Transition Town Montpelier March Newsleter

Transition Town Montpelier Events

Wild-craft your Artwork: Participating with the Living Landscape.  Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Thursday, March 17, 6:00 PM.
We live in a place and time where/when the process of getting our hands on art materials is only as difficult as walking through the door of an art supply store. So why would anyone want to do things the hard way and make all their art tools and media from the living landscape? Nick shares perspective on his journey of ‘rewilding’ his approach to making artwork through the process of going straight to the source.

Nick Neddo is a local artist, author, educator and craftsman.  He has been teaching people wilderness skills professionally since 2000 and has been an instructor at ROOTS school since 2007.  He makes his art supplies from materials that he gathers from the landscape, which is the topic of his new book: The Organic Artist. Nick enjoys clean air, water, food and dirty hands.

Carbon Tax Forum – Did you miss it?

Last Month Transition Town Montpelier organized a Carbon Tax Forum.  We heard from Representative Tony Klein, Traven Lasham from the AFL-CIO, legislative advocate Karen Layfayette, and Sandra Levine from the Vermont Conservation Law Foundation.  They provided their views on how to get this legislation passed and how to make sure it works for people with low-incomes.  Orca Media filmed it.  You can see it here.

Village Building Convergence is Back

Save the date for the Village Building Convergence at All Together Now in East Montpelier, June 19.  This is being planned as a one-day event with workshops, community dinner, and solstice celebration.

Regional Transition Events

Environmental Action Conference Sponsored by New England Grassroots Environmental FundLocal Environmental Action 2016 is an opportunity to join community leaders, environmental advocates and activists from across New England for a day of skills training, networking, and inspiration.  Whether you have been to every conference or are attending for the first time, be sure not to miss this opportunity to connect and grow our grassroots movement.  Sunday, March 13th at Northeastern University in Boston.  Learn more and register Here.

Community Events

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, 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 or call Susan Brouillette at 802-524-6501.  Please note that I cannot take credit card information over the phone to complete a registration.


100% Grass Fed Beef from Robinson Hill

Robinson Hill Beef raises grass fed and finished beef in Maple Corner. Our cattle are moved every day to fresh pasture, maximizing nutrition and caring for the soil by distributing impact and fertility. We have cuts available individually and in bulk boxes in our freezers, and are currently taking deposits for sixteenth, quarter, half and whole animals for Fall 2016 harvest. More info here or contact Graham Unangst-Rufenacht 802-585-6236 or

Vermont Climate Summit: The Vermont Climate Summit happened last month.  Bob the Green Guy filmed it.  You can watch it here. This summit will considers how the Vermont Climate Change Action Plan connects to a number of implementation arenas, from city government to business leadership, and then identify strategies to make Vermont a national leader in achieving climate economy business development, innovation and job creation for the future.

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!

Bordertown Podcast – Personal Stories of Cultural Transition

Bordertown is an ongoing podcast of conversations with inspired designers, innovators and thoughtful citizens from our area and around the globe. It is time to come together and solve our common problems.  This is produced by Montpelier Resident Vic Guadagno.  Listen here.

Bike-Ped Transformation Movie

This is a great little movie showing how streets in New York City have been transformed by giving pedestrians and people on bikes more space.  Starting in about 2005, NYC started closing some squares off to cars, and built infrastructure like chairs, tables, bike paths, and shade trees.  The results are amazing, and it can happen in Montpelier too.  Watch here.

Fruit Tree Grafting and Scionwood ExchangeApril 2, 10 am – 4 pm at Willow Crossing Farm in Johnson, VT.  This will be a day of hands-on fruit tree grafting. The class will begin the day in the classroom understanding the science of grafting, and practice bench grafting apples, pears, plums, and other stone fruits.  Everyone will have the opportunity to graft their own trees to take home!  After lunch, the class will go out and tour grafted and ‘multi-grafted’ fruit trees (including peaches grafted onto plums) and ‘top work’ multiple varieties onto pears, apples, plums, and other stone fruit.

$80 suggested donation sliding scale includes cider and tea, and your own grafted fruit trees to take home. No one will be refused for lack of funds, but everyone must pre-register. The class will be taught by Zach Leonard formerly of Elmore Roots Nursery, Nicko Rubin of East Hill Tree Farm. Dave Johnson, and Keith Morris professor of ecological design at the University of Vermont.

Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism Classes

Growing Your Herb Garden: From Seed to Reality with Heather Irvine, Wednesday, March 9th 6-8 pm, $12/$10 for members
Herbs for Relaxation with Shona R. MacDougall, Clinical Herbalistm Wednesday, March 16th 6-8 pm, $12/$10 for members
Learn more here.

Woodswoman Ax Skills Class

This class takes place on Saturday, March 5, 10 AM to 5 PM at Good Heart Farmstead in Wooster, VT.  Get your “Lumber Jill” on at this skill-building class, where you will learn traditional ax skills with other adventurous women. We will teach the use and care of a traditional woods(wo)man’s ax. You will learn:

Best techniques for splitting firewood
How to Clear blow-down trees
Basic principles of felling small trees with an ax
How to de-limb a log and cut it to length
How to sharpen your ax with a file and stone
How to store your ax
How to re-handle a broken ax

Using an ax is all about ergonomics, and we’ll teach you how to use this tool so it works with your body, not against it!  Learn more and register here.

Sharing is the new owning

This is a reprinted post from Jill Muhr in the Front Porch Forum:

Did you know that Montpelier is the most rural place in the nation to have car-sharing?! Let’s reduce our car addiction and make sure sharing stays viable in our community.

Here’s how it works:
You: become a member and reserve one of the cars online by the hour or day–so easy!
You: swipe your key fob and off you go!
Someone else: puts the snow tires on, washes off the salt, changes the oil-what a time saver!

The membership fee is nominal: choose $5 or $15 per month. From there, you pay for time and miles. CarShare Vermont pays all the rest: maintenance, insurance, and all the gas, even when prices go back up!

In order for Fanny (pet-friendly with roof rack by the library) and Scout (behind City Hall) to remain in Montpelier beyond the 2-year pilot period, CarShare VT needs more members to use the cars. Please consider joining this awesome non-profit so we may continue to have this excellent, environmentally-conscious option available in our fair city!

To join:

Thanks, neighbors!

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