No SPH business was conducted at that time.
The December meeting of Sustainable Potomac Highlands was a potluck holiday dinner at the home of member Charlie Streisel in Augusta. Approximately 20 people attended, bringing lots of delicious foods and great conversation to share.
No SPH business was conducted at that time.
The monthly meeting, held at the Bank of Romney Community Center, was opened by Dale Brady, convener, with 10 people in attendance.
Dale received a phone call from the bank telling her that food was not allowed at the Community Center, so if we continue to meet there, we won't have the pot-luck dinner before the meeting anymore. If we go back to the Augusta Health Dept. this won't be a problem, but there is the concern there that we can be bumped even if we have a reservation for the room. Robin Mills agreed to look around for other possible locations for meetings.
We discussed uses for the $1000+ in the SPH bank account, raised from donations at meetings. Suggestions included buying equipment that could be shared by the group, such as food processing equipment or a rototiller, as well as publicizing events.
The election of officers has been moved to the next meeting, since there were not enough people present to do this. Both Tom Kennedy, treasurer, and Dorothy Kengla, secretary, have agreed to continue in those positions, if no one else wants to do it. Dale agreed to continue as convener if a committee can be formed to plan and arrange for meeting presentations. The other office available is co-convener. Anyone interested in serving as an officer in SPH should let Dale know, or can be nominated at the January meeting.
A local food dinner is being held Saturday, 11/12 at 5:00 pm at the Bottling Works in Romney, tickets available at the door. Issac Lewis is coordinating this,
Congratulations to the Farmer's Daughter Market & Butcher which won WV Magazine's award as best butcher in WV.
A new, second series of "Years of Living Dangerously" is being aired on Fusion TV.
Plans need to be made for field trips in 2017, possibly to local farms, master gardeners, other topics of interest, etc. SPH could organize a trip that would be open to the public, with stories in the newspaper. Charlie S. suggested "A Day in Hampshire County" to show off what's available here, including farms, solar installations, the Co-op, etc. A good date may be June 17, 2017.
In place of the December 8 meeting, we will have a pot luck holiday dinner party at a member's house in Augusta. If you plan to attend, contact Dale to let her know, and for directions.
The next meeting will be January 12, 2017, with location to be announced.
The meeting was opened with a welcome by Dale Brady, Convener, with 17 people in attendance.
Minutes of prior meetings are available on the website under Activities.
Treasurer's report: Bank balance is $1101.11.
Dale is working on starting a Google Group for our membership to enhance a community feeling, and share information. Dale or Tom Lewis will be sending out an email to explain this.
Upcoming presentations for November and December? None have been planned. If you have anything to add, contact Dale. At the November meeting we will begin making plans for a re-skilling expo in the spring. Dale has passed around a list of skills that could be demonstrated. There is information on TransitionUS.org on how to organize this.
Anyone interested in serving as an officer of Sustainable Potomac Highlands should submit their name at the November meeting.
Outside Workshops: the field trip to Jim Guy and Henry Maier's properties has been postponed until spring.
Radio Communications: Jim Guy mentioned that the road block to being a radio operator is taking the test to get the license. The Moorefield group is trying to put WiFi on a frequency, but more expensive equipment is needed for that.
Elspeth has several butternut trees that need to be dug and removed from her property. Let her know if interested.
Do we want to have a booth at the Health Fair held at Augusta Church of Christ in the spring?
Robin Mills reported on the ongoing construction of the Recycling Center being built near the Regional Jail in Augusta (should be operational by spring) and the private dump on Cooper Mountain.
Gayle Allen informed us that Trex is having a contest to collect plastic sheeting and bags at the schools.
Tonight's presentation was on Time Banking, with guest speaker Linda Shute from Great Cacapon, WV.
To introduce the topic, we watched a video from Timebank.org, a California organization that has successfully started time banks there. The concept is based on exchanging skills with people, for instance, an hour of cooking lessons would be banked, and then used to have someone else repair a bike for an hour.
Mountaineer Time Exchange has been established in Morgan County. Anyone in the area can join, or a similar system could be set up in Hampshire County if there is enough interest. A video to help with this is found at www.newdream.org.
Another video of interest is Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 pm. The next meeting is November 10, 2016.
On August 11, 2016, SPH met at the home of Dale Brady for a pot-luck social evening. Good food and good conversation made for a delightful evening!
The September meeting was held at the Bank of Romney Community Center, as future meetings will be. Unpredictable scheduling conflicts at the Health Dept. prompted this change of location.
The meeting was opened by Convener Dale Brady with 20 people in attendance. Dale welcomed some newcomers and introductions were made around the room. Tom Kennedy gave the Treasurer's Report, with $1037.00 in the account.
The October 13 meeting will include nominations for officers for next year. Anyone interested in serving as an officer should let Dale know.
A trip to the Maier and Guy properties in Old Town, MD is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 15. People would need to make a commitment before scheduling this as it involves a lot of work by the hosts. Nine people said they were interested. (Note: This has been put off until spring 2017 because no workable date could be arranged).
