Written by Grace Lommel: DEXTER – There were simple do-it-yourself instructions for building solar panels and interior storm windows. There was also a pedal-powered grist mill and cider press along with simple objects like clothes drying racks.
The whole purpose of Sunday’s (Oct. 10) Energy Fair sponsored by the Dexter Energy Committee and Dexter-Dover Towns in Transition (DAATT) was to showcase ways of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
More than 100 interested people attended the one-day event which shared energy information, experiences and devices. “Energy conservation is the biggest bang for your buck right now,” said Sam Brown, an organizer of the event.
Dana Wilbur of Dexter was interested in the details of one of two interior storm window designs displayed. “I think I can build it differently now that I see it,” Wilbur commented.
His friend Marilyn Scribner of Dexter was looking at the pipe insulation and carried handouts she collected at the fair in a reusable tote offered free by Tillson's Hardware of Dexter. “There's so much to learn. You can't take it all in in one afternoon,” she noted.
Nearby was a clothes-drying rack, a pressure cooker and a 3-gallon solar shower, loaned by Ruth Fogg of Dexter for display at the Energy Fair.
Debra Burdin of Burdin's Renewable Energy explained the benefits and components of a solar energy panel to a steady stream of people visiting her table.“I learned it's not that difficult to build a solar panel,” said Debbie Christo of Dexter while holding a DIY Solar Panel instruction sheet. “We need people like Debra to teach people how easy it is.”
Christo's friend Linda Teasdale of Dexter liked Ed and Judy Hummel's photographic documentation of the building of their passive solar home on the Greeley Road in Garland. “We're just showing people how to live comfortably with a little thinking and insulation,” said event participant Ed Hummel.
The solar oven caught Judy Hummel's eye. “I never knew much about them and where to purchase them," said Hummel of the commercially-sold Sun Oven loaned by Fogg, an event organizer. Cynthia and Toby Hall of Sangerville were also intrigued by the solar oven, particularly when they learned the oven can reach 360-degrees Fahrenheit. “I learned I could bake roasts and bread in it," said Toby. I'm thinking about starting my bread-making from scratch beginning with grinding the wheat into flour.”
So Hall's next stop was outside the Town Hall where Sam Brown of Parkman demonstrated a bicycle which pedals a mill to grind grain.
Wanda and Kevin Grant of Ripley spoke of their off-the-grid life. One tip Kevin shared that is placing your refrigerator in a cold area. “I moved my refrigerator to the north wall in an unheated mud room. I disconnect it in October; pipe in the cold air and nature keeps it cold until late spring.”
Fogg, who also helped organize the event, said she was impressed with the turnout of attendees and information specialists. “We're especially blessed to have two off-the-gridders in our neighborhood. And with little preparation and organization, people came together.”
“It's the little things that people do that will add up,” said Ed Hummel. “The sooner everybody saves energy, the better.” “This is an issue that's not going away,” predicted Burdin.
For more information on the handouts and energy conservation, contact DexterAreaTransition@gmail.com. "This content originally appeared as a copyrighted article in the SVWeekly.com and is used here with permission."
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