radicle beets

Toxic Realities and Radical Remedies: A Grassroots Bioremediation Intensive by radiclebeets
ImageRegistration is up for the first Bioremediation Course happening in Vancouver! Check it out, and if you feel like it’s a good idea, please spread the word! http://earthrepair.ca/radicalremedies-vancouver/
Toxic Realities & Radical Responses: A Grassroots Bioremediation Intensive
ImageRoot. Respond. Regenerate. Rewild. Join us for this unique hands-on course to explore and experiment with a diversity of  grassroots bioremediation tools in the urban jungles of East Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories. 
This 3 month intensive  will share grassroots bioremediation skills with youth and passionate community members of all ages who are interested in working with the land, growing and gathering healthy food and medicine, and getting involved in the healing of damaged and contaminated sites in their communities.  From fence lines to frontlines, at the heart of this course lies the fierce desire to support environmental justice struggles, to decolonize space and selves, and to care for and heal the lands and waters that sustain us all.
Bioremediation is the art and science of working with living systems and our fungal, bacterial and plant allies to detox and regenerate the health of contaminated lands and waters. There are different techniques used in bioremediation:
Microbial remediation: using microorganisms to breakdown and bind contaminants.
Phytoremediation: using plants to extract, bind, and transform contaminants.
Mycoremediation: working with fungi to clean up contaminated soil and water.
Many of us may be unfamiliar with grassroots bioremediation. Maybe we’ve heard stories or been to a workshop where we’ve learned that certain mushrooms can clean up oil spills and some plants can suck up heavy metals. But when faced with contaminated places or environmental disasters, we often struggle to translate the myths and promises of regenerative solutions into living realities. Though we don’t have all the answers, we’ve got lots to learn and its time to skill-up and start practicing! 
Topics covered in the course include:
· Grassroots Bioremediation 101
· Contaminants 101 (heavy metals and chemicals)
· Soil Testing

· Uncovering and Mapping the Ecologies of Ruin, Broken Landscapes, and Hidden Stories of Vancouver

· Site Assessment/Reading the Land.
· Radical Mycology and Mycoremediation Installations
· Grassroots Mushroom Cultivation Intensive
· Phytoremediation
· Microbial Remediation, thermophyllic composting, actively aerated compost tea preparation, efficient microorganisms, and biochar.
· Designing grassroots bioremediation projects
· Applications for water contamination, filtration, and watershed restoration
· Oil Spills 101 (conventional and grassroots bioremediation responses)
· Radiation
· Self-Care for Grassroots Remediators (personal protective gear, plant and mushroom allies for supporting detox and good health)
·  And many more…
Course Details:
When: January 16th to March 20th, 2014.
 A total of 14 classes will be offered, with 10 weeknight classroom sessions and 3  weekend day long work parties, field trips, or hands-on intensives. 
Classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 7pm-9pm, as well as weekend day long work parties or lab skill seminars (Feb 1st to 2nd, March 1st, March 15th).

Where: The Purple Thistle Centre (975 Vernon Dr, Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories)
Cost: Sliding Scale from $100-$300.
Grassroots bioremediation has to be affordable and accessible at the community level so we are working hard to offer the course at the lowest cost possible and also to make sure that everyone who has the heart and passion to learn these rad skills and to do this work can attend!  As a result, the course cost is already heavily discounted. We ask that If you have the ability to pay the full cost of the course, please do so that we are able to run the course. 
If you cannot afford the course fee, please let us know and we can figure out another arrangement – there are scholarships and work trades available and no one will be turned away for lack of funds. 
Instructor:  Leila Darwish + guest teachers

Registration Deadline: There are only 30 spots available for this course, so apply ASAP! Registration deadline is December 12th. Please fill out the registration form at http://earthrepair.ca/radicalremediesregistration/
For more information about the course, check out http://earthrepair.ca/radicalremedies-vancouver/ 

So Much Dirt! Season Update by radiclebeets


Holy muck, so much to learn! The Guerrilla Gardeners are in our 5th season of gardening, and we’re growing! This year we wanted to focus more on education and finding mentors, so we’ve had folks come in and facilitate workshops, we’ve sent folks out to learn about mushrooms and tree pruning, and along the way we ran into a few life jams! So far, this year’s jam themes seem to be how to better interact with our funny industrial community. We’ve come across challenge after challenge with folks vandalizing our gardens, whether it be bored folks breaking things, broke folks stealing trees, big business folk tearing down living walls, squatters idling by to power their hockey games, or urbanized humans dumping in our wetlands. Hit after hit, we recognize our battle to reclaim and regenerate life in an industrial wasteland is massive and long-term. Each blow hits us deep in our spirits, but we recognize each new situation is a symptom of a system that is founded on alienation and dislocation that is free-market capitalism. If we want to change that system, we have to get to the root of it. Take a machete to the Himalayan Blackberry, and it will grow back fast with aggression. We gotta dig down to the root and pull it out before we can plant something new. There is no better place, no more of an obviously painful place than where we and our gardens are. If we can grow good food here, if we can heal land here, if we can restore ecosystems and life here, where all there seems to be is dead cement, if we can heal ourselves HERE, we are soaring.

unicorniaUnicornia: Permaculture Design in case of Zombie Apocalypse. Natural border of defense? Blackberry bushes.

Past Workshops/Classes: 
Intro to Bioremediation:
Leila Darwish came from Victoria to facilitate a 2-day seminar on grassroots bioremediation. Fun, and intensely soul-squeezing, we came to realize how important it is to take care of the land we live on, as the land is our home, food, and medicine. We recognize how civilized humans got real good at making toxic soup out of it all, so some of the folks who attended the workshop felt inspired to put our new knowledge to use. The witches of east van teamed up with us, and with Leila’s help, we concocted some awesome compost tea to spray around Strathcona for their annual May Day fertility march.

