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…”
Author of: “Sustainable Capitalism”
Kumarian Press
“A Return to Common Sense”
R. T. Edwards
“Small Farms are Real Farms”
Acres USA
“Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture”
University of Nebraska Press,
and “Essentials of Economic Sustainability,”
Kumarian Press:

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 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

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.

August Green Drinks!

Green Drinks is a chance to network, share news, and hear updates about sustainability projects and upcoming events. Everyone is welcome to attend.This month’s event is Friday, August 31rst, 7pm–8:30pm at RevelationsTalking points will begin at 7:30pm and include
*Presentation of the Local Rockstar award to August’s winner, Lonnie Gamble
*An introduction to Macro7, an innovative new website designed to support knowledge sharing and incubate projects and non-profits

*Fairfield Volunteer Center’s latest project

Lonnie Gamble, Local Rockstar
EcoFairfield Green Drinks takes place the last Friday of every month in a Fairfield restaurant. Talking points presentations start at 7:30pm and finish before 8pm, allowing plenty of time for discussion, networking, and enjoying drinks or food. If you would like to suggest a restaurant location or talking points for the next Green Drinks event, please e-mail