Saturday, June 7, 2008

Friends With Chickens, the Milton Street Festival... and a comment for Garth

I have a friend with chickens.

She doesn't have a farm, exactly. She just has chickens, and from those chickens, eggs. She sings with me in the Milton Choristers, and I found out last year that she was supplying one of the other sopranos.

This year, I got hooked up. Two bucks a dozen for the biggest, tastiest, most golden yolked eggs I have ever eaten. Behold and be amazed.

Ok, so the photo doesn't really do them justice. But trust me - store-bought eggs simply pale by comparison.


After the Farmers' Market tomorrow is the Milton Street Festival. The event attracted over 15,000 people last year and may do even better this year. But more importantly, I will be wandering the streets all afternoon singing with Nero's Fiddle. You will recognize us by our dulcet tones, our Renaissance garb, and our sheen of sweat as we roast in bodices and full skirts.

C'mon down and say hi!


I got a rather excited phone call this afternoon from a certain MP's office manager (who shall not be named to avoid further harassment). She had just attended an event entitled "BUILDING COMPLETE COMMUNITIES: A Summit to Explore New Ways to Afford Sustainable Growth", co-sponsored by the Canadian Urban Institute, and couldn't wait to tell me all about it as she knew it was right up my alley. It sounded fascinating. Garth Turner thought so too and mentioned it in his blog tonight.

Given that I'm well into reading 'The Transitions Handbook' right now, I gave the following response:

I wish I could have been at the meeting. It sounded really interesting. Unfortunately, nobody on Milton's Town Council or the Halton Regional Council appears to be paying attention.

Our municipal governments are our first line of defence against urban sprawl, and in Milton's case in particular they have failed us miserably. We knew there was going to big a big influx of people once the Big Pipe arrived, and all we asked of our elected representatives was this: don't let Milton turn into Brampton.

Instead, they succumbed to the siren song of development charges and property tax revenues, and rubber stamped every single agri-to-res re-zoning and big box retail proposal that crossed their desks.

They should all be run out of town on a rail.

But fear not, my friends. There is hope. There's a quiet but growing movement in England, Ireland and towns in several other countries called Transition Culture, aka 'Energy Descent Action Planning'. The idea is that the combined effects of climate change and peak oil have conspired to make it an absolute necessity for us to start adjusting to a life with much less power. And that, if we do it right, that can be a good thing.

It only took about a hundred years for cheap oil to become "essential" to our way of life. Using that same inginuity and drive, we can find our way back down again through initiatives like micro energy generation, diversification and re-localization of food sources and industry, and many more creative and pro-active ideas.

I'm excited! Are you excited?

Milton would make a perfect Transition Town. We still have enough remnants of what the town once was to re-localize and weather the coming storm. Hell, we still have a working blacksmith's shop!

Ok, so we might have to plow under some of those new developments. Something tells me they're going to have a hard time finding buyers pretty soon.

1 comment:

solipsist said...

It makes me sad to hear what has happened to Milton. I spent my formative years in the Campbellville and Milton environs, and it was wonderful then (70s and early 80s).

I too think that the Transition Culture idea would be a good fit for Milton. I might even find myself back there and participating!