EVERYONE interested in urban farming, gardening and learning the ways of growing our own food in our back or front yards, are invited to the next  Traverse City Urban Farming Collective (UFC) meeting and POTLUCK on, Saturday April 14th, 6-8 pm@ the home of Samantha, Chris and family, at 707 Division St., Traverse City. If driving, park along 10th St. For additional directions contact, 231-499-8188.

THANKS to Continual University and Little Artshram for hosting our March UFC event, and once again to Chris Bedford and Diana Jancek for their film and sharing of their life-long work. gracias.

Meeting notes for the past two UFC gatherings are below:

UFC meeting notes, March 10, 2012:
Urban Farming Collective gathered last night in Traverse City at Cogs Creek Studio in Tribalive’s lovely orange room.

After being graced with welcoming music by Nellie Eve, the film “Getting Real about Food and the Future” by Chris Bedford and Diana Jancek was shown, followed by group introductions and discussion.  The film can be viewed here: http://vimeo.com/23259917

The purpose of the UFC, is to create a Traverse City based network to meet the growing needs and interest in urban farming and the building of a local food system, while encouraging a lower energy lifestyle. We are growing a group of wonderful folks, contributing good ideas to create a citizen-based, local food system for all. The UFC is collectively organized, offering information about potential and new Community Garden sites, workshops, programs and events, as we continue to deepen our permaculture roots, socializing in our yards and neighborhood gardens, eating good food and encouraging a local economy!

A quick logo for the UFC was inspired by our KALE conversations, and, a project team is already underway for a Community Greenhouse in one or more Traverse City neighborhoods!

Folks are invited to join this on-line group, to stay in touch in the virtual world:    http://hyperlocavore.ning.com/group/traversecitymi
UFC meeting notes from February 27, 2012 can be found at this link:

Traverse City’s Urban Farming Collective gathering, April 14thLittleArtshram.org

Traverse City’s Earth Day Parade and International Sunflower Guerrilla Gardening Day are joining forces of fun and celebration for our planet home.

The storytelling theme this year is “The Great Lakes: Our Living Water”, and this year we are again joining the world-wide efforts of learning the ways of a natural farming and planting technique of making seed balls.

Our Northern Michigan springtime spectacle will be celebrating it’s 23rd year in Traverse City!

Our Earth Day parade is guided by three simple parade rules to keep us safe on the streets: No Words (as in signage or advertising), No Pets (as in our beloved, real live animal friends which get freaked out by BIG puppets), and No Motors (except wheel chairs this is a blessed, foot-bike-or non-motorized float parade). THANKS!

  • Parade building classes held on: April 12th-18th, and, 23rd-27th…(Call for workshop open-times 922-2014) O’k Art Studio, in the Alley 514 Second St., children under age 10 please bring an adult helper, $10 suggested donation per mask and costume, a helpful RSVP to save your space is suggested. For more details penny@littleartshram.org or 922-2014.

NEW and EXCITING, we invite you to come to one of the Sunflower Seed Ball Workshops, a partner project with “guerilla gardeners” worldwide, and a great local, coffee shop and eatery, Old Town Coffee!

  • Sunflower Seed Ball Workshops @ Old Town Coffee, 517 S. Union St., Tuesday, April 24th 5-8 pm….. An Eday FUN-Raiser: Family fun, good food, great music and you get to learn the ways of “natural farming” as we prepare seed balls for our Earth Day Parade!
  • Attend and participate in the 23rd Annual Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade & Community Picnic, Saturday April 28th! Parade line-up begins @ 12 Noon @ Central Grade School.

We send our Thanks in advance and great appreciation to all of our long-time Earth Day Parade supporters.  Little Artshram and all of the good folks, like-minded organizations and businesses who join with us to create this community-wide event could not do this without you.

SPONSORSHIP   Please check in with Little Artshram about sponsorship levels and support this Earth Day event in any way that you can.  We take every level of contribution very seriously and promise to make good use of it!    We will accept any amount that you are able to give, including Bay Bucks, our local Traverse City currency.

