Connecting communities to affect positive food system change from the ground up.

Food & Soil Advocacy   •   Consulting   •   Education   •   Community Organizing   •   Zero Waste


Contact Cat: cat@growmorewasteless.com
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Classes/Presentations


Cat Buxton is working to build the social mycelium to shift the paradigm of how people interface with our planet. She connects people and communities to affect positive food system change from the ground up. She operates Grow More, Waste Less - Food Systems Consulting, LLC offering all aspects of community organizing, and consulting for soil health, gardening, composting and farm-to-school. She teaches with the Soil Carbon Coalition and is and co-founder of the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition.

If you'd like to hire Cat to present for your group, contact her by email at cat@growmorewasteless.com.
For a sample of some of Cat's presentation slides, visit the gallery, or here to see list of her usual topics.


Grow More, Waste Less - Upcoming Classes


Spring & Summer Classes 2019

The Soil Series: Grassroots for the Climate Emergency
Wednesdays 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM February 27, March 13, March 20, March 27, April 10, and April 24
Bethany Church, Randolph VT
A collaboration between Building A Local Economy (BALE) and Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition (VHSC)
Calling all land managers, farmers, gardeners, seed savers, citizen scientists, conservationists, town planners, educators, healers, and advocates, join us for a series of critical conversations about soil health and how we can become response-able to meet the climate emergency we face with confidence. There will be great food provided before and, following powerful panel dialogues guided by VHSC members, audience discussion on topics of food, soil, water, health, climate and hope. Together, we can explore what is possible in rehabilitating Vermont's soil health to hold our landscapes and communities together. This potent – and important – six-part series takes place on Wednesdays starting Feb. 27 at the Bethany Church in Randolph. Suggested donation $5 (donations not necessary). Each program features a social half-hour with great food provided by Black Krim Tavern, Randolph.
• February 27 Ground to Body: Soil Health & Human Health
Speakers: Didi Pershouse, Grace Gershuny, Michael Denmeade
• March 13 Shielding Soil with Plants and Animals
Speakers: Tatiana Schreiber, Graham Unangst-Rufenacht
• March 20 Connections Through Stories
Speakers: Katherine Oaks, Maddie Kempner, Sha'an Mouliert, Cheryl Herrick
• March 27 Building the Soil From the Ground Up
Speakers: Juan Alvez, Jess Rubin, Cat Buxton
• April 10 Social Mycelium: the Fiber of Community Resilience
Speakers: Mindy Blank, Simon Dennis, Chris Wood, Henry Harris
• April 24 A Soil Sponge to Cool the Planet
Speakers: Judith Schwartz, Jan Lambert, Henry Swayze
• May 8 Growing Agency for Action. Community Discussion and follow up to all that we've learned in the Soil Series. No speakers. Plan to leave with work to do! Potluck starts at 6 PM, discussion at 6:30.
Individual programs details and speaker bio's can be found HERE

MAY 11, Saturday 9 AM - 11 AM
Cat Buxton of Grow More Waste Less will speak to our topic “Grow Food Anywhere” on May 11th for our last Hartland Community Breakfast of the season. As we learn about the importance of soil life we are finding out that disturbing the soil is no longer recommended but how do we move away from tillage? Cat will share practices to foster thriving ecosystems and apply soil health principles to the plants in containers on your windowsill and patio as well as your lawn, garden and backyards to help you move toward less soil disturbance (and the tastiest edible landscapes) with confidence.
At 9 AM, doors open for a breakfast of scrambled eggs, buttermilk pancakes & the trimmings, followed at 9:30 by Cat’s presentation. The breakfast is free and open to the public. Email Laurel Stevenson for details: a.laurel.stevenson@gmail.com


Spoiled to SOIL - Compost Tour 2019
Backyard Composting 101 (slides, Q&A)
Thursday evenings 6:30 - 8:00 PM
Sponsored by GUVSWMD and WSWSWMD
April 25 Ascutney Outdoors Center, 449 Ski Tow Road Brownsville
May 2 Cavendish Town Offices, 37 High Street Cavendish
May 9 Bridgewater Grange, 950 VT Rte. 100A, Bridgewater Corners
May 16 West Fairlee Town Office Building 870 VT Rte. 113 West Fairlee
May 23 Chester Town Hall, 556 Elm Street, Chester
May 30 Pomfret Town Offices, 5218 Pomfret Road, North Pomfret
June 13 Grafton Town Garage, 220 Bell Road, Grafton
June 20 Hartford Municipal Building, 171 Bridge Street, White River Junction


August 3, Saturday, 9am-12pm
Vital Signs: Tracking Soil Health

Working Woodlands Workshop, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Woodstock, VT
Restoration of soil health positively impacts water quality, reduces the impacts of flooding and drought, improves nutrient density of foods, and can mitigate climate change; sequestering carbon and restoring land water cycles that can cool the planet. Learn about the soil health principles and simple ways to implement them in the backyard and beyond. We'll review an assortment of accessible tools that allow you to accurately track changes over time in the health of your soil and local ecosystem. Hands-on, outdoor workshop. Dress appropriately; prepare for bugs, heat, sun or rain. >Registration details coming in May.


