to give us another load of more fertile topsoil.  Again, we need a way to get it here.  Can anyone help with this?


Politics, etc:

 Because inflation seems likely, and also because there is talk by a few politicians of cutting Federal benefit programs, it might be useful to take a few minutes and seriously think about what your actual personal situation would be if your income of today were cut in half.  What would you lose?  What tough decisions might you have to make?  What would you keep, no matter what?  We have rarely been forced to think about what is most important to us.  We might find that it is relationships, not things, which make us happy.  Do you think that might soften the loss of physical assets and loss of “discretionary income”? 

 Actually, I’m sure we know people, perhaps in SRC, who have found themselves in just that situation and were able to cope with it successfully.  Maybe they could teach us.


Get the “Inside Story:” 

Remember that Ray suggested visiting and clicking on “The Crash Course” for a very comprehensive and well-researched video explaining what is really happening today with the economic situation, the environmental resources picture and what we can expect with future energy supplies.  You will learn more than you ever thought possible.


For more information:

Graham’s Self-Reliant Community, or to contact The Graham News call Wayne Cook, (253) 847-4614.

The Graham News is written by Wayne Cook and is posted in The Mountain News via the courtesy of Wayne Cook.

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