Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
"I'm writing to inform you of the project commencing in January 2008 in Ghana. Basically the project is about peace building through food security. This means that it has many faces. Landscape design and restoration will be addressed through permaculture. There is also an aspect of peace building and conflict resolution and using art as a form of expression. I wanted to offer the opportunity to people interested in these issues to intern/ volunteer on the project.Within the scope of permaculture we will also address water and sanitation, and hopefully, if the right skilled people present themselves, building. We are in the midst of registering this as an NGO but in the mean time the project is also being run by the two other NGOs I am working with whom are registered. They are, Aliamos an Australian based NGO and Self Help Initiative for Sustainable Development (SHIFSD) a local Liberian NGO (we are working with the Ghanaian branch). "
For more information, contact Anthony directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
This year's show includes furniture from wood and metal, functional ceramics, photography, jewelry, watercolors, prints, wood carvings, stained glass, collage, light fixtures, mixed media, and oils. Featured artists will include Michael Sullivan, Benjamin Cheney, B'fer Roth, Yumiko Virant, Art Schaller, Monica DiGiovanni, Carl Bates, Dave Sellers, Robin Foster, Randy Taplin, John Anderson, Ted Montgomery, Carrie Burr, Dick Montague, Diana Nicholas, William Schnute, Larry Jacquette, Nadia Khan, Chris Gabriel, Anya Domlesky and Dan Wheeler.
This featured piece is stained glass by Nadia Khan, a former Yestermorrow intern from 2005. In addition to creating custom stained-glass pieces in her spare time, she is also a carpenter and treehouse builder.
Monday, December 03, 2007
You can view an 8 minute clip from a 2006 lecture by John Abrams' lecture here at Yestermorrow on Chelsea Green's website- check it out!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
A few weeks ago I attended in the first ever Behavior, Energy and Climate Change conference, hosted in Sacramento, CA, by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency at Stanford University, and the California Institute for Energy and Environment at the University of California.
The conference, which sold out at 500 participants, focused on the work that so many of us do, without really knowing that we do it: figuring out what it takes to get people to change their use of, and attitude toward, energy. It turns out, that while many organizations and government entities spend their time on the front lines working through trial and error to implement programs that promote and encourage behavior changes, that there is a burgeoning scientific community spending their time studying what actually works and what doesn’t in terms of getting people to care about energy use and conservation, and the impacts of climate change.
Several universities and think tanks are using quantitative and qualitative research to refine messages and strategies targeted at encouraging individuals and communities to be more aware of the energy they are using and to reduce consumption. They're finding out some very interesting things about what motivates us to change.
We all know, at least on an intuitive level, that change can be perceived as risky, threatening and confusing; in other words, unwelcome and something to be avoided. Moreover, addressing global warming may seem like an insurmountably huge task, and many of us may believe that our individual actions won’t make a difference. As a result, countless people choose to do nothing. However, what scientists have learned is that even small changes can make a big difference.
Sure, we’ve been hearing environmental organizations say such things for years. But now there is research to back it up.
Swapping out one incandescent light bulb for one compact fluorescent won’t eliminate enough greenhouse gas emissions to save a polar bear. But what it will do is lead by example. Research has shown that our neighbors and friends are much more likely to take similar steps – and are even likely to attempt to “one-up” our own green measures – if they see that those around them have made those changes. This makes your one compact fluorescent turn into one or two in every house on your street, which turns into one or two in every house in your town, and so on. Therefore, if you make positive changes- even small ones- those around you are likely to make those positive changes as well, giving your small actions a huge multiplier effect.
So change is good… really good. Especially if you let your light shine and become a leader by example. We all know the famous quote by Gandhi “be the change you want to see in the world.” It’s more true perhaps than he even realized. Even small changes made by individuals can make a big, global difference.
To view the BECC conference program and presentations click here.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
This week's Seven Days newspaper out of Burlington included a feature story on Yestermorrow entitled "Raising the Roof: A Waitsfield design/build school drafts post-carbon plans". Check it out at: http://www.sevendaysvt.com/features/2007/raising-the-roof.html.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
as well as the link to Yestermorrow's own video on YouTube:
Five different design solutions were created for an actual 3-acre site in Manchester, Vermont. All went beyond the highest Energy Star rating and some even met the highest LEED rating (US Green Building Council’s national metric for green buildings). Designs ranged in cost from $75/s.f. to $200.00/s.f. depending on the size and number being built. While most designs were around 2500 s.f., some studio designs are as little as 800.
These designs will be on display at the Burlington’s City Hall in the Metropolitan Gallery Nov. 1 thru Nov. 15. Additionally, on November 7th at 5:30 pm, there will be a special presentation and panel discussion led by the architects and manufacturers of the projects. Refreshments will be served and there will be printed information available for those interested in green, affordable housing.
