February 2016 Newsletter

Transition Town Montpelier Events

Vermont Carbon Tax: How Might it Affect Working Families and People with Low Incomes?  Unitarian Church, Thursday, February 18, 6:00 PM.
A forum to address the effects of a carbon tax on people with low incomes and working families will be held in Montpelier on Thursday evening, February 18 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Unitarian Church. A panel presentation will be followed by an open discussion. The event is free and open to the public.

The panel will include:
Sandra Levine, Senior Attorney for the Vermont Conservation Law Foundation
Karen Lafayette, legislative advocate for the Vermont Low Income Advocacy Council
Traven Leyshon, a labor organizer with the Vermont AFL and CIO
Representative Tony Klein, Chair of the Vermont House Committee on Natural Resources & Energy

Sponsored by Transition Town Montpelier, the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, and Vermont Action for Peace.

Community Events

NOFA Winter Conference:  Our Soil, Our Health, Feb 13-15, UVM
The conference theme, “Our Soil, Our Health” was developed in recognition of how the quality of our soil affects the quality of our food and its fundamental ability to nourish us.  On the heels of the United Nation’s 2015 International Year of Soils, we elevate the discussion of the linkage between soil health, plant health, and human health. This theme will be addressed throughout the conference—in our keynote addresses, workshops, roundtables, a featured film Symphony of the Soil, and (of course) in a song or two.

In addition, the conference will have 87 workshops for commercial organic producers, localvores, homesteaders, and gardeners. There are three featured workshop tracks: a community and school garden series, in collaboration with the Vermont Community Garden Network; a Food Systems Solutions track, in partnership with UVM’s Food Systems Initiative; and a Direct Marketing track we are organizing, with leadership from organic farmers who direct market their farm products.  There will be a seed swap hosted by High Mowing Organic Seeds, an exhibitors’ fair, Saturday evening social events, and an ice-cream social, hosted by Strafford Organic Creamery, to wrap up the weekend!  Learn more and register here.

Vermont Grain Growers Conference:

Our theme this year for the Annual Grain Growers Conference is “From the Soil Up”.  Click on the Conference Flyer for more details, as well as registration information.

Join us on Thursday, March 17, 2016, 9:30am to 5:30pm at The Essex Resort for the conference.  Cost is $55 per person or $50 per NGGA member and includes lunch.

Our keynote speaker is author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement.  He will address climate change and the role of farmers sequestering CO2.  Go to the Conference Flyer or the registration website to see additional speakers and topics including:
Greg Johnsman from Geechee Boy Mills
Andrew Heyn and Blair Marvin from Elmore Mountain Bread
John Navazio from Johnny Seeds
Farmers Sean O’Donnell and Thor Oeschner
Jaime Cummings, Cornell Plant Pathologist
King Arthur Flour
Vermont Bean Crafters
and more

Register early to save your spot at the 2016 Grain Growers Conference at at www.regonline.com/grainconference or call Susan Brouillette at 802-524-6501.  Please note that I cannot take credit card information over the phone to complete a registration.

Seed Swap at the Greensboro Free Library

It is that time of year again!  Time to start dreaming about your future garden.  To help you with those dreams, there will be a seed swap on Thursday, February 7th, from 7pm until 9pm at the Greensboro Free Library.  Swap seeds, ask your gardening and seed saving questions, or discover new ideas or goals for garden planning and seed saving for this coming growing season.  The event is free and open to everyone.  Contact the swap sisters at 755-6336 or swap sisters@gmail.com for more information.

