Organic carrot project
It was with great interest that I read your article about organic vegetables at the University Farm [fall 2008 Chico Statements, page 7]. Scott Dillingham (class of ’73 and my former husband) along with James F. Johnson had an organic carrot project at the college farm in 1973. It was the first of its kind at Chico State.
They were going against the grain, and lots of obstacles were put in their way. The ground was too hard to harvest the carrots, so the field was flooded and we were forced to handpick about a quarter of an acre of carrots. They were put in a cold storage building on the farm, but something happened to the thermostat, and they were all frozen. The rest of the carrots were allowed to go to seed, and the seeds were harvested.
The final net on the project was enough for the four of us to go out for a nice dinner in Chico! Scott and Jim became notorious and were known around the farm as the “Carrot Kings” for several years.
—Terry Dillingham (attended ’73)
National Park docent
I read your article about former Chico State students serving in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area [“Preserving the Golden Gate,” summer 2008]. I am a Chico State alumna (AB, Human Biology, ’47) and have been a volunteer at Tao House, which is within the National Park Service, since the early 1990s. In 2002 I became a docent, escorting visitors through this beautiful estate of Eugene O’Neill’s located in the rolling hills above Danville in Contra Costa County.
It is a rewarding experience sharing information with visitors about O’Neill and his wife at Tao House, where they lived from 1937 to 1944. It was here that O’Neill wrote his last six plays.
To me, as a docent, each tour is an interesting adventure, with visitors from all over the world who come to this beautiful, serene, and isolated location of O’Neill’s former home. I have been an Alamo resident for 50 years, and I still love to come to Chico for alumni events to see and visit with former classmates.
—Marilyn F. Sibley (Fosen)
Our fall 2007 cover story was about three alums who have grown planet-friendly businesses (visit www.csuchico.edu/pub/cs/fall_07). We recently checked in on these eco entrepreneurs to see what they’ve been up to.
Michelle Kalberer, Klean Kanteen
The last six months have been ones for fine-tuning, reorganizing, and staying focused to be the best we can be in all three of our companies (Klean Kanteen, Just Jump It, and Cressline Distributing).
With so much competition, we are striving to put ourselves up and above by a strong brand, our social and environmental responsibility, and creating relationships with key partners. We have joined 1% For the Planet and will soon introduce a new line of wide-mouth stainless beverage bottles and food containers.
Keeping our efforts strong with all of our companies is very important to us, but making sure we are providing peace of mind for our customers is what we love the best.
Andy Keller, ChicoBag
Since the article, we have moved into a 9,600-square-foot facility in south Chico and have grown from 5 to 30 employees. Our sales from 2008 were roughly 300 percent greater than in 2007.
We recently launched two new designs, keeping with our mission of helping humanity kick the single-use bag habit and our goal of zero waste: our new ChicoBag Vita and ChicoBag rePETe Original, made from seven plastic bottles and 99 percent recycled content. We also implemented a zero waste program and reduce, reuse, and recycle everything possible.
I recently went to India with my father for a 17-day vacation. Some of my photos can be found on the Web at picasaweb.google.com/andykeller99.
Jessica Rios, Love Events
Since the issue came out, I closed Love Events because it just wasn’t paying the bills! Before that, I helped start the group PAGE: Professional Association for Green Events in San Francisco.
Think Local, Chico!, the nonprofit business alliance I co-founded in 2006 with a small group of local business owners, is building a lot of momentum. In February I opened my new business, The Co-Lab: values-based leadership consulting. My first client is UCSF Medical Center, which is taking big strides toward making their campus more sustainable.