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Local Living Festival opens Saturday in Canton

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CANTON - Want to learn how to grow or can your own food? Want your electric meter to “run backwards” through renewable utilities? How about learning construction techniques to build a house that uses less energy and resources to begin with? Perhaps raising bees tickles your fancy, or keeping a family cow or chickens, or growing herbs, specifically?

Small-scale logging, sugarbush management, creating salves and tinctures, building rocket stoves, gardening skills, and creating a regional economy are all topics to be covered in workshops at the Local Living Festival Saturday in Canton.

The Paul Smith’s College Woodsmen’s Team will put on a must-see Skills Exhibition and other demonstrations include animal calls and identifying tracks, blacksmithing, scything, belly dancing, recycled paper basket making, home made beehives, scroll saw artistry, storytelling on computer and much more.

These are just a fraction of the topics being shared through the many workshops, panel discussions and demonstrations at the third Local Living Festival, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Cooperative Extension Learning Farm, 2043 Route 68 in Canton. The full line-up can be viewed at the Local Living Festival page of www.SustainableLivingProject.net.

Upstate Occupational Health is hosting an interactive community mural painting project and there will also be a maypole celebration, steam engine demonstration by the Power & Equipment Museum, and a fun “Scavenger Hunt — Connecting the Community!” Brewer Bookstore from St. Lawrence University will feature book sales and author book signings.

There will also be an Informal Seeds and Seedling Swap for people to bring their extra plants and seeds and trade them in for a new variety! Dozens of interactive displays will be staffed by SUNY Potsdam and St. Lawrence students who created them for participation by the public. And, there are hourly projects for both teenagers and young children to engage in that share nature’s bounty in constructive and fun ways.

The Local Living Festival is also a proud to announce their featured speakers: Elizabeth Henderson, CSA pioneer; Greg Pahl, author and community energy proponent; Severine vonTscharner Fleming, founder of the Greenhorns & National Young Farmers Coalition - all funded by generous support from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, as administered by St. Lawrence University. Book signings by all of these authors will be featured.

The Festival is a “Celebration of Resourceful Living”, engaging people in skills-building workshops pertaining to “green” building, growing food, home energy-efficiency and renewables, developing simple living and traditional rural skills as well as how to save money, while also preserving nature. The Local Living Festival is child-friendly as well, with hourly planned activities throughout both days for children and a special teen and young adult workshops every hour of the day.

Notably, in 2011the Local Living Festival was the first Zero Waste-certified festival in the north country. Recycling education, elimination of compostable items from the waste stream, encouraging people to please bring their own place settings, all-local-food vendors use of bulk items and zero styrofoam, and much more are all features at all Local Living Venture events.

There is an admission of $5 per adult (suggested minimum donation,) under 16 free. Those arriving by non-gasoline powered means get in free! A free shuttle bus will ferry attendees between the Festival parking lot at the Human Services Building on Rt. 310 (near Rt. 11, the building with the DMV, follow the signs from Stewarts/Pizza Hut) so please allow time for parking. The full schedule of events is posted online at www.SustainableLivingProject.net/local-living-festival, and organizers can be reached at (315) 347-4223 or SustLivingProject@gmail.com.

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