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Made-in-Alberta Newsletter May 5, 2010

May 5, 2010

New Release! “Price vs. Payback” (4 min)

In this week’s New Energy Story Barb continues her search into the economics of going green. Our resident expert in grid-tied solar power, Gordon Howell, calculated the price per kilowatt hour of solar electricity and shares a prediction about when it will reach “grid parity” that is astounding everyone in the industry. On “In the Green” we visit a trade show devoted to green farming and ranching.

Now Playing on Shaw TV! “Greening the Grid Part Two” (4 min.)
Tim Weis from the Pembina Institute details the renewable energy suite available to power Alberta. Also, in this re-run from last November, hundreds of Albertans visit our legislature to say “yes” to renewable energy and “no” to nuclear fission. Watch Shaw TV, Channel 10, on Saturday or Sunday evening or click here to view on-line:

Community Notice! CSA - Share the Risk. Support Small Family Farms.
Community supported agriculture (CSA) is an arrangement where you pre-buy shares in a farmer’s crop and receive your “dividends” in food over the season. By sharing the inherent risks of a producing a crop, you help to change the playing field so that diverse, small-scale, local farms become a sustainable option again. There is a real variety in the CSA arrangement on different farms. Most, but not all, require you to come to the farm at certain key points and add an investment in time and physical labour. Augment your diet with a wide selection of fresh, regional foods and make a difference for our sustainable future.  Visit: to see the CSA options available to you in Alberta.

Barb’s Field Notes - “Eating Local in 2010”
Last fall, we attended a city council meeting where an impressive array of local food advocates and experts, brought together by the the Greater Edmonton Alliance, convinced our Edmonton City Council to embed some protection for farmland in our municipal growth plan. They presented convincing arguments that Edmontonians want a strong local food economy, in part because of increasing participation in other indicator activities, such as community gardening and farmers markets. It seems “food” has got lots of people thinking and talking.

Since producing the original “Eating Local” episodes in 2005, I have watched this new energy issue rise remarkably in importance in our general society. Back then, we interviewed several local experts about a range of possibilities to support and learn more about local food production. Though some details will be out of date the principles remain solid. Click this link to watch the four original (6 min) episodes.

Sponsorship Opportunity
RBCC is developing a new series about the re-emergence of a diversified, local food economy in northern Alberta, and we are looking for sponsors and partners. I intend to present definitive transitional solutions, such as the seven referred to in this newsletter and related videos. Please contact me if you want to provide financial support or expertise to this video project for television and the web. There are a number of ways to connect your local food initiatives to the growing Made-in-Alberta audience.

Coming Up Next Week
We share part two of Gordon’s Enviro-nomics lesson with “Full Cost Accounting”.

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