Ventures and Videos in BC and WA

It’s been a whirlwind since mid-April! I’d hoped to post many blogs, but life moved too quickly. Here’s a brief chronology of some wonderful adventures, people and places we visited and videoed in southwestern Canada and northwestern Washington.


Labyrinth and Sanctuary, O.U.R. Ecovillage

April 6-20. We settled in at O.U.R. Ecovillage in Shawnigan Lake, BC, where Janaia participated in a 5-day workshop on Come Alive Sustainably, with facilitators from The Haven of Gabriola Island. While there, Robin videoed profuse stands of Skunk Cabbage blooming everywhere (photo below).

April 17. We videoed our first First Nations guest, Pawa Haiyupis of Victoria, BC, who spoke about her Coast Salish peoples’ lifeways past and present, in the occupied territory of Vancouver Island.

April 19. After City Repair co-founder Mark Lakeman shared a Placemaking presentation at O.U.R. Ecovillage, we videoed a chat with him and Brandy Gallagher of O.U.R. Ecovillage comparing rural and urban “repair” and place-making. (See Mark in (City Repair – Permaculture for Urban Spaces, #76. See Brandy in: Creating the Impossible – O.U.R. Ecovillage).

April 21. Reluctantly we departed BC when our six month visitor status ended−but not without stopping in West Vancouver to video a conversation with David Van Seters of Sustainability Ventures after being inspired by his presentation on the exciting, emergent Sharing Economy.

April 22. After a welcome outdoors overnight stay beside Cultus Lake, BC, we visited the rural road in Chilliwack, BC where Janaia’s mother Rowena’s grandparents lived when she was born in 1923.


Alicia Will’s Bellingham back yard with the trailer we stayed in and chicken coop at far right)

Bellingham, April 23. We moved into a little trailer in Alicia Will’s backyard and took our RV to be re-roofed. Our morning wakeup came from our nearest neighbors−Henry the rooster, his flock of hens, plus two slug-chomping ducks.

May 5. We drove to Whidbey Island to cat- and house-sit for several days. After attending a day-long Local Food Lab facilitated by Vicki Robin (Your Money, Your Life, Your Happiness, #186), we recorded a conversation about the 10-mile diet that sparked her new book Blessing the Hands that Feed Us: What Eating Closer to Home Taught Me About Food, Community And Our Place on Earth.

May 9. We videoed a conversation with University of Washington professor Karen Litfin, author of Ecovillages: Lessons for Sustainable Community, who travelled to 13 intentional communities worldwide to search for common principles that can be applied universally.


Discovery Bay sunset

May 10. After ferrying to Port Townsend, we were inspired by stunning views of Discovery Bay thanks to our host Cindy Jayne. In town, we videoed an update at PTRecyclery with founder Chauncey Tudhope-Locklear (Changing the World One Bike Rider at a Time, #182) and board chair Kees Koff (Local Investing Made Easy, #201).

May 11. We videoed a show about activist Steve Hamm’s process of conscious dying with support. Judy Alexander (How Much Food Can I Grow Around My House?, #87) and Kippi Waters spoke about responses and personal changes for the group of Steve’s friends who supported his passage. (Steve coordinated our first visit in Port Townsend  in 2006. We were fortunate to share in a tender e-mail exchange shortly before he died in fall 2013.)


Skunk cabbage, Henry the rooster, Angela’s colorful salad, spring watercolors

May 12. A beautiful ferry ride took us on a day trip to Victoria, BC, where we visited Kim Goodliffe and Carson the Cat, and stayed overnight with Rainey Hopewell and Margot Johnson (Claiming the Commons – Food for All on Haultain Boulevard, #185).

May 13. Returning to Bellingham, we rejoined our skillfully-renovated rolling home, and happily parked in David and Angela Macleod’s spacious driveway for about ten days.

May 16. Since his Peak Moment shows caught on like wildfire, we videoed a followup with Paul Cienfuegos (Local Communities Dismantling Corporate Rule, part 1 and part 2, #258 & #259).

May 16. We participated in the Chuckanut Radio Hour including great music by Dana Lyons and a thoughtful interview of Bill McKibben, whose book The End of Nature on human-caused climate change was an early impetus for Peak Moment TV.

May 17. We partook in a divine paleo meal prepared by Ruth Nail (with whom we share health interests), whose husband Jim did the RV re-roofing and several other major improvements. (They’re in the photo below with Ruth’s to-die-for nut ball snackers).

May 18. We videoed a conversation with Tree Bressen and Dave Pollard on Living in the Sharing Economy, an update of Tree’s 2006 conversation, Cooperative Living, Cooperative Driving (#30) – plus a short video on The Power of Potlucks, #266. (Meet Dave in The Art of Hosting – Leadership is Possible from Everywhere, #263).

We four and the Macleods delighted in a backyard lunch Angela Macleod masterfully prepared for diets ranging from vegan to paleo, all accompanied by thought-provoking conversation.


L to R: Ruth & Jim Nail (B’ham), Good Cheer Thrift community garden (Whidbey I.), Brian Kerkvliet (B’ham), Robin

May 20. Singer-songwriter Dana Lyons treated us to several songs during our video conversation. In addition to the brilliantly funny “Cows With Guns“, we love his environmentally-aware music and activism, as you’ll hear in his newest CD Songs of the Salish (listen online).

May 20. On our last day in Bellingham, Brian Kerkvliet (Inspiration Farm – Cultivating Nourishing Food and Creativity, #226) gave us an early-spring farm tour. See photos in my journal A New Season at Inspiration Farm.

May 21-23. After a brief stop in Seattle, we rested for a few days at the woodsy home of Roy and Kathy Emory, in Robin’s home town Olympia. Our bike ride to Tolmie State Park brought poignant memories of Robin’s growing up beside Puget Sound.

(Photos © 2014 Robin Mallgren, art © 2014 Janaia Donaldson)

Next journal: Ventures and Videoing in Northern Oregon


  1. That’s a very nice journal Janaia! I just watched episode 267 and I’m eager to see the new videos! Thanks for all the other videos by the way, it’s always great to watch the inspiring videos by you and Robin. I hope you two will have a great time videoing your future projects 😉

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