August 8th,Thursday 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Backyard Compost 101
aka Spoiled to Soil
Sponsored by Bennington Master Gardeners
Reduce your trash size and smell, feed the soil, save money and the planet! Learn about the spectrum of possible and practical ways to manage trash including composting in the backyard. We’ll cover the basics of recycling, vermiculture, hugelkulture, and get into detail about compost ingredients and recipes, bin types and management systems. Cat’s enthusiastic and simple approach to composting will surely activate your interest and demystify the process. Engaging powerpoint with Q&A.>Registration details coming in May.


August 23-25, 2019
The 32nd Annual New England Women’s Herbal Conference

Hebron, New Hampshire
The NEWHC takes place on the lands of the Sovereign Abenaki Nation.
Cat is leading three workshops at this amazing conference!


1) Applying Soil Health Principles Everywhere
What would happen if we shifted the paradigm of how people interface with the land? Can we as land managers help to slow water down, deepen watersheds, increase biological soil health and create conditions for thriving ecosystems? When we listen carefully to nature, we are shown what is possible. This presentation will leave you inspired to get involved in your own backyard, schoolyard, and public lands to deepen the roots of security and community resilience for future generations. Engaging powerpoint with Q&A.


2) This Rots! Demystifying Compost
Reduce your trash size and smell, feed the soil and save money by composting. Learn to integrate a compost system in to your home kitchen and garden without a lot of fuss. Learn about the spectrum of possible and practical compost pile ingredients and compost bins, the role of compost in soil management, and the conflicting lists of compost do’s and don’ts. This class will cover the different management styles and recipes needed for backyard and community gardens. Cat’s enthusiastic and simple approach to composting will surely activate your interest and demystify the process.


3) Herb Walk: Attracting Beneficial Insects: Promoting Diversity Above and Below the Ground
We’ll talk about weeds and bugs, both beneficials and pests. Learn the difference, how to identify them, and about systems you can put in place to foster an environment to support a balanced diversity of their populations in your yard and garden without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Topics include: common garden pests and organic controls, beneficial insects and companion plants, design elements for insects, responsible integrated pest management. (Intermediate)


September 15, Sunday
Cool the Planet Now: Food, Water, Soil, Climate, Hope

Eastman Foundation Annual Forum
Draper Room, Center at Eastman, Grantham NH
Details will become available in June


October 1, Tuesday at 1:15 pm
Soil Health & Edible Landscapes

Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, VT.
Sponsored by the Hanover Garden Club
What would happen if we shifted the paradigm of how people interface with the land? Can we as gardeners and land managers help to slow water down, deepen watersheds, increase biological soil health and create conditions for thriving ecosystems, all while providing food and flowers for humans? When we listen carefully to nature, we are shown what is possible. This presentation will deepen your interest in building healthy soil and leave you inspired to get involved in your own backyard, schoolyard, and public lands to deepen the roots of security and community resilience for future generations. Engaging powerpoint with Q&A. Free to attend.

________________________________________________________________________



Grow More, Waste Less - 2018 Classes Gone By
Winter Classes 2019


January 19, Saturday
9:00 am - 10:30 am

Vermont Grass Farmers Conference, Lake Morey Inn, Fairlee VT
A Farmer’s Guide to Practical In-Field Soil Evaluation
Cat Buxton, Soil Carbon Coalition and Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition
Employing the soil health principles can quickly build the soil sponge to help us harvest and store water, mitigating extremes of flooding and drought, and boosting beneficial soil organism populations, optimizing landscape nutrient cycling. The Soil Carbon Coalition promotes and evidence based understanding of soil health using whole systems thinking and practical in-field soil evaluation techniques that any farmer or landowner can do with minimal equipment to determine if our land management practice are improving soil health and biological services.
10:45 to 12:00 - Kids soil and compost workshop and activities


January 27, Sunday (rescheduled from the January 20 snowstorm)
Noon - 2 PM
Pruning Walk with Upper Valley Apple Corps

Need some help learning how, when and where to prune your fruit trees? Join Apple Corps volunteers as we walk around WRJ visiting our public fruit trees to assess their winter care needs. We’ll meet at Hartford Town Hall at Lyman Point Park at noon. From there we’ll walk the loop through downtown, up to the Bugbee Center and back to Town Hall. Dress warm, wear sturdy shoes, and bring your favorite pruners (we’ll have extra). For more information contact Cat Buxton at uppervalleyapplecorpsVT@gmail.com.