Wild Carrot Seed for Natural Contraception
with Emily Peters, Clinical Herbalist
Wednesday, February 3rd 6-8 pm
$12/$10 for members
Wild Carrot, or Daucus carota has been used for centuries throughout the world as a contraceptive ally. In this class, we will focus on learning about its historical use for birth control and recent explorations into this usage for the plant. We will discuss how it might work, dosage, safety, and contra-indications. This class is an opportunity for empowering discussion about reproductive autonomy.
Emily Peters is a clinical herbalist, holistic health educator, medicine maker and plant ally. She views herbalism as deeply rooted in the relationship with the local land-base, and in the desire to create autonomous, healthy communities. She wants to meet people where they’re at in terms of barriers to resources, experience, identity, etc and she aspires to create a healing space for all.
Herbs, Spices & Foods for Romance
with Heather Irvine, Giving Tree Botanicals
Wednesday, February 10th 6-8 pm
$16/$14 for members (includes $4 materials fee)
Through the ages many herbs, spices & foods have been used to enhance feelings of well-being and love.  Learn the folklore and science behind the old and new stories. Experience the flavors, and learn the actions and uses of interesting medicinal herbs & sensual foods. We will create and try recipes that feature the most delightful herbs, foods & spices.
Heather Irvine is 2009 VCIH graduate and a 2004 graduate of the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine. She has a small herbal product business, Giving Tree Botanicals as well as a small herbal practice in Burlington.  She enjoys collecting medicinal plants and the stories behind them.
Introduction to Indigenous Ethnobotany
Part I of Wabanaki Ethnobotany Series

with Dr. Frederick M. Wiseman
Monday, February 22nd 6-9 pm
$17/$15 for members (or $15 for each class if taking entire class series)
The first program in the series introduces the discipline of Ethnobotany and its relation to the mission of the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, including Ethnobotany’s intellectual focus, history, methodologies and techniques.  It then considers modern cross-cultural issues such as Indigenous intellectual rights, proper tribal consultation, the ethics involved with publication and decolonization/sovereignty issues. We then introduce the main regional focus of the course: the peoples and ecology of the Wabanaki area of Maine New Hampshire and Vermont and adjacent Canada.
Dr. Frederick M. Wiseman was trained as a paleo-ethnobotanist at the University of Arizona.  He taught and did research at Louisiana State, MIT’s Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology, and Johnson State College in Vermont, where he retired as Department Chair in 2014.  He has published extensively on tropical fieldwork in Belize, Honduras, Yucatan and arid-lands research in Arizona and Sonora Mexico.  Over the last twenty years he has focused on the culture and ecology of the Wabanaki people of northern New England, Quebec and the Canadian Maritimes, completing books and films, scholarly and popular articles and presented papers on Wabanaki culture & ecology.
Propspect Rock Permaculture Class: Pruning the Forest Garden- February 27, 2016   

Hands-on in Vermont’s most diverse collection of Fruits, Nuts, Berries, and Vines! 10 am – 4 pm. Join VT’s Master Horticulturalist Zach Leonard and Tree Farmer Keith Morris for a day of hands-on practice with fruit and nut tree pruning, in a diverse permaculture forest garden setting Learn more or register here.


Progress for Vermont Report and Climate Summit: Progress for Vermont is the final report and action plan of the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council (VCCEC) which was founded in February 2015 by the Vermont Council on Rural Development. This broad-based nonpartisan group spent a year considering multiple policy options to produce these recommendations.  Also, you may want to attend “IDEAS TO ACTION,” the second Summit on Vermont’s Climate Economy, taking place at Vermont Technical College in Randolph on February 22, 2016. Help define and advance strategies to make Vermont a national leader in climate economy business development, innovation and job creation for the future. The registration fee is $40.  Learn more or sign up here.

WGDR Archive – Don’t Ever Miss our Favorite Shows

WGDR has a 2-week archive of all their shows.  Carl Etnier’s show, Relocalizing Vermont, and Alan LePage’s gardening show, The Curse of the Golden Turnip, can be listened to any time.  Enjoy!

New Urbanism Movie Series

New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating walkable neighborhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types.  Montpelier is a very walkable small city, but we may not be doing everything we need to maintain our vibrancy.  The New Urbanism pioneers have been studying what helps some communities become great places to live, and what promotes sprawl.  Here are some great 10 minute movies that tell you all about it.  American Makeover.

Cashare in Montpelier
Carshare helps make Montpelier more walkable by helping people reduce the need to own a car.  Learn more at carsharevt.org.

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