Ideas for Peak Moment shows

This list is a personal brain dump, occasioned by our plans to videotape shows in the Pacific Northwest this summer. I’m looking for suggestions for people and projects to tape.  Add your ideas of what you want to see.

What kind of shows are we looking to videotape?
Peak Moment is made of stories — ordinary peoples’ stories of how their thinking, values, relationships and lives are being changed by their awareness of one or many things:

  • peak oil and resource limits;
  • climate crisis and ecological systems decline;
  • financial contraction;
  • the collapse of industrial civilization.
  • the desire to live more sustainability, reduce our impacts on the earth, and our dependencies on civilization.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’ll give you the flavor and hopefully prompt your suggestions. Show formats include conversations; tours; project basic how-to’s.

Food production and water

  • Gardens of all types: rooftop, hydroponic, urban, vertical, small space (containers), yard-sharing, land-sharing, mentoring, neighborhood foodsheds
  • Permaculture  in various settings
  • Edible/medicinal plants with indigenous people; foraging
  • Seed saving; seed swaps
  • Animals: beekeeping; raising chickens in the city; mobile harvesting; grassfed beef; local raw milk; vermiculture
  • Local farms and CSAs; local grain production
  • Rainwater collection and use; storing water in the land
  • Emergency home water storage, purifying & filtering
  • Restoration of land, water, ecosystems; stewardship

Food distribution, preparation & preservation
* Gleaning
* Bulk food buying clubs; long-term food storage
* Certified and community-supported kitchens for producing value-added products;
* How to make and cook with a solar oven; solar dehydrator; rocket stove;
* Canning, drying, leathers; acorn meal; preparing locally foraged foods;
* Locavores and 100-mile diet participants; Slow Foods groups
* Nutrient-dense foods; fermented foods; sprouting; cooking from scratch;

Energy and Appropriate Technology
* How to make biodiesel from used vegie oil (small scale)
* Liquid/gas fuels: methane digester; wood gasifiers (biomass);
* Local electricity production projects (community or neighborhood scale)
* Human powered machines
* Small scale wind; micro-hydro; hydrogen; biomass for electrical production

* dumpster diving, salvaging; Used building materials stores; changing codes to permit materials re-use
* products made of re-used/waste materials

* sharing homes; tiny homes; intentional communities;
* Home energy audit (and doing the improvements)
* Net zero buildings, passive solar design; energy-retrofit;
* green building materials; new construction methods; earth homes; strawbale;

Education, Skills, Work
* Self-reliance skills (e.g., repairing, sewing, canning, drying, hunting, fishing, building, fix-it skills, repair, etc.)
* Tools and equipment sharing and coops
* Mentoring connections: elders teaching their skills and techniques
* Preserving crafts knowledge of materials and techniques; how to work with hand tools;
* Preserving human knowledge (e.g., libraries);
* Jobs and careers for the transition and longer term

* Getting out of debt; financial security (e.g. Your Money or Your Life)
* Slow money invested in local food
* Venture or investment capital for local projects; Solari circles
* Alternative/community currencies and exchanges that have taken hold, including barter

* Smart jitney; ride-sharing; vehicle-sharing projects
* Community-supported hitchhiking
* Cargo bikes and e-bikes
* Electric and alternative fuel vehicles; rebuilding local rail

Business & cooperatives
* local manufacturing; tabletop manufacturing; producing tools
* think local first campaigns and variations

* Medicinal plants, preparation & use;
* Assembling home, vehicle and emergency medical kits
* Alternatives to standard medical system; homecare for elders and dying

Lifestyles and Social connections
* Voluntary simplicity, anti-consumerism
* Navigating the money economy
* Transitioning away from the money economy towards the home (“informal”) economy; Radical homemakers;
* Young people – how are they responding to news of a powerdown future?
* Intentional communities; multi-generational families; families of choice;
* Emergency preparedness; grab and go kits; evacuation preparedness;
* Neighborhood scale activities: food and energy production, preparedness; education; tools-sharing;

Cultural, Psychological, spiritual
* Learning from collapse in other cultures
* Waking up to peak oil and other concerns; the waking-up syndrome; how to face and communicate challenging information; maintaining relationships; dealing with grief, frustration, anger
* Reconnecting with nature and one another
* Tactics for navigating collapse; learning from Cuba, Russia and elsewhere
* The arts; ritual; initiations
* Collapse support groups
* Local media; green and local food directories; community-access TV; community radio; publications
* Creators of relevant media: authors, filmmakers,


  1. Dear Janaia, so nice to hear from you! I am already excited to see the show you will do on this subject.

    I don’t know anything about weavers in california but do you know about these people?

