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Annual Report 2013 Unabridged

Local Living Venture

PO Box 736 Canton, NY 13617 * 315.347.4223

LocalLivingVenture@gmail.com * www. LocalLivingVenture .org

Annual Report 2013

Our Vision 2013
The Local Living Venture envisions a vibrant community and a resilient regional economy in the North Country of New York State.

Mission Statement 2013
The Local Living Venture is working towards a resilient regional economy through community education, rural skills–building, and dynamic infrastructure development.

“Sharing Knowledge from the Past ~ Building Skills for the Future”

Review of Programs

Local Living Festival
Motto: Serious Fun ~ Delightful Education!
The Local Living Festival on April 27, 2013 was a hugely successful Zero Waste event with over 1000 attendees. The Festival was held at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm, Canton, New York and featured 29 skills demonstrations, nearly 90 student-created educational displays, 7 hour-long youth programs, and all day activities for younger children. The Festival had three nationally recognized featured speakers, 37 workshops, several panel discussions, a CSA Fair, and a School Compost and Recycling Summit, as well as nearly 75 informational booths and exhibitors of “green” local services and products

Year-Round Workshops and Events
In 2013, the Local Living Venture offered 34 workshops and events attended by 564 people. Evaluation results polled very strongly positive from attendees. (Available by request.)

Topics Included
Bees and Beekeeping - monthly Discussion Groups and the innovation of a Workshop for Beginning Beekeepers presented entirely by Bee Discussion Group members in October
Nutritious Delicious Cooking Seminars – five workshops:
How to Cook Grains and Beans (two times)
Vegetarian and Vegan: Healthy Ways to Eat a Plant Based Diet
Learn How to Bake With (and Convert Your Favorite Recipes to ) Whole Foods
Creating Favorite Recipes of India with the Narulas
Wood Splitting for Women (two times)
Logging with Oxen
Traditional Horse-Drawn Maple Sugaring Work Party
Fruit Tree Pruning
Green Buildings Open House Tours (as regional sponsor for the national event in October)
Green Home Tours, an ancillary event of the Local Living Festival, held in May
Community Seed Swap
Start Your Garden Seedlings Indoors and Learn How to Transplant
Garden and Food Waste Composting (two times)
Spring Bicycle Maintenance
How to Grow, Store and Use Fresh Herbs


The Local Living Festival (see above.)

Events Attended

The LLV attended 20-plus outreach events with specific issues to represent and/or an interactive agenda of recruiting “One Sustainable Thing” pledges, promoting our programs, and exhibiting a professional, yet home-spun, booth display.

Events include:
Adirondack Rural Skills & Homesteading Festival, Paul Smiths
Clarkson University “Integrator” (campus newspaper) informal annual gathering
Clarkson University Wellness Fair
Clarkson University Student Volunteer Fair
Colton Country Days
Dairy Princess Parade, Canton
Farm to Fork Festival, Saranac Lake
Greenhorn Farm Tour & Harvest Supper, Ausable Grange, Keeseville, NY
Mare's Wares Festival, Morristown
Potsdam Food Coop Open House
Potsdam SummerFest participation by LLV was canceled due to the death of Bob Ely
St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum Annual Spring Planting Exhibition, Madrid
St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum Old Fashioned Harvest Days, Madrid
St. Lawrence University Sustainability Semester Informational Meeting
Whole Earth Expo, Ottawa

Other Community Outreach
Sign-up sheets during major outreach events, workshops and media notices swelled our e-mailing list to over 2,000, to whom we send updates generally two to three times per month.

Events hosted or attended:
Co-Host with Cinema 10 – Movie “Betting the Farm” and Panel Discussion
Hosted our Route 68 Adopt-A-Highway Roadside Clean Up (from Hardscrabble Rd, through Flackville) in October
Hosted monthly Local Living Festival Planning Gatherings
Hosted two Local Living Team Appreciation Gatherings (post-Festival and during the holidays)
Agricultural Farmland Protection board meeting
CFA Application Workshop at SUNY Potsdam
St. Lawrence County Human Services Meetings throughout the year
St. Lawrence Brewery Open House Reception
Potsdam Food Co-op Annual Meeting and seasonal Potluck Dinner updates
St. Lawrence University Sustainability Semester Orientation Meeting for Community Partners
SUNY Potsdam Community Health Meet-up, plus 2 follow up sessions with a potential Intern

Chelle Lindahl and Melinda Ely continue as co- coordinators of the
Local Living Venture. Chelle was the primary coordinator throughout all of 2013; Melinda has returned after a leave of absence for much of 2013 due to the death of her husband.

Melinda and Chelle were the 2013 recipients of the prestigious Rachel Somers Grant Social Action award from the Unitarian Universalist Church in Canton, NY in June of this year.