February 16, Saturday
NOFA-VT Winter Conference, UVM Davis Center Burlington, VT
Session 1 from 10:45 am-12 pm: Part 1: We Can Cool the Planet Now!
Session 2 from 2:15-3:30 pm: Part 2: Food, Water, Soil, Climate, Hope!

The ripples of our daily choices directly impact climate change. Cat Buxton and Henry Swayze offer a whole systems approach with accessible, positive solutions that will help to cool the planet while restoring water, soil and public health. In part 1, Henry covers water and soil dynamics and the science of the natural systems that allow for planetary cooling. In part 2, Cat digs in to the soil health principles, watershed function, and how the average person can effect change in the backyard and in the marketplace. Suitable for beginning and advanced gardeners, farmers and land managers. Register for the NOFA-VT Winter Conference here.


February 17, Sunday
Session 1 from 10:00 - 11:15AM

NOFA-VT Winter Conference, UVM Davis Center Burlington, VT
Invasive Species Management: Application of the Science, Rehabilitation of the Land & Successful Transition
Mike Bald of Got Weeds? and Cat Buxton.
Invasive plant species present new challenges with every growing season, and farmers / growers are directly impacted by events on adjacent spaces, roadsides, riverbanks, rights-of-way, and transition zones such as woodlines. Critical to the management of non-native species such as Japanese knotweed and wild parsnip is cooperation among local farmers, growers, road crews, recreationists, landowners, and conservation commissions. Equally critical is some understanding of the nuances of control work: what to do, when to do it, where to focus, what to focus on, and what NOT to do. This presentation highlights three invasive plant species that impact much of Vermont's landscape; that introduction will then move to site-specific examples of management methods. The workshop concludes with audience participation whereby aerial views and online mapping are used to assess sites, set priorities, and walk through treatment options. Register for the NOFA-VT Winter Conference here.



March 3, Sunday 12:30PM - 2:30 PM
Pruning Walk with Upper Valley Apple Corps

Location: The Center for Transformational Practice
149 Latham Works Ln, White River Junction, VT 05001

Need some help learning how, when and where to prune your fruit trees? Join Apple Corps volunteers as we walk around visiting our public fruit trees to assess their winter care needs. We’ll meet outside at the Center for Transformational Practice and walk the land and trails reviewing a variety of mostly young fruit and nut trees. Dress warm, wear gloves and sturdy shoes (and maybe snow shoes!), and bring your favorite pruners (we’ll have extra).
Upper Valley Apple Corps events are always free and open to the public. We welcome donations to continue our work at any time! For more information contact Cat Buxton at uppervalleyapplecorpsVT@gmail.com.​


March 9, Saturday, 11:30 - 2 PM
Kick Off Pot Luck & Backyard Composting and Soil Health Workshop

Hartland Library, Hartland VT
Sponsored by Windsor Chapter Extension Master Gardeners
Join the Windsor Chapter Extension Master Gardeners for our annual season kick off pot luck and a workshop with Master Composter Cat Buxton of Grow More, Waste Less.
Schedule:
1130 am Pot Luck
Noon-2 pm Workshop
Reduce your trash size and smell, improve the health of your lawn and garden, and save money! Cat Buxton’s enthusiastic approach will surely activate your interest and demystify the processes of composting. She’ll cover the spectrum of practical compost options, compost ingredients, bins and styles, the conflicting lists of compost do’s and don’ts, and the role of compost in managing soil health. You'll leave feeling inspired! Engaging powerpoint with Q&A.Register here


March 16, Saturday 7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Grow Well, Eat Well
17th Annual NOFA-NH Winter Conference

Conference registration
Merrimack Valley High School, 106 Village Street Concord, NH
Details: Full-Day Registration includes access to 4 workshop sessions, breakfast, lunch, snacks, Green Market Fair, and the evening Keynote event with Ben Hartman. Workshop tracks throughout the day on Advanced Growers, Agricultural Business, Beginning Farmers, Carbon/Soils, Gardening, Homesteading, Health/Nutrition, Livestock/Animals, Permaculture, Policy/Advocacy, Social Justice.
Conference registration https://www.nofanh.org/winterconference

