Food for Hope: DeGlobalizing – ReLocalizing

October 31, 2008 in Gardening, Local Food

Transition Town Handbook

I feel like I have been “all melamine – all the time” the past couple of posts, sorry. (Melamine, oh thy name is Legion and Melamine Toxic Tsunami) Its been a fast moving story and its relevant to all of us who eat food. Its my hope that, as a scientist, I can help people who might feel overwhelmed by this massive and frightening subject.

I would like to shift gears into a positive mode and tell you about what you CAN do so that this sort of problem and all of the food security problems that come from globalization can be addressed.

DeGlobalizing – ReLocalizing

In a nutshell – its all about 2 main things:

  • Refraining from buying things that require global travel
  • and
  • Building your local economy and food systems

The first thing – you can do that starting right now. You will quickly find out that you will have to do the harder second thing – rebuilding your local economy.

A couple of months ago I tried to summon the people in my community for a food security meeting on just this. I sent out a press release and got in all the relevant papers. One person showed up and she was actually confused about the topic.

This is NOT easy work!

I am not the only one who is focused on this, not at all. There is a world-wide effort on, called the Transition Initiative and it is helping people build what are called Transition Towns. The UK is the leader right now but start up groups are nucleating all across the US as I write.

If you visit this link Transition Town you can see if there is an initiative near you (anywhere in the world).

If you live in the New England region, you are lucky because there will be a Transition Training conference this November in Cambridge, MA. There are actually two of these conferences. I will be going to the later one. If you decide to go, let Rob know I referred you and also let me know you are coming and we will meet up. Perhaps there is call for live blogging it! (mind is a churning).

The following is the release from the organizer, Rob Riman. Let me know if you have any questions!

Training For Transition

November 1-2 & 22-23 – Cambridge, MA

Transition initiative Cambridge (TiC!) together with the Transition Center Portland Maine will be hosting these 2-day trainings to provide the in-depth knowledge, experiential tools and practical skills to successfully set up, run and maintain a Transition Initiative in your own community or neighborhood.

Course Objectives:

  • To understand the context for transition
  • To understand the Transition Initiatives model as it has evolved so far – from inspiration to working groups
  • To understand the inner and outer aspects of transition
  • To gain knowledge of the main ingredients of transition
  • To develop a plan of action for your self and your locality
  • To assemble the elements of an inspiring talk on Transition Initiatives
  • To connect with others who are responding to the call for transition

See complete course outline at


Saturday & Sunday November 1-2 and 22-23, 2008

Training begins at 9:00 am sharp and finish at 5:00 pm both days. Please arrive by 8:30 am on Saturday for registration and welcome.

Where?: The training will be at the office of the Livable Streets Alliance located at:

Livable Streets Alliance
100 Sydney Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

For directions via various modes see:

Also see the transit system map (and click on the ‘Boston Detail Map’ tab).

Bicycle parking is in front of 100 Sidney. Free weekend car parking is available on Pacific Street.

Sign up!: Course registration is via the RSVP option at The Transition Training Center Portland Maine website: (You will first need to join the group.)

Tuition:The cost for the course is $215/person and full payment or a minimum deposit of $100 should be received in advance of the course start date. Checks should be made payable to ‘Transition Center Portland Maine’ and sent to me (Rob Riman) at the below address.

Lodging:Participants are responsible for arranging their own accommodation.

If you can offer or are seeking a local homestay during the training, please reply to the related post or start a new discussion on the Meetup site message board. Note that all activity for a given discussion is trackable by clicking on Track this discussion. I also have additional leads.

For information regarding local hotels and B&B’s, please contact me.

Travel:If you can offer or would like a lift to or from either of these trainings, please reply to the related post or start a new discussion on the Meetup site message board.

To Bring:

  • 1) Any Transition related materials that you can share: posters, leaflets, brochures, any printed/audio/visual material that you have used in your Transition Initiative. This will be a mutual learning environment!
  • 2) Lunch to share in the training room. If you prefer, there are local venues to purchase food within easy walking distance. Other meals are entirely up to you. Warm beverages and light snacks will be provided throughout the day. Toward a zero-waste event, please bring your own mug, water bottle, utensils, etc. as needed (some will be available should you forget).
  • 3) Laptops and/or recording devices if you feel these might help you, however they are not necessary. Please bring a 330+ mb memory stick for copying background material and training presentations.
  • 4) Your story. Take some time to reflect on your journey regarding transition: When did you realize that we needed to make big changes to the way we live? How did you hear about Transition and what got you interested? Why do you want to be part of a Transition process?

Reading: In addition to The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins, the following resources offer valuable background and will help prepare you for the course:

Resources: For more information about current Transition activities:

More Info: See who else is coming, learn about the trainers, find related events in the Northeast, etc. at:

Transition Center Portland Maine


Cambridge Trainings Coordinator:
Rob Riman
92 Henry Street
Cambridge, MA


  • Alastair Lough –
  • Pat Proulx-Lough –

Thank You to our Sponsors!

Green Decade Cambridge

Livable Streets Alliance

Mass Climate Action Network