The Sustainability Project
Emerson Brook Forest Center
For a future we can live with

14th Annual Seed Celebration and Sustainable Community Fair

February 9, 2019

Event Parking: We have been given permission to park for free at the Miller Forge building at 103 Roxbury Street (2 "blocks" down from Hannah Grimes)

The Sustainability Project’s 14th Annual Seed Celebration and Sustainable Community Fair takes place on Saturday, February 9th, from 8:30-4:30 at the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship at 25 Roxbury Street, Keene, N.H.

Come for a day of education and networking, garden planning and stocking up on seeds. In the morning, learn about gardening with Celeste Longacre, or permaculture with Marty Castriotta. In the afternoon, join Sam Jaffe from The Caterpillar Lab to learn about the wonderful native caterpillars of our region and their role in a healthy ecosystem.

Throughout the day there will be be opportunity to visit with tablers, learn about local initiatives, participate in a permaculture guild design activity and catch up with your neighbors. There will be nature-based children's activities throughout the day and a lunchtime concert with the Solar Sisters. A café featuring soups, stews and baked goods from local restaurants and kitchens, as well as Orchard Hill breads will nourish us all.

There is a suggested donation of $10 per person or $20 for families. This event is sponsored by: Green Energy Options, Savings Bank of Walpole, Hannah Grimes, Tracie's Community Farm, Monadnock Food Co-op, Gem Graphics, & W.S. Badger.

Schedule of Events

All Day:

The Caterpillar Lab, Make It So: Expo, Permaculture Guild Design Activity, Activities for Children & Families, Exhibits, Displays, Café, Raffle, Seeds For Sale & Swap.

8:30 Doors Open
9:00 Welcome - Valerie Piedmont - Hive Space
10:00 - 11:30 Celeste Longacre 'On Gardening' - Conference room
10:00 - 12:00 Marty Castiotta 'An Introduction to Permaculture' - Colony Room
12:00 - 12:45 Solar Sisters lunchtime Concert - Conference room
1:15 - 3:00 Sam Jaffe 'Uncovering the Whole Story' - Conference room
3:30 Last Call for Raffle and Art Auction high bidders announced
3:00 - 4:00 Matt Atkinson & Friends playing bluegrass & folk - Hive Space
4:00 Raffle Drawing

Come visit these tablers:

Art Auction

Witnesses 14
Monotype/mixed media
By Erika Radich
$250 value
Minimum Bid $75
Mexican Folk Art
From ‘In the Company of Flowers’
$225 value
Minimum Bid $50
Witnesses 31
Monotype/mixed media
By Erika Radich
$250 value
Minimum Bid $75
Angel of the Medicine Tree
Water color on heavy paper
By Bill Whyte, 2017
$250 value
Minimum Bid $75

This year's sponsors include:

Green Energy Options Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Savings Bank Of Walpole Tracies Farm W.S. Badger Gem Graphics monadnock food coop

Please thank them for their support.

Fedco Seed Orders

Still looking to order seeds? The Sustainability Project will be placing a final FEDCO order after the Seed Celebration. By placing your FEDCO seed order through The Sustainability Project, you save on shipping charges and help support our Annual Seed Celebration and Sustainable Community Fair and our Emerson Brook Forest Center's trails and perennial gardens. We choose FEDCO seeds because they offer a large selection of organic, heirloom, and open pollinated varieties. You can stop by Green Energy Options, Keene for a paper catalog or go online to

All orders must be dropped off at the Seed Celebration on Saturday, February 9th or emailed to Lenoir at by noon on Sunday, February 10th. Be sure to include product ID number, name, and quantity desired as well as your contact information. These orders are for seeds only, not Moose Tubers or Garden Supply. If you are hand-writing a form, please write neatly. We'll notify you when your seeds are ready for pick up at Green Energy Options. Thank you for your support!

