The Crunch: SustainFloyd October Events Need YOU!

Oct 10 Climate Action and Oct 24 Eco-Fair in Floyd: Join us!
Oct 10 Climate Action and Oct 24 Eco-Fair in Floyd: Join us!

I’ll just bring this matter right in your face, several blog regulars who came here expecting to see a picture of mushrooms, stories about chickens or dogs, or some tree-hugging pleasantries. That life goes on, but meanwhile…

I was pleased to receive an invitation to attend the Bill McKibben appearance at the Floyd Country Store back in July, and sat next to this man who is one of journalistic heroes now for two decades. He was brought here by a grassroots organization called SustainFloyd, about which I had heard some details but was not sure what it was all about–and by my nature, a skeptic.

Short story: I am now on the board of directors and co-chair of two upcoming events for which we need both attendance, sponsorship and volunteers. I’ve posted about this on twitter and facebook but not, I think, on Fragments from Floyd. So briefly, and please note links at the end:

October 10: 350 Climate Action ~ As many folks as will come are invited to gather for the climate action near Floyd. The purpose is to raise the number 350 up into global community awareness as the target maximum when CO2 levels are set at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December. If you don’t know what this is all about, you owe it to your children and their children to find out.

October 24: Split-Rail Eco-Fair ~ A Floyd event centered at the Floyd Community Market which will be dedicated that day and include booths by providers of environmentally responsible goods, services and information plus music, performance and food! Split-Rail is the name we’ve adopted based on the self-sufficient from-the-land living of those generations in Floyd County and the southern Appalachians who utilized the renewable resources at hand–American chestnut–to sustain a close relationship with the landscapes of their lives, as we hope to do in years future. There is still time and space for vendors, and take a look at the sponsors document to see what you get–other than a very good reputation among your customer base–for a donation.

So when you don’t hear anything from me on the blog, know I’m very busy putting my time into a project that is very worth my time, our time, and that of our future generations. This matter of ecologically sustainable, socially just futures is at the top of my list these days. I hope you feel the same way.

SustainFloyd official web site:

Vendor Forms for the SplitRail Eco-Fair

Sponsor Forms for the SplitRail Eco-fair

SustainFloyd Facebook page (and join the 350 action!) for information about the number 350 (ppm CO2) and why NOW!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I’m proud of you, walking the walk as well as talking the talk. Big commitment, board member and co-chair. That isn’t small potatoes volunteering. If it sometimes feels like a thankless task, I hope you will readily remind yourself how worthwhile it all is, thanks or no thanks. It’s mainly the young people who will be touched and inspired by your events that will make it truly worthwhile.

  2. The chestnut tree link is really cool. I would love to see those make a comeback as well as the related chinquapin. I used eat chinquapin nuts about 25 years ago. I believe they are about all gone too.