SATURDAY, Sept 23th
12:00 – The Life Cycle of the Honeybee – Peter Niemi, Niemi’s Apiary – Everything you didn’t even know you wanted to know about queens, drones, and worker bees, from egg to honey and all that happens in between. Peter retired 17 years ago as a union carpenter, put himself through “Bee School” at Worcester County Beekeepers Association, and hasn’t looked back! You can find his honey at many local markets, including the Trailhead in Orange and Red Apple Farm.
1:00 – Watt’s Up with Air Source Heat Pumps, or “Mini-Splits”? – John & Magda Gates, Gates HVACR Air-source heat pumps use the temperatures of the outdoor air to heat or cool homes or buildings, even when it is below zero Fahrenheit. Efficient heat pumps can provide the same amount of heating for a third of the electricity needed for traditional electric heating, and when it comes to cooling and dehumidifying, they leave conventional AC window units in the dust. They can even be installed to offset or replace oil, gas, and wood/pellet burning heat sources. John & Magda will also cover the substantial rebates that are now available. Gates HVACR is a local family owned and operated company, providing comprehensive HVAC services for over two decades.
2:00 – Bikes, Trikes, and more – Electric Transportation that Works! – Hughes Pack Many of us ride bikes for exercise or for short trips, but bikes with electric assist can be ridden by anyone to go anywhere and at speeds that make short order of most trips. Hills are no longer a problem and carrying goods and groceries is a breeze. Want to go in the rain as well? Covered electric bikes make riding in the rain or even in the winter very comfortable. Please come and check out the many options and talk to the folks that ride & drive them.
3:00 – Be Drought-hardy and Water-wise: How to Collect and Store Rainwater for Outdoor Use – Kris Walter You’d be surprised how much water comes off your roof in a short rain storm. Come see how Kris Walter built the 3-season systems that let her water 320 sq ft of fruits and vegetables without once turning on the town water spigot in the drought of 2016. Learn the important basic concepts in project design, and see the parts she used to create a reliable and scalable system that holds over 400 gallons of water. Kris is a homeowner who enjoys practical do-it-yourself projects that help her walk her talk on living like a good steward of this magnificent planet.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 24th
12:00 – 100% Renewable Energy in New England: How we can all help power a resilient electric grid – Ben Weil, UMass Clean Energy Extension 100% renewable energy is possible. Solar and wind are cheaper than ever and growing fast. But they don’t always generate power when we need it. To balance the electric grid we need storage, demand shifting, and extreme energy efficiency. Ben Weil, UMass professor of building energy, discusses how we can build a distributed grid by balancing resources in our homes, and promote the public policies needed for the utilities to pay us for the service.
1:00 – The Power of Poultry: The Basics and Beyond – Kirby Lecy, J&K’s Good Thyme Farm Chickens and other poultry provide much more than eggs and meat. Learn about how adding poultry to your backyard, homestead or farm can build your soil nutrients, control pest populations and even clear land. We will cover the basics of keeping poultry for both eggs and meat. But we will also delve into deeper topics of poultry such as using them to convert food waste, fertilizing land, manage pests, till earth, turn compost piles and provide nutrients to you. A crash course in all the things I wish we knew about natural chicken keeping before adding them to our small farm.
2:00 – Sequestering Carbon in your Yard & Garden – Caro Roszell, New Wendell Farm If you have a garden, you can dramatically reduce atmospheric carbon with a few simple changes to your soil and plant management practices, and contribute to reducing the climate crisis. NOFA/Mass Soil Carbon Technician and market gardener Caro Roszell of New Wendell Farm will teach you how to adjust your gardening practices to better use your flower or vegetable garden to pull carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, out of the atmosphere and put it back where it belongs – all while improving your garden soil.
3:00 – Urine Diversion and Use as Fertilizer – Kim Nace & Abe Noe-Hays, Rich Earth Institute Everyday we each flush away enough nutrients to grow the amount of wheat needed for a loaf of bread. Additionally, when nitrogen rich urine goes into our waterways it becomes a source of pollution leading to degradation in water quality. Kim Nace and Abe Noe-Hays will show how the Rich Earth Institute is collecting, transporting, treating, and applying urine-derived fertilizer for agriculture. The Rich Earth Institute is a non-profit organization engaging in research, education, and technological innovation to advance the use of human waste as a resource in order to conserve water, prevent pollution, and sustain soil fertility.