EcoFestival lasts all next week
Activities for the 2014 EcoFestival begin Saturday and will last the whole week.
The event is a celebration of all things sustainable and environmentally friendly, beginning with the Green Fair from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center’s Expo Hall. The Green Fair includes vendors that made their wares from scratch or who “up-cycled” an object, which refers to adding value to a recycled object.
Minca Borg, organizer of the event, said she expects vendors to sell food, clothes, jewelry, cosmetics and much more. She said Leanne Hays is organizing kids’ activities for Expo Hall that day.
Saturday will also feature activities at the Fairfield Public Library such as seed swapping. A documentary about sustainable gardening called “Back to Eden” will be shown at the library at 4:30 p.m. The film will explain how to garden more efficiently by using more mulch and less water.
Sunday will be every bit as busy as Saturday when festival goers descend on the square for a mix of music and speeches. Borg is not yet sure who the musical guests will be but the featured speakers are library director Rebecca Johnson, sustainability coordinator Scott Timm and Fairfield Economic Development director Adam Plagge. The event starts at 11 a.m. and will last until about 3 p.m.
The dedication of the community garden will take place immediately following the event on the square. Borg and Sascha Kyssa of Naturewise Academy developed a model of a community garden 50-feet-by-50-feet that requires minimal maintenance and is located on the Bonnel property at the corner of Grimes Avenue and Third Street.
“The purpose of the community garden is to teach ecological literacy and improve food access,” Borg said. “We have pledged half of the produce from the garden to The Lord’s Cupboard of Jefferson County.”
Borg said now is an especially important time for a community garden because of the rising food prices owing to the drought in California. Volunteers who help with the garden can take home a share of the produce. The rest will be sold to local restaurants to provide the gardeners with an income stream they can reinvest into more plants for the garden.
“It will be an opportunity for experienced gardeners to connect with people and make new friends,” Borg said.
On Monday and Wednesday of that week, the Maharishi University of Management’s water club will host an event humorously titled “Fairfield, water your plans?” Pathfinders research and development executive director Detra Dettmann will introduce the topic at 7 p.m. Monday and then cede the floor to guest speaker Wayne Peterson, who will talk about the new storm water infrastructure in the state. The talks on both days will be in Dalby Hall at the Argiro Student Center.
On Wednesday, April 30, a panel of water experts will give presentations and answer questions from the audience. The panelists include Fairfield wastewater superintendent Shawn Worley, Melanie Carlson of French-Reneker-Associates, Fairfield city councilor Daryn Hamilton, James Martin of the Iowa Department of Land Stewardship and Tom Barrett, president of Green Water Infrastructure, Inc.
Tuesday will offer guests a discussion about genetically modified food in a series of talks called “Your Food: GMO or Non-GMO?” The event lasts from 8-9:30 p.m. in Dalby Hall. Speakers include Ken Roseboro, publisher of the Non-GMO Report and Steven Druker of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity.
The night of Thursday, May 1, will feature spoken word and poetry performances beginning at 8:30 p.m. at the Orpheum Theatre.
Saturday, May 3, is Jefferson County Trails maintenance day, hosted by the Jefferson County Trails Council. Borg said the trails council is looking for volunteers to show up and help clear brush from the trails with loppers and saws. That same day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., a group of people will meet in Central Park to plant trees to replace the ash trees that will be killed by the emerald ash borer.
Borg said the highlight of the week will be the EcoJam Fashion Show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the convention center.
“We have 12-13 designers this year and we’ll see work from art students from M.U.M.,” Borg said. “We’ll see a mix of all kinds of different designers. Some of them will do more traditional clothing with organic materials, and some of them will do ‘upcycling.’ All clothing is organic or made from recycled materials. Fair trade is another element of it.”
Borg said this year marks the 21st EcoJam Fashion Show.
“Our team of organizers has been meeting since January,” she said. “We’ve been talking about how we should really start the summer before. It’s a lot of work and a lot of fun. We get to meet all kinds of people who are doing interesting things locally.”