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

15th Annual Seed Celebration and Sustainable Community Fair

February 8, 2020

Facebook Event

The garden of your dreams starts on Saturday, February 8th, with the 15th Annual Seed Celebration and Sustainable Community Fair, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. at the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, 25 Roxbury Street, Keene, NH.

Come for the day, or just an hour, to celebrate the miracle of seeds and gardening with The Sustainability Project, now in its 20th year. Learn and network about all things green and growing. Get help planning your garden, stock up on seeds, and visit tables displaying sustainable local items and services. This year’s workshops focus on Seed Saving, Putting up the Harvest, Solar, and Creating Nature Inspired Community. Bring your children/grandchildren and friends for a joyful day of vision and hope for the ecosystem. There will be nature-based children’s activities throughout the day, a fantastic local business raffle and a lunchtime concert with the Solar Sisters. A café will feature hearty soups, stews and baked goods from local restaurants and kitchens, including Orchard Hill Breads, to nourish all. End the day with a joyful performance by Firebird Morris.

Suggested donation is $10 per person or $20 per family. No one turned away for lack of funds. Consider finding a niche at the Celebration by signing up to volunteer at the event. The Seed Celebration and Sustainable Community Fair is sponsored by the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, Green Energy Options, Savings Bank of Walpole, Tracie’s Community Farm, Monadnock Food Co-op, Gem Graphics, & W.S. Badger.

Schedule of Events

All Day:

The Caterpillar Lab, Tile Making, Worms, Potting and other Activities for Children & Families, Seeds For Sale & Swap, Tablers, Displays, Networking, Music & Dance, Café, Silent Auction & Raffle.

8:30 Doors Open
9:00 - 9:45 Valerie Piedmont 'Creating Nature Inspired Community' - Hive Space
10:00 - 11:30 Celeste Longacre 'Preparing the Harvest' - Conference room
10:00 - 11:30 Lionel Chute 'Be Here Now: Tools for Connecting with Ecological Reality' - Colony Room
12:00 - 12:45 Solar Sisters lunchtime Concert - Conference room
1:30 - 3:00 Anna Turkle & Emma Rohleder 'Seed Saving' - Conference room
1:30 - 2:30 Simon Gray 'Solar 101' - Colony Room
3:15 Last Call for Raffle and Silent Auction high bidders announced
3:30 - 4:00 Firebird Morris - Hive Space
4:00 Raffle Drawing

Come visit these tablers:

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.

The Caterpillar Lab

The Caterpillar Lab is a NH non-profit organization located in Marlborough. The Lab raises thousands of native caterpillars at an open-to-the-public facility and brings them to museums, nature centers, and schools, where they present these underappreciated, but undeniably awesome creatures. Their programs highlight the diversity of our local ecosystems, encourage exploration, teach unexpected lessons in insect biology, and work to increase overall environmental awareness and respect. They reach tens of thousands of people with these programs each year, with most learners receiving one-on-one attention at their displays. Their underlying goal is to spark curiosity, exploration, and discovery. They work to surprise people about their own natural heritage every day and to ensure that they will never look at their "old familiar places" the same way again. Visit their table to see some caterpillars up close and learn how to attract these insects to your garden.

Tile Making

Barb Davis

In her studio on Old Settlers Rd - in East Alstead, Barb practices becoming her best creative self. Here at the Seed Celebration she will be encouraging others to do the same. She will lead a tile making workshop, that uses natural materials - such as evergreen boughs, dried plants and yes - seeds!

Creating Nature Inspired Community

Valerie Piedmont

Humans are brilliant, loving, cooperative, caring and completely up for the challenges of our times. Be prepared to have fun, finding our place in each other's hearts as we together create a vision, inspired by love, compassion and inclusion to heal ourselves, each other and regenerate the planet.

Valerie Piedmont, founder of The Sustainability Project, lives off-grid in the Emerson Brook Forest with her husband, Pablo. In addition to homesteading, they run a family business, Green Energy Options as well as a bed and breakfast.

Seed Saving

Anna Turkle & Emma Rohleder

Love gardening but still find seed saving a mystery? Join this hands on workshop for beginners to learn seed saving basics: what you need to know about pollination, saving the seeds you actually want, and why it all matters. You’ll leave with some great resources and the ability to try your hand at seed saving this year!

Anna is a current graduate student at Antioch University, working as a garden co-coordinator at community garden connections (CGC). Her interest in seed saving developed while working at the Native Plant Trust (formerly New England Wildflower Society) where she learned how to sustainably collect and propagate wild-harvested seed from native plants. Most recently, she started the seed library at the Keene Public Library. Anna is continually enamored with the beauty and possibility of seeds.

Emma is a graduate student at Antioch University and a co-coordinator with community garden connections. She studied ecology, including plant genetics, at the University of Minnesota and worked as an educator on an organic farm in Minnesota. Emma loves seeds but not as much as she loves eating the fruits that surround them!

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.

Solar 101

Simon Gray

During this introduction to solar power, Simon will share: information about Green Energy Options' solar program, how solar works and the basics of net metering, the city of Keene's renewable energy goals, and related topics. The workshop will conclude with a question and answer session.

Simon Gray is a residential solar specialist at Green Energy Options in Keene. He graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2014 with a double major in Conservation Biology and American History, and spent the next several years as an environmental educator in Oregon. Simon recently moved to New Hampshire and is enjoying getting to know the area and working to move the region toward more sustainable energy production.

The 8 Shields

Jennifer Close

The 8 Shields approach offers an adaptable design framework for groups to work collectively towards a common goal. Popularized by internationally renowned naturalist, master tracker, storyteller and author Jon Young, this model facilitates group vision, decision making and shared leadership. Jennifer will offer a dynamic overview of how the model can be used for both event planning and structuring organizations. There will be visual diagrams, handouts and an opportunity to ask questions.

Certified in permaculture design, Jennifer, a local gardener, herbalist, artist, and community organizer, offers guidance to organizations interested in non-hierarchical leadership development. Jennifer organizes for the Northeast Womyn in Permaculture, the New Hampshire Permaculture Guild, NH Permaculture Day, and The Orchard School Community Center.

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!

Contact them by email:

"Be Here Now"

Lionel Chute

The collective actions of people are now altering planetary systems in profound and undesirable ways. Crossing tipping points will lead to truly existential challenges for many species, including us. By incorporating ecological principles into our decision-making, we can reverse this trend and help to maintain the planetary balances we rely on. Join Lionel for a talk about the world's natural systems and the need for ecological thinking to inform human behavior.

Lionel Chute is the Director of Natural Resources for Sullivan County and the District Manager of the Sullivan County Conservation District. He also currently serves as a Commissioner for both the Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission and the Connecticut River Joint Commissions. Lionel enjoys being outside and sharing his enthusiasm for the natural world.

Celeste Longacre

Come and join author and gardener, Celeste Longacre, for a Power Point presentation on preserving the harvest. In this 100+ slide show, she will show you how to freeze broccoli, corn, peppers, beans, berries and purslane. Making pickles comes next along with how to prepare spaghetti sauce and canning it. Drying herbs and flowers will be discussed as well as how to build a root cellar and how to prepare the potatoes, beets and carrots to go into it. Celeste will also show us how winter squash and onions need to be sunned in order to keep. Making sauerkraut, garlic powder and drying grapes and apples fill out the show.

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 8th or emailed to Lenoir at by noon on Sunday, February 9th. 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!

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

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