Dale noted that the group has been meeting for three years, membership has evolved, people are busy. The group depends on members contributing to presentations and discussions. She passed around a list of Action Items, topics that could be presented, and asked people to pick what they could present at upcoming meetings.
There was discussion of Re-Skilling workshops, possibly held at the Co-op building, which would involve advertising and rental expenses. Skills needed for living way off grid would be taught.
Sept. is National Preparedness Month. Barbara is putting on an event in May 2017 teaching people how to survive an emergency.
Robin Mills spoke about progress on the Recycling Center being built near the Regional Jail in Augusta.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:50. Next meeting is October 13.
The July meeting of Sustainable Potomac Highlands was held at the Health Dept. meeting room, Augusta, with 13 people attending.
Convener Dale Brady opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. She suggested that future meetings be held at the Bank of Romney Community Center because of the uncertainty of reserving the Health Dept. Members present agreed this was a good idea. Dale has reserved the BOR for Sept, Oct, Nov & Dec. The August meeting will be replaced by a pot-luck dinner at Dale's house in Slanesville on 8/11/16 at 6:00 pm.
Topics are needed for upcoming meetings. Some ideas included: really living off the grid with no electricity, vermiculture (worms), building community.
Should we form a Yahoo Group for disbursing information? Dale will look into this.
The Mother Earth News fair is in Pennsylvania on Sept. 16-18. People expressed interest in attending this as a group. Information is available at Motherearthnews.com.
Barbara Caballero brought two books to lend, and suggested West Virginia Living magazine as a good resource for sustainability information.
The evening's presentation was on Amateur and Citizens Band Radio, with Dean Hagerty as the presenter. He explained the difference between CB Radio, which requires no license, uses inexpensive basic equipment, and works locally with line-of-sight, and Amateur Radio, who's users must be licensed to get started. This requires learning the technical aspects, paying a fee and taking a test, as well as acquiring the equipment.
Anyone in SPH who wants to get involved in emergency radio communications should contact Dean or Jim Guy to get started. Jim Guy gave a report on field tests conducted using handheld portable radios. He was able to make contact by line of sight with just a 5 watt radio. There are also lots of repeaters around the area to hit to increase the range of the radios.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.
The next meeting will be September 8 at the Bank of Romney Community Center in Romney.
On August 8 there will be a pot-luck dinner at Dale's house at 6:00 pm. Contact Dale if you need directions. There will not be an actual meeting that date.
The June meeting of Sustainable Potomac Highlands was held at the Bank of Romney Community Center in Romney, due to the unavailability of the Health Dept. Meeting Room. Following the 6:00 pm pot-luck social hour, Dale Brady opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. with 18 people attending.
Minutes of the May 12 meeting were accepted, and the treasurer's report was given. The donation jar was passed around as attendees signed the attendance list.
The evening's presentation was given by Tom Kennedy, who described his 10-day trial of living off-grid. He relied on his 24-panel solar collectors with battery back-up and propane generator. With much preparation, and modifications to the usual use of electricity in his home, he was able to live comfortably for the time period. He learned what modifications he would need to take to improve the system for the possibility for long term power outages.
A reference for how much solar gain to expect in your area can be found through the Hidden Bend Observatory's Clear Sky Clock, at www.cleardarksky.com.
The July 9 meeting will be held at the Health Dept. Meeting Room, Rt. 50, Augusta. Doors open at 6:00 pm for pot-luck social hour with the meeting starting at 7:00 pm. The topic for July will be Emergency Communications, including information on short-wave, HAM radio and other forms of communication.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm.
Following the 6:00 pm pot luck social hour, the meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by Dale Brady, convener. Twelve people were in attendance, including several new faces. Introductions were made.
Tom Lewis delivered his Resilience News, which focused on problems being created by Climate Change. Government grants are now being given to communities to relocate from flood prone areas, as seas are rising, and "Blue Sky" flooding, not caused by a storm, is backing up storm drains and closing roads. In Canada, the permafrost is melting, much needed ice highways are disappearing. Our Interior Secretary says that there will be refugees as a result of flooding caused by climate change,
An alternate location is needed for the June meeting, as the Health Dept. room is not available. Dale will check. (Note: the Bank of Romney Community Center in Romney has been reserved for the June meeting).
The presentation at the June 9 meeting will be by Tom Kennedy. He will talk about his experimental 10 days living off-grid.
A field visit for the Saturday after is being considered.
The July presentation will be Communications, Ham Radio, etc. led by Jim Guy.
For August, Food Preservation seems an appropriate topic. We need someone to present it.
Anyone who would like to present or request a topic for an upcoming meeting, please contact Dale Brady.
The field visit to Henry Maier and Jim Guy's properties in Old Town, Md, which was cancelled due to weather conditions, may be rescheduled in the future.
Tom Kennedy warned that anyone with a Berkee water filter should test it routinely as recommended to be sure it will work properly when needed in an emergency.