SOIL HEALTH TRACK
Practices for Soil Health 8:30-9:30 AM, with Cat Buxton
Employing the soil health principles can quickly build the soil sponge to help us harvest and store water, mitigating extremes of flooding and drought, and boosting beneficial soil organism populations, optimizing landscape nutrient cycling. The Soil Carbon Coalition promotes and evidence based understanding of soil health using whole systems thinking and practical in-field soil evaluation techniques that any farmer or landowner can do with minimal equipment to determine if our land management practice are improving soil health and biological services.
Prioritizing Soil Health in a No Till System 10:00-11:15 am, with Julie Rawson
After 4 years in various stages of tillage reduction (after tilling for 33 years) on 2 ½ acres vegetable crops) integrated with animal rotations and perennial fruit crops we are still learning. This workshop will discuss some basic principles around maximum fertility and go into some detail around our no till system and our continuing evolution toward more efficient practices.
The Hows and Whys of Fungal Friendly Farming 2:00-3:00 pm, with Jack Kittredge
Soil biology—especially fungi—play a critical role in plant health. This workshop will center on the importance of fungi in the farm ecosystem and will describe ways of helping fungi thrive while producing healthy crops and maintaining farm viability.
Policies for Soil Health 3:15-4:15 pm, with Cat Buxton and Sarah Laeng-Gilliatt
Cat and Sarah’s interests are in creating farmer-informed policies that incentivize and reward land managers for regenerative stewardship practices and/or dismantle barriers that prevent innovation toward healthy and productive ecosystems. How can we learn to ask better questions that guide us toward the changes we actually want to see? And how can we organize effectively to advocate for policies that serve us all?



April 11, Thursday 8:15 AM - 4:00 PM
Vermont Organics Recycling Summit (VORS)
Vermont Technical College in Randolph VT

topic: Composting, Soil Health and Climate Change
Presentations by:
Cat Buxton Compost and Soil Health Educator
Juan Alvez Research Associate, Pasture Program Technical Coordinator , University of Vermont Extension, Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Didi Pershouse Author • Soil Sponge Strategist • Educator

Soil is the glue that holds our landscape and our communities together. The soil carbon sponge is a critical component of adapting to our changing climate and mitigating the effects of flooding and drought. Composting food waste, yard waste and manure offer possibility in jumpstarting biological activity in our yards, fields and forests. We’ll discuss the connections between compost, soil, water, food and climate and offer practical solutions and opportunities for attendees to deepen knowledge and join the citizen movement to heal our ecosystems.
Register in advance.



April 14, Sunday, 2 PM - 5PM
Common Ground for Climate Action - Brattleboro

Neighbors' Hall at Solar Hill, 229 Western Avenue, Brattleboro.
Neighbors' Hall is at the back of the building on the top of the hill above the parking area.
Brought to you by Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition, Living Earth Action Group and Edible Brattleboro.

Presenters include author, educator and organic consultant Grace Gershuny of Barnet, compost and soil health educator Cat Buxton of Sharon, and agroecologist and tree steward Tatiana Schreiber, Ph.D. of Westminster West.
Soil is the glue that holds our landscape and our communities together. The soil carbon sponge is a critical component of adapting to our changing climate and mitigating the effects of flooding and drought. Join members of the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition to hear about the overlooked superhero for climate correction: The ground beneath our feet! Join us in to advance the soil conversation and learn how to connect to actions for building the soil sponge and deepening resilience in your community.
Suggested donation $10, no one turned away. EVERYONE IS INVITED TO ATTEND.
Please bring snacks to share (if you like).
Registration is not required but please do RSVP to let us know you're coming so we can be sure the space will accommodate us all well. RSVP by email to info@vermonthealthysoilscoalition.org. For more information Contact Cat Buxton 802-359-3330



Fall Classes 2018


NOVEMBER 28, Wednesday 1 PM - 3 PM
On-Farm Composting

Strafford Village Farm 375 Justin Morrill Highway, Strafford VT
Sponsored by a New England Grassroots Environmental Fund (NEGEF) GROW grant.
Strafford Village Farm manages the food scraps for Newton School and their diversified livestock and vegetable farm. Learn how to increase the productivity of your farm compost, manage piles for pathogen kill, and boost the microbial inoculum for your farm fields.The class will focus on balancing recipes for incorporating food scraps from your community and farmstand. This outdoor class will take place at the compost pile. Rain, snow or hopefully sunshine! Dress accordingly!
FREE to attend! Contact: Cat Buxton catduffybuxton@gmail.com
SEPTEMBER 17, Monday 7 PM - 8:30 PM
Composting 101: Managing Food Waste On a Home Scale
Rutland at the Godnick Center, 1 Deer Street, Rutland, VT
sponsored by Rutland Master Gardeners
Learn to reduce your trash size and smell, improve the health of your lawn and garden, and save money! Cat’s enthusiastic and simple approach will surely activate your interest and demystify the processes of composting. She’ll cover the spectrum of practical compost options, compost ingredients, bins and styles, the conflicting lists of compost do’s and don’ts, and the role of compost in managing soil health. You'll leave feeling inspired! Engaging powerpoint with Q&A.


