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Expo to teach hands-on lessons in sustainability

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Posted on April 8, 2015 |
By Addison Independent



MIDDLEBURY — The various workshops at the Addison County Relocalization Network’s 2015 Sustainable Living Expo on Saturday will feature a range of local experts that will offer helpful, practical information.

The event at Middlebury Union High School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. will also feature more than 50 exhibits, as well as music, children’s programs and local foods. The admission fee is $5 for adults, students and children over 12; and $2 for children under 12.

Here is a sampling of the workshops offered:

•  Winter Greenhouse Growing for Success. Steve Colangeli, owner of Paradiso Farm in Charlotte and an MUHS teacher, will talk about everything you need to know to grow hardy greens from October through April in an unheated greenhouse.

•  Learn the Art of Fermentation. Joshua A. Pfeil, a flavor developer at Aqua Vitea, will introduce workshop participants to the refreshing drink kombucha and teach one of the finest and most influential crafts in the world: fermentation. Learn the essential centuries-old methods of fermentation in a hands-on workshop.

•  Getting the Energy Addison County Needs. Energy experts Chris McGrory Klyza, Caleb Elder, Jack Byrne and Kirk Shields will lead a panel discussion about how we obtain our energy in Addison County today, how much energy we might need in the future, and the tradeoffs among different energy sources.

•  The Story and Strategy of Building a Net Zero Village Home. John Elder and Chris Conner will host an interactive discussion and slide show about the planning and construction of a super-insulated, compact, and accessible village home, which uses solar panels, heat pumps and passive solar gain to provide all of its heat and electrical needs.

•  Energy Savings with Cold Climate and Hot Water Heat Pumps. Chris Condon will discuss the current state of heat-pump technology and how it can be applied to space conditioning applications today. He will also cover the economic savings over fossil fuels and enhanced customer comfort that can be achieved using this technology. In addition, Taborri Bruhl, who lives in a net-zero home and is a member of the Acorn Renewable Energy Cooperative, will talk about heat-pump hot water heaters.

•  Natural Medicine in Cancer Care and Prevention. Middlebury naturopath Dr. Matthew Perchemlides (a k a “Dr. Perch”) will detail the exact mechanisms that compromise your immune system’s ability to find and fight cancer cells, and will teach concrete steps to take in order to make your body capable of operating optimally to suppress abnormal cells and simultaneously achieve optimal well-being. 

•  Complementary Currency for Vermont: Valuing Farmers and Foodies. Gwendolyn Hallsmith, co-founder of Vermonters for a New Economy, talks about how the state could develop a food currency. Such a currency would drive a market for food in storage and add value to the work that farmers, food processors, food service workers, chefs and food co-ops all do, while making our communities more resilient to economic and environmental disruptions..

•  Tools for Helping Landowners Contribute to a Healthy Landscape. Kate McCarthy of the Vermont Natural Resources Council will talk to landowners about how connected landscapes contribute to wildlife habitat, water quality, a land-based economy and more, as well as about the tools that can help landowners contribute to a healthy landscape.

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