Local Living Festival in Canton Saturday bringing nationally recognized speakers, many workshops, events
Friday, September 24, 2010 - 5:10 pm

CANTON – Two nationally recognized experts will be featured at the Local Living Festival, billed as a celebration of simple living skills and rural life, on Saturday, Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Alexander P. Lee of laundrylist.org and Shannon Hayes grassfedcooking.com will appear at the day-long event at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm, 2.3 miles south of the Village of Canton on NYS Hwy. 68.

Also planned are more than 50 workshops on green building techniques, growing food, raising animals, renewable energy and energy efficiency, simple living, lost arts and forgotten skills, food preservation, alternative transportation, kitchen and solid waste composting, living electricity free, scrounging, and living mortgage-free.

A different children's activity will take place every hour and the St. Lawrence County Dairy Princess will distribute locally sourced and produced Breyers Yogurt free to all. Len Mackey and his Song of the Spheres will lead a lunch-time drumming jam to accompany a butter dance, making butter with a real churn, as well as hula hooping, sack races and more.

The Dear Alpaca Farm will show their handsome animals and it is hoped that a pair of baby oxen in training will be on hand. Wagon rides provided by St. Lawrence County Draft Horse Association members are planned.

Sheep, pigs and chickens will also be on hand.

A reprise of the TAUNY exhibit featuring households built in the Homesteaders style of the 1970's onward will be featured in the main barn display area along with nearly 50 exhibitors of all stripes, from woolen products handmade in front of you to U.S.-made solar ovens that benefit Fair Trade organizations.

Lee, of laundrylist.org, has appeared in numerous national venues, including the Colbert Report in May 2010, and has been featured in Time Magazine, Grist, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and The New York Times. He is currently writing a book, More Time to Hang: Greening America’s Dirty Laundry.

Lee is the founder and executive director of Project Laundry List, which leads the air-drying clothesline and cold-water washing movement, providing the premier online source for information about simple, effective ways to save energy and money through the simple task of washing one's clothes. The Board of Advisors of Project Laundry List includes such luminaries as Helen Caldicott, M.D., David Suzuki, Ph.D., Sen. Dick McCormack of Vermont and author Bill McKibben. Lee is running for office as State Representative in New Hampshire.

His presentation, “Laundry: An Inconvenient Chore” is engaging and humorous, yet fact-filled and down-to-earth, with anecdotes and helpful ideas for the average audience about how to save both money and the environment by such simple actions as letting it all hang out on the clothesline. Lee plans to ride his bicycle to the North Country from New Hampshire for the event.

Shannon Hayes of shannonhayes.info and her family are grass-fed beef farmers on Sap Bush Hollow Farm in Scoharie County. She is author of “The Farmer and the Grill” and “The Grassfed Gourmet.”

Her most recent book is “Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from Consumer Culture.” The book looks at men and women across the U.S. who have chosen to center their lives around family and community, not only for personal fulfillment, but as a way to bring about cultural change.

Hayes' quirky lifestyle, her attempts to live a life of personal accountability and sustainability, and her current interest in homemaking as an ecological movement have landed her and her family on the pages of Grit, Yes! Magazine, Elle Magazine, Brain Child Magazine, Lancaster Farming, Small Farm Quarterly, Hobby Farm Home Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, and National Public Radio.

For more information about speakers, workshops and demonstrations at the festival, visit www.SustainableLivingProject.net or call 347-4223.

Cost of entry is $5 per person, free for those under age 18 and over 80.

Sponsors include St. Lawrence County Public Transportation, St. Lawrence Nurseries, Maple Ridge Charitable Fund, Liam Hunt & Kathleen Stein, North Country Savings Bank, www.ADKGreenCircle.org, the Potsdam Food Coop, North Lawrence Dairy (Breyer's), St. Lawrence University, the Institute for the Environment at Clarkson University and North Country Public Radio.