OCTOBER 10 and 11, Wednesday and Thursday, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
2-day Land Listeners monitoring workshop

Based on the huge popularity of our Land Listeners one-day workshop series this summer (a joint effort between the National Grazing Lands Coalition and the Soil Carbon Coalition), Cat Buxton and Didi Pershouse will be teaching this two-day deep dive workshop. This will be a chance to learn, practice, and/or deepen your monitoring skills, try using the free atlasbiowork.com open data platform, and connect with our growing community of people leading soil health initiatives in their communities. The class will be held from 9:30 am to 4 pm on Wednesday and Thursday in the fantastic permaculture gardens at the Center for Transformational Practice in White River Junction, Vermont.
COST: In order to make the class accessible for those who need financial assistance, there is a sliding scale fee for this class of $100-$300.
REGISTRATION & DETAILS: online
. You can save us hefty online fees by emailing catduffybuxton@gmail.com to let us know you are coming, and then mailing a check to:
Cat Buxton
135 Star Mountain Rd
Sharon VT 05065
Make the check out to either Cat Buxton or Didi Pershouse


OCTOBER 28, Sunday 1 PM - 4 PM
Advanced Backyard Composting

5 School Street, Saxtons River, VT
Crafting a recipe for an aerated backyard compost system is a critical element to successfully transform the rotting pile of food into a healthy soil amendment that also protects wildlife. An overview of the soil food web will help you understand how and why to create compost that benefits your soil while managing kitchen and yard waste. Learn how to construct a pile that applies principles of structure and density to ensure that your living compost can hold air and water, creating the conditions that diverse microbial populations need to thrive. Suitable for all levels of understanding, and applicable for all sizes of family and neighborhood compost systems.
Directions: 5 School Street, Saxtons River. Main Street Arts is at the intersection of School and Main Street. The house is the 2nd house on the right, but park cars at the elementary school.
Sponsored by Living Earth Action Group.
COST: $5-20 (suggested donation 'at the door'). No one turned away for lack of funds.
REGISTER IN ADVANCE HERE

OCTOBER 30, Tuesday, 4:30 PM - 8:15 PM
Droughts and Downpours: Managing for Extremes

An Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup (UVAW) event at Hypertherm
Following a tour of Hypertherm's stormwater management system, panelists will present on information sharing, collaboration, and solutions. Cat's presentation, The Soil Sponge: Local Infiltration and Retention, will cover accessible means for building the soil carbon sponge at an individual and community scale. A community discussion will follow the panelists.
This workshop is designed for all Upper Valley residents including community volunteer boards, municipal staff and committee members, land trusts, community organizations, business owners, landowners, public works professionals, and interested citizens.
DETAILS: here
COST: Free!
REGISTER (space is limited) online
Contact Paige Heverly with any questions: paige@vitalcommunities.org or 802.291.9100 x114

NOVEMBER 1, Thursday
Wellborn Hub Leadership Conference


Leading up to the New England Environmental Educator’s Alliance Conference on Friday & Saturday, November 2-3, 2018
Lake Morey Inn and Resort, Fairlee VT
The Wellborn Leadership Conference is an opportunity for educators to come together to learn from and share with one another about their challenges and successes doing place-based ecology education in Vermont & New Hampshire’s Upper Connecticut River Valley. In 2018, the conference is hosted in collaboration with Vermont SWEEP, New Hampshire Environmental Educators and the New England Environmental Education Alliance. The theme is Coming Together.
Presentation
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Building Resilience with Cross-cutting Compost Curriculum

Lake Morey Inn and Resort, Fairlee VT
Cat Buxton, Grow More Waste Less & Soil Carbon Coalition
The Thetford Elementary School compost system engages students in real world problem solving: reducing waste, building healthy soil, managing storm water and understanding how soil health affects landscape function and overall ecosystem health. Data students collect is the base for cross-cutting PBE, adaptable for K - 12.
Field Trip
Participants will depart Lake Morey Resort at 3PM and return by 6PM for dinner and a movie. Transportation will not be provided. We encourage carpooling and caravanning.
3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
TOUR: A Model School Compost Program

Thetford Elementary School, Thetford Hill, VT
Hosted by Cat Buxton, Grow More Waste Less & Thetford Elementary School
Visit Thetford Elementary School and learn how they have developed a robust and sustainable Environmental Food Loop; a school gardening and composting program that has become well-known across the Upper Valley.
REGISTER: Online.