Continuation of the phased-in name change process, from “Sustainable Living Project” to “Local Living Venture” continues. Toward the end of the year, a successful grant application was submitted to Northern New York Community Foundation to fund a new website in 2014: www.LocalLivingVenture.org.

A major focus for the first 4 months of the year was hosting the Local Living Festival, held on April 27 in Canton, NY. Nine people were hired on an independent contract basis to help facilitate the Festival. Fifteen volunteers took significant roles in the Local Living Festival planning process and/or staffing workshops, conferences and outreach events.

All independent contracts ended by mid-year, including Education & Outreach Coordinator Krystal White, who had to step down due to graduate school obligations. A new Project Organizer, Donna Dilworth, was contracted as of October 7, and a new Education & Outreach Coordinator Jackie Bartholomew was contracted as of November 11, for ten hours per week each.

An Independent Contractors Orientation was held in January and a Festival wrap up and evaluation session in May.

Total paid hours for 2013: 1456.25 hrs

Planning and application for 501(c)3 status has been under way with plans for completion in 2014. The Planning and Development Group continued meeting, with By-Laws for incorporation and completion of a Policies Handbook as major goals. The Budget committee also met regularly in the second and third trimesters.

The Planning Group also accomplished a Logic Model process that began in July, based on the premise “"The North Country is Economically Distressed". A list of 50+ Strategies were combined to create six primary Strategies of the Local Living Venture. We then began to step outside of the Logic Model with an innovative program, developed by volunteer Chris Butchino, called “Image Modeling.” This is a process will help us identify the culture of the organization, marketing direction, and vision/mission statements. Knowing why we exist, what impact we want to leave on the world, and the impression we want to leave on people will ultimately pay off through the consistency of our messages and behaviors. If we are looking to make a better world, we need to understand how we are going to do our part in making that dream a reality. This process continued through the end of 2013.

Reporting requirements for our funding partners were met, as were all benefit disbursement obligations.

All Workshops and the Local Living Festival utilize Evaluation forms for attendees that are referenced for ongoing planning. A Workshop Report is filed for every event, noting all records and impacts, including raw data from onsite evaluations by attendees, our staff, and the host/presenter. Scrupulous records are kept to assist in future planning efforts.

Information and Action Requests

Numerous requests * for information about our programs
18 requests for information about specific resources
34 requests to share information (via mailer, website post, networking, outreach events, or to be included as a resource)
11 requests for action (provide volunteers, outreach, networking, collaboration)
* All requests were honored to the best of our ability as a primarily volunteer-run organization.

Conferences, Events and Webinars

Local Living Venture Volunteers attended 12 Conferences and 4 Webinars:

Adirondack North Country Association “Cleaner Greener” North Country Sustainability Planning sessions participant (multiple locations)
Common Ground Alliance, Newcomb, NY
Cornell University Small Farm Summit, Canton, NY
New York Forest Owners Association (NYFOA) 51st Annual Spring Program Conference, Syracuse, NY
North Country Clean Energy Conference, Lake Placid, NY
Northeast Organic Farming Assn. (NOFA) Annual Conference, Saratoga Springs, NY
North Country Symposium, Canton, NY
Power and Promise of Our Non Profits Summit , Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY
REDC Informational Session, Tupper Lake, NY
Rural Communities Broadband Round Table, Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY
Seedcorn Annual Meeting, as well as quarterly Board of Directors meetings
SUNY Potsdam Community Health Intern Brunch, Potsdam, NY
National Food Hub Collaboration (National Good Food Network) Webinar
Healthy Food, Healthy Economies Webinar
Regional Equity Networks Webinar
State of the Food Hub Webinar
Value Add
ed Institute (NY-SSFPA)

Media and Advertisements
The Local Living Venture conducted a highly successful, nearly weekly campaign for event promotion. Over 40 press releases reached over 100 media outlets serving the northern region of New York state, western Vermont, and southern Canada.

Featured Media
The Local Living Venture maintained the LLV/ Sustainable Living Project website and Facebook page posting extensive website resources and over 150 speakers, activities, and events throughout the year.
Our Rocket Stove Demonstration Project was featured in Olivier Asselin’s Possible.org 7 minute video, made during the winter of 2012-2013. http://www.possible.org/a-look-at-chelle-lindahls-rocket-mass-heater/ By mid-year, it was one of the most watched videos online regarding rocket stove technology!
The Wood-splitting for Women workshop was featured in a NCPR story on March 4, 2013. http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/21548/20130304/women-learn-art-of-wood-splitting-at-hands-on-workshop

Several advertisements were placed for the Local Living Festival as well as insertion of 11,000 mini-Programs in the North Country This Week and deployment of over 200 Festival lawn signs throughout the region.
The LLV contracted for ¼ page ad for the Festival in the Johnson Newspaper Group “Made in NY” special feature, a 3/8 page ad in the North Country Annual Manual and a ¼ page advertisement in the Local Food Guide coordinated by GardenShare.
The marquee of the Canton American Theater featured the Local Living Festival for a week in April.