This effort is organized under the auspices of the Vermont Chapter of the Congress of Residential Architecture (CORAvt) and sponsored by CSI, RK. Miles Building Supply, Hastings Inc. and others.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Also, take some time to follow the travels of the YERT team. Invite them into your homes and let them tell your stories of sustainability.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Beatrix Holloway took the Intro to Cob class with Tim and Andy earlier this month. This past weekend she drove her entire family back to Yestermorrow to volunteer on the garden wall for a day of cobbing. We spent the day teaching everyone about cobbing, mixing, building, and getting nice and dirty. Now the wall has a few more inches of cob on it as well as even more beautiful joy and energy in there...good times! I thought you might want to use the pics of the kids for the blog to show people neat things like this that happen at Yestermorrow on what seems like a regular basis."
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
I'm the bookkeeper at Yestermorrow, so this has given me a great opportunity to talk with instructors and students, and to also be on the cutting edge of new construction techniques that come along.
First I took Danny Sagan's "Green Home Design" class and found out about materials to use for my home - local lumber, asphalt shingles and cement slab v.s. dug foundation. I sketched out a floor plan that was efficient and compact. I looked through Danny's extensive collection of books and magazines and learned about a wide assortment of green home characteristics.
Next, I signed up for Robert Riversong's week-long class on "The Super-Insulated Home". His technique used the "larsen truss" system where the walls were a foot thick, and blown-in cellulose insulation provided the home with an envelope of protection from the frigid Vermont winds and the hot summer sun. The foundation would be a frost-protected insulated slab with radiant heat tubing to keep my toes warm all winter and a terra-cotta color would be added to the cement to give a beautiful finish to the floor surface.
I was very impressed with Robert's knowledge with the building system he has spent years developing, so asked him to help me come up with a design that would work for me, and then I wanted him to get a crew together and build my new home.
The final house plan, which was a result of many hours of work, has the first floor (approximately 1000 sq. feet) completely self-contained and handicap accessible with a mud room/laundry room, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, office nook, and living room with a wide window seat. I'll be able to close off the upstairs if I don't need to use the two bedrooms and extra bath up there. I also rent out rooms to Yestermorrow students, so if you are looking for lodging, I'm Chez Carol on the on-line registration page.
Addditions to this blog will happen when I have more time available, but for now, please see the photos of some different stages of the construction, and feel free to visit the house-in-progress! Go up the Sugarbush Access Road in Warren, take the second right (Lower Pines Road) and keep going until you see #168 on the right. If you want a tour, please give me a call at (802) 496-3153 and I'd be happy to take you through my new home.
Friday, September 07, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Fresh from its award-winning performance in the Warren 4th of July parade, Yestermorrow's ever popular solar trailer made another public appearance--this time in New Hampshire. Look close at the picture above and you will see the brave little trailer's solar panels peaking out from the back row. The solar trailer is surrounded by marchers from New Hampshire participating in a foot-powered plea to cut fossil fuel use and encourage the use of renewable energy. The walk was part of the Step It Up effort. Let's hear it for fossil freedom.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
We would like to invite you to an open house at Linda Lloyd's garden folly on Friday, August 10. This project is the culmination of Yestermorrow's inaugural Natural Building Intensive program, and embodies the design creativity, imagination, sweat and labor of several dozen students and multiple instructors who have put their energy into the project since mid-May. Eight students in particular signed on for the entire project---from start to finish---and will be recognized on the 10th with a graduation ceremony. The Natural Building Intensive enabled these students and instructors to bring together stone, wood, earth, and straw to create a beautiful, whimsical structure.
Please come and join us from 4-6pm as we celebrate our work and community.
Directions to the site: from the center of Warren Village, cross the covered bridge, turn left and the garden folly will be on your immediate right.
About the project: one of the students has created a blog to document the process, with lots of photos, which you can view at: http://townsquarecreative.com/naturallybuilt/.
Questions? Call the Yestermorrow office at 802-496-5545.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The parade theme, "Fueling the Future," prompted a variety of energy-related floats, but Yestermorrow had the upper-hand, entering the float conceptualization phase with a prime prop in it's back pocket: the school's solar powered portable generating unit. Some creative thinking by MrsG head Nils Behn got things rolling and the unit quickly was transformed into the "Fossil Free Chariot."
Interns Keith Case, Shirn Kier and Bo White, after much head scratching, then designed and built a yoke with which to harness the trusty steeds for effective chariot pulling. Costumes and capes fashioned by staffer Monica DiGiovianni provided the finishing touches.
