Community Watch: Top Down Beehives & Transistion Houston

Teachers can’t teach in a vacuum.  Students need their subjects, from math to reading to science to civics to history to art to woodshop, placed into context, so the subject matter becomes revelant and interesting.  In order to put my woodshop in context, I try to poke my head around the Houston community and find community organizations doing intersting work.

Two recent finds:

Based on Ancient Kenyan and Tansmanian Designs

Treesearch Farms recently held an open house and graciously included a seminar on raising bees.  They advocate organic growing techniques and organic bee raising.  The bees pollinate your garden, which promotes healthy fruit and vegetable growth.  In fact, one bee colony in one backyard can pollinate every garden in a five mile radius! (Don’t want bees in your yard?  Put them in your neighbor’s yard!)  To them, organic/natural/community & local-based beekeeping can be an antidote to the colony collapses of the last ten years, as natural and locally-raised honeybees do not undergo the amount of stress that commercial bees do.  They pointed their attendees to Mike’s Top Bar Hives, a simple, elegant and ancient bee hive design which mimics natural bee hive construction and helps prevent some of the major stressors involved in colony collapse.

Last weekend, I got to check out a Transition Houston’s solar oven cook off, hosted by my good friends at ReUse Warehouse.  Some ovens were quite elaborate,

and others were simply awesome!

Transition Houston is a local organization which promotes localized sustainability – they are trying to bring back city life in the 1800’s, when Manhattan was docks, Wall Street and Mid-Town was dairy country.  (Hyperbole, yes, but when NYC was a young city, the middle of Manhattan Island really was dotted with small farms which sold their produce to city folk.)

If you are in the Houston area, keep and ear to the ground.  Plenty of interesting things out there.

Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this weekend.  I’ll catch you on the flip-side soon.