Chippewa Valley
Sustainable Future Festival

Forest St. Community Gardens
Sat. Sept. 17th, 2016

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2013 Presenters

2014 Presenters

2014 Attendees are sure to find a topic that interests them in this one day event. Explore the exhibits, vendors and demonstrations!

9AM -- 9:45AM

  • Protecting groundwater in northwestern Wisconsin Neil Koch - Tent B
  • Fermentation as Food Preservation:
    A Traditional Food Art Form (Just Like Grandma Did) Noel Kroeplin - Tent A

10AM -- 10:45AM

  • Eco-Healthly Children!
    Joe Lawrence - Tent B
  • Home Composting
    Tess Zabel - ON SITE
  • How to save money around the house
    Rebecca Pierce - Tent A

11AM -- 11:45AM

  • Plastic Bag Use In Eau Claire
    Jenna Vande Zande & Erik Amundson - Tent B
  • Canning 101
    Catherine Emmanuelle - Tent A
  • Eatible Landscaping
    Bob & Tami Schraufnagel - On site tour

Noon -1PM
Hour long lunch - Best Picnic blanket prize given away at 12:30/ Best Picnic Basket given away at 12:45

1PM - 1:45PM

  • Solar Technology for Homes and Businesses
    Next Step Energy - Tent B
  • Organoleptic Plant Walk
    Kerri Kiernan - Tent A

2PM - 2:45PM

  • Beekeeping today
    Drew Kaiser and Ellen Sorenson - Tent A
  • Easy, Delicious, Nutritious Weeds
    Mari Jackson - Tent B

(See presentation descriptions below)

Protecting groundwater in northwestern Wisconsin

This presentation is about how groundwater is recharged and discharged. What can each of us do to protect groundwater from becoming polluted and not run out of groundwater.

Neil Koch is a graduate of UW Madison and a retired geologist/hydrologist with 32 years at the U.S. Geological Survey publishing some 30 reports. He's also done consulting with a super fund study and at the NV test site.

Solar Technology for Homes and Businesses
This presentation is about current solar technologies and incentives with time for questions to follow.

Next Step Energy is a full service installer of high efficiency radiant heat and renewable energy systems. The company specializes in design and installation of solar electric, solar thermal and solar hot air systems. Next Step Energy has provided service for over 10 years to the greater Chippewa Valley.

Easy, Delicious, Nutritious Weeds
This demonstration features several different weeds dandelion lambs quarters, nettle, sorrels from Mari's garden. Recipes and samples of foods will be shared.

Mari Jackson is a Master Gardener Volunteer and has about 35 years of organic gardening experience with an interest in medicinal herbs and nutrition for many years. Her garden is on sandy location since 1980.

Beekeeping today
This presentation will introduce you to some of the issues surrounding beekeeping today. Expect to learn about producing local honey, the pollination role served by honeybees, and the difficulties apiarists face with Colony Collapse Disorder. There will be hands-on demonstration of honey extraction and an observation hive to see the inner workings of a bee colony.

Drew Kaiser and Ellen Sorenson are hobbyist beekeepers, educators, and activists. They are at the center of a push in Eau Claire to establish a bee ordinance. Their hope is to excite more people to catch the buzz and start a personal apiary.

Fermentation as Food Preservation
A Traditional Food Art Form (Just Like Grandma Did): From sauerkraut to kimchi and far beyond, fermentation is one of the earliest forms of food preservation. It requires no boiling or freezing and just... happens. Noel will demonstrate the simple, basic techniques of lactofermentation by preparing sauerkraut. Just like grandma's. There will be time for discussion of other forms of fermentation including fermentation of vegetables, meat curing, alternative "sodas", sourdough, cheese and more!

Noel Kroeplin is passionate about living creatures, from the microbial to megafauna. She grew up on a farm in the Chippewa Valley and returned nearly four years ago to plant her roots. Nearly every step of her life has incorporated food and agriculture. When she took a course based on principles of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Noel became hooked on fermentation. She currently wanders the northwoods with her dog, is the Operations Coordinator at Just Local Food Cooperative, gardens, ferments and generally enjoys life.