Several books were recommended: "No Impact Man", story of a family who lived for 6 months in NYC with little or no environmental impact: and "Survival", about impacts of a hurricane.
The evening's presentation by Dorothy Kengla was on the topic of Vegetable Gardening.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 pm.
The next meeting is June 9, 2016 at the Bank of Romney Community Center on Rt. 50 in Romney. Doors open at 6:00 pm for pot luck/social hour. Presentation is at 7:00 pm.
The meeting room at the Health Dept. was opened at 6:00 pm for social/pot luck dinner time.
Tonight's meeting was opened at 7:00 by Dale Brady, convener, with 10 people in attendance.
The Treasurer's Report: $989.11 in the bank account. Meeting minutes are on the SPH website.
Upcoming meeting topics:
May - Vegetable Gardening, seed and plant exchange - Dorothy Kengla
June - Living Off the Grid - Tom Kennedy, Randall Ashelman
July - Emergency Communication - Ham Radio/CB - Jim Guy, Henry Maier, Randall Ashelman, Tom Kennedy
If anyone has topics, field trips, workshops, etc. that they would like to present or see discussed, please contact Dale or bring it up at the May 12 meeting.
April 30- Field Trip to Henry and Nancy Maier's property in Oldtown, Md. for Solar, Wind, Energy installations, etc., then on to Jim Guy's property for more.
June 27 - Ham Radio meeting in Oldtown, MD
A possible re-skilling expo at the Coop building in Romney.
Tonight's Presentation: Charlie Streisel talked about DIY solar power installation, costs, equipment, solar panels, etc. that he built last year.
Henry Maier talked about windmills, solar collectors, water collection systems, wood furnace systems, etc. in place at his property.
Meeting adjourned at 9:15 pm
Next meeting is May 12, 2016
Following the 6:00 pm potluck dinner and social hour, Dale Brady opened the meeting at 7:00 pm. With several of the 25 people present being new to the group, introductions were made around the circle. The sign-up list was passed around, and several handouts from prior meetings were explained and were available on the back table.
Tom Kennedy gave the treasurer's report, with $958.11 in the bank account. The donation jar was passed around.
Upcoming presentations were discussed, with the reminder that anyone can present a topic of interest to the group, and field trips can be arranged for dates and times outside of the regular meetings. The list of upcoming presentations can be found in the February minutes.
Robin Mills informed us of progress on the recycling project in Hampshire County. The County Commission has received a grant and is advertising for bids to construct a recycling drop-off site next to the jail in Augusta. Currently, cardboard, paper, newspapers and magazines can be recycled at the old hospital grounds, Depot St., Romney on Wednesday and Saturday, 8-noon.
Windy Cutler recommended a book "A New Green History of the World"
Dale discussed the idea of Timebanking, where every hour of credit is valued the same. It's not a barter system. A Saturday workshop could be set up to study and possibly initiate the concept in our community.
Tonight's Presentation was by Tom Lewis, entitled After Transition: Lessons from Native Americans on "Human Nature" and Sustainability. His well-received and informative talk pointed out how the lifestyle of the Native Americans had very little impact on the lands they populated, living peacefully and sustainably. Not until the Europeans landed on the continent did the resources begin to be affected, and sometimes depleted. If it was possible to return to the ways of the original inhabitants of America, we would all be better off.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:15. The next meeting is April 14, 2016, when the topic will be Solar Power.
Following an enjoyable pot-luck dinner and community social time, the meeting was opened at 7:00 pm by convener Dale Brady with 13 people in attendance. Nasty winter weather kept many people home.
Dale welcomed three new people to the meeting.
Tom Kennedy gave the treasurer's report of $940.11 in the bank account. The donation jar was passed around.
Upcoming presentations include March: Tom Lewis, topic Native Americans and sustainability
April: Renewable energy - Henry Maier and Charlie Streisel
May: Gardening, seed and plant exchange - Dorothy Kengla & Kitchen Composting - Donna Guy
June: Tom Kennedy - Experience of spending 10 days off-grid
July: Jim Guy - Emergency Communications
If anyone has topics they would like to present or see presented, let Dale know. Also, field trips.
Dale would like three people to volunteer to call people to get ideas for field trips and/or workshops.
Jim Guy talked about a meeting he and Randall Ashelman attended of a amateur radio club. They are getting information to share at the July meeting.
Elspeth Odbert gave out books from the Sustainable World Coalition titled "Sustainable World Sourcebook" which she received for free distribution. She also has books to donate to a library, and was reminded that Capon Bridge library now has a section on Sustainability.
Randall recommended the book "Spirit Walker, Message from the Future" by Hank Wasselman.
Tonight's presentation was on Straw Bale Building. Robin Mills, who has built his own straw bale house, talked about the history of straw bale construction, as well as the methods, and benefits. Two websites to check are: www.strawhomes.com and www.thelaststraw.org for further information. A small project using these methods could be a straw bale greenhouse.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.
The next meeting is March 10, 2016, 6:00 pm potluck social hour, 7:00-9:00 pm meeting.