Favorite things at Maker Faire

My favorite discovery at Maker Faire was the work of Daniel McCormick, a sculptor whose art helps restore rivers. His installations woven of willow branches are set into the banks of rivers, where they trap sediment and help recreate the meanders and eddies in eroded streams.

On a somewhat related note, I was glad to see that DIY food had started to colonize maker faire. As I munched on jessie cool’s asparagus, I listened to a talk on beekeeping and the environmental risks to bees, and admired the locavore cookbooks and composting worm bins which are ahead of my EQ at the moment.
McCormick lives and works in Marin. I hope the work that he does sets precedents, instead of creating a Disney-demo natural world in .000x of our landscape while big agriculture and poverty erode the rest. There has been really fascinating and inspiring progress in river restoration in recent years, but for each restored stream in Marin and NAPA, there are new CAFO lagoons wrecking more watersheds.
I also hope that the locavore movement sets precedents. The Chron had an excellent article about the rise and very minor successes of real food in the farm bill debate over the last year. On the plus side, it’s on the map, compared to a decade ago when it was fringe. Realignments at the congressional level take more than one cycle to build.
I enjoyed the Engineers Without Borders and the Appropriate Technology group (I think i’ve got the right link for them). These groups are using engineering engenuity to help people get clean water, food, electricity.
My favorite Maker Faire writeup is Liz Henry’s resolution to create disability access hacks project. Hopefully will get to see that next year!

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