NOVEMBER 3, Saturday, 10 AM - 12 PM
Applying Soil Health Principles Everywhere

Working Woodlands Workshop, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Woodstock, VT
What would happen if we shifted the paradigm of how people interface with the land? Can we as land managers help to slow water down, deepen watersheds, increase biological soil health and create conditions for thriving ecosystems? Join us in the National Park to answer these questions and more! This two-hour presentation will leave you inspired to get involved in your own backyard, schoolyard, and public lands to deepen the roots of security and community resilience for future generations. Engaging powerpoint with Q&A - all ages welcome! Co-sponsored by Vermont Coverts and the Vermont Woodlands Association.
LOCATION: Forest Center, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, Woodstock, VT. Parking is available in the Billings Farm & Museum overflow lot, located on Old River Road.
COST: none!
RESERVATIONS: Please pre-register as space is limited. Contact the National Park (information below) to reserve your space. Be sure to tell us how many are coming.
Contact – To register or learn more visit online, call (802) 457-3368 x 222, or e-mail kyle_jones@nps.gov.


NOVEMBER 17, Saturday 4 - 6 PM
We Can Cool the Planet Now: Food, Water, Soil, Climate, Hope

at BALE Commons in South Royalton. A Resilience University event.

The ripples of our daily choices directly impact climate change. Cat Buxton and Henry Swayze offer accessible, positive solutions that will help to cool the planet while restoring water, soil and public health. Henry covers the science of the natural systems that allow for planetary cooling and Cat digs in to understanding healthy soil and watershed function and how the average person can effect change in the backyard and in the marketplace. Donations are appreciated.

NOVEMBER 18, Sunday, 1 - 4 pm
Common Ground for Climate Action

at St. Johnsbury's Universalist Unitarian Church, 47 Cherry Street
Sponsored by Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition (VHSC) and Community Resilience Organization (CRO)

Soil is the glue that holds our landscape and our communities together. The soil carbon sponge is a critical component of adapting to our changing climate and mitigating the effects of flooding and drought. Join members of the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition to hear about the overlooked superhero for climate correction: The ground beneath our feet!

All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Our citizen alliance welcomes all voices and skills to build the resilience communities need to adapt to our changing climate.

Facilitators include author Grace Gershuny of Barnet, compost educator Cat Buxton of Sharon, and author Didi Pershouse of Thetford.

1:00 to 3:00 p.m - Presentation/discussion: Building the soil carbon sponge for communities and climate.
3:00 to 4:00 p.m - Conversation, and questions/action steps .

Refreshments will be provided with sponsorship from Community Resilience Organization (CRO)
More details.


Summer Classes 2018

JULY 19, Thursday, 6 PM - 7:45 PM
We Can Cool the Planet Now: Food, Water, Soil, Climate, Hope
Upstairs at Upper Valley Food Coop 193 N. Main St. WRJ VT
The ripples of our daily food choices and general behaviors directly impact climate change. This presentation offers accessible, positive solutions that will help to cool the planet while restoring water, soil and public health. Henry covers the science of the natural systems that allow for planetary cooling and Cat digs in to understanding healthy soil and watershed function and how the average person can effect change in the backyard and in the marketplace. We each go for about 30 minutes. This is a fun and inspiring presentation. Engaging powerpoint with Q&A.
Donations are appreciated.


JULY 21, Saturday 10 AM - 12 PM
Family and Farm Composting
Wild Water Farm, West Hartford VT
Join us in crafting a recipe for the family and farm compost system at Wild Water Farm. Cat will give an overview of the soil food web to help you understand how and why to create compost that benefits your soil while managing family and farm waste. Learn about the spectrum of practical compostable ingredients and how to construct a pile that applies principles of structure and density to ensure that your living compost can hold air and water, creating the conditions that diverse microbial populations need to thrive. Suitable for all levels of understanding, and applicable for all sizes of family and small farm compost systems.

AUGUST 11, Saturday, 2018 - 10:00AM TO 4:00PM
Building Soil From the Ground Up (a NOFA-VT summer workshop)
Cedar Mountain Farm in Hartland, VT
Join farmers Stephen Leslie and Kerry Gawalt on a tour of their farm, they’ll talk about their soil fertility building practices and nutrient management program.
Educator and soil enthusiast, Cat Buxton, will lead a hands-on soil building workshop. Learn simple techniques for building up the soil carbon sponge in your lawn, vegetable and flower beds, and in the orchard. Employing the soil health principles can enhance photosynthesis and capture water, enabling the soil micro biome to flourish and vastly improve nutrient uptake in plants. We’ll cover the basics of techniques like composting, compost teas and extracts, incorporating cover crops and green manures, hugelkultur, mulching, and using plant guilds to support ecosystem services and bank nutrients. We’ll explore a variety of visual soil assessment tools and evidence-based monitoring techniques to measure if our land management practice are improving ecosystem services.
BRING: Proper footwear and clothing for field work including sun and tick protection.
COST: $40 NOFA-VT members. $50 non-members. Lunch included.
REGISTER IN ADVANCE Register here
CONTACT NAME: Kyla Bedard EMAIL: kyla@nofavt.org

AUGUST 12, Sunday, 4 PM - 7 PM
Advanced Backyard Composting
Saxtons River, Vermont (location TBA)
Crafting a recipe for the backyard compost system is a critical element for success in making a healthy soil amendment and for protecting wildlife and pets. Cat will give an overview of the soil food web to help you understand how and why to create compost that benefits your soil while managing kitchen and yard waste. Learn about the spectrum of practical compostable ingredients and how to construct a pile that applies principles of structure and density to ensure that your living compost can hold air and water, creating the conditions that diverse microbial populations need to thrive. Suitable for all levels of understanding, and applicable for all sizes of family and neighborhood compost systems.
Please BYO chair, sun protection and hydration needs.

