Greening Greenfield’s EcoLiving Workshops at the Franklin County Better Greener Living Show

Saturday April 22, 11 AM

Tyson Sat 11amRegenerative Agriculture in the Northeast - Adapting to Regional Climate Change

Tyson Neukirch, farmer and educator at The Farm School will talk about the effects of climate change on agriculture in the Northeast and the opportunities that exist for farmers, gardeners, and consumers to invest in regenerative agricultural practices and address these issues. He will explain how we can steward our agro-ecological systems in ways that are more economically and ecologically productive, while we grow more soil, and harvest more water. Tyson Neukirch is an Agricultural Instructor at The Learn to Farm Program at The Farm School and raises forage crops, vegetables, and livestock on his home farm in Petersham.  LINKS:

What Would Take for You to be Fossil Fuel Free?

Want to also stop losing money to high energy bills and increase the comfort and safety of your home? Come learn, from a team from Co-op Power, about how you can be Fossil Fuel Free. We'll look at how to reduce your energy use and use renewables for heating and cooling, electricity, hot water, and transportation, and learn about incentives and financing options that make it all affordable. Hear stories of people in Franklin County who are Fossil Fuel Free, and share your stories! It's time for us all to make this journey! Each participant will leave with a workbook to help you craft your own plan. Lynn Benander, Director of Co-op Power will be joined by several Co-op Power members and staff.  LINK:

Saturday April 22, 12 noon

YardbirdsFarmBeesAll About Bees!

Do you want to do something about the problem of declining bee populations, but don’t know where to start? Angela Roell, founder of Yard Birds Farm in Montague, will inspire you with beekeeping basics. She will discuss sustainable and organic practices including hive anatomy, the social structure of a bee hive, and the role of pollen, propolis, wax, and honey in the hive. Equipment needs for start-up & opportunities to support pollinators in your yard will be reviewed. Yard Birds Farm is an apiary, homestead, and food-based education center in Western Massachusetts. LINK:

Cutting Edge Technologies and High Performance Retrofits: From Powerwalls to Superwindows and Appliances in Between

Ben Weil Sat12pMany new products are on the market at increasingly affordable prices. Dr. Ben Weil will discuss how some of the newest technologies for the home can make it more comfortable and cheaper to run, while enabling it to operate as a system that also contributes to the resilience and stability of the electric grid. Participants will learn about specific technologies and an analytical approach that will help in deciding which are good investments for their home. Dr. Ben Weil is an Extension Professor of Building Science at UMass Energy Extension. LINK:

Saturday April 22, 1 PM

Low-tech Season Extension in your Garden

Season extension DBotkin Sat1pCome learn about how Danny Botkin farms year-round using low-cost, low-tech ways to extend the harvest season in mercurial New England. Many of these ways involve minimal work, money, or machinery. Learn about his integrated, opportunist, "permacultural" outlook, and his uses of super-hardy varieties, permanent mulches, and "low-till" bed management, as well as his clever use of simple "low tunnels," cold-frames and hoop houses. He claims that any backyard garden warrior or micro-farm producer can keep alive nutrient-dense food around the whole year! Danny Botkin is farmer and co-owner of Laughing Dog Farm, teacher, and activist.  LINK:

The Best Rectangle for the Job

Spartan Giordano of Spartan Solar will explain why solar hot water remains the most energy efficient way to provide domestic hot water. Learn how it compares to heat pump hot water heaters, and other ways of heating hot water and your home. He will explain how rebates of up to $6000, tax credits, and HEAT loans make it pay for itself faster than other energy upgrades. Spartan Solar is a full service solar hot water company in Greenfield, MA. Spartan attended GCC and designed and built his Greenfield home which received the NESEA Zero Net Energy Award  (LINK:

Saturday April 22, 2 PM

Rainbarrels Kris Walter Sat2p

Be Drought-hardy and Water-wise: How to Collect and Store Rainwater for Outdoor Use

You’d be surprised how much water comes off your roof in a short rain storm. Come see how Kris Walter built the 3-season systems that let her water 320 sq ft of fruits and vegetables without once turning on the town water spigot in the drought of 2016. Learn the important basic concepts in project design, and see the parts she used to create a reliable and scalable system that holds over 300 gallons of water. Kris Walter is a homeowner who enjoys practical do-it-yourself projects that help her walk her talk on living like a good steward of this magnificent planet.

