2014 EcoFest Schedule!

~ Begins * THIS WEEKEND *

2014 EcoFest Schedule – April 26–May 3

Saturday, April 26:
Green Fair Saturday, April 26, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Fairfield Arts and Convention Center Expo Hall.  Local vendors selling cards and crafts, custom clothes, skin-pleasing cosmetics, tasty treats, and more! Take your family for story time, crafts, and music. Seed Swap hosted by Fairfield Public Library. Stop by the Welcome Table for an EcoFest brochure. Hosted by EcoFairfield.

“Back to Eden” Film Screening Saturday, April 26, 4:30–6:30 p.m. Fairfield Public Library. Learn about eco-friendly, high yield garden techniques. Donations welcome. Hosted by Naturewise Academy.

Sunday, April 27:

“Chautauqua” Event on the Square Sunday, April 27, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Live music and community news MCed by Jeffrey Hedquist! Deep Green Business awards will be presented to HyVee, Ideal Energy, and Everybody’s Whole Foods. Help honor Local Rockstars Rebecca Johnson (Fairfield Public Library) and Jan Swinton (Pathfinders RC&D–Hometown Harvest). Learn about the Urban Tree Plan, our local food pantry, and the new Community Garden. Hosted by EcoFairfield.

“Green March: Celebrating Sustainability in Fairfield” Sunday, April 27, 3:00–3:30 p.m. A procession from the town square to the Community Garden Dedication. Young guest speakers will share projects they are doing in the community and facts about Fairfield. Hosted by Fairfield Rotaract.

Community Garden Dedication and Planting Sunday, April 27, 3:30 p.m. Corner of 3rd and Grimes (at the site of the old St. Mary’s church.) After a brief dedication, everyone will receive seeds to plant. We encourage you to make new friends, and ask questions about gardening! Please bring a trowel if you have one. Hosted by Naturewise Academy and Bonnell Building Project.


Monday, April 28–Friday, May 2:

Tree planting at OB Nelson Park Monday, April 28–Friday, May 2, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. contact Scott Timm 515-291-2560 stimm@iastate.edu Hosted by City of Fairfield.

“Fairfield, Water Your Plans?” Part 1, Monday, April 28, 7 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Fairfield Public Library. Intro Presentation by Detra Dettman, followed by talk by Wayne Peterson “The New Storm Water Management Paradigm”. Includes visual tour of new Iowa stormwater projects. Hosted by MUM Water Club.

“Your Food: To GMO or Non-GMO?” Tuesday, April 29, 8 p.m.–9:30 p.m. MUM Argiro Center, Dalby Hall   Featuring talks by Ken Roseboro, publisher of the Non-GMO Report; and Steven Druker, Alliance for Bio Integrity. Followed by Q & A with guest panelists. Hosted by MUM Sustainable Living Department.

“Fairfield, Water Your Plans?” Part 2, Wednesday, April 30, 7 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Fairfield Public Library. Q&A with Shawn Worley, Fairfield Wastewater Superintendent; Melanie Carlson, French-Reneker-Associates Engineer; Daryn Hamilton, Fairfield City Council Member; James Martin, Iowa Department of Land Stewardship; and Tom Barrett President of Green Water Infrastructure. Hosted by MUM Water Club.

Soapbox Speakeasy: “An Exploration of Lyricism” Thursday, May 1, 8:30 p.m. location TBA Artists include David Hurlin accompanied by the Apocalypso Tantric Boys Choir. Doors open 8pm, $3 free will donation at the door. Hosted by Urban Village Collective, http://www.uvc.coop

“Home Grown: Emerging area Artists” Friday, May 2, 6–9 p.m. Fairfield Square Showcasing artists, bands, films & filmmakers. Hosted by Fairfield 1rst Fridays Artwalk.


Saturday, May 3:

Jefferson County Trails Council Biannual Maintenance Day Saturday, May 3, 9 a.m.–noon & 1–4 p.m. Meet at the NE corner of Howard Park. Bring gloves, shovel, bow saw, or loppers if you have them. Hosted by Jefferson County Trails Council.

