Nourishing Neighborhoods at MUD’s Little Free Pantry Workshop

Hello! My name is Emily Kempe and I am an intern at MUD while I work on my master’s degree in social work at the University of Montana. “What is a social worker doing at a tool library?” you might ask. Well, social work can happen at all levels of our society: individual, group, community, statewide and nationally. I personally love doing social work at the community level and MUD is the perfect hub to Read more…

Welcome Back to the MUD Tool Library

There is something so hopeful about spring. The warming weather. The buzzing bees. The buds on flowers. It feels like anything is possible. And at MUD, we are feeling especially hopeful about all of the exciting things we have planned for this year.  We’ve already hosted 6 workshops and reached over 80 participants. New members are coming to the tool library so they can work on all their new spring projects. We celebrated Earth Day Read more…

Forging New Skills at MUD’s Blacksmithing Workshop

It’s an overcast morning in late February, and Missoula’s northside neighborhood is quiet except for the backyard of Mark Vander Meer, where embers pop from a fire pit and iron clangs against steel. Vander Meer, blacksmithing hobbyist and owner of the Missoula companies Bad Goat Forest Products and Watershed Consulting, LLC, has been leading MUD’s Blacksmithing Workshop for 10 years, and blacksmithing for more than 30. “I was living off-grid in the Swan Valley when Read more…

Tending Our Gardens, Cultivating Resilience

When you set out to dig a backyard garden bed, chances are you are more motivated by visions of the fall harvest than by notions of emotional wellbeing and community resilience. And yet, happiness and resilience are both benefits cultivated by the act of gardening. In a recent study by the Sustainable Healthy Cities Network, researchers found that “the level of emotional well-being, or happiness, reported while gardening was similar to what people reported while Read more…

The Garden Party (Almost) Turns 30

Square dancing in a parking lot beneath a star-speckled sky. String lights illuminating ripening apples and flowering lettuce. Paper plates loaded with food-truck fare. Conversations punctuated by the crunch of footsteps on crushed glass. Fiddle tunes playing late into the night. The Garden Party has long been an autumn staple of MUD. Since 1991, MUD neighbors, supporters, and friends have gathered among fruit trees and shipping containers to celebrate urban sustainability, indulge in local food Read more…

Share, Repair, and Reuse Toward a Cleaner Future

We live in a reality rocked by two crises. Both the pandemic and systemic racism reveal major failures in the ways we currently think about supply and demand, environmental justice, and ecological health. At the same time, a new economic model centered around collaboration and sharing is inching its way toward the mainstream. Referred to as circular consumption, collaborative consumption, or the sharing economy, it may help us emerge from our current crises in a Read more…

5 Ways to Use Llama Manure in Your Garden

Each May, the MUD crew gears up to hold our much-anticipated Llama Poo Sale. The manure of llamas and alpacas contains an elixir of nutrients similar to what you’ll find in most livestock manures – namely nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium – but with several additional benefits that make it a top choice for many gardeners. Read on to find out why so many swear by the nourishing properties of “llama beans,” and how you can use Read more…