AUGUST 30th, Thursday, 6:30 PM
Modified - Free Film Screening

Woodstock Town Hall Theater, 31 the Green Woodstock, VT
In the award-winning documentary Modified (87 minutes | Canada | 2017), the filmmaker and her mother embark on a personal and poignant investigative journey to find out why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not labeled on food products in the United States and Canada, despite being labeled in 64 countries around the world.
Shot over a span of ten years, the film explores the impacts of genetically engineering our food, exposing the cozy relationship between the agribusiness industry and our governments. The film is anchored in the intimate story of the filmmaker’s relationship to her mom, an organic gardener, seed saver, and food activist who battled cancer while the film’s production was underway. Interweaving the personal and the political, the film uses family video archives, animations, and mouth-watering vignettes from the filmmaker’s award-winning PBS cooking show to create a visual celebration of homegrown food and a moving account of family legacy. The film debunks the myth that GMOs are needed to feed the world and makes a compelling plea for a more sustainable and transparent food system.

Join us for a FREE film screening and panel discussion afterwards with experts on GMOs, David Zuckerman LT Gov, Teo Zagar Filmmaker and Former VT House Representative, and Cat Buxton Facilitator of Grow More Work Less. Sponsored by Sustainable Woodstock and Pentangle Council of the Arts.

Contact Zach@sustainablewoodstock.org for more information.


August and September 2018 - Soil Carbon Coalition Land Listener Workshops
Curious about how to see a landscape as a whole system? Do you want to understand and track the impact of grazing and land management on soil health, watershed function, soil carbon, and public health? Join us at one of three grass-fed beef and dairy farms throughout Vermont.

These free participatory daylong workshops will give you detailed theory in whole systems landscape function, soil health principles, and the work of biology in creating the soil carbon sponge. You will also learn hands-on skills to make and upload observations to help monitor the health and function of your farm and other working lands. These include visual assessments of soil health, biological work, and water infiltration, as well as how to record repeatable geolocated observations to track changes over time and space.

Through these workshops we aim to create “communities of practice”— working groups of closely-connected people in a region, with shared skill sets, data maps, and goals of regenerating landscapes and improving watershed function--with an interest in continuing to learn together.
We will cover

    - Connections between plants, soil microbiology, and carbon and water flows.
    - The impact of those relationships on public health, local economies, watershed function, weather, and climate resilience.
    - Soil health principles
    - Why the soil carbon sponge is the basic infrastructure that makes life on land possible
    - Basic hands-on skills for mapping and monitoring changes over time in soil health and watershed function
    - Group facilitation skills to maximize participation, connection, and learning


Facilitated by Didi Pershouse and Cat Buxton of the Soil Carbon Coalition, with support from the Grazing Lands Coalition.

COST: Free to attend. Bring your own lunch, place setting and water bottle. Please bring a chair for the classroom portion and dress appropriately for field work: proper shoes, sun protection and tick prevention.

Contact Cat Buxton at CatDuffyBuxton@gmail.com for more information.

DETAILS AND REGISTRATION:
AUGUST 17, Friday, 9AM - 5 PM
Robinson Hill Beef Farm, Calais
Please register in advance
AUGUST 18, Saturday, 9AM - 5 PM
Howling Wolf Farm, Randolph
Please register in advance
SEPTEMBER, 20 Thursday, 9AM - 5 PM
Butterworks Farm, Westfield
Please register in advance


SEPTEMBER 30, Sunday 12 PM - 4 PM
Vital Signs: Tracking Soil Health

Valhalla VT, 5507 Ethan Allen HIghway, Charlotte, VT 05445
Restoration of soil health positively impacts water quality, improve nutrient density of foods, and can mitigate climate change; sequestering carbon and restoring land water cycles that can cool the planet. Learn about the soil health principles and simple ways to implement them in the backyard and beyond. We'll review an assortment of accessible tools that allow you to accurately track changes in your soil health and whole-systems landscape function.

This participatory 4 hour workshop will start with a grounding discussion on the soil carbon sponge and understanding landscape function, followed by hands-on field work.

