Earth Day the Spartan way

The Jefford’s Center lawn turned into a flea market-style celebration on April 22, as dozens of Castleton students turned out to partake in the Earth Day celebrations on campus. Tents lined the walkways, with each featuring a different local vendor.
From caramel apples to hand-woven seats, every product was hand made, Vermont made, natural, and reused or recycled.
Several of the vendors are locals who generally sell their products at the Rutland County Farmer’s Market.

Kimberly DiNofrio made the trek over Killington for the CSC event where she sells her hand-made purses in Woodstock.
The purses are crafted from old jeans that she collects from thrift stores or from friends that donate old denim to her craft. The bags are lined, each with a different patterned fabric and are sold for about $30 each.

Accompanying the background noise of chatter from students sampling snacks between classes and scoping out the Earth-friendly products was a live band.
The stage set up between the green house and Jeffords center was decked out with high-tech amps and mics but none of it was energized in the typical manner.

Solar panels and wind energy supplied power to the whole outfit. Central Vermont Solar and Wind provided the natural energy for the performers.

“We could actually have a lot more amps and stuff if we wanted,” said C&V installer Ken Oldrid, pointing out how much power the system actually creates.
C&V is based in Rutland but installs all over Vermont. They have just signed a deal with Central Vermont Public Service. CVPS currently provides nearly three quarters of the energy in the state.

“We’ll probably bring it back next year,” said Oldrid. “People seem to like it.”

Even with the warm April weather, area local Marilyn Brandner didn’t hesitate to bring her wool and angora winter gear.
Brandner has owned angora rabbits, sheep, and llamas for about 20 years. The fur that keeps her animals warm all winter is skillfully stitched into hats, headband, and some is left just as yarn for customers to create their own snuggly products.

Brandner set up shop for the first time on the CSC campus for the Earth Day festivities, Angora rabbit in tow.
With bunny, Gwen, on her lap, Brandner spun the angora strait from the fur she combed off the rabbit.

Passersby were welcome to pet the rabbit that seemed quite content with all the attention and combing and the slow, steady, tapping of her owner’s foot as she spun.

Brandner shared any and all information with questioning guests.

Free food is the highlight of any college kid’s day, and the vendors at Earth Day must have known.

Professor Phil Lamy’s wife, Whitney, of Whitney’s Castleton Crackers displayed three of her delectable artisan crackers.
She says she created the tasty treats to accompany all of the fine cheeses Vermont has to offer. Jellies, jams, and caramels were offered for samples at another local vendors stand.

Aside from the edible, other products inspired students with a little spring fever, selling small potted flowers and vegetables.

Home-baked cookies, brownies, and fudge were also for sale around the small market of Earth Day celebration.

The celebration continued into the evening hours with sustainability energy displays and arts and craft demonstrations, ending the day as a great introduction to a Vermont summer.

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