Worm bins, writers and online learning

A weekend ago I attended a composting course at the Compost Education Centre where we looked at several different ways of composting: 3 bin methods; backyard composters – both horizontal tumblers and vertical Earth Machines -; and digesters that can hold kitchen scraps and dog waste…

and even the worm bin benches they use for seating

in the straw bale classroom.

Then there was a regional meeting of the Writers Union of Canada in Nanaimo, where the potluck table was groaning

and the talk was largely about the pros and cons of the Google Book Settlement. There seems to be a move among many of Canada’s writers to opt out of the settlement, and to pull their books from Google to protest intellectual property abuses – and associated injury to the cultural and financial interests of writers – by vastly profitable corporate monoliths like Google. We have until May 5 to opt out, or until April 2011 to pull our books from the digitization machine.

Last week’s Planet Earth Poetry will likely be the last I get to this busy season, and I was happy to hear some excellent poems from Yvonne Blomer

reading with the touring Brian Bartlett

Some food-related courses start up later this month, at the Virtual University, perhaps the solution for people too busy to get to sit-down classes. For $20US you can spend 4 or 5 weeks studying nutrition, herbalism and natural remedies, or organic gardening.

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