But what was the message, you ask? That's where the drama kicked in. The chariot, fueled by the peddle powering Eco-Warriors, is attacked by King CONG (that's Coal, Oil, Nuclear, and Gas) accompanied by his evil atom girls (DiGiovanni and intern Meredith Bridges). Fended off by Captain Yestermorrow (executive director Bob Ferris) and MrsG's Volt Man (Dennis Derryberry), CONG (Kier) reaches into his bag 'o tricks and pulls out copies of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, which he promptly feeds into a paper shredder powered by the solar chariot.
Good drama is all about the symbolism....
The judges offered up the prestigious "Best Bicycle" award for their efforts.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Fathers around the world are united in their frustration regarding Father's Day gifting. We at Yestermorrow have a solution: Why not let old dad pick out his own gift from among Yestermorrow's upcoming classes? So stop looking at that golfing sweater with matching argyle socks and get your father a Yestermorrow gift certificate. Just think about the fun the father in your life will have when the new catalogs come out in mid-July. Check out the options below.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
I think it goes without saying that we are in a pickle when it comes to energy, global warming, and a whole host of other issues that revolve around or are related to the way we design and build our homes and communities. The problems are so serious and widespread that the Yestermorrow Board decided that the school could no longer stand on the sidelines and grumble. We took the extraordinary step last Friday of changing our by-laws to allow the board, staff and instructors to lobby where appropriate and needed.
Our first official action under this new regime is to call on Vermonters to contact Governor Douglas and ask him not to veto H-520 which is a key piece of legislation that would provide increased incentives and assistance to promote energy conservation and renewables. It is not a perfect bill, but is one that was fairly negotiated and endorsed by groups such as Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.
We hope that Governor Douglas will listen to reason and take this action that helps all Vermonters take the right steps for our planet and our children. If he does not listen, then there will be an effort to override the veto in the legislature. Contact the Governor now at the below link and also let your local legislators know how you feel.
Let's lead the way so that others may follow,
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
No more hunting for ingredients at the local convenience store. No more lunch orders from the cafe down the road. No more gridlock in the self-service kitchen.
Instead, you get chatty Heidi, cooking up delicious meals using home-grown, local and organic ingredients (as much as she can get her hands on them). You get not-quite-so-chatty chef's helper Austin, and kitchen/garden intern Bradley, helping prepare those meals and foster the growth of those seedlings that will be plump tomatoes and succulant squashes come summer. You get brand new dining tables and benches, designed and lovingly built by our recently departed spring intern crew. You also get time and space to chat with your instructors and co-students, while munching away.
What could be better?
Friday, May 04, 2007
We always knew that Yestermorrow instructor Kyle Bergman was much more that just an architect. Now the talented Kyle can add Broadway producer to his resume as well, because he and his director brother Evan are collaborating on a play about seminal architect Mies van der Rohe. This is big doings and even got Kyle some ink in the New Yorker. Congratulations Kyle and Evan!
Check out the New Yorker article.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
In Ring One, we have the mad dash to get our new food program up and running, with interns flying to and fro building tables and cabinets with greatly appreciated help from cabinet-making tutor extraordinaire Randy Taplin. There is a lot to get done and no one knows from one moment to the next whether they will be working with potting soil (tending to our seedlings) or joint compound (patching walls after plumbing new sinks).
And then there is getting the dorms ready for the new season. We’ve got a whole lot of scrubbing going on to make everything fresh. This is spring cleaning on steroids and no one seems exempt from the labor.
In Ring Three we have everyone manning computer terminals and adding student records in preparation for Yestermorrow’s foray into the realm of electronic registration. All ten of us (staff and interns) preloaded the system with over three-hundred students to prime the digital pumps and get the bugs out prior to going live in the next couple of weeks.
Ring Four deals with our nascent attempts at advocacy and community organizing via providing a supporting backbone for the Mad River Valley Step It Up 2007 event and the whole 7 Days for the Earth series. The latter includes a Valley-wide values exercise and a visioning session. The events involve dozens of speakers and panelists, a handful of insightful movies and much, much more.
And through all of this we have still had time to meet with the team from Conway School of Landscape Design who will be helping us with our campus master planning process and running public charrettes for us on April 28th and June 2nd. And we still made time to ogle at all the really cool hand planes and other woodworking tools donated to us by Lee Valley-Veritas (www.leevalley.com). These are very cool additions to our shops, and many tool heads here are still drooling when they think of these finely crafted beauties in action.
All in a day’s work here at the Yestermorrow circus.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
Friday, March 02, 2007
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Last weekend was host to the parent/child woodworking course at Yestermorrow. The interns heads were left slack-jawed by the prowess of the youth and their crafty inventions.
Tony and Peter hope to catch up to the skill level of these youngsters by the end of our internship.