Saturday, October 07, 2006

Art and chocolate and solar powered laundromats

I can't even remember everything I've done over the past few days!

I volunteered with Jillian of the Sustainable Living Network again, inputting peoples' info from contact sheets who wanted to sign up for her mailing list. She has over 4,000 contacts and says she rarely sends info to people as it's actually somewhat stressful (many of the email addresses bounce back, etc etc). She's trying to set up a real network of people who are interested in sustainable lifestyles so they can share info and really make a difference. If she doesn't overwork herself in the process, she could set up a really great network! It reminds me of the Sustainable Hudson Valley network, which I turned her on to - perhaps it will provide some inspiration for her work.

Jillian hooked me up with ChocoSol, the local chocolate producers, to help them at their farmers' market at Duffern Grove Park. I met Graham and Mike, the cofounders of ChocoSol - they worked in Mexico with local small ecologically-sensitive cacao producers and then decided to bring the product up here to sell. The cacao is solar roasted in Mexico and shipped up to Canada using the least 'food miles' as possible. They grind it using a human-powered bike grinder and make all different kinds of chocolate. At the market I was in charge of answering questions and selling hot chocolate. The vanilla amaranth hot chocolate was amazing!

Then I went to the "Art Walk" at the Distillery, a former distillary I mentioned previously that has shops and art galleries and restaurants in it now. For the "art walk", the art galleries and some other shops stayed open late and had wine/cheese receptions, meet the artist events, and the like. I munched on some food, wandered around, took photos and talked to people. It was a very beautiful night, and the architecture of this former industrial site is beautiful for art exhibits. Many of the shops kept the old machinery in the rooms and put art around it and on it. I was very inspired by the art and the great conversations - it was a wonderful way to end a wonderful day!

Since then I've been riding my bike around to see things I haven't yet seen, including this solar powered laundromat on Queen Street in the Beaches and other sections of Toronto including Cabbagetown and Wellesley.

On Saturday I said goodbye to Lynda and Emaline, their two cute kitties and the new stray cat they are trying to find a home for. I'm now staying at Monique and Victor's home - I feel so welcomed and am thankful to have a bedroom (complete with prayer flags, a skylight, and plants).

More to come, especially about Thanksgiving! Pics will be posted when I have wireless access again!

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