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July 23, 2012

Solarfest 2012: sun-baked reflections

The main star of the weekend—the sun—
shined on us all!
This area (above) is one of the fields where festival attendees car camped. There were several options--in a field across the road (for RV's and the like), the open field (above) and free in the woods. 

We rolled in Saturday morning, set up camp in the woods —finding a nice sheltered spot—before enjoying some yummy food from the food court. I had my first of two bundles of love from the Barn Restaurant Burrito Guy. His freshly squeezed lemonade also went too quickly!  We checked out the schedule, made a plan, and attended some talks in the early afternoon. 
 
I headed into the big tent for a sun-break and to see some vendors...The earth's creative gravitation pull directed me to a booth with graphically clever and colorful prints and T's by DesignITtogether, out of Troy, NY.  Ben proved a hardcore vendor, at his booth all day and even Sunday morning! This was my favorite fresh talent at the 2012 Solarfest. Here is a link to their information:  DESIGNITTOGETHER.

Something for everyone.
 Kitty Attack! T-shirt:
True to its word:
The Wookiee fights back!

I missed the opportunity to buy some soapberries (Sapindus Mukorossi Organic Soapberries) from the SoBerry Clean family directly, so I will get some on line.  In researching this company and soapnuts,  I was amazed to learn extensively, via their site,  about 1,4 Dioxane that's in many of our most readily available laundry detergents:
"...1,4-Dioxane is a carcinogenic substance that is found in most commercial laundry detergents.  It is a by-product of the chemical soapmaking process, and therefore does not have to be listed as an ingredient.  This is a problem, because many people are using these laundry detergents, having no idea that they contain a carcinogen...."
Soapberries provide a chemical free alternative! For more information on this topic go here:http://www.soberryclean.com/info-on-soapberries. By good fortune I choose Ecos Laundry Detergent, which is free from the 1,4 Dioxane.

While the festival turnout (Saturday) did not seem as populated as when I attended before, I was relieved for the space to move around and talk with folks at various booths. I got a chance to dream about little sheds with porches, too. 

I missed the (red wigglers) worm guy! There was just too much to do and see! Here is a link to Ben's Bins in Florence, Mass.: http://www.wehaveworms.com/
 
I was intrigued by the variety of composting toilet options and sizes...as well as the vast representation and education on Solar, Bio Diesel and Wind Power.

Initial impressions from the presentations I attended:
  • SOLAR! I am disappointed our country's leaders do not proactively facilitate its increase of use.
  • Bio Diesel is also political ---AND a fussy method to fuel one's vehicle. It requires tremendous networking that is impressive and satisfying to witness.  Requirements: must love to fuss with filters and know all about car (diesel) engines. 
  • Wind Power impacts the land—it will reshape the mountain ridges and requires wide roads to access the landing area. I need to know more about this and where it is "planned" in Vermont. Falmouth, MA has had some trouble, along with the Cape Winds project. The general sentiment is "not in my back yard." Solar seems less intrusive. 
  • Zero Net Buildings and Homes. I am going to introduce my colleagues to Steven Strong's work (Solar Design Associates) and see if it is possible to bring him to campus:
"....Over the past three decades, [Steven Strong] has earned an international reputation designing dozens of Zero-Net-Energy homes and buildings which provide delightful living/working environments with no purchased energy...." 
--from http://solarfest.org/solarfest_keynote_speaker.php

I also got close--but not too close--to the Poison Parsnip! It was everywhere in the clusters of tall grass, interspersed with pretty purple flowers. It's sap, when exposed to the sun creates open wound ulcers.
 Detail of the Poison Parsnip:

On the way back to NH, we took an exploratory route back and stopped in Jamaica, Vermont. This town was one of many in Vermont washed out during Hurricane Irene. The Wrath of Irene: Vermont's Imperfect Storm of 2011 by the Herald of Randolph extensively covers some of the effected towns. 


(All photos were taken by me, Emily trail pixie Trespas, except the Ecos bottle. 
If you wish to re-post, please ask permission and credit, thanks. )


2 comments:

peter simmous said...

Your blog is distinctive. I have found your blog innovative. You have chosen very incredible theme for your sketch. I cherished it.
soapnuts

Trail Pixie Trespas said...

Peter, thank you for these kind words. In blogging I am genuine and the posts shift in content as my life and interest develop. Header is a watercolor I painted while out in a field in Peterborough, NH. Dusk approached.
Be well and visit often,
thank you.
Emily