Transition Town Montpelier April Newsletter

Transition Town Montpelier Events

Third Thursday Talks

If our civilization survives another 1000 years, imagine what the future historians will say about the way we lived and fed ourselves.  Will we be honored for our technological advancements, or admonished for our extraction of resources?  If civilization survives it is safe to assume we will learn how to feed ourselves while building soil and sequestering carbon. But what are the sustainable ways to grow food?  Transition Town Montpelier is looking for the answers.  In two consecutive talks at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, we will hear from local farmers with possible solutions to sustaining our food-growing system.

On April 21, Shawn Smith Hoffman and Melissa Smith Hoffman will present  “Innovations in the Forest and Food Economy—Our Own Story. Stewardship, Forestry, Cuisine, and Land Planning.”  Shawn and Melissa own and manage a 1300-acre property in Vermont (Teal-Sho Farm) in the Camel’s Hump watershed, and in this presentation, they share their story and some of the strategies they are developing for their own land.   They will describe several key projects, the Permaculture Food Lab, Growing a Nutrient Economy, and Forest Management for Medical-Mycological yields.  They will discuss strategies for extending the farm into the woods, stretching beyond timber harvests alone to discover new enterprises through forest management.

On May 20, Seth Itzkan will present “Soil4Climate – Vermont: The Regenerative Solution Under Our Feet (and in our hearts).”  Seth is co-founder of Vermont-based nonprofit, Soil4Climate. This organization advocates for soil restoration as a climate solution. Soil is the source of life. It is also our strongest ally in the fight against global warming. There is more carbon in soils than in all vegetation (including forests) and the atmosphere combined. Even slight increases can have hugely beneficial implications for mitigation and resilience. Seth will discuss the local and global efforts to restore soil as a climate solution. Efforts of interest include Vermont Senate Bill 159, that calls for a Regenerative Agriculture Certification Program and the French initiative “4per1000,” which calls on signatory countries, states, and other regional authorities, to pledge a 0.4 percent (or “4 per 1000”) increase in soil organic carbon (SOC) per year.

These talks are at 6:00-7:30 PM at the Hayes room of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.  Admission is free.
Villagebuilding Convergence“Empowering people with the knowledge & skills needed for a sustainable, resilient future.”
Sunday, June 19th
9:00am to 11:00pm
at “All Together Now” on Cherry Tree Hill Rd, E. Montpelier
Free workshops include:
Permaculture, coppicing & pollarding, rootcellaring, knife & tool sharpening, wild edible & medicinal walk, hand scything, beekeeping, new economy information, and more
Woodbelly Pizza will bake pizza’s for dinner – Bring Toppings!
Bring instruments for evening music.
Bring chairs or blankets, your own lunch and drinks. Most events outside, dress appropriately. No Pets!
Updated information will eventually be at:

www.vbc-vt.orgRegional Transition Events

The Resilience, Resistance & Regional Equity Convergence

Keynote address by Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute
Saturday, June 11
10am – 4:30pm
First Church Unitarian in Jamaica Plain
6 Eliot Street, Boston, MA 02130

Across New England, a new world is being built. Grassroots activists motivated by their love for community and the planet are building resilient local communities, resisting fossil fuel projects, and making sure that all people can thrive now and into the future, regardless of race, class, income and more. On June 11 join a convergence of regional and local actors building this new world. You’ll connect with great people, learn tips, find new resources, and get inspired!

Community Events

Vermont People’s Convention & Just Transition Assembly
APRIL 30, 2016 (ALL DAY) TO MAY 1, 2016 (ALL DAY)

Communities in Vermont, like communities around the world, are suffering from economic inequality, ecological disaster, and the violence and hatred of racism, sexism, homophobia and ableism. Year after year we face cuts to critical services we depend on, fewer good jobs, a worsening healthcare crisis and disruptive weather patterns.  We know these problems are systemic, and share common roots.  We need to build a different road – towards an economy that serves people and the planet instead of profit, towards being stewards of the Earth’s resources, and towards a society that allows us to explore new ways of practicing democracy, honoring our differences while sharing common values and principles.  The Vermont People’s Convention and Just Transition Assembly will bring hundreds of people together to imagine solutions and take action for fundamental, systemic change. This event is at Montpelier High School on Saturday, April 30th and Sunday, May 1st!  $15-$100 Sliding Scale.


WGDR Radio Programs on Carbon Opportunities

Two radio programs on Goddard College Community Radio will feature a four-week examination of the economic opportunities and challenges of reducing carbon emissions in Vermont, based on the work of the Vermont Climate Change Economy Council  Starting April 12, the 9 am segment on Gathering Peace (Tuesdays, with host Joseph Gainza) and Relocalizing Vermont (Thursdays, with host Carl Etnier) will focus on one of the recommendations from the Council. Tune in to WGDR Plainfield at 91.1 FM, WGDH Hardwick at 91.7 FM, or streaming at  For two weeks after each broadcast, the program will be available for streaming at

Bordertown Podcast – Personal Stories of Cultural TransitionBordertown 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.

Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism – Food as Medicine: Your First Line of Defense

This class is taught by Shona R. MacDougall, Clinical Herbalist on Wednesday, April 13th 6-8 pm  $12/$10 for members.  What are good foods to be incorporating into your daily and weekly routine? What foods will keep you the healthiest? Join Shona MacDougall for a talk about food! She will touch upon whole foods, lacto fermented foods, superfoods and more, so that you can use food as your first line of defense.

How Much is your Car Costing You?

Cars are convenient little buggers. They sit in the driveway ready to get us where we need to go. And they don’t cost that much, right? Well, they kind of do.  The truth is, most Vermonters don’t have a sense of how much it really costs to own and drive a car. That’s why Carsharevt put together this easy calculator to help you be more conscious of your true driving costs. Ready to get started?  Click Here!

Permaculture: Edible Forest Gardening
VT Tech College Applied Ag Institute
with Aaron Guman of Walking Onion LLC
May 24-25

Delve deeply into communities of plants which function like an ecosystem, while providing food, medicine, fuel and more. We will cover the design, establishment, management and plant species for edible forest gardening. Click here for more information or contact:

Whistling by the Graveyard of Climate Change

Dan Jones wrote this commentary for the Vermont Digger.  In it he explains how the “normalcy bias” that prevents people from acting to prevent climate change.  If you missed it you can read it here.

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