Tree planting on the square Saturday May 3, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. hosted by City of Fairfield.

EcoJam Fashion Show! Saturday May 3, 7:30 p.m. Featuring upcycled, organic, and vintage designs and special guest Vikas Narula. FACC Expo Hall, doors open at 7pm. $12 general admission, discount with student ID. Hosted by EcoFairfield. Immediately followed by trunk show in Expo Hall and after party at The Arbor Bar.


*Schedule up to date as of Earth Day April 22, 2014*


The Crash Course in Economic Sustainability For Non-Economists

June 5-9, 2013 – Fairfield, IA

Facilitated by: 

John Ikerd & Lonnie Gamble

·      Do you teach courses or conduct other educational programs related to sustainability?

·      Do you feel less confident and comfortable with economic concepts than with the ecological and social aspects of sustainability?

·      Do wish you could take a course to learn the essentials of economic sustainability without a lot of the charts, graphs, and economic jargon?

·      Do you wish you could take such a course but feel you don’t have the time or money?

If your answer is yes to more than one of these questions, you should consider participating in The Crash Course in Economic Sustainability for Non-Economists in Fairfield, IA, June 5-9, 2013.

Most people know there is something fundamentally wrong with what they have been told about economic sustainability. However, they don’t know enough about economics to challenge the fallacies of conventional economic thinking. The Crash Course will reinforce your intuition and common sense with logic and reason.
Most economists have either ignored economic sustainability or have made it so complicated that it takes a PhD in economics to comprehend.. They assume human imagination and creativity are capable of solving any problem we may create and finding a substitute for any resource we may degrade or deplete. Or they complicate the issue by trying to “internalize the externalities” by assigning economic values or prices to the negative social and ecological impacts of economic activities.  Either way, most economists claim all we need to achieve sustainability is the economic incentive to do so. If this were true, our economy quite likely would already be sustainable, which it is not.

As a result, most people who conduct sustainability education programs skip lightly over the economic dimension of sustainability, hoping their students won’t ask too many questions. Some may refer their students to various sources that claim economic sustainability is actually more profitable than economic extraction and exploitation, or at least would be if we used government policies to “get the prices right.”

As a result, the sustainability movement continues to suffer from economic illiteracy. The Crash Course in Economic Sustainability addresses this problem directly and decisively.

·      You will learn that you don’t need to be or become an economist to understand the basic principles and concepts essential for economic sustainability.

·      You will be provided with a basic text book and discussion guide that explains the essential principles and concepts without resorting to economic jargon, charts, and graphs.

·      You will learn that economic sustainability is inextricably interrelated with social and ecological sustainability, while economic value is fundamentally different from social and ethical values.

·      You will discover that any thoughtful person, in collaboration with other thoughtful people, can learn the essentials of economic sustainability in a matter of days, not weeks or years.

·      In the process of collaborative learning, you will learn ways of sharing what you have learned with your students or colleagues, without being self-conscious about what you have yet to learn.

The conveners of the Crash Course, John Ikerd and Lonnie Gamble, have extensive experience with educational programs related to both economics and sustainability and have facilitated a number of similar collaborative learning experiences. That said, you will also learn from other members of the class and from others in the community, as much of the learning will take place outside the classroom in community of Fairfield, IA.

Fairfield is a thriving, entrepreneurial community that is also paving the way for numerous sustainability initiatives in Iowa. In 2003, a report by the National Center for Small Communities selected Fairfield as a recipient of The Grassroots Rural Entrepreneurship Award, saying that the city “has become recognized as one the nation’s most entrepreneurial small towns.” Mayor Ed Malloy describes the city’s agenda for sustainability as “aggressive,” and includes a Green Strategic Plan covering everything from conservation, local farms, local food, alternative transportation, and bike paths and trails.

 We hope to see you at the Crash Course in Fairfield this summer!