Mushroom Food Forest Workshop


Our collective decided it would be a good idea to send a few folks to Portland, Oregon to boost our mushroom knowledge.  Ja Schindler and Maria Farinacci of Fungi for the People did an amazing job teaching us hands-on a few different ways to grow a few different mushrooms. Four of us drove an old VW hippy van (where subsequently we also learned a bit about engine maintenance) across the border where we inoculated logs with Turkey Tail, Chicken of the Woods, Reishi, and Lion’s Mane. We made stacks, poles, buried logs, drilled, and prepared for a time where we may not have electricity by hand-sawing wedges out of logs and stuffing them with spawn. Ja and Maria were amazing, and even taught us a bit about mushroom identification. One of the things that stuck out most was Ja’s idea that we should learn to describe the smells of different mushroom species without using the word “mushroom”. Try it! It ain’t easy!


Radical Mycology 101:


Radical Mycology co-founder Peter McCoy came to visit us from Olympia, WA to share some of his knowledge. We learned the basics of fungi life including their ever-expanding gender spectrum, different ways of cultivation, how we can use them as allies to remediate toxic land, and also how we can learn from them to form stronger communities with each other. More about Radical Mycology: radicalmycology.wordpress.com/ Thanks Peter for helping us inoculate coffee grounds with Oyster Mushroom spawn! You are right, mushrooms are sexy!radicalmycosmiles

Garden Camp:


From April to mid-May, we invited youth between 8-12 to come hang out with us in our gardens. Here we guerrilla planted Sunflowers, dug up Dandelion Root for tea, picked Stinging Nettle with our bare hands, played with red wriggling worms, brewed compost tea to help heal the land, hung out with the honey bees, designed a permaculture home base in case of a zombie apocalypse, transplanted squash, pulled out horsetail, harvested a giant conk mushroom, painted signs so folks will stop stealing our trees; we ate together, sang together, danced together, and had a huge blast!! We are so grateful for the opportunity to hang out with such rad kids.


Workshops coming up!

gardencampbees Honeybee Series with Brian Campbell:

 Saturday May 11, 2pm: Queen-rearing basics

 Sunday May 12, 10am: Starting work in hives—stimulating queen cell production

 Thursday May 16, afternoon: Removing started queen cells

 Sunday May 26, morning: Introducing queen cells into mating nucs

Since these are hands-on workshops and we don’t want to out stress the bees, there is limited space available. Please email Hannah for more info: hmjcarpendale@hotmail.com

Projects on the Go!
Natural Building with Cob – email Jenni to be part of the design team! Actual building of the cob shed will be taking place in July. jentigchelaar@yahoo.ca
Mushroom Enhanced Greenhouse – We just scavenged about 50 windows to use for our greenhouse. We’ll be using mushrooms to boost plant growth as the shrooms release heat and CO2. Help us design and build it for August! Email Phanh at abcwhatever@yahoo.ca or Kelsey ki2freedom@gmail.com

Look out for upcoming events and workshops that include Quinoa Sprouting, Food Forest Mushroom Cultivation, Herbal Medicine Making, and Permaculture 101. If you want to come help out, our garden parties are Sundays 11am-4pm, and Thursdays from 2-5pm. Also feel free to come eat with us at our Monthly Potluck Meetings every first Tuesday of the month. Invite your friends!

Mush Love and Peas!!

Earth Repairing with Leila Darwish! by radiclebeets

When: Saturday, Feb. 2nd 12pm – 5pm
& Sunday, Feb. 3rd 10:00am – 2:00pm

Where: Purple Thistle 975 Vernon (corner of Parker)

Cost: Free Free Free!!! (even more free if we can bring tasty treats to share with all the new friends we are going to make!!!)

****Please RSVP if you are attending! We want to make sure there will be enough space for all participants****


From remediating abandoned and contaminated city lots for urban farmers and gardeners, to responding and recovering from environmental disasters such as oil spills and nuclear fallout, how can we work with the power of living systems to heal and transform toxic and damaged landscapes into thriving, nourishing, and fertile places once more? This workshop is an introduction to the evolving field of earth repair and grassroots bioremediation, and we will explore some of the DIY ways to work with the many micro-organisms, mushrooms, and plants that are the planets finest and oldest disaster responders, alchemists, and healers.

The workshop will cover different grassroots bioremediation techniques and tools, and how they work together, including:
Microbial remediation – using microorganisms to break down and bind
Phytoremediation – using plants to extract, bind, and transform toxins
Mycoremediation – using fungi to clean up contaminated soil and water.

We’ll take a walk down to the Purple Thistle Food Forest site and brainstorm healing remedies for the land and our wild hearts. We’ll share stories about different innovators, community healers, and rad projects that are doing the real work of grassroots bioremediation and the different challenges they face. Other topics that may be covered in the workshop (time and collective interest permitting) include contaminants 101, soil testing, oil spills, protective gear, and self care, detox, and herbal medicine for grassroots remediators, frontline communities and disaster responders.


About the Workshop Facilitator: Leila Darwish is a community organizer, urban gardener and permaculture rabble rouser with a feisty commitment to environmental justice and sweet DIT (Doing it Together!) grassroots action. She is the author of the upcoming book “Earth Repair: A Grassroots Guide to Healing Toxic and Damaged Landscapes”, which will be released by New Society Publishers in May. For more information about the book, please check out: http://www.newsociety.com/Books/E/Earth-Repair .

Please let us know in advance if you are able to make it.

Much Love and Respect,

The Purple Thistle Guerilla Gardeners!

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