    12:00 Soil Carbon Sponge
    1:30 Hands-on soil health monitoring techniques
    3:30 Generating better questions

Digital education materials will be provided before the workshop to all registrants for review (print-your-own, if desired).
Participants should wear appropriate shoes and clothing for outdoor work, including protection for sun, rain, and insects (ticks too!). Please bring any food or drink you may require.
COST: Sliding scale: $20-40/person
REGISTER IN ADVANCE HERE


Grow More, Waste Less - Spring Tour 2018
The following FREE presentations are sponsored by a variety of businesses and organizations including the Upper Valley Food Coop, Thetford Energy Committee, Latham Library, Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association, Grow More, Waste Less: Food Systems Consulting LLC, and the Greater Upper Valley and Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management Districts.


FEBRUARY 6, Tuesday 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
The Little Things: Cultivating Community Above and Below the Ground
Howe Library. Hanover NH. Sponsored by Hanover Gardening Club.

FEBRUARY 12, Thursday 6 PM - 7 PM
Starting Up A Garden
Upper Valley Food Coop, White River Jct. VT

MARCH 14, Wednesday 7 PM - 8:30 PM
Soil Health/Climate Health: Food, Soil, Water, Climate, Hope
Strafford University, Newton School, South Strafford VT

MARCH 29, Thursday 6 PM - 7:30 PM
Composting 101: Managing Food Waste On a Home Scale
Upper Valley Food Coop, White River Jct. VT

APRIL 11, Wednesday 7 PM - 8:30 PM
Composting 101: Managing Food Waste On a Home Scale
Strafford University, Newton School, South Strafford VT

APRIL 12, Thursday 6 PM - 7:30 PM
Soil Health/Climate Health: Food, Soil, Water, Climate, Hope
Upper Valley Food Coop, White River Jct. VT

APRIL 19, Thursday 6 PM - 7:30 PM
The Little Things: Cultivating Community Above and Below the Ground
Focusing on her work with Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition and Thetford Elementary School's edible schoolyard and compost system, Cat shows us what is possible when we can mimic natural systems.
Latham Library. Thetford VT
Sponsored by Latham Library.

APRIL 25, Wednesday 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Sustainable Woodstock Annual Meeting location: Little Theater in Woodstock.
Sponsored by Sustainable Woodstock.
At 6:30 guest speaker, Cat Buxton will give a short talk about the formation of the Vermont Healthy Soils Coalition, the exciting work they're doing and how embracing an understanding of whole systems thinking and eco-mimicry have affected her work in building community above and below the ground. Cat always aims to leave people feeling curious and inspired.

APRIL 29, Sunday 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Cool the Planet: Food, Soil, Water, Climate, Hope
with Henry Swayze
Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association Annual Meeting (a land conservation group)
Saxtons River VT
Sponsored by Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association

MAY 10, Thursday 6 PM - 7:30 PM
Attracting Beneficial Insects: Promoting Diversity Above and Below the Ground
Upper Valley Food Coop, White River Jct. VT

MAY 19 Saturday 11 AM - 1 PM.
This Rots! Demystifying Compost - An outdoor hands-on workshop.
Park at Thetford Community Building and walk to the Community Garden on the green.
Sponsored by the Thetford Energy Committee.

Soil Saver compost bins will be available for $35 to class participants, one per household. They're as much as $120 online. Sure-Close kitchen pails will be available for $5. You must reserve a bin before May 16. To do so, contact Ham Gillett at the Greater Upper Valley Solid Waste Management District: hgillett@swcrpc.org



Trash to Treasure Compost Tour 2018
Composting 101: Managing Food Waste On a Home Scale (slides, Q&A)
Sponsored by GUVSWMD and WSWSWMD.
Soil Saver compost bins will be available for $35 to class participants, one per household. – They're as much as $120 online! Sure-Close kitchen pails will also be available for $5. Please reserve your bin and pail in advance by contacting Ham Gillett at the Greater Upper Valley Solid Waste Management District: (802)674-4474, hgillett@swcrpc.org or Mary O’Brien at Southern Windsor/Windham Counties Solid Waste Management District: (802)674-9235, mobrien@swcrpc.org.
Thursdays 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
May 3 Whiting Library in Chester
May 17 Hartland Library

May 24 Norwich Library
May 31 Springfield, First Congregational Church
June 7 TBD
June 14 Reading Town Hall
June 21 Rockingham Free Public Library
June 28 South Woodstock Firehouse





See a list of Cat's Presentation Descriptions


Grow More, Waste Less   |  Food Systems Consulting, LLC  -  Cat Buxton    Sharon, Vermont   Email: cat@growmorewasteless.com

Food & Soil Advocacy   •   Consulting   •   Education   •   Community Organizing   •   Zero Waste

Connecting communities to affect positive food system change from the ground up.