Sponsored by: Maharishi University of Management Sustainable Living Department

Green Drinks in the month of Janus

January is named after Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, endings, transitions, who has two faces: one to look backward and one to look forward. The EcoFairfield team invites you to join us in reflecting on local sustainability accomplishments of 2012 and sharing sustainability initiatives for 2013. We look forward to updating everyone on the EcoFestival project and honoring Local Rockstar David Fisher. Dr. Fisher is chief custodian of the EcoFair/ EcoFairfield tradition, head of MUM’s sustainable living department, retired county frog census taker, and pivotal in building MUM’s new Sustainable Living Center.

When: January 25, 2013, 7–8:30 pm

Where: TBA


(Photo from Wikipedia)

Francis Thicke, October Local Rockstar

The last Friday of October, Green Drink attendees had the pleasure of honoring Radiance Dairy’s Francis Thicke.

Where could one begin in listing his many accomplishments? This is a man who’s been walking his talk on sustainable agriculture and sustainable living for decades, and in the bargain giving the Fairfield community the ongoing boon of some of the best, purest and most nutritious dairy products in the known universe. I especially admire Francis for running for Secretary of Agriculture in 2010, and the outstanding campaign he ran to take the principles of shared agricultural wealth and sustainability to all of the people of Iowa. He’s a true champion of all that is best in life, and he’s a truly worthy winner of your RockStar award.

Patrick Bosold

Conservation Chair, Leopold Group, Iowa Sierra Club

I would like to offer my personal gratitude to Dr, Francis Thicke. Not just for all of the work that he does in many different fields, but also for offering me a crucial learning experience involving my compost work.

Francis allowed me to come to his farm several times over a few weeks to talk about and monitor his compost. We played with a pile and chatted about soil ecology. Although we only briefly discussed what it would take to manage a large pile to the highest standards, I learned an incredible amount. I see now what organic farmers are up against and what we all can do as a market to help support organic agricultural development.

I find Dr. Thicke to be a very forward thinking individual that will lead by example. As the industry changes over the next twenty years, Francis Thicke is a guy to be watching.

Thanks and blessings.

Jacob Bradford Krieger

Partner at Lower Meadow Farm LLC,

Sustainable Living Major,

Campus Sustainability Representative,

and Student Sustainability Council President at MUM

Francis Thicke is a Rockstar because he actually does things that other people think about or talk about doing but never find the time or courage to do. When I first met Francis he had an influential, well-paid, secure position with the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington DC. A lot of people in USDA think about and talk about “going back to the farm,” but Francis actually did it. And, he made a great success of it, as most folks in Fairfield know, particular those who enjoy the quality dairy products from his Radiance Dairy. A lot of people think about and talk about how we ought to do something to fix the mess called “farm policy,” but Francis actually did something. He ran for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, not because he thought he would win, although he might well have under different circumstances. He ran mostly because he wanted to use the “bully pulpit” of his campaign to tell Iowa voters the truth about American Agriculture. A lot of people think about and talk about becoming more involved in their community, but never find the time. Francis takes the time. He plays trumpet in the Fairfield Municipal band, he host tours for local students on his farm, makes public presentation in Fairfield and all across the country, and probably does dozens of other things I haven’t yet heard about. He doesn’t just think about and talk about what he might to do to help create a better world, he does things to make the world better. That what real “Rockstars” do.

—John Ikerd

Audio book now available: “Revolution of the Middle…”
or http://www.johnikerd.com
Author of: “Sustainable Capitalism”
Kumarian Press http://www.kpbooks.com
“A Return to Common Sense”
R. T. Edwards http://www.amazon.com
“Small Farms are Real Farms”
Acres USA  http://www.acresusa.com/other/contact.htm
“Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture”
University of Nebraska Press http://nebraskapress.unl.edu,
and “Essentials of Economic Sustainability,”
Kumarian Press: http://www.kpbooks.com

Make A Difference Day

Join many volunteers in Fairfield to create a difference on Make a Difference Day this Saturday, October 27th, 10am-4pm.

What is Make A Difference Day?

Make A Difference Day is the most encompassing national day of helping others — a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. Everyone can participate. Created by USA WEEKEND Magazine, Make A Difference Day is an annual event that takes place on the fourth Saturday of every October.

