Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Sustainable Living Community Events Calendar
The Sustainable Living Department is proud to screen "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" at the Fairfield Public Library.  This event takes place on Saturday, November 3rd at 7:30 and is free to the public.  Farmer John Peterson himself, star of the documentary, will be on hand to host the event and answer questions afterwards! 
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
Sustainable Living at Maharishi University of Management: Consciousness is the Key
David Lynch FoundationMany of the blog posts on the Sustainable Living website are updates about specific events and opportunities happening in and around the Maharishi University of Management and greater Fairfield community, but for this post I'd like to get back to basics.  MUM is a consciousness based university, and the primary way we develop our consciousness is through twice daily meditation.  When meditation becomes an integral part of your lifestyle it becomes like water to a fish - it's all around you, you're swimming in consciousness and it gets deeper and richer every day.  It can be easy to forget what things were like before Transcendental Meditation, and difficult to remember gratitude for the opportunity to find and use this knowledge. 
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
Students Create Edible Forest on Campus

Students in the Permaculture and Design course crafted an edible food forest located just across the street north of the Dreier Building. Designed to integrate sustainable education, food production, and community involvement in a natural setting, the forest is an ever-evolving work in progress, said student Ashley Smith, president of the Sustainable Council student group. 

The students planted raspberries, two Asian pear trees, a hedge of service berries and hazelnuts, two paw paw trees, an elderberry tree, comfrey, Egyptian walking onion, and edible perennial flowers. 

The project was set in motion last summer by a group of students and landscape designer Ceyrena Kay. They created the initial design, which was then revisited in a permaculture course last fall. A combination of the two designs was implemented during the recent course.
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
Students Participate in Sustainable Living Marketing Team, Create Website

Block 8 saw Sustainable Living staff member Robbie Gongwer make the leap to a faculty role when he coordinated the Sustainable Living Marketing Team(SL 408).  The four week class was designed around the principles of high performance team building, including interviewing prospective class members and vetting them based on their academic achievements, skill sets, and motivation level for working in a free flowing, project based class environment.  The end product of that block was the website you're looking at right now, which students developed to achieve the class goals of informing and updating current students, creating feedback loops to improve efficiency, and marketing the Sustainable Living Department to prospective students.
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
Students Battle Rising Energy Costs in Remote Angoon Alaska
Title Wave Group created an awareness campaign about the energy problems and solutions that the SE Alaskan natives are facing. Renewable energy works in Alaska.

“It’s a great opportunity to export our knowledge that we learned in the Sustainable Living program to a location where the energy costs are staggering,” Mr. Gongwer said. 

Several current and former students, and Sustainable Living faculty member Lonnie Gamble spent a month in a small village on Admiralty Island in Alaska installing sustainable energy technology as part of a project to help indigenous Alaskans deal with the crushing energy costs. 

The average cost of power in the village of Angoon is $0.60 per kilowatt hour — up to 10 times higher than the typical cost in the lower 48 states. 
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
Student Garden Offers Students Field Experience
Beginning in 2007, a large area behind the on-campus greenhouses has been serving the Department of Sustainable Living as a field class for students whose focus is on sustainable agriculture and mini-farming (such as family farming). 

The project, called the “student garden,” is designed as a large circle composed of many growing beds (3’ by 12’ each) where students grow a diversity of organic vegetables, culinary herbs, soft fruits (berries), and flowers, as well as fiber crops, various medicinal plants, and more. 

“The emphasis of the student garden is food production, but together with an emphasis on sustainability,” says Sustainable Living faculty member Alex Kachan, who has initiated and is heading this project. This means, for example, that the garden produces all the biomass needed to generate its own compost, as well as saving seeds for following years, harvesting rain water, and more.” 
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
SL Saturday Redesign! « Community Permaculture
A group of MUM students have successfully pioneered a new format for classes held within the sustainable living department.

Saturday classes are now community development days

This past Saturday, our ecology class spent the morning clearing out our new greenhouse and preparing a biomass garden for the department. 

The Sustainable Living Biomass Garden: 
*Double dug, compost amended beds. 
*Comfrey, Alfalfa, Goat’s Rue. 
*Rhizobium Inoculum.

The biomass garden will be used to grow a portion of the required compost for SL. This will allow us to use less fuel to transport materials to campus and create less of a dependency on outside resources.

Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
Show Me the Sustainability! Advice for New Sustainable Living Students

I’m here, I’m a new Sustainable Living student at MUM. I’ve packed up, I’ve said my goodbyes (for now) and I’ve moved to Fairfield Iowa to get my education in sustainability. Now, where is it? Where is the sustainability?

The answer is: Sustainability is all around you. Rather, your opportunity to experience sustainability is all around you. Anything can be your entry-point. You don’t have to wait until graduation or until you land a successful sustainability-related job to begin your life of sustainability.

