a special green themed Nerd Nite – Lawrence for April!

we are in the Star Bar, so seating is about 60 people, get there early.

doors at 7:30 (or whenever all the speakers have practiced) and presentations at 8:00


“Politics of Community Gardens” by Aimee Polson

As one of the most successful government sponsored grassroots movements in the country, community or allotment gardens have been promoted in the United States since before the Industrial Revolution.  We will talk about the historical and cultural shifts in community gardens in the US and the different ways that community gardens and gardening can be used as a political tool for social action and change. We’ll also talk about how nothing ever changes.

Since graduating from K-State with a degree in community planning/horticultural therapy, Aimee has   embarked on a slow as molasses effort to spread the gospel of human/plant interaction.  Michael Ableman made her do it.

“More than a Hill of Beans: Coffee and Why it’s a BIG Deal” by Katy Wade

Before that coffee was in your cup it was on a tiny bush.  Then someone grew it, picked it, washed it, dried it, packaged it, shipped it and roasted it. It was a lot of work. Every year, 17 billion pounds of coffee are grown in almost 80 countries around the world, making coffee the second most traded commodity in the world. We will explore behind the scenes of the massive coffee industry from a first hand account of life on a coffee farm, and why coffee farmers drink NesCafe.

Katy Wade was raised in Abilene, Kansas by honest, Folger’s-drinking Americans. She has a B.A. from KU in Latin American Studies and Anthropology, which she uses only to fuel her life-long delusion that she is Indiana Jones. In 2009, after 6 years of making coffee behind counters, she packed her bag, bought a machete and headed to Guatemala, where she spent 7 months living in coffee-growing communities harvesting and processing coffee. She makes cocktails for a living, which she likes very much. Other things she likes are riding bikes, reading blogs, cooking dinner and adventuring. She takes her coffee black.

“Sheep go to Heaven, Goats Go to Hell” by Jen Humphrey

One of the earliest animals to be domesticated, goats have occupied a continual presence in the arts, mythology, religion, agriculture, sex, and science. They also have a mistaken reputation for eating cans and embodying the spirit of the devil. But look beyond, and you’ll discover an animal that is an alternative to herbicides, a lawn mowing machine, and the number-one source of meat in the world (just not in Kansas — at least, not yet). In this presentation, Jen will demystify a few aspects of goats: the difference between goats and sheep, why a dairy goat is not a meat goat, and random goat trivia, from bellweathers to bock beer.

Four years ago, Jen Humphrey and her partner, Jessica Pierson, gave up what they called they called the latte life to move to the country and start raising goats and vegetables. Forty-some goats, 90 chickens and an acre or two later, Jen continues to strive to keep the goats out of the vegetable plots while balancing work as the communications director at the KU Natural History Museum.