(Compiled by Shannon Maris and Jeff Westcott)

YERT (Your Environmental Road Trip)
50 States. 1 Year. Zero Garbage? Called to action by a planet in peril, three friends hit the road – traveling with hope, humor, and all of their garbage – to explore every state in America (the good, the bad…and the weird) in search of the extraordinary innovators and citizens who are tackling humanity’s greatest environmental crises. As the YERT team layers outlandish eco-challenges onto their year-long quest, an unexpected turn of events pushes them to the brink in this award-winning docu-comedy. Featuring Bill McKibben, Wes Jackson, Will Allen, Janine Benyus, Joel Salatin, David Orr, and others.
Date: February 29th, 7pm at the Limelight (the old Pickford) on Cornwall
Map: http://tinyurl.com/6rcvpx7
More information will follow, as a discussion may follow the film.
Sponsored by Sustainable Bellingham, Whole Energy Fuels Corp and The Pickford Film Center

Grow Your Own Dry Beans and Grains
2012 Community Education Workshops
* March 7 – Community Food Co-op Class (Cordata Store) – 6:30pm
* March 17 – Deming Library (Local Food Works series) – 10am
* April 9 – Lummi Island Gardener’s Network (Lummi Island)– 6:30pm
* April 21 – Cloud Mountain Farm (Everson) – 1:30-3pm
 — Non-members please call first
Or, for those independent learners, educate yourself with a copy of my new instruction manual: Growing Dry Beans & Grains in the Pacific Northwest: A Step-By-Step Guide to Growing Your Own Storage Crops. For more information, contact Krista Rome at 224-4757 or kristamrome@yahoo.com

Tree Keepers: Developing Bellingham’s First Urban Forest Plan
: Washington Native Plant Society February meeting
Date: Wednesday, February 15th 7-9 pm
Location: Bellingham Public Library/Lecture Room, 210 Central, Bellingham, WA
Geoff Middaugh and Jackie Lynch will discuss how we perceive trees in Bellingham and the current process of developing the City of Bellingham’s First Urban Forest Plan. Geoff is Chair of Bellingham’sParks and Recreation Advisory Board and Jackie is Planner 2 for the City of Bellingham. Both are members of Tree Keepers, a group that advises the City about trees and forests in Bellingham.

Common Threads Opportunity
Common Threads Farm and School Garden Collective is hiring a new AmeriCorps VISTA VolunteerApplications will be accepted until Friday, February 24th.
The AmeriCorps VISTA term is a one year commitment beginning April 20th and including a Pre-Service Orientation April 16-19. Applicants can send a resume and cover letter to tessa@commonthreadsfarm.org, or mail to 1715 Ellis St., #102, Bellingham WA 98225.
Applicants must also file an online application with AmeriCorps. The position description will be available shortly on our website or www.commonthreadsfarm.org . Feel free direct questions or interest to Tessa Bundy, Common Threads Farm, 961-7562

5th Anniversary Celebration for Bellingham’s Living Earth Herbs Saturday, March 10th Living Earth Herbs marks its fifth year in Bellingham with a celebration at The Public Market. Free samples of the herbal apothecary’s products will be offered, along with a special tool for measuring herbal creations at home. Living Earth Herbs specializes in organic and medicinal herbal teas, tinctures, salves and essential oils. We do custom blending for naturopaths, midwives, and local folks.

The celebration will coincide with Terra Organica’s Seed Swap & Spring Gardening Kick-Off at the Public Market on Cornwall Avenue. For more information, visit Living Earth Herbs or contact Michele Sanger at 360-734-3207.

(Editor’s note: Mainstream media…aaargh! But here is something worthy of reading)
CBS News: Urban Farming on the Rise Nationwide
In decades past, Americans relied on rural farms to meet the food supply needs of the rest of the nation. But the capability to grow fresh fruits and vegetables, even of the super-trendy organic variety, is coming to the city. If you don’t believe me, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says “around 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas.” Picking up on this movement, the folks at Zillow recently mined their real estate listings to locate city homes for sale that may feel more like Green Acres.

CTS Composting Toilets
Check out this female-owned, family company in Washington State that manufactures composting toilets! One project picture is an installation at the Point Roberts Golf & Country Club.

Pilot Plant Converts Fruit and Veggie Waste into Natural Gas for Cars
Some readers might remember the Mr. Fusion unit in “Back to the Future” that Doc Brown fills with household garbage, including a banana peel and some beer, to power the iconic time-traveling DeLorean. While we’re still some way from such direct means of running our cars on table scraps, researchers at Fraunhofer have developed a pilot plant that ferments the waste from wholesale fruit and veg markets, cafeterias and canteens to make methane, which can be used to power vehicles.

A Trip Around The World, By Way Of Seasonings
Dun recipes for adventurous cooks… a couple could be grown locally! To make even Monday night meals spectacular, I often reach for my favorite global spice mixes. The crunchy five-spice mix of India, the searing hot harissa from Tunisia, the aromatic herbes de Provence of southern France and the earthy berbere of Ethiopia are simple ways to bring global flavors into the kitchen with little effort. The mixes are so aromatic and so flavorful that just adding them to dishes can take a weekday meal from boring to brilliant.

Chocolate Bliss Cookies (gluten-free)
Get your chocolate fix with these tiny little indulgences. Though rich in flavor, these cookies are made with absolutely zero fat.
Serves: 24 * Prep:  20 min * Cook: 40 min * Total: 1 hr
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 large egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil.
2. In small bowl, sift together cocoa, salt, and 1/4 cup of the sugar.
3. In large bowl, with electric mixer at medium low speed, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until meringue is glossy and stiff peaks form. Fold in cocoa mixture and vanilla extract.
4. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 1″ apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 25 minutes for soft chewy cookies or 40 minutes for crisp ones. Dust cooled cookies with confectioners’ sugar.