    I was also recently in Vancouver and visited

    Unfortunately they did not have their carder operating when I was there but I did get a chance to see it up close.

    I also think Lehman Bros. in Ohio sells treadle sewing machines and when I get rich, I’m buying one!

    Very best,

  2. Bill Northup says:

    You are my favorite hippie woman in the whole world. You have totally won me over. I live down here in Slidell, LA and I try to live up to the ideals that you promote. I always feed and harvest the mullet here in my back yard on Lake Pontchartrain. If you ever want to do a show here, I would like to volunteer to be a subject…. I fear that I am not worthy as everybody else is so rich and intellectual…. I am dull and average.

  3. Thomas and Paula,
    Great ideas: we DO need clothing. This topic is personally of interest because I’ve sewn since age ten, and made most of my clothes in high school and beyond. At Lone Bobcat Woods, it’s been insulated curtains and the like.

    We do have spinners and weavers right here in my community, so far as I know working with animal fibers, primarily wool. I’d like to find some textile workers who are thinking in terms of powerdown.

    I’d like to do shows with folks thinking, in a power-down, localized scenario, using appropriately-scaled technologies and local energy sources (thinking of the water-based mills in early New England). What does it take to:

    (1) produce plant fiber crops like flax, hemp and cotton, as well as animals for fibers
    (2) spin the materials into threads, and dye
    (3) weave fibers into cloth

    From there, I think that sewing machines cover fabrication of woven cloth, along with knitting and crotcheting (the former could be machine-done?).

    What am I missing? Do you know anyone thinking about this topic?


  4. Dear Janaia, Thank you so much for peakmoment tv. The first thing I did when I found your site was spend about a week watching all the back programs! Since then I have been an enthusiastic watcher, often sharing the Conversations with others.

    I am a spinner and weaver and I often think about how in addition to drinking water, having shelter and eating, we do need clothing to keep warm. I saw an article about the tremendous growth of crafting in America (probably partly a response to the need to make a job for oneself since many find themselves out of work). I would be very interested to hear about a weaver or spinner who thinks about making real clothing – not just high end gift items.

    One of my biggest “sellers” is my handspun, handknitted wool socks. I especially enjoy making them because I know they are filling a real need: cold feet. I am sure you probably live quite close to spinners and weavers in your area of California. Perhaps you might consider a Conversation with one of them?

    All the best,

  5. Great idea. I’ll add it to my list when we go to Bend…Liz mclellan, the Hypervore is there, too — connecting gardeners with other people who have yards available for food growing. ~ Janaia

  6. Janaia –
    A former Woolman School teacher/principal quit her position here, got a new one, and moved up to Bend, Oregon to take her parents out of a nursing home where they were deteriorating. Her son married one of my granddaughters, and they moved up to Bend to care for the grandparents during the week while Mom was teaching. They have “off” on the weekends to pursue their pleasures – hiking, wild food gathering, etc. Leah makes baskets of native materials (some quite large), tends the garden which she hopes to turn into a thriving organic nursery with heirloom plants and seeds, and with Josh has created a home out of a barn on the property. Leah is very knowledgeable about medicinal plants, etc. and has been consulting via letters with me about shingles interventions. (I’m still coping with post-herpetic inflamation and neuralgia). Her herbal concoctions and good organic food have brought the grandparents back into a much healthier state. She (they) could be interesting to interview as modern-day back-to-the-land hippies.

  7. Shirl, thanks for this suggestion. I’d just learned of Aprovecho about two weeks ago, from Matthew Corson-Finnerty, a resident who’s developing pedal-powered machinery. Thanks to him, we’re setting up to tape his work, and another show on Aprovecho itself. Looks like there’s a lot there that we could cover!

    I haven’t heard of Kevin Bayuk, so I’ll look him up. We need examples of good stuff going on in cities.
    Thanks again ~ Janaia

  8. Shirl Mendonca says:

    Aprovecho in Cottage Grove, Ore, is doing some incredible sustainable living training. I hope to do some work/trade there so I can work in their kitchen. I just got my Permaculture Design Cert. and the instructors frequently mentioned the work they were doing at Aprovecho. Also, there is a permaculture garden on a corner in SF built with about 6 feet of sheet mulching and swales that looks very interesting. Another one is being developed on a concrete site left over from the earthquake… contact would be Kevin Bayuk (?sp) from the SF Permaculture Guild. He is a very interesting fellow who would be worth an interview in his own right…working on the new sewer system for SF. I can get you his number, just not while I am on this site. Shirl

  9. Maybe you could interview someone working with hemp (instead of cotton) to produce textiles.

    I have bought a hemp jeans a few months ago and it’s really fine. Maybe hemp is an alternative to shipping cotton round the whole world.

    Greetings from germany,

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