Sustainability event inspired by youth
By Josh O’Gorman
Staff Writer | April 26,2013
Vyto Starinskas / Staff Photo
Kevin Bubriski hangs his Green Mountain College photography class’s photo exhibit with the help of students, including Courtney Perry, right, at the 2013 Poultney Earth Fair on Thursday at Poultney High School.
POULTNEY — A balanced life, a balanced Earth.
Such was the theme of the 2013 Poultney Earth Fair, held Thursday afternoon in and around the Poultney High School gymnasium.
“It’s a sustainability conference that’s inspired by children,” said Jose Galvez, one of the event’s organizers. “We hope that people will take home some of the things and ideas they see here and live in a way that’s more sustainable.”
Now in its sixth year, the fair draws more than 300 visitors and exhibitors from local schools, farmers and artisans.
Ollie Gelinas rode an electric bicycle 18 miles from his West Tinmouth farm, where he raises beef cattle, poultry and pork. He wired three 12-volt batteries together, which power a motor attached to the front tire. Electricity propels him up the hills, while the batteries recharge as he descends.
“It’s a hybrid,” he said, jokingly.
Scout Proft, a farm-to-community mentor for the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, displayed products from 13 area farms, including her own, Someday Farm in East Dorset.
“I’ll give you a dozen eggs if you can tell me which product isn’t grown in Vermont,” said Proft, who raises free-range chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and pheasants.
The winning answer was coffee, but Proft pointed to the other items that are locally grown: pork, beef, lamb, corn, strawberries, vegetables and apples.
“I just want to show people the diversity of the food products in the area,” Proft said. “I believe you can live off of 100 percent locally grown food.”
The seven students of LiHigh School in Poultney spent eight weeks touring farms from Benson to Pownal, as well as places such as Roots the Restaurant in Rutland, which uses locally grown ingredients in its dishes.
“We had the students keep a log of everything they ate and where the food came from,” said LiHigh adviser Kyle Callahan. “We asked to eat locally for a week, and then asked them to think about how they were feeling.”
Cameron Cook, a senior at Poultney High School, displayed the results of his vermin-composting project. He took a plastic bin and put in some soil, newspapers and a pound of worms. The bin was used as a repository for food waste.
He then grew two batches of tomato plants, with one using the compost and another without. The tomato plants with the compost were thriving, while the ones without were barely making it.
“We want more and more people in town to use this,” Cook said. “It’s easy. It takes five minutes to make and it will cut down on garbage.”