Planet:Home – A Sustainably Great Time

The short version (from the Ravenna Blog twitter feed):

Just came back from Planet:HOME, the sustainability festival. It was the most adorable, well-conceived, pro-community event I’ve ever seen.

The long version, with LOTS of pictures (all of which are linked to larger versions of themselves):

I arrived at the festival around 2pm, on the downhill side of the event. That’s not to say there weren’t plenty of people milling about, listening to speakers, talking, making tea, etc. I just missed out on some of the events and activities that were happening earlier.

Map of the grounds - Form of A HOUSE!

The layout of the festival grounds (at 7744 35th Ave NE; provided by Hunter Tree Farm folks) was that of a house, complete with rooms. SO well executed. I’ve never been in such a cozy gravel lot.

"Directions," of a sort.

2:30pm speaker Barry Lia (Biodynamic Gardening) in the Living Room.

If you click the above picture for the fuller view you will see that the back of the Living Room (the purple part) is actually three doors fastened together, providing a backdrop for the speakers, as well as a handy place to hang notes and graphics.

Seating here was a combination of chairs and bench seating on the straw bales (the latter of which could be taken home at the end of the festival, with a donation to Sustainable NE Seattle).

The day's schedule in the Garden.

Sessions in the Garden were more informal and smaller than those in the Living Room.

Boundary between the Living Room and the Garden was an informative clothesline.

"Clothes last longer when you line dry. -Where do you think lint comes from?"

"You can reduce the full lifecycle climate change impact of your jeans by up to 50% by line drying and washing them in cold water."


Well-feed, but still VERY curious.

Three goats — mama and two kids — were kept in the back of the garden…although I did see them out on the dance floor once the band started playing.

Sign reminded me of the Las Vegas tourism motto. Sort of.

Behind the Garden, the How to Do Your Lawn In installation (my title).

Sustainable NE Seattle may be most famous for their three videos on YouTube (Lawn Gone, Parts 1 through 3) which chronicle the process of turning one of their member’s front lawns into a food garden.

The Sit'n Room

Sit'n Room AKA Irv's Elder, Sage and Rare Treasure Appreciation Installation Station (my title, again)

I was fortunate enough to meet Irv Thomas at last week’s Ravenna-Bryant Community Association meeting, where he shared some of his writings about the history of Ravenna and more (“Reclaiming the Village Outlook”).

By his own definition, Irv is an Sage, but after having a couple of conversations with him, I’d put him squarely in MY Rare Treasure category.

Can you find YOUR category?

I hope to feature some of Irv’s writings on the Ravenna Blog this fall. Until then, if you have the time — and I mean, snowed into your house with food to get you through the winter in Alaska kind of time — visit his website (

More sustainable seating at the festival

Near the Kitchen, a solar cooking showroom, with samples!

Info on a solar cooker building workshop on Saturday, August 28, at University Heights Community Center

The Courtyard featured ART IN ACTION

The collectively created recycled art piece

The Barker Boys, rockin' out in the Living Room

No, I did not take a picture of the woman dancing with the goat.  You’ll just have to imagine it.

Fixing tools is Joel's vice.

Something I didn’t take enough pictures of (I’m realizing this now, in retrospect, darn it) were the events in the Garage area, two I’ll mention in particular.

Had a tool that was broken or dull? Needed help with the fixing or sharpening? A coupla handy guys in the Garage were there with tools of their own to help you out.

Had a bike that needed some repair? Or had a question about fixing bikes in general? A volunteer from the bike shack ( was there to help out.  He also had an oldie-but-goodie from the 1960s for sale.


I ended up a staying at the festival for nearly three hours. I couldn’t help it!

Sure, I happened to know a lot of the people there, but I ended up meeting quite a few that I didn’t.  I may have volunteered to start a group that gets together in the winter to make big batches of stock to share.  I certainly want to check out the bike shack as I try to get my own 1969 Sturmey-Archer cruiser in riding shape.  A lot of good take-aways from this event, and I didn’t even make it to any of the workshops.

The folks at Sustainable NE Seattle who put together this event did a fantastic job (in my humble opinion). As tired as they all must be right now, I hope they’re already thinking about Planet:Home 2011.