Monday, March 29, 2010

Sustainability Course, World Water Day, Work-Bikes on Campus

Sustainability Course. This Wednesday marks the first day of another quarter of student-led sustainability education at UC Davis. Stephanie Castle, student organizer for the Education for Sustainable Living Program (ESLP), joins us to discuss this year's course. ESLP is open to students and non-students alike, for credit or not. Action Research Teams (ARTs) provide the opportunity for students and community members to work on sustainability projects for an additional 2 units. Local Dirt will lead an ART about using the radio to explore sustainability. For more info on the course, check out the ESLP website.

World Water Day. March 22nd was World Water Day, when the world united to bring awareness to the most critical issues facing the globe today - water scarcity and water quality. Alexa La Plante from the Sacramento committee of Water for People came on to talk about water issues and what Water for People does to help increase access to safe drinking water for global communities. We also talked about bottled water. The clip featured in the show was Annie Leonard's 'Story of Bottled Water'. You can see the rest of the clip below.

A Work-Bike On Campus! If you've been on campus in the last two years, you might have seen Mike Griffith of the UC Davis Grounds Department riding a blue and gold three-wheeled, flatbed bike to haul equipment, green waste, or trash. Back in 2007, he co-wrote a proposal to get a campus sustainability grant, money his department used to purchase the work-bike. Mike describes his bike, his workday, and his hope to get more work-bikes on campus. Originally aired in June 2, 2009.

Listen. To hear the show, use the player below. To download the mp3, click on 'divShare'.

Check out the new compost bins in the Memorial Union! You can now toss food, paper products (plates, dishes, cups, etc), and compostable plastics in marked compost bins inside the MU. The organic waste will go to Jepson Prairie Organics for composting. Another change: you can combine all recyclable materials at the MU. If you're not sure what goes where, take a look at the signs by the elevators and the bakery.

Music Playlist:
"Winter's Come And Gone" by Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings (Hell Among The Yearlings on Acony)
"Bring Me Little Water Silvy" by Leadbelly (In The Shadow of the Gallows Pole on Rykodisc)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Methyl Iodide and IPM in Davis

Methyl Iodide and Strawberries. Conventional strawberry production across the nation relies on fumigation of the soil currently using methyl bromide. The EPA will be deciding this summer whether or not to register methyl iodide as the new strawberry production soil fumigant. Anne Katten, Pesticide and Work Safety Specialist for California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation explains her concerns about permitting methyl iodide use in California. Originally aired on 9.26.2009.

Integrated Pest Management in Davis. Martin Guerena is the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) specialist for the City of Davis. Martin discusses how Davis is using IPM practices to reduce the application of harmful pesticides in and around Davis. To learn more about the IPM practices happening in Davis, check out the City of Davis website for IPM. To contact Martin, you can email him at mguerena (at) cityofdavis (dot) org . The city of Davis daily pesticide hot line number is 530-757-5261. Originally aired on 11.17.2009.

Listen. To hear the show, use the player below. To download the mp3, click on 'divShare'.

Is Anyone Watching Over Organics? on Slashfood by Nichol Nelson

Music Playlist.
Sleeper by Laura Gibson; Beasts of Season on Hush Records
White Buffalo Dance by The Garcia Brothers; Songs of my People on Music of the World
It's Finally Sinking In by Jim Lauderdale & The Dream Players; Honey Songs on YepRoc Records

Check out the Education for Sustainable Living Program (ESLP) at UC Davis. You can take the course for credit or just sit in on guest speakers. ESLP begins March 31st and runs from 5:10-7pm every Wednesday during spring quarter in Chem 179.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Campus Waste Diversion and a Trip to the EC Garden

Campus Waste Diversion. The ASUCD Coffee House is currently undergoing renovations and further waste diversion practices are being incorporated in the renovation plans. Prior to opening the new Coffee House, the Memorial Union will be piloting an organic waste composting program - diverting both pre- and post-consumer waste through composting at Jepson Prairie Organics. Currently, pre-consumer composting is happening at the Coffee House with support from ASUCD Project Compost. Thank you to our guests, Will Klein from the Campus Center for the Environment, Sara Kosoff, ASUCD Coffee House employee, Bree Rombi, ASUCD Senator, and Alexa Sommers-Miller, ASUCD Project Compost director.

EC Garden. We took you out the the Experimental College (EC) Community Gardens on campus to welcome in the new garden coordinators, Lauren Cockrell and Skyler Blakesly, and take a tour form outgoing coordinator Tim Quick. The EC Garden is open to community members and students. You can find out more about the EC Garden by visiting the EC Garden website or the wiki page.