Again, we could not do this community-wide event without your financial, shared resources, or people-powered support!
Thank you to the beginning list of our 2012 Earth Day Parade Sponsors:

  • Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council
  • Traverse City Light and Power
  • Oryana Natural Food Cooperative
  • Old Town Coffee & Eatery
  • O’k CSA
  • and a bunch of wonderful Traverse City community members….                  
  • JOIN these folks and support this great community event:  for parade sponsorship information contact:  info@littleartshram.org
23rd Annual Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade prep begins NOW!LittleArtshram.org

PLEASE, Share the news: We’re Taking Shares!

Market Garden & O’k CSA, an Urban Farm Project with Little Artshram and O’k CSA in Traverse City….

We invite you to become either a Sponsor or Share-holder of our 2012 Market Garden & O’k CSA!

Youth 18 years and older, work “green-collar” jobs with O’k CSA mentors, growing food at the community garden and three urban “farmlets” In Traverse City.

This year, we are offering Full and Half-size shares of fresh vegetables, herbs and flower bouquets, as well as a Restaurant Share, beginning June 15th, through September, with pick-up on Friday’s at the Village Farmers Market.

For info: 231-922-2014 penny.ok.art@gmail.com

With updates and our blog hosted here at www.littleartshram.org

TAKING SHARES….Celebrating our 5th year as TC’s first Urban CSA involving area youthLittleArtshram.org

This is an update on where we stand in light of the actions that have happened in the past several months regarding our management agreement for Little Artshram’s home-base in Traverse City (and the media coverage) and also a specific request, in light of much sensationalizing.

This is also a straightforward request, if you would be so kind, to push ahead with us and consider nominating Little Artshram as an environmental educational organization in the annual, upcoming Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council awards.  More information on NMEAC and the awards here:  http://NMEAC.org/EOY/NominatingForm.html.

First, thank you VERY MUCH for supporting Little Artshram in the many ways you have in the past several months in particular. As our mediation WAS successful in as much that we have been reinstated on the barns property as the continued manager and sponsor of the community garden. However, for the time being, we have compromised our plan to build a “community learning center” in the old garage building (#221), limiting our place and space on the property to the area directly surrounding and including the community garden plots. This space includes a composting area to the east of the garden gates and an edible forest garden space to the west.

The most difficult, and greatest challenge for us, continues to be the repercussions of the sensationalized news reporting and false accusations about our organizational and teaching practices. The new agreement, in order to stay on the property, included a clause that limits our ability to hold our beloved Summer Camps for children and youth at the community gardens. The reasoning on our land holders part (The Recreational Authority/City and Twp.) as I understand it, is connected to all of the regulatory agencies being “called in” and the greenback cost of additional insurances. So their bargain, that the Little Artshram board agreed to, was to limit Little Artshram’s programs to students who are 18 years old and older.

This is a very, very big compromise and we are determined to regain our power to add, change and evolve a new system structure to continue our K through High School programming and projects. Since 2003, the community gardens and the Munson Woods have been the main outdoor classroom for our environmental education based programs and projects of Little Artshram.

The BIGGEST issue and factor in our mediated discussions about our barns property home-base, revolved around “perception”. Not the use of the compost toilet, or the false accusations of management and operation (like the need to have specific licensing), or the grumbly gardeners, but perception. How we are seen. Or, not seen. And more to the point, the issue of fundraising and attracting donors to the capital fundraising campaign for the rennovation of the barns.
We are asking once more for your support as we wish to be “seen” for what we are, an organization that embodies a system that can evolve, re-capture and survive these changes. I believe we are an organization that is and has been a catalyst in this community for 12 years, inspiring and kick-starting other small and not-so-small organizations to also carry a creative, environmental, nature awareness, permaculture message into the Grand Traverse region and other parts of our Great Lake State. I also believe that with many hands and hearts, we embody a very strong form of system resilience that will benefit the community as a whole, and the Recreational Authority and the barns property as well, for many years.

Finally, and on behalf of the present board of directors of Little Artshram, and the many, many past members over the previous 19 years of our humble, Little Artshram and Greater Lansing ARTSPACE  existence….we thank you for considering this next “perceptive” step as a way to repair, provide an incentive and refill our coffers as we keep on, keeping on.

