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

2015 Seed Celebration and Sustainable Community Fair

Saturday, February 7th - 9am to 4pm

At Mole Hill Theatre, 789 Gilsum Mine Road, East Alstead, NH
Seed Celebration 2015 Poster
Seed Celebration 2015 Program

The Seed Celebration is sponsored in part by WS Badger, The Monadnock Food Co-op, Gem Graphics, Green Energy Options and Mole Hill Theatre. Look at our program here.

Schedule of Events

All Day Activities: Youth Activities, Exhibits, Displays & Demonstrations, Café, Raffle, Seeds For Sale & Swap

9:00 Event Opens

9:20-9:40 Welcome - Kevin Irby

10:00-10:20 Getting Started with Seed Saving - Carl Majewski

10:00-11:00 Tree Pruning Workshop - Johnny Bolster & Jenny Wright

10:40-11:00 Promoting Native Pollinators - Lionel Chute

11:20-11:40 The New "Green" Focus on Stormwater - Jan Lambert & Karl Thidemann

12:00-12:10 Mindful Eating and Meal Blessing - Michael Ciborski

12:15-12:45 The Solar Sisters

1:00-1:20 Designing the Self: Social Permaculture - Valerie Piedmont

1:00-3:00 Winter Tree ID - Lionel Chute

1:40-2:00 Compassionate Conversations: A Different Way to Dialogue - Barbara Woods

2:20-2:40 NED Pipeline - Cheap, Clean Energy or Pipe Dream? - Pat Martin, Jim Rodger & Jeannie Sable

3:00-3:20 Getting Grounded with Dave - Dave Wichland

3:20-3:40 Last Call for Raffle, Closing - Andy Pennoni

3:40-4:00 Raffle Drawing

4:00 Clean-up Begins!

Getting Grounded with Dave

David Wichland is a St. Michael's college Eco-tourism undergraduate, naturalist, mountain guide, and certified permaculturalist! He became very interested in the pursuit of agroforestry in 1998 and discovered the power of mycology in the whole of this model. He has been studying and experimenting since then. Dave teaches permaculture design with a mycological twist at nature centers, schools, garden clubs and to individuals as a consultant. He grows fresh mushrooms, mushrooms spawn, and experiments with growing mycelia in agroforestry and gardens. He also spends time as a carpenter, husband and father of 3 children!

For more information:

Designing the Self: Social Permaculture with Valerie Piedmont

Valerie Piedmont, founder and director of The Sustainability Project, lives off-grid in the Emerson Brook Forest with her husband, Pablo. In addition to homesteading, they run their family businesses, Green Energy Options and a bed and breakfast. Valerie says, "Humans are brilliant, loving, cooperative, caring and ingenious by nature, completely up for the challenges of our times. Any appearance to the contrary reveals the need for healing." Her presentation includes information and exercises for redesigning the self and supporting others as we move back into our place of balance within the web of life on this beautiful garden planet.

Getting Started with Seed-Saving with Carl Majewski

Carl is a Field Specialist in Food and Agriculture and has been with UNH Cooperative Extension since 2002, and while his background is in dairy, livestock and forages, he enjoys getting his hands dirty in all agricultural disciplines. In whatever spare time he has, he bakes bread, brews beer, tends to the family garden, and tries his hand at woodturning.

In addition to a discussion of the benefits of saving your own seed, the session will touch on botany, crop breeding, and practical how-to's for using this year's bounty for next year's planting.

For more information: or

Tree Pruning with Johnny Bolster & Jenny Wright

Promoting Native Pollinators - Lionel Chute

Native bees are essential to the continuation of many of our foods and most of our flowering plants. Yet much about them is not well known, and their critical role in crop pollination is often overlooked. This talk will describe the amazing diversity of New Hampshire's native bees and how we can actively protect and promote them.

Lionel Chute is the Director of Natural Resources for Sullivan County and the District Manager of the Sullivan County Conservation District.

For more information:

The New "Green" Focus on Stormwater with Jan Lambert & Karl Thidemann

Karl Thidemann serves as director of outreach for Biodiversity for a Livable Climate and is one of its co-founders. He is the former marketing director of Solectria, a manufacturer of solar technology and electric cars, trucks, and buses that began as the M.I.T. Solar Car team. Karl has contributed to strategic planning for Planet-TECH Associates, and has performed marketing and sales work in the environmental field. Inspired by the philosophy and inventions of Buckminster Fuller, Karl developed an early interest in renewable energy and ecological design. For many years, he led the Philomorphs, a design science group at Harvard College. Karl holds a B.A. in chemistry from Wesleyan University.

