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Activities around town: June 4

DON’T COMPOST THAT carrot top! If you put it in water you can grow a new carrot. Read about it and ways you can grow other veggies from scraps in the “Make it Together – Kitchen Garden” section in this story.

Feel some gratitude. Salisbury Community School students have written words of gratitude on pieces of fabric and attached then to the fence outside the school. Principal Fernanda Canales is inviting Salisbury residents to take a look and add their own message of gratitude to the fence. “Write what you are grateful for on a strip of cloth (the more colorful the better) and attach it to the school fence. Then when we drive by the school we can see all the colorful strips of cloth and feel our spirits lifted. Let’s be grateful together,” write Canales. 
Take the Vermont Folklife Center’s Archive Challenge. Inspired by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and their Folklife Archive Challenge, the Vermont Folklife Center and Middlebury College Special Collections are teaming up on the Vermont Folklife Archive Challenge. Musicians and artists are invited to dive into VFC’s online collections of traditional song and instrumental music and use what they find to create something new. They’d love to hear your Doom Metal versions of ballads like “Young Charlotte,” your EDM takes on old New England fiddle tunes like “Crystal Schottische,” or your straight-up renditions of “C’était une bergère.”
The challenge is not limited to music. Visual artists, writers, poets: create work inspired by a recording from the VFC archives. Start by exploring the Vermont Folklife Center’s online digital collections or Middlebury College Special Collections’ Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection. All these materials are free to access. Pick some material that moves you, then recreate it. Share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #VtArchivesChallenge. Record yourself (audio or video) performing your song. Take a picture of your visual art pieces. Post your poem or literary work. Then email [email protected] to let VFC know.
Be inspired by teens singing the Vermont State song. When COVID-19 disrupted music rehearsals and performances, musicians began to come together online to create music together. During this time, students from Middlebury, Mt. Abraham and Vergennes union middle & high schools, under the direction of Liz LeBeau, Megan LaRose and Cailin O’Hara, collaborated at a distance to produce this rendition of the Vermont State Song. Four soloists from the class of 2020 are featured, with over 70 total students contributing their voices. You can view it at youtu.be/SOI1e3PlGpQ.
Support the Henry Sheldon Museum. The museum’s annual picnic basket raffle is now under way. Seven baskets have been painted by local artists: Gayl Braisted (Cornwall), Lillian Kennedy (Vergennes), Warren Kimble (Brandon), Kathy Mitchell (Panton), Danielle Rougeau (Orwell), Sonny Torrey (Vergennes), and Ashley Wolff (Leicester). The Basket Raffle goal is $4,000, which will help the museum during COVID-19. Once that goal is reached, the museum will draw the winners of the baskets. Each raffle ticket gives you a winning chance. The winner of each basket is randomly drawn — which one you win is luck of the draw. Raffle ticket prices: $10 for 1 ticket, $20 for 3 tickets, $40 for 5 tickets. More information on the raffle and ticket purchase is at the museum website at henryshledonmuseum.org/events. 
Make a planter box with the eMakery. On Thursday, June 11, from 7-8 p.m., Len Schmidt will provide help via Zoom on how to put together a native white cedar flower box and share a brief video on how to make your own parts from rough lumber.  After that, it’s up to you to apply a finish if you’d like, fill with dirt, and pick the plants to decorate your porch, steps, or yard. You can purchase a kit of parts ready to assembly for $10 or enjoy following along for free. Directions for no contact pick up of kits at the Hannaford Career Center will be sent in the registration confirmation. Registration is free and limited to 30.
Explore ECHO at Home. Burlington’s ECHO Leahy Center has developed a series of topics for at-home learning, including spotlights on Static Electricity, Bubble Science, Engineering challenges and Take Action suggestions. They can be found at echovermont.org/events-programs/echo-at-home-learning.
Become an emerald ash borer vigilante. The emerald ash borer’s flight season spans the months of June through September, increasing the danger to Vermont’s ash trees. Be a part of Vermont’s “Slow the Spread” strategy and help protect our native forests. 
Though it can only fly a mile or two each year, EAB has spread rapidly through forests and street trees alike in North America. The insect has often been moved unknowingly to uninfested areas in personal and commercial vehicles in ash firewood. While EAB may eventually kill the majority of ash trees, the good news is most of Vermont’s ash trees are not presently infested with EAB and there is a lot we can do to slow the spread and give communities and forest landowners time to plan.
Here’s What You Can Do:
•  Learn to identify EAB and report suspicious findings at VTInvasives.org.
•  Leave firewood at home when you go camping and purchase firewood at or near your campsite instead. 
•  Know the source of your firewood and ask your supplier to confirm they have not moved untreated ash out of an infested area.
Information on ash and EAB identification, areas of infestation, recommendations for moving ash material, and managing ash can all be found at VTInvasives.org.  
Come Alive Outside. In response to COVID-19, Come Alive Outside has revamped their summer passport program while keeping the program’s mission and sense of fun intact. In addition to handing out physical passports, the organization will now offer their summer passport program through their website. The program runs from June 1 until Sept. 18. Each passport features activities in five categories: Get Active Outside, Grow Something You Can Eat, Learn with Your Hands in the Soil, Connect With Nature and Play Unplugged.
With safety being a main concern, the CAO team redesigned the passport program so that kids can learn and create in their own backyard instead of visiting local parks. At the end of the program, kids can send in their passports for a chance to win cool prizes. To join the summer passport program, visit comealiveoutside.com/passports. For more information, contact Program Director Andy Paluch: [email protected] or 440-525-6076.
Keep the blood flowing. The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused earlier this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate in the weeks and months ahead by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. In Addison County blood donation opportunities will be held in Vergennes on Thursday, June 4, from noon-5 p.m., at Saint Peter’s Parish Hall, 85 South Maple St., and in Bristol on Saturday, June 13, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., at the American Legion on Airport Road.
The American Red Cross follows strictest standards to assure that blood donation is a safe process. 
Make It Together — Kitchen Garden. Use kitchen scraps to grow your own food.
Re-Grow Celery: Celery is one of the easiest plants to re-grow from scraps. You simply have to cut off the bottom of the celery and place it in a shallow container with a little warm water in the bottom. The bowl should be kept in a sunny and relatively warm place. After a week or so, leaves will begin to grow, and you can wait and harvest these as required, or replant the celery in your garden and allow it to grow into another full-sized plant.
Carrots, turnips, radishes, parsnips, beets and other root crops: Retaining the tops (where the leaves and stems join onto the root) from carrots, turnips, and other root crops will allow you to regrow them. Place the tops in a container of water and new, green tops should begin to grow in a matter of days. You can simply harvest and use these greens as they grow, or you can allow the roots to continue growing until the plants are ready to be transplanted back into the ground. 
Avocado seeds (a longer-term commitment): Avocado seeds can be used to grow a steady supply of this super food. You just have to wash the seed and use toothpicks to suspend it over water in a bowl or jar. The water should come up enough to cover the bottom inch of the seed. Keep the container in a warm place but not in direct sunlight. Remember to check the water every day and add more as needed. 
It can take up to six weeks for the stem and roots to appear and once the stem reaches about 6 inches you will need to cut it down to 3 inches. When leaves begin appearing, you can plant the seed in soil, remembering to leave about half of it above ground. 

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