Please consider nominating Little Artshram in the “general” category for the NMEAC awards:  http://NMEAC.org/EOY/NominatingForm.html



`penny Krebiehl

Founder, Directress, and,                                                                                                           Believer in Composting EVERYTHING

Little Artshram

Honest, Open Letter…Little Artshram Spring news, An Opportunity to Observe not PerceiveLittleArtshram.org

Happy Spring….it’s time for our communities to get BLOOMING along with all the rest of nature, by taking to the streets in our 23rd Annual Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade…but first we will build the parade!

Little Artshram will host a community meeting next Monday, March 26th at 6:00 pm, at Horizon Bookstore, in the lower level.  At that time, Earth Day Parade artists will present their initial ideas for the focus of this years’ Earth Day Parade and celebration. The storytelling theme this year is “The Great Lakes: Our Living Water”

The parade artists rely on feedback of community attendees to help hone and fill out this year’s vision. The more voices, the better—this meeting is free of charge and open to anyone.

ADDITIONALLY, and in preparation for the upcoming Earth Day Parade (Actual parade date is: April 28th) we are planning and offering FREE public puppet and mask-making workshops and looking for venues and organizations to host them.

The masks and costumes are made from recycled and found materials, a technique we call “garbage art”. We also build BIG puppets and help folks create non-motorized floats.

This year we will be hosting Earth Day Parade Building workshops a total of 5 days in mid-April.

The designated workshop days are: Saturdays (2 sessions 9-11, and 1-3 pm)and Tuesdays and Thursdays (7-9 pm) beginning April 12th through parade day April 28th. There may be some extended time needed during parade week to tweak and finish up.

The workshop host space requires: running water, workspace with tables, some storage space for projects in phases of completion, access to a bathroom/sink.

We would like to have the final dates and location of our workshops set for our “Blooming Community Calendar” for the planning meeting next Monday.  Contact us at the number/email address listed below to inquire about becoming a host of the 2012 parade workshops.

Little Artshram has worked diligently for the past 12 years in partnership with many artists, musicians, drummers, and newly trained puppeteers. We have also worked with and been sponsored by TCAPS, the Neahtawanta Center, the Art Center of Traverse City, the Minnervini Group, Oryana Natural Food Co-operative, and TCLP.

Additionally hundreds of families in Traverse City, and some long distance parade fans and puppeteers show up to organize and present the Earth Day Parade.

It is a much loved tradition and we are excited to extend this invitation to you.


The public workshops are open to the public, but we require children under the age of 9 be accompanied by their parents or an adult helper/friend.

The Earth Day Parade is funded entirely by donations and sponsorships. We do not charge a fee to folks attending workshops, asking only for donations to offset costs of materials and supplies we are unable to scavenge, for artists stipends for their design contributions, leadership and supervision of the workshops, and for the very
expensive liability insurance that allows us to be in the streets on foot.

The Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade is storytelling parade, telling the story of the chosen theme: “The Great Lakes: Our Living Water”. We then sub-divide the “story” into 4 or 5 elemental sections: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and a center section.

Drummers and musicians are invited and NEEDED to work with the Earth Day Parade artists creating sectional bands to keep the parade moving along. There is also an opportunity for acoustic music and performing to take place at Hannah Park after the parade during the community picnic.

There are three rules to our Earth Day Parade, to ensure safety and simplicity as we take to the streets:
No Words (as in signs advertising or protesting),
No Motors (except for wheelchairs),
No Pets (BIG puppets frighten real animals)

The Earth Day Parade LINE-up begins at Central Grade School, in the front yard at the corner of 7th and Pine Streets @ 12 Noon.

The parade will begin it’s procession @ 1:00 pm, at Central Grade, ending up at Hannah Park.

PARADE ROUTE: Central Grade school, Pine Street to 8th Street, to Union, to State, to Park, to Front, to Union, to Hannah Park

For additional information:


2012 Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade BLOSSOMING NOW!LittleArtshram.org