Peterborough expo shows visions of a greener lifestyle
PETERBOROUGH - Natural burial, solar panels, local produce, downtown Saturday the sixth annual Greenerborough "Green Living" Expo and Festival was bursting with ways to make life a little bit greener.
Vendors toting everything from locally grown seeds to residential wind turbines filled Grove Street, which was closed from Main Street to School Street, as well as the upper hall of the Town House.
Feeding the fire of a wood-burning oven and baking pizza on Grove Street, Shana Brautigam who makes pottery and teaches art at her studio, Rooted in Clay in Rindge, said she was at the expo to promote the benefits of cooking in wood-fired ovens.
"We've been selling pizza non-stop," she said.
Brautigam has three wood-fired ovens at her studio and has worked with many schools and community gardens in the region such as The Well and South school in Peterborough and the Norway Hill Kids Garden in Hancock.
"It's a great community building activity; get outside, feed the fire, and cook the veggies straight from the garden," she said.
Inside the Town House, local funeral homes Cournoyer of Jaffrey and Jellison of Peterborough teamed for the first time to host a booth to provide information about natural burials.
A solid all-natural pine casket with an oil finish and muslin cloth lining was on display as well a sample wicker casket.
"It's been amazing how many people are here just seeking information," said Mark Cournoyer.
While many people assume natural burial is a new process, it is really a throwback to how people were buried in the past, he said.
"It's how it always used to be and now we've come full circle."
Many of the vendors on Grove Street were from local farms such as Fox Den Farm of Lyndeborough and Hungry Bear Farm of Wilton. Both farms, hoping to expand into Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farming, have joined forces this year as a single CSA to offer local produce shoppers more variety and avoid overlap.
The farms bill the enterprise as two CSAs for the price of one.
"It's two farms teaming together, instead of fighting, trying to work together," said Amy Trudeau of Fox Den Farm. "We can focus on growing a couple of different things and really impress the customers.
"Greenerborough is a great opportunity for the famers to meet with the public, she said. "I live in a small town.
"A lot of people don't know I'm there. They could be my neighbors" she said. "(Greenerborough) opens people's eyes to everything that's going on."
Though she has been busy at her booth, Trudeau said she was eager to visit the Grid Be Gone booth down the street to discuss installing solar panels in her farm' water well.
Peterborough-based Grid Be Gone sells and installs renewable energy equipment, including solar, wood and wind power.
President Marc Spinale of Hancock said he got the impetus to start the business after the 2008 ice storm.
"I went for two weeks without utilities at my house," he said. "Off-grid is our specialty, but we do anything that is associated with renewable energies. We provide solutions that involve multiple technologies."
Spinale had several products on display including a solar-powered street light and residential wind turbines manufactured by upstate New York-based Kohilo Wind.
"It's a great local community-orientated event," Spinale said. "This is a great event for us. It's also an important one and it's right in our backyard and it's a very green-orientated.
"During the expo, the Peterborough Historical Society hosted Grange speakers and workshops, while Sunnyfield Farm of Peterborough presented a sheepdog herding demonstration on the green behind the Town House.
Originated by the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce in 2008, the Peterborough Grange partnered with the chamber to produce the expo this year with event sponsor Nature's Green Grocer of West Peterborough.