Summertime Sustainability

By Elle O’Casey


Summer is finally in full swing. School may be out, but there are still a lot of events happening this summer related to sustainable living and learning. Spend the next few months getting to know the local landscape, local events, and local foods. Here are a few sustainability events you can add to your calendar.

Here is a sampling of some upcoming Sustainable Woodstock events you can participate in:

  • July 21: Green Drinks @ the Norman Williams Public Library from 5:00-6:30. This month, join community members to hear about the Carbon Tax from a guest speaker from the Vermont Natural Resource Council.
  • August 21: Naked Table Locavore Lunch @ Middle Bridge, Woodstock. This event is a celebration of local food, music, and craft.
  • September 27: Sustainability Series @ Norman Williams Public Library. This will be a community dialogue and planning on sustainability — what it means, what it could mean, and what we could and should do in response to a complex changing global climate.

Learn more at

At Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, there are a variety of summer events and special programs to consider related to sustainability. In addition to regular programs and tours throughout the summer, the park has several special events for the season. These include:

  • August 13: Boots to Boats River Splash at Kilowatt Park in Wilder, VT. Tryout a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard with certified guides, or enjoy games and activities on dry land. In partnership with L.L. Bean.
  • August 19: Educators’ Workshop – The day will be full of fun activities and will highlight programs developed by teachers, for teachers. Educators from local schools, the park, and the farm will discuss ways they can help support local students through content specialists and wide array of cultural, historical and natural resources.

For a complete list, visit:

Billings Farm and Museum also has a list of upcoming special events, including their Foodways Fridays, a program designed to demonstrate the importance of growing and serving heirloom vegetables.

Speaking of local food, Vermont’s Farm to Plate network offers dozens of events during the summer months including:

  • July 22-August 6: Integrative Permaculture Course offered at Metta Earth Institute.
  • July 23: Small Scale Regenerative Agriculture & Forest Farming workshop
  • July 25: Farm to Medicine Cabinet Plant Walk at Shelburne Farms. This walk will explore different plants frequently found throughout the Vermont farm landscape.
  • August 9: Farmer Olympics – Farmers demonstrate their agricultural talents followed by dinner and discussion.
  • August 11: Pollinator Plants and Buffers in the Northeast. Find out ways to beautify your landscape while also creating diverse habitat for pollinators and other beneficial insects.
  • August 25-28: The Origins of Food – This hands-on workshop is an interactive opportunity to engage with farmers, food producers, distillers, brewers and others who are working hard to bring local, delicious and sustainable foods to their community.
  • September 1-5: The Origins of Food – Food Justice and Agroecology

For more Farm to Plate events, visit

Summer is also the perfect time to explore the local farmers’ markets located throughout the Upper Valley. Why not make it a goal to visit all the local farmers’ markets during these next few months? Here are a few nearby:

  • Bethel: 3-6pm Mondays @ the Bethel Bandshell
  • Hanover: 4-7pm Mondays @ Village Etna Common; 3-6pm Wednesdays @ Dartmouth Green
  • Thetford: 4-6pm Mondays @ Thetford Hill Green
  • Randolph: 3-6pm Wednesdays @ VT Technical College; 9am-1:00pm Saturdays @ Central Street
  • Woodstock: 3-6pm Wednesdays @ The Village Green; 9:30am-12:30pm Saturdays @ Mt Tom Farmers’ Market
  • Lebanon: 4-7pm Thursdays @ Colburn Park
  • Royalton: 3-6:30pm Thursdays @ The Park in South Royalton
  • Barnard: 4:30-7:30pm Thursdays @ Feast and Field Celebration on the Historic Clark Farm
  • Hartland: 4:00-7:00pm Fridays @ The Hartland Public Library
  • Cornish: 9am-1pm Saturdays @ Cornish Flat

Once you get home from all these farmers’ markets, you may have your hands full with a whole lot of local produce. The next step? Finding some unique and delicious recipes. Check out this fun website to find recipes like Campfire Ratatouille with Farmers’ Market Veggies, Goat Milk Cheesecake, and even a few unusual ones like Cricket Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies. Test out these recipes and more at

Finally, Vermont Law School is offering a “Hot Topics” series with a whole range of interesting conversations related to climate, the environment, and sustainability held at noon throughout the summer.

  • July 21: Protecting Land in Perpetuity: The Practitioner’s Perspective
  • July 26: The Clean Power Plan in the Courts
  • July 28: Understanding Ag-Gag
  • August 2: Drought in the American West: Reflections on Law, Policy, and Science
  • August 4: Climate Change Litigation After the Paris Agreement.

A full schedule of events can be found at

Do just one thing: Explore local sustainability events

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