This year we are pleased to offer two wonderful simply living tours on Sunday, September 11th.  Both will depart from the Bloomingfoods East parking lot on Third Street (please park on the K-mart side of the lot).  Tickets are $15, which covers the cost of bus transportation to each site.  There will be free time from noon to one-thirty to grab lunch at Bloomingfoods if you choose to do both tours.  Tickets will be available at Bloomingfoods and at the fair on Saturday.  To reserve a space, please send an e-mail to csloffice “at”

Renaissance Farm Permaculture Tour 10:00-12:00 – CANCELLED

  • THIS TOUR HAS UNFORTUNATELY BEEN CANCELLED.   See what’s developing at Renaissance Farm, as expert permaculturists Keith Johnson and Peter Bane celebrate their sixth season transforming a 2/3 acre suburban plot into a lush, sustainable homestead. Even if you’ve visited before, you’ll find something new and fascinating in Keith’s guided tour.  Highlights include their hand-built ferro-cement water tank, lovely rainwater-fed ponds, a living fence of trees and bushes, a greenhouse bursting with plants, and more produce than you can imagine from a small plot of land.  (For a quick taste of what they do, check out the video of Keith’s presentation at TedX about growing food by growing soil.)

Solar Living and Energy Showdown Home Tour 1:30-3:30

  • Learn how Pam and Woodie Bessler won the 2010 Energy Showdown by lowering their electric bills nearly 50% and then went on to install photovoltaic panels to cover their remaining electrical needs.  They are happy to share their tips and techniques for slashing energy usage while maintaining a high standard of living (air conditioning, swimming pool, video games, laundry) for a family of four.  Some are as simple as adjusting the thermostat while others involve adding automatic timers (to shut the lights off when their kids accidentally leave them on) and developing new strategies to eliminate the biggest energy guzzlers (like the pool pump).  The Besslers also believe that solar electric panels are an excellent investment and are excited to tell you why and to give you the tour of their system.  Then visit the Kirk/Urrutia home to see two other types of solar technology in action – a solar water heater and a solar furnace – while hearing this family’s story of lowering their carbon footprint.

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