Sustainability is about seeing problems as future solutions. Since it is about a redefinition of human’s relationship to the Earth and to the art of living in general, there are infinite ways to begin creating a vision of a better life for yourself. It is all up to you.
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
Renew Your Wheels at the MUM Bike Shop

Do you know about the MUM Bike Shop? If you are an MUM student and you have an issue with your bike, there is a cheap or very nearly free place you can go take your bike to get it serviced or to work on it yourself. This summer, I sat down with Mattie Kennedy, the sole mechanic at the MUM Bike Shop. I found out a little about his background with bicycles and mechanics. And he tells us all we need to know about the shop’s most recent history, how to get your bike fixed, and other bike-related tips and advice. 
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
News: Sustainable Living Center Grand Opening
The grand opening for the Sustainable Living Center is tomorrow, Friday 20th at 11 am. Tours will be available from 1-4pm 

The Sustainable Living Center(SLC) has been featured in many local news channels 

WHO TV 13:
 Featured on their Renew Iowa segment-- the building is described to be "as unique as the school". Professor Lonnie Gamble is quoted as saying, “It does its own functions like a tree would. So, we use the metaphor of a tree for the design of the building.” The full article can be found here. 

Iowa Source: 
The article goes in depth about the building's energy usage. Professor Lonnie Gamble is quoted as saying “Even in this phase of development, the building is one of the best of the current generation of green buildings". The full article can be found here.
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
KRUU & Sustainable Local Media

A random connection between two past acquaintances leads to a discovery of a connection between two cities. And the beginning of this blogger's exploration into the idea of "sustainable media".

Over the summer, I received a 'random' Facebook message from a friend of mine, Todd Urick, who I knew back in my community media days in Davis, California. Todd was incredulous in wondering if I lived in the same Fairfield, Iowa as the solar-powered local low power FM radio station KRUU 100.1 that he had been helping from across the country. I replied, that Yes! I now live in Fairfield, and we began talking about his involvement with KRUU. I was amazed at the synergistic connecting power of the internet and how people of similar values and interests tend to channel themselves into similar currents of human life, and the loci of the currents--the particular positions--tend to be wonderful little cities like Davis, California and Fairfield, Iowa. Cities that attract people who want to create positive change in the world, by providing a fertile and nourishing environment, the conditions through which to encourage progressive creativity.
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
Focusing on the Congo
Focusing on the Congo is extremely important right now as it has terrible problems. About one thirds the size of the USA with a population of 71 million, the Congo is mostly a forested country in that straddles the equator in Africa and has a small section of the West coast. It has an ongoing war in its Eastern area that has claimed over 5 million lives directly and many more indirectly to disease etc, making it the worst war since WWII. It is near the top of the failed states index. The Congo's situation underlines just how fundamental to sustainable living peace really is. Other issues include incredible levels of government corruption.  Exploitative colonial and post colonial intervention by the Belgiums, Americans and others have set the current stage. The current multi-billionaire, President Joseph Kabila and his family don't even live in the Congo! 
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
New Sustainable Living Building is Open!
John Collins, member of faculty reports: Great celebrations here in our new net-zero Sustainable Living building.

I'm in my office and eight minutes ago the electricity recharging my lap top was a thermo-nuclear reaction in the sun. A second ago it was a puff of wind passing the building. The roof is held up by whole Aspen trees, sustainably harvested nearby. The walls of my office are 2 million years old dirt from across the road pressed into bricks by our students. We are plugged into nature and it feels great. 
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
Fairfield, Iowa: Even National Public Radio Takes Notice!
A Mural from Downtown Fairfield The Sustainable Living Department at Maharishi University of Management is located in Fairfield, IA, which has such a thriving arts and cultural scene even National Public Radio has taken notice!  "This summer, NPR's Destination Art series went off the beaten path to visit small to mid-sized North American cities that have cultivated lively arts scenes. We asked you, our NPR audience, to tell us about your favorite art towns. Several visitors and residents wrote in to recommend Fairfield, Iowa.
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
Compass Green: A Mobile Greenhouse Project
 “Anything is possible, we just have to figure out how we’re going to make it happen. When I was at Maharishi University of Management I became pretty convinced that the only thing standing between me and my goals was my own creativity,” says Justin Cutter, Maharishi University of Management Alumni and co-creator of Compass Green.  Read more>>>

Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
America's Most Unusual Town
Interview of a recent graduate of the Sustainable Living Department.
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
Corn Crib House: How an Old Farm Building Became a Snug Little Home
'The Crib'Hi, I’m Leanne Hays, Administrator for the Sustainable Living Department at Maharishi University of Management.  I love my job because I get to keep up to date on all the areas of sustainability and green living the SL Department teaches: green building, agriculture, applied soil technology, eco-philosophy, renewable energy, and so much more.  I enjoy multi-tasking and learning all day long, what could be better? 

You may already know from perusing this website that Fairfield, Iowa is home to individuals and groups passionate about pushing the frontiers of sustainability.  Whether on a personal, university, or community level, Fairfieldians love to bring innovative and sometimes quirky ideas into fruition and enjoy the results.  Sometimes things work out perfectly, other times... not so much, but we take notes so as not to repeat the same mistakes, then shrug it off and try again. 

Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0
Drought Proof Your Farm With Darren Doherty

Here is a video of Darren Doherty at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa. This was the kickoff event for the "Drought Proof Your Farm" workshop.

The Sustainable Living Department at Maharishi University of Management was proud to host Darren Doherty, Australian Permaculture expert, over the weekend of November 30th for his "Drought Proof Your Farm" workshop.  The workshop was attended by more than 65 people from Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, and as far away as Texas, Montana, and California.  Over 5000 people have taken courses with Darren across more than 40 countries and he has helped design water management systems and integrated plans for over 1500 farms.
Posted by on 3/26/2013 12:34:00 PMComments 0

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