How to save money around the house
Homemade cleaners, alternatives to home paper usage, water and electricity savings, how to save on your garbage bill. 

Rebecca Pierce is a Master Home Environmentalist, Master Composter Recycler she currently sells Solar Ovens and LED lights.

Organoleptic Plant Walk Kerri Kiernan
Join Herbalist Kerri Kiernan on an exploratory plant walk through the Forest St. Community Gardens and surrounding wild landscape with hands-on demonstrations on how to use plants. Experience medicinal plants through your senses; look, listen, smell, taste, and touch to build familiarity with wild and cultivated medicinal plants. All knowledge levels and ages welcome!

Kerri Kiernan is as an Herbalist at Sunbow Farm just south of Eau Claire. In the fall of 2013, she completed the Herbaculture Internship Program at Herb Pharm in southern Oregon which is an intensive, two month work exchange with hands-on experience in the cultivation and use of medicinal plants. She previously served as a Nutrition Educator through UW-Extension in Chippewa County, coordinated the Phoenix/Forest Street Community Garden in downtown Eau Claire and initiated the Lakeshore Community Garden in the spring of 2013. Kerri enjoys making herbal salves and also loves to create art with wild plants.

Plastic Bag Use In Eau Claire, Wisconsin Organized in a simple to follow Powerpoint, the presentation will highlight the overall issue of plastic bag use in Eau Claire. First, we will cover the basic background of the issue, explaining why plastic bags are a problem. Next, we will explain why we as students of UWEC decided to present on the topic. This came from a project done in the Sustainable Cities class offered at UWEC. Most importantly, we will highlight the products of our research. These included simple and effective education materials, overall knowledge of Eau Claire recycling procedures, ideas for the Advisory Commission on Sustainability, companies that would support sustainable alternatives, and a good option for a reusable bag. We will also present ideas of things to do moving forward. These include gathering quantitative data, overcoming the unwillingness from big companies to collaborate, and assembling an overall action plan. To accompany the presentation there will be hands-on products such as our educational materials, a reusable bag option, a plastic bag visual, videos, and other handouts.

Jenna Vande Zande and Erik Amundson are both students at the University of Eau Claire Wisconsin. Jenna is a Public History Major and Environmental Studies Minor. Erik is a Business Administration Major and an Environment, Society, and Culture Minor. Their plastic bag demonstration comes from their research done in David Soll's Sustainable Cities class in the spring of 2014.

Eco-Healthly Children! This presenation will focus on the sustainable concepts behind all the things Little Sprouts does in our center to be Eco-Healthy and sustainable! Pictures will be a strong element of the presentation.

Little Sprouts is an Eco-Healthy Child Care, Preschool, and School-age Center in Menomonie, WI. Serving children from ages 6 weeks - 12 years old and are open Monday - Friday from 6 AM - 6 PM. Little Sprouts serves all natural/organic foods cooked from scratch, has two gardens, marmoleum flooring, lots of wooden toys/furniture/equipment, and strives to reduce/reuse/recycle in all aspects of our school! Find out more information about us at!

Home Composting Tess Zabel
On-site demonstration of composting in the yard and vermicomposting in the home.

Having a yard and Growing Food Tour the yard of Bob & Tami and see how easy it can be to incorporate fruit trees, grapes, garden beds and eatable plantings.

Bob & Tami Schraufnagel live a block away from the festival. Join us as we show you how you can use parts of your yard to grow the things you like to eat! Garden season is just about over so imagine the beds and plantings lush with things we like to grow and eat.

Canning 101 Catherine Emmanuelle Just the basics to get you started with canning in a 1 hour class. This class is perfect for the person who might have been intimidated by canning and want a gentle way to learn more about canning. We will use a boiling water canner, which believe it or not, most people already have this in their kitchens! At the end of the class, you will learn the skills that can help you preserve things like tomatoes, salsas, fruits, jams, jellies, and more!

Class taught by UW-Extension Trempealeau County Family Living Educator, Catherine Emmanuelle.



"To increase knowledge about sustainability to the citizens
of the Chippewa Valley. Specifically, citizens will learn how to infuse sustainable practices into their lives,
basic tenets of sustainability, and learn how other groups
in the area are conducting sustainability activities."

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