Jan Lambert is editor and co-founder of The Valley Green Journal, a local, monthly print, email, and web based publication with the mission of making grassroots connections with communities based on organic agriculture and nature. She has recently developed a special focus on water conservation, the Stormwater and Landscapes Education (SWALE) network, to bring together information on the critical importance of slowing down and soaking up precipitation where it falls in urban and rural landscapes. This step can prevent floods and droughts, increase food production, provide green jobs, and most importantly, mitigate regional climate change.

For more information: or

Tree Pruning Workshop with Johnny Bolster & Jenny Wright

Jenny Wright, of Unity NH, started pruning apple trees in 1970. Since then, pruning has become a family profession. Jenny and her husband, Stan McCumber work locally, January through March, pruning in both commercial and residential settings. Jenny is the author of two manuals, "How to Prune Old Apple Trees" and "Pruning Young Apple Trees."

Mindful Eating and Meal Blessing with Michael Ciborski

Michael Ciborski is a mindfulness and meditation teacher in the Buddhist tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. He lived as a monk for seven years in Plum Village, France, and has worked closely with Thich Nhat Hanh to organize, support and offer meditation retreats around the world. Michael also studies and practices in the tradition of Anthroposophy, begun by Rudolf Steiner. He finds great joy weaving together these two wonderful paths.

Michael and his wife, Fern Dorresteyn, live in MorningSun, the small, yet growing, spiritual community and mindfulness center in Alstead.

For more information: or or

The Solar Sisters, Valerie Piedmont & Jeanne Sable performing songs of Farm & Garden

"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 executive director (Valerie) and adviser (Jeanne) to The Sustainability Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Gilsum, NH, 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.

Compassionate Conversations: A Different Way to Dialogue with Barbara Woods

Barbara has completed over 650 hours of training with many different trainers who are certified through the Center for Nonviolent CommunicationTM including a nine-day International Intensive Training with Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg.

She has had formal education in areas of conflict, peace studies, cultural studies, restorative justice, mediation, and facilitation--including a three-week, masters-level international class titled Conflict Transformation Across Cultures: Summer Peacebuilding Program, at the SIT Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont. She holds a bachelor's degree in communication from Keene State College.

Since 2008 Barbara has been offering seminars, mediation, facilitation, and communication coaching/mentoring services in northern California, and Keene, NH; and also over distances via telephone conferencing.

NED Pipeline - Cheap, Clean Energy or Pipe Dream? with Pat Martin, Jim Rodger & Jeannie Sable

Pat Martin is a retired Electrical Engineer, Chair of the Rindge Energy Commission, member of the Monadnock Energy Resources Initiative Steering Committee, and an activist against the Northeast Direct (NED) Pipeline. She has been involved in energy conservation efforts since the 1970s.

Jim Rodger is a retired instrument/control systems technician with 40 years experience on pipelines, power plants, and data communications systems.

Jeanne Sable is a freelance journalist, author, musician, advisor to the Sustainability Project, and secretary of the Fitzwilliam Conservation Commission. She has been writing newspaper and magazine articles, songs and stories about the environment for 40 years.

For more information:

Winter Tree ID

Can you tell a sugar maple from a red maple in the winter? It's easy if you know what to look for - Join Lionel for an invigorating walk around Mole Hill and learn how to identify many species of trees and shrubs, even when the leaves are gone!

Lionel Chute is the Director of Natural Resources for Sullivan County and the District Manager of the Sullivan County Conservation District.

For more information:


* Blueberry Fields * Biochar * Cheshire County Conservation District * Green Energy Options * Kroka * Luna's Apothecary * Monadnock Food Co-op * Monadnock Permaculture Meet-Up Group * Orchard Hill Breadworks * Pipeline Education * ReClaim * Seed Sales * SoBerry Clean * The Sustainability Project * Valley Green Journal * Wichland Woods * W.S. Badger *


There is still time to get a jump start on your garden planning and order seeds! By placing your FEDCO seed order through The Sustainability Project, you save on shipping charges and help support our organization's efforts. Stop by Green Energy Options, 79 Emerald Street, Keene for a paper catalog or go on-line to

The Sustainability Project will be collecting orders at the Seed Celebration to be placed on February 8th. Prior to the Seed Celebration orders may be emailed to Lenoir McDougal at or left at Green Energy Options in Keene. Be sure to include product ID number, name, and quantity desired as well as your contact information. Please no Moose Tubers or Garden Supply! We'll notify you when your seeds are ready for pick up at Green Energy Options

Don't know what to order? NO PROBLEM!! For those who want seed ordering made easy, The Sustainability Project recommends a collection of open-pollinated organic seeds. The collection costs $25.00 and consists of:

Download Presentations From The 2015 Seed Celebration

Lionel Chute.pptx Karl Thiedmann Presentation.pptx mushrooms.mp4 NG_Pipeline.pptx 2015 Seed Celebration  final Valerie.ppt

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

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