On Gardening

Come and join author and gardener, Celeste Longacre, for a Power Point presentation on gardening. This 100+ photographic display details most aspects for a home plot. They include:

  • how to prepare the soil
  • adding soil amendments
  • using a broad fork to loosen the soil
  • how to plant seeds and transplants
  • which plants are frost-sensitive and which ones are not
  • how to tell if the plants need water
  • the importance of thinning
  • how to remove tomato suckers
  • companion planting for fewer bugs
  • how to identify and remove unwanted pests
  • the importance of weeding and the identification of many
  • how to stake the plants that need it
  • and more!

Celeste Longacre is the author of "Celeste’s Garden Delights" and an accomplished gardener who has been growing most of her family's vegetables for over 35 years. She also does a "Green Living" column for the Monadnock Shopper News.

For further information visit her website at

Uncovering the Whole Story

Sam Jaffe, Director of The Caterpillar Lab, will present an original photograph and video packed talk that explores backyard pollinators, plants, parasitoids, and the many caterpillars that are positioned at the center of it all. He will introduce a "Whole Story" perspective of natural history study and appreciation that just might make you reconsider a herbivore's place in our world. The "Whole Story" is a celebration of caterpillars in all their incarnations and across all their ecological connections.

Samuel Jaffe is a New England based naturalist, photographer, and educator who has been working with native insects since a very early age. Sam grew up in Eastern Massachusetts chasing birds, mucking through ponds, and turning over leaves. For the last ten years he has been photographing and filming caterpillars and organizing programs to promote these special creatures to the public. In 2013 he founded "The Caterpillar Lab" a non-profit educational outreach organization in Marlborough NH and he now travels across the country working with museums, nature centers, schools, and individual teachers helping native insects find their place in our everyday lives. When he is not behind the camera or tending his zoo of caterpillars, you can invariably find Sam up to his waist in vegetation.

Solar Sisters Concert

Solar Sisters

"Solar Sisters" Valerie Piedmont and Jeanne Sable have been bringing their unique brand of "eco folk music" to the greater Keene, NH area for over a decade. With tight harmony singing and finger-style guitar, they perform original songs of farm and garden, sustainable living, and contemporary issues for fairs, festivals, libraries, schools, and other venues. As founder (Valerie) and adviser (Jeanne) to The Sustainability Project they are dedicated to promoting a love of nature, environmental stewardship, caring communities and ways of living that deepen our understanding of the interconnected web of life.

An Introduction to Permaculture

Marty Castriotta

An Introduction to Permaculture - In this workshop we will delve into permaculture basics. We will briefly go over the history of permaculture as a design strategy and as a movement. We will then focus most of the time on the 12 principles and 3 ethics that define a permaculture approach. Marty will relate these principles to his own work with Village Roots Permaculture in Alstead, NH. He will review strategies that have worked on his farm as well as challenges he has faced in an on-going effort to design multi-yield, bio-productive, farm ecosystems.

Marty Castriotta enjoys growing and eating good food. He and his wife Ellen developed Village Roots in 2004 (on the Orchard Hill Community in Alstead, NH) and have been growing nutrient dense food for the region ever since. Today, their focus is primarily on raising pastured meats, growing perennial fruits and herbs, and designing highly integrated farm systems. Marty has a BS in Biomedical Engineering and an MS in Environmental Studies. He has been farming since 2003 and teaches about farming, food and permaculture design both at Orchard Hill, as well as in local schools and universities.

Firebird Morris Dancers

Firebird Morris

Firebird Morris is a non-traditional Morris dancing team focusing on Molly and Border dances originating in the border region of England and Wales. Based in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire, this mixed-gender team performs typically late April through October at festivals, street fairs, and various celebrations. You will see our brightly colored red, yellow, orange and black "rags" flying through the air behind us! We always welcome new dancers and musicians!

The dancers will be supported by musicians Kim Wallach, Elias Elliot and Mary Desrosiers.

Contact them by email:

The Sustainability Project
P.O. Box 311, Gilsum, NH 03448, (603) 209-7272

show menu