Listen. To hear the show, use the player below. To download the mp3, click on 'divShare'.


Study suggests junk food taxes may beat healthy food subsidies on Grist by Tom Laskawy

Music Playlist.
"Rex's Blues" by Townes Van Zandt (Rear View Mirror on Sugarhill)
Michael Abbot performing live at the EC Garden
"Wind and Rain" by Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, and David Steele (Songcatcher: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture on Vanguard)
"Emily" by Joanna Newsom (Ys on Drag City Inc)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

UC Privatization and Child Labor in Agriculture

UC Privatization. On November 19th, 2009, the University of California Regents approved a 32% increase in undergraduate fees beginning next fall. This fee increase, combined with program cuts, lay-offs, high administrative salaries and a growing number of administrative positions, has led to growing unrest amongst those concerned about public education in California, the U.S., and the world. Last Thursday (March 4th) served as a day of action for public education at all levels, nationwide. First, a news report on the day's local events from KDVS News Director Elizabeth Stitt and Public Affairs Director Amber Yan. Then, Dr. Karen Watson-Gegeo and graduate student Marguerite Wilson of the UC Davis School of Education discuss what the recent changes mean for the UC system and for California as a whole. For updates on UC activism, check out this site. (Interview originally aired 11/24/09. Photo courtesy of Indymedia)

Children in the Fields. Brandon Louie, California Regional Coordinator for the Children in the Fields projects, part of the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs, talked about the reality of child labor in the US agriculture industry. To see the video of the movie clip played for the intro of Brandon's interview, check out this website. Brandon Louie can be contacted at (Originally aired 11/3/09)

Listen. To hear the show, use the player below. To download the mp3, click on "divShare".

Music Playlist.
"How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" performed by The New Lost City Ramblers (Classic Protest Songs on Smithsonian Folkways)
"Don't You Let Nobody Turn You 'Round" performed by the Silver Light Gospel Singers (Art of Field Recording, Vol. 1 on Dust to Digital)
"Dakota Justice" by Peter Kater (Native American Currents on Silver Wave)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Few Obstacles to Sustainability

Sustainable agriculture. Sustainable eating. On Local Dirt, we talk about these things a lot. That's our thing. But what does "sustainable agriculture" mean for someone who's land has been stolen, or to someone who can't get a loan to buy land or capital? And what's "sustainable food" for someone living on a small income, or someone who doesn't have time to cook? On this week's show, we look at sustainability as a slanted playing field and we discuss a few obstacles to justice and sustainability.

The Struggles of Rural African Americans. Jerry Pennick, Director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund, explains specific injustices affecting rural African Americans. He discusses land loss, lack of access to credit and markets, and discriminatory lending practices -- including by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These long-standing problems, he says, persist today. The Federation promotes economic justice, a necessary prerequisite for sustainable agriculture. To learn more about Black land loss, check out the "Torn From the Land" series here and here. For more on the Pigford case, read this news article.
Taxing Soda. UC Santa Cruz professor Julie Guthman talks about the politics of the so-called 'obesity epidemic' and how this relates to the taxation of processed foods. Professor Guthman argues that creating a healthy food system will require large economic policy changes, not simply consumer-focused changes. She is the author of Agrarian Dreams: the paradox of organic farming in California. You can also check out her article Bringing Good Food to Others which takes into consideration several of the cultural and class-related topics discussed in today's show. (Originally aired 10/13/09)

Spoken Word. UC Davis student and Sickspit poet Shannon Harney was kind enough to record a poem for us. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Listen. Use the player below to listen to the show, or click "divShare" to get the mp3.

- The Whole Earth Festival is currently seeking applications for bands, performers, artists, dancers, educational booths, workshops, and speakers. To apply, visit
- The Education for Sustainable Living Program lectures (spring quarter), Wednesdays 5:10-7pm. Students may take the class for 2 or 4 units, and anyone (student or not) can attend the lectures for free. The class aims to define sustainability broadly and consider it in new ways. Students may enroll in the class with the CRN 63662.

Music Playlist.
"Tramp" by Otis Redding (The Best of Otis Redding on Atco)
"Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground" by the Asylum Street Spankers (God's Favorite Band on Spanks-A-Lot)
"Ida Red" by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys (Legends of Country Music.... on Columbia)
"Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego" by the Asylum Street Spankers (God's Favorite Band on Spanks-A-Lot)