2012 GARLIC & ARTS – check back for 2013 line-up!

Schedule of Renewable Energy Presentations and Speaker Bios for the


(Click here for a printable PDF poster)

Saturday, September 29th

10:15 – 12:00 pm

The 2nd Annual North Quabbin Power of Solutions Forum

An open roundtable discussion with our Town Energy Committees and other community entities – what’s new, what’s working, what isn’t, where to now?



Community Owned Sustainable Energy

A Panel discussion with Cyndee Fand, Energy Coach, and other Co-op Power Members/Staff on energy efficiency programs, Neighbor to Neighbor Solar hot water projects, home heating buying group, community solar projects and ways to get involved.

Co-Op Power


1:00 pm

Zero Net-Energy Homes, Chris Cappello and Lance Hodes

This is a discussion on the 4 principals of building an energy independent house.  They are 1) the design phase – making smart use of space and only building what you need, 2) building the most formidable thermal barrier that you can afford, 3) reducing energy demand, and 4) adding solar.  The presenters are Lance Hodes and Chris Cappello of Comfort Zone Homes.  For more information about us and our company, please visit:



2:00 pm

Low-Head Micro-Hydro, Ron MacLeod

The presentation will include a discussion of the basics of micro-hydro and a photo presentation on small turbines installed to run homes and sell power into the grid in the United States and Europe. There will be a question and answer period after the talk.

Ron MacLeod is a Hydro Site owner and Small Turbine builder with 30 years experience working in Micro-hydro-electric.


3:00 pm

Mulch Magic, Dan Botkin

Teacher, athlete, organic farmer, Dan (Mr. Mulch) Botkin, offers a lively narrative introduction to his multiple, sometimes radical, seasonal uses of mulch on the farm. Dan’s love affair with all kinds of “mulch” as a growing tool has included “fallow sheet mulch”, “earth” mulch, “dust” mulch, “weed” mulch and (everyone’s favorite) “poopie” mulch, or half-rotted barn waste.

After a career in teaching and counseling, Dan now farms full time, following an eclectic, practical and intuitive approach to diversified, small-scale food production. Dan also teaches food and farming-related workshops, like how to home-bend conduit pipes into low-tunnel “hoophouses”. He enjoys growing common and unusual vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. And with the help of his family and intens, he runs a small CSA, mentors WWOOFers and inspires newbies and fellow farmers, from his 3 + acre, Laughing Dog Farm, in Gill, MA.


Sunday, September 30th

12:00 pm

Wind Turbines, Panacea or Problem? Peter Talmage

As the cost of energy rises and concerns to control CO2 emissions gain more traction interest in wind turbines is constantly in the news. In our North East region what are the plusses and minuses of wind turbines ? This talk will look at these matters and will present arguments on both sides. Questions from the audience will be important part of this talk.

Peter Talmage is a mechanical engineer and a teacher who has lived and worked with wind turbines and electric and thermal solar systems since 1975. Currently he is teaching full time at Greenfield Community College in the Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency Program. When time allows he does private consults on energy matters.


1:00 pm

Heating with a Wood fired Masonry Heater – a sustainable wood heat source. 

Jeremy Brown will explain the advantages of adding a masonry heater to your home as a sustainable system. Learn how thermal comfort can be achieved utilizing efficient wood fired radiant heat.  Initial planning, design options, installation and operation will be covered.  The objective of this talk is to clarify if a masonry heater is right for you.

Jeremy Brown is the owner of Hillcrest Masonry.  Hillcrest Masonry specializes in Masonry Heaters, Wood Fired Ovens, preservation and reproduction of historic chimneys and fireplaces. Jeremy has been a masonry contractor for 10 years and  has been building Masonry Heaters professionally for 5 years.


2:00 pm

Permaculture for Your Backyard

Kay McGrenaghan Cafasso

Kay will guide us through the principals of permaculture for a home landscape, including edible plantings, outdoor rooms, etc.

Kay Cafasso is a certified Permaculture Designer & Instructor and founder of Sowing Solutions, which offers ecological design services for homeowners, as well as educational events in permaculture design, ecological gardens, natural building, and sustainable living skills for communities and institutes across the northeast.



3:00 pm

Solar “Farms” in MY Backyard? – a panel discussion

There has been much ado lately about large-scale solar farms in our neighborhoods. Let’s discuss the best practices for siting these installations, and whether or not we even need them. In others words – how can we live in harmony with the options available for electricity generation?

Moderator: Cathy Stanton                                                                                                             Panelists thus far: Jim Barry – DOER, Richard Godin – Athol Zoning Board of Appeals, Hal Gillam – Pequoig Energy

Visit this page to read North Quabbin Energy’s take on this hot topic:





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