Tiny House Freedom

What are the opportunities in Massachusetts to build and/or buy a tiny home? Hear from Chris Haynes, DIY builder and author, who has been living off-grid in tiny houses for 5 years. Take a ‘walk’ thru his 252 Tiny Housesquare foot MA-code legal tiny house in Royalston, MA, and hear his experiences of living in the space. MJ Adams, Greenfield’s Community Development Administrator, will share her thoughts on tiny houses from the perspective of a planner, former director of Pioneer Valley Habitat homes, and now working for Town of Greenfield on a 7-unit small homes cluster near the Greenfield Transit Center. There will be lots of time for Q&A. Go to Chris Haynes’ blog and to find his book: “Tiny House Engineers Notebook - Off Grid Power.”  LINK:

Sunday April 23, 11 AM

Urine Phoebe Sun11aUrine Diversion and Use as Fertilizer

Everyday we each flush away enough nutrients to grow the amount of wheat needed for a loaf of bread. Additionally, when nitrogen rich urine goes into our waterways it becomes a source of pollution leading to degradation in water quality. Phoebe Gooding and Neil Patel will show how the Rich Earth Institute is collecting, transporting, treating, and applying urine-derived fertilizer for agriculture. The Rich Earth Institute is a non-profit organization engaging in research, education, and technological innovation to advance the use of human waste as a resource in order to conserve water, prevent pollution, and sustain soil fertility.  Link:

I’m Ready to Go Solar! Um, Now What?

Ready to go solar electric but not sure about how to get there? Should I purchase a system? Lease my roof? Sign up with a community project? Oh, and how am I supposed to pay for it all? Come to this interactive workshop to get an overview of the possibilities, ask questions, and learn about how to get River Strongsolar electric working for you – in a way that works for you. River Strong works at the UMass Clean Energy Extension and has been helping homeowners and businesses benefit from renewable energy for more than 20 years.  LINK:

Sunday April 23, 12 noon

Food and Habitat for Pollinators Through the Seasons

What are the best plants for attracting pollinators to your garden? Learn how to choose pollinator plants and shrubs that will thrive in your yard's conditions. In this information-packed presentation, Ashley Schenk will share tried-and-true plants and shrubs for the home garden, planting techniques, and creating wildflower meadows. Ashley has been practicing and teaching permaculture-based landscape design since 2011, when he co-founded Broadfork Permaculture, a worker-owned cooperative dedicated to building edible and ecological gardens in the Pioneer Valley.  (LINK

Mary Quigly Sun12 .jpg 1“Not-So-Deep” Energy Retrofits Add Up

Do you want to reduce your energy use and upgrade you home, but you’re not ready to invest in a “Deep Energy Retrofit” that would make over your home so that it generates as much energy as it uses? Mary Quigley, owner of Quigley Builders will give examples of ways you can incorporate some of the techniques and materials used in Deep Energy Retrofits into your home projects as funds are available. Mary has been building and renovating homes since 1982. She is a dedicated researcher and has a commitment to her clients and the Earth.  (LINK

Sunday April 23, 1 PM

Making a Sustainable Garden

Pat Leuchtman, longtime gardener and author of Between the Rows in The Recorder, will share what she has been doing in her new, wet, Greenfield backyard. Her goal is to make it sustainable for plants and the gardener. “To make it less work for me, I chose shrubs and trees that are water tolerant, and built a hugel to help soak up water and lower the need for irrigation. I also used sheet mulch to eliminate lawn to make less work for my husband. All our secrets will be revealed and a plant list will be available.” Pat Leuchtman’s blog can be found at

green building largeTaking the Mystery Out of Building a Home and Doing It Right

Building a new home can be an exciting and daunting task full of endless choices. Building a super-insulated, or net-zero-energy home, even more so. Should you choose cellulose, foam, or fiberglass insulation? Double stud walls? Insulated concrete forms? And what about the heating system? Mini-splits or a boiler? And windows, double or triple pane? Jim Meehleder of Turnkey Builders will breakdown the process and provide a guiding light for all those who have dreamed about building their own home. He has been building new homes for 30 years and, in the last 10, has focused on super-insulated and net-zero energy homes.  LINK:

Sunday April 23, 2 PM

newWendellFarmSequestering Carbon in your Yard & Garden

If you have a garden, you can dramatically reduce atmospheric carbon with a few simple changes to your soil and plant management practices, and contribute to reducing the climate crisis. NOFA/Mass Soil Carbon Technician and market gardener Caro Roszell of New Wendell Farm will teach you how to adjust your gardening practices to better use your flower or vegetable garden to pull carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, out of the atmosphere and put it back where it belongs-- all while improving your garden soil.  LINK:  LINK:

Solar & Energy-Saving Options & Incentives in a New Era

sallypickDo you want to add solar, waste less energy to lower your energy bills, and be part of climate change solutions, but don’t know where to start? Sally Pick, of SJP Environmental Consulting, LLC, will explain how you can upgrade your home over time to waste less energy and to generate fossil-fuel-free electricity with solar. In this new era of budget cuts to climate change solutions, she will also tell you about rebates, incentives, and 0% interest loans for energy upgrades, along with solar incentives and low-interest solar loans that are still available.  LINKS:


Greening Greenfield invites attendees to enjoy a whole day at the EcoLiving workshops and The Franklin County Better Greener Living Show. The Show highlights many green products and local businesses, many of which offer new energy efficient heating systems, windows, insulation, and much more. Mark your calendars today, and see the complete program which will be posted here in March.  Find out more about Greening Greenfield here.
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