Local Living Festival in Canton Saturday and Sunday to offer ideas on how to live simply, cheaply
Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 9:09 am

CANTON -- People from all across the region wishing to learn skills from years past and live more simply - and cheaply - will enjoy the Local Living Festival 2011, organized by the Sustainable Living Project and hosted by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24 and 25.

The weekend will feature home-grown energy systems, hourly children's activities, farm animals, draft horse wagon rides, food vendors serving up locally-grown food, and a satellite of the Potsdam Farmer's Market.

Exhibitors and demonstrators of everything from fiber arts to forestry products, renewable energy systems to hand-made personal care items, traditional crafts to how-to books will be on hand.

Featured speakers are Bryan Welch, Publisher of "Mother Earth News" as well as "When Technology Fails" author Matthew Stein.

The Local Living Festival is an official participant in the worldwide Moving Planet Day of Action on fossil fuels (www.Moving-Planet.org). The festival has designated its opening day, Sept. 24, as Moving-Planet Day and plans various activities around the theme.

Several noted local and national speakers will be on hand to share their knowledge with festival attendees on how to live a more low-carbon lifestyle.

Moving-Planet Fellowship Speaker, noted author of The Adirondack Atlas, Jerry Jenkins, will discuss climate change in his presentation, “Reading The Climate News.”

Another fellowship Speaker is Spence Professor in Sustainable Environmental Systems, Dr. Susan Powers of Clarkson University, leading an interactive seminar teaching people how to reduce their carbon footprint.

She says that once society better understands how greenhouse gases affect the environment, then hopefully society can reduce climate change and that the world has "grossly overused" fossil fuel energy, directly hurting the environment.

People who wish to participate in this program will need to bring their annual home heating costs, annual electric bill and an estimate of how many miles they drive annually.

The third Moving-Planet Fellowship Speaker, Jon Rosales, is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at St. Lawrence University and presents: "Thoreau Now" -- an inspiring talk that will bridge between the Festivals' Moving-Planet day and the following days events as part of the state-wide Locavore Challenge of NOFA-NY (Northeast Organic Farming Assn.).

On Sunday, attendees at the festival will be asked to consider eating only local foods -- for a day, a week, or a month. Not an omnivore or herbivore, but a locavore.

Details on how to sign up are on the project's website at www.SustainableLivingProject.net, on the Local Living Festival page.

A Picnic Across NY will be the theme of lunchtime festivities and festival-goers will be able to purchase local food from local vendors, from locally-grown burgers and fries to vegan fare.

Locavore Challenge Speaker Aviva Gold, Associate Director of GardenShare will present an interactive discussion "MORE Than Local Food: The North Country's Community-Based Food System". In this exercise we will try to quantify how secure our food system is locally, and what can be done to improve it.

Additionally, Bill Vitek, Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Clarkson University will present on the topic "Food for Thought, Thought for Food: Toward a Culture of Limits and Prosperity," exploring ways in which we may move into this new economic and social landscape.

Admission to the festival is $5 per day, but is free to those arriving by transportation that is not powered by fossil fuels. Weekend passes are available at www.BrownPaperTickets.com, or pay at the gate.