Where?Three Sites – You Choose:
1. PreRestore Habitat for Humanity
2. St. Mary’s
3. 908 W. BroadwayWhat?
Cleaning, Painting, Organizing, Creating

Because every effort counts towards a better experience in Fairfield. I think that is good enough. What do you think?

Every place will have a facilitator to facilitate action!

RSVP: ecofairfield@gmail.com – with subject line Make a Difference & Site Name – in body please give us your contact information

Learn about EcoFairfield: https://ecofairfield.wordpress.com/Learn more about Make a Difference Day:

October Green Drinks!

Time to gather once again, appreciate Local Rockstar Francis Thicke, share community news and sustainability projects, visit with old friends and make new ones. And of course, enjoy some food and beverage.

Location: Revelations Cafe and Bookstore, 112 N Main Street.  We will be in the side room at the big corner table.

When: Friday October 26, 7-8:30 pm

7:30pm: Local Rockstar Appreciation by Patrick Bosold
followed by
Talking Points:
*New Adopt-A-Shelf program at the PreReStore

*Make a Difference Day, Saturday October 27th

*Local coach and entrepreneur Seth Braun’s new book, Indestructible Success

E-mail talking point suggestions to ecofairfield@gmail.com or call 641-233-1138 and leave a message with your name, the topic, and how to contact you. Please note talking points should be 1-3 minutes

Something You Just Don’t See Often


When was the last time you walked into a bookstore and saw a stand with a prominent display that said,
“Ultimate Success Book For Conscious, Creative, Holistically Minded Entrepreneur Business Owners”

– it just doesn’t happen… you have to wade through a bunch of books on marketing, sales, money, speaking, goal-setting, time management, productivity, spirituality and then weave them together on your own…

Not Any More!

Our very own Seth Braun has done it with his new book, Indestructible Success: Creative Entrepreneurship and The Art of Small Business. 


For a limited time, you can get an expanded package of excellent content for FREE (including eBooks, Videos and Audio from thought leaders around the country)

If you are serious about success, this could be the best $25 investment you can make in your career.

But don’t take my word for it, check out what other have to say:

“Seth Braun’s message is a professional and spiritual transmission. This book works on you from the inside out, evoking a new level of clarity, purpose and power. Lots of books provide skills and strategies–this one makes you want to wake up, stand up, and joyfully create the destiny that is yours alone.”
– Jeff Salzman, Founder of Career Track, Integral Thought Leader


Now there is an ulterior motive here… I have to be honest… we are also trying to help Seth get Indestructible Success up to the Amazon Best-Seller Ranking. In the first 12 hours, the book went from #29,843 to #4,442 to #3,000 this morning… (probably higher by the time you read this)

I think it would be kind of cool to have another best-seller from Fairfield, don’t you?


Local Rockstar Lonnie Gamble-“Earth Care, People Care and Resource Share”

Written and presented by Molly Reiff at August Green Drinks, Friday August 31, 2012


Anyone who knows Lonnie probably knows a bit about Permaculture because it is very likely that that Permaculture is the reason you know him in the first place.  A broad topic indeed, it can be boiled down to 3 basic principles…Earth Care, People Care, Resource Share.  That is the lens through which I will talk about Lonnie tonight…

Earth Care

I’ve known Lonnie for 4 years now.  We first met when I returned to my hometown of FF to attend a PDC course through Big Green Summer in June of 2008.  I arrived at what I still think to be the most beautiful part of FF-the rolling hills of Lonnie’s homestead, which he opened to strangers to come together for 2 weeks to listen/learn/share/grow.  The classroom was a strawbale barn equipped with rainwater catchment/composting toilets, garden beds galore and was truly a living laboratory for attendees to experience the delights of being off the grid for two weeks, creating the ideal compost mix, open-air shared meals harvested two steps from the table, sometimes learning inside the classroom with walls that breathe and sometimes under a tree or busy at work/play learning a new set of skills and seeing things with new eyes.

