More Edge

On his website, David Holmgren (one of the founders of the Permaculture movement) provides icons and descriptions of Permaculture principles.  It is probably no surprise, given my previous discussions of the subject, that one of the principles that has impressed me most is use edges and value the marginal.  Holmgren says “The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place, these are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.”   As this is true in microbiology and ecology (can we call that macrobiology?), it is also true in our community ecologies.  Our Transition Houston hub has an edge–an interface–with Houston, and each of us are that edge. 
As we talk with others, discuss the resource depletion and climate threats and the Transition response, and build small-scale manifestations of resilience we create even more edge through our engagement.  Even if they don’t become an active member of our Transition initiatives, our discussions with others can reverberate in ways that are not immediately clear to us.  Perhaps in a different way of looking at things, or a life lived in greater awareness, or in actual changes to lifestyle.
Sometimes even more dramatic results are seen.  It is exciting to see new neighborhood Transition Initiatives being seeded by our members, and our to see our Hub play its important role of supporting the new Initiatives.  In this way our edge expands further, becomes more complex, and more opportunities for interaction are created.  Since we formed (just last year!) we have seen the start of Transition neighborhoods in the Heights, Westbury, the Japhet Creek community, Rice neighborhoods, the Woodlands and North Houston.  Last month we saw creative energies released in the Clear Lake Transition Initiative.  Just this last week Stephen Crawford brought together a group of neighbors to start a Transition Initiative in the Old Sixth Ward historic district.  The exciting thing to me about all these initiatives is that each will be an experiment from which the others can learn, and the rate of transformation accelerated.
Here is a way to expose yourself to the edge, and become the edge:  our August Transition Houston meeting is coming up this next Monday; among the topics to be discussed are partnering for a film series, neighborhood initiative reports, Transition classes, outreach opportunities, and much more.
Transition Houston monthly meeting
Monday, August 2
7:00 to 9:00pm
Room 124 at Urban Harvest
2311 Canal St., Houston

The Clear Lake Transition Initiative also has their August meeting this week:
Clear Lake Transition Initiative monthly meeting
Thursday, August 5
Coffee Oasis
4650 NASA Road 1, Seabrook
call Rob at 281-705-4307 for more information
And the Transition Old Sixth Ward will be having their second meeting next Sunday:
Transition Old Sixth Ward second organizational meeting
Sunday, August 8
Please contact Stephen Crawford ( for location and details.
Finally, don’t miss Saturday’s screening of Fresh at Georgia’s Farm to Market!
FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity.  Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.
Saturday, July 31
Georgia’s Farm to Market
12171 Katy Freeway, Houston  77079


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