Monday, October 02, 2006

Recovering from the weekend!

I didn't finish explaining the Green Energy Home Show in the last post, but basically I met some very interesting people and plan to volunteer to help Jillian again before I leave.

Yesterday I went out with a naturalist friend I made my first night here at Greendrinks, Kevin, who knows a lot about the local ecology and geography as he's a 9th grade science teacher. We went to the Wychwood Tree Festival at 'Wychwood Park', which is actually not really a park but a gated community of old houses on the north side of Toronto. An arborist gave a tour and explained about all the different trees (do you know how to tell the difference between a red oak and a white oak? hint: the differences are in their bark and leaves. Red=devil=pointy leaves). On a small field of grass next to a former street car service station, nonprofit groups had tables set up to explain community projects, one of which is turning the former service station into an arts community building. I found some amazing locally produced organic fair trade vegan chocolate! I bought some with quinoa in it - she also has it with kamut and puffy cereal pieces inside. Great texture and amazing taste! I'll buy more before I leave (and maybe ship some to New York!)

I also bought the most recent issue of a great magazine about public space issues called Spacing ( I have only read three pages so far but have found everything I've read so interesting and inspiring. Another great inspirational magazine out of Toronto is Green Living Magazine ( - it's unfortunately preaching to the choir as I've only seen it at green events, but a lot of useful info is packed into that little thing!

After the Wychwood festival we went to the Brickworks, a former industrial site where most of Toronto's pre-1980 bricks were made. (check out some beautiful artistic pictures here: Located in the Don River Valley, we hiked down into the valley from a path to the north and found stormclouds overhead by the time we got to the valley's wildflowers. Once at the Brickworks it started to pour, and pour, and pour - for about 30 minutes. We were technically there to take a geology tour with Nick Eyles, a geology professor at the University of Toronto, to learn why the Brickworks' North Slope is one of North America's most important geological sites. During the rain delay, the tour group discussed all things geological and Professor Eyles made it clear that he believes that global warming, if it even is occuring, is not due to humans' changing their environment by releasing greenhouse gases into the air. Needless to say there was a bit of a debate about this and I now have some 'sources' of information about the 'global warming myth' that I want to look into further for perspective.

I think the point I've always been more concerned about, rather than the question of whether humans are to blame is, what can and are we going to do about it? If humanity wishes to survive it's pretty clear we're going to have to change our habits as far as energy supply and consumption. Not to mention all the other toxic habits of our society...

Anyway, when the rain stopped we joined the tour for just a short while and then hiked back to the car. Kevin drove me to my kim chi workshop where I met up with Monique, the holistic nutritionist I met at the yoga workshop a few nights ago. She's part of the Weston A. Price Foundation group in Toronto. I hadn't know much about the food philosophy of Weston Price but I got to watch a video about some of his work and it was very interesting. His philosophy is based on his findings from scientific analysis of indigenous cultures that were eating non-westernized diets in the early/mid twentieth century (?) basically goes against a lot of what modern doctors recommend, including diets high in fat, low in protein, low on grains and many vegetables, high in cholesterol, etc. I want to read more as I didn't learn much yet, but after talking with Monique we agreed that some Weston Price followers are just a bit too extreme for our tastes. Regardless, the kim chi workshop was fun and I now have a jar of organic cabbage, garlic, onions, and carrots fermenting on the counter. It should be ready in two days! Monique and I are getting together again tomorrow -I want to learn more about bees and honey - she's a beekeeper!!

Today I took time to rest and reflect as I needed a break after my busy weekend! Check out my new pics uploaded yesterday!

1 comment:

Michael said...

I look forward to learning more about your new found perspective on Human induced Global Warming. More food for Canada?

Any other interesting acrchitecture or is it pretty boring?

This is such a great way to keep us in touch with what you are experiencing. Please keep it up!! I'd love to get a better sense of the spatial relations of where you're investing your time. If you can do it without too much problem please try to tweak a map to show where you are, where you've been and where you are going! It may even be a good way for you to scope out your next adventure.

Also, your links on the side are all the way at the bottom of the page. Do you know if there is a way to stick it to the top of the page? On Picasa, it'd be great if you could create mini-albums of your various trips and then link to them in the relevant posts.