He has had virtually no utility bill for 20 some years, lives a lifestyle fueled by renewable energy sources-rain, wind, sun. Leaving that kind of experience truly moved and having felt how comfortable/even luxurious life felt when care of the earth was a priority in each action on this farm, each of us went out in the world and carried around that knowledge that Lonnie had shared with us and it played a part in our actions and our decisions and shaped our thinking and who we are to this day!  And that was just one time around for this training.  Think about how many courses he has taught over the years…how many presentations he has shared that have made an impact-however big or small-on someone’s life.  Those minions J have shared pieces of that knowledge with others and impacted the way those people care for our earth.  The Earth is in truly better hands because of all of the lives you have impacted.

“Lonnie’s perspective is millennial, sociological, global, and creative.  Everything connects back to the wholeness of life on earth and the immediate relevance of my life, right now. “

“Lonnie has inspired me to walk my talk and live my life with much more integrity”

People Care

“Lonnie is a symbol of community.  He seems to be friends with everyone: he has friends literally all around the world, with all kinds of professions and cultural backgrounds.  He is always kind, receptive, and understanding of the range of perspectives that come up in discussions, and able to tie them back to the central questions of sustainability or to practical well-being in terms of a situation”

He knows almost all of the players in the field, if he doesn’t-he isn’t afraid to make connections and seek the people out that he feels will make a difference for others, even those literally on the other side of the globe.  He just reaches out and good things often come of it.  He was a major player in getting the FF Go Green Plan together-bringing together people from all backgrounds in that creation.  People have been known to relocate to Fairfield just to have the opportunity to work more closely with him.  He has been referred to as “the engine of the Sustainable Living Department”.

“His influence has transformed my life”

Resource Share

Lonnie has a passion for empowering new leaders, thinkers, and game-changers.  For passing the torch to the next generation-you can see all of the young energy that enlivens the SL program, our community and beyond and Lonnie has had a hand in that.  He is a walking library of information-knows which author/film to suggest for each situation…kind of like wine pairing with a fine meal.  At the local Farmers’ Market he is like the pied piper with people following him asking advice/seeking to glean a bit of his knowledge.  He can’t get out of that place in a hurry without an undercover disguise…that is truly rock star statusI I would guess many of us in this room are where we are in following our passions due to some interaction in the past with Lonnie.  That permaculture course 4 years ago brought me here…tonight…and now I am moving into the SL Dept myself to continue to round out that knowledge for myself and to witness how it inspires others.

That’s what forming this local Green Drinks is for: people who are passionate about our Earth, coming together to make connections with others to exchange knowledge.  Building Community/Awareness/Friendships->More Vital and Resilient Place to Live.

“Lonnie has been my education without going back to school.  I owe my job to him”.

“His genuine care for all people, his way of understanding the living mechanics of sustainability and the world as it is now, and his ceaseless entrepreneurship, friendship-building, and constant application of the knowledge he teaches make Lonnie an ideal role model.  I’m very grateful to have him as a teacher. “

I am honored to be able to work with you Lonnie because of your energy, enthusiasm & wealth of knowledge.  I am equally honored to be asked to present this award this evening.  From all of us to you…Lonnie: You are our Local Rockstar.

Jan Swinton and Local Food Advocacy

Here’s a fantastic blog, featuring an article on Fairfield’s own local food leader Jan Swinton. Enjoy exploring!

The Search for Convenient Resilience

Our stay in Fairfield, IA connected us with local food advocate, Jan Swinton. We met up with her for a delicious lunch at one of Fairfield’s Indian restaurants, and then hit the town for a tour of various Fairfield sustainability initiatives, concentrating on their local food movement.

Jan’s current project is a farm to school food program, but it’s a work in progress. The goal is to provide schools with healthy, local produce. Jan estimates that currently less than 1% of school food is produced by local farmers and that’s a number she aims to increase. It’s hard for schools to accept just a percentage of their food from local producers, Schools require a lot of produce and most local farmers simply don’t have the capacity. In order to make useful connections between schools and farmers, Jan has to convince farmers to increase their production. In order to do that…

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