Partnerships, Networks, and Collaborations
Fruitful collaborations and networks were formed or continued with over 110 regional organizations, farms, businesses, and in kind event sponsors in 2013:

Adirondack Battery and Solar
Adirondack Common Ground Alliance
Adirondack Cooperative Economy
Adirondack Foundation
Adirondack Non Profit Network
Adirondack North Country Association – Cleaner Greener Community Sustainability Plan
Adopting Healthy Habits Coalition- Cornell Cooperative Extension
Agricultural & Farmland Protection Board
Ag Labor Program (Dept. of Labor)
Alternative Power Solutions
American Dairy Association
ASES National Solar Tour
Birdsfoot Farm
Bittersweet Farm (including “NOFA Farmer of the Year” Brian Bennett promotion!)
Borderlands Energy
Brewer Bookstore (SLU)
Center for Excellence in Communication at Clarkson University
C.L. Cook Farm
Clarkson University Institute for a Sustainable Environment
Clarkson University / Potsdam High School Young Scholars "Emergency Center" project
Cinema 10
Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Adopting Healthy Habits coalition
Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Learning Farm
Cornell University - Dept. of Horticulture - NYAITC (Agriculture in the Classroom)
Cronk Family Earthship
Deep Root Center for Self Directed Learning
Earthwood Building School
Eat Smart NY
E.J. Noble Hospital Guild Butterfly Garden
Eight O’Clock Ranch
Empire State Honey Producers’ Association
Elliot’s Agway Farm and Garden Supply
Fauna on Flora
Fidelis Care
Fisher & Sons
Franklin County Cornell Cooperative Extension
Friends of India Association of Clarkson University
Friends of the Massena Nature Center
Fuller’s Farm
Garden Share
Grass River B Ranch
Greenhorns / National Young Farmers Coalition
Green Circle
Hands On Health Holistic Healing
Harmony Farm Apiary
Healthy Way, Massena, NY
Heritage Homes
High Peaks Winery
Iroquois Farm
Kent Family Farms
Little Grasse Foodworks
Martin Farm Supply
Mind’s Eye Farm
Modern Times Theater
Nature Up North Program at St. Lawrence University
Noble Farm
North Country Children’s Museum
North Country Folk School at St. Lawrence University
North Country Homeschooling Families
North Country Library Service
North Country Grown Cooperative
North Country Public Radio
Northern Lights Energy
Northern New York Community Foundation
NESEA Green Buildings Open House Tours
NY Forest Owners Association
NY Small Scale Food Processors Association
NY State Food Policy Council Network
Occupational Health Clinical Center of the North Country
Old Market Farm
Outhouse Farm
PACES Dining Services, SUNY Potsdam
Parsley Place Herbs
Paul Smith’s College & the Woodsmen's Team Exhibition
Peak Moment TV / WCKN-TV Potsdam / Seymour Family
Possible.org (Olivier Asselin, Canadian filmmaker)
Potsdam Agway Lawn & Garden Center
Potsdam Food Co-op and Carriage House Bakery
Potsdam Farmers’ Market
Potsdam Public Library and Computing Center
Shaw Family, Heuvelton
Small Scale Food Processors Association (NYS)
Smith Farm
SNAP Program
Solart Group
Sow’s Ear Farm
Spiral Scouts
Squeak Creek Apiaries
St. Lawrence County Cooperative Extension Learning Farm
St. Lawrence County Soil and Water Conservation District
St. Lawrence Health Initiative
St. Lawrence Inter-agency bi-monthly collaborative events
St. Lawrence Land Trust
St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum
St. Lawrence University Campus Kitchen Project
St. Lawrence University Sustainability Semester
St. Lawrence University - Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Environmental Education Initiative for Active Learning, Research and Advocacy
St. Lawrence University (Sociology 257 “Environmental Problems” Interns)
Sugar Hill Farm
SUNY Canton Center for Renewable Energy & Sustainable Technology
SUNY Potsdam Community Health Department
SUNY Potsdam (Sociology Interns)
TAUNY (Traditional Arts in Upstate New York)
Thermal Efficiency Building Design
Train Brook Forge
Unitarian Universalist Church – Religious Education Program
Upstate Medical Occupational Health Program
Value Added Institute
Woodhenge Sustainability Campus
Young Living Essential Oils

A Fundraising and Grant Writing Team was organized (with a 1/4-time paid Fundraising Organizer and nine volunteers) to seek funding for the Local Living Festival. Donations from sponsors, several fund-raising projects including a gift basket raffle and a "Thrift Map" of area thrift shops, and an Indian Dinner benefit were all sources of funding for the Festival.

Local Living Venture applied for and received a Northern New York Community Foundation grant for $5000 for enhancements to educational programming ($3000 for website design and training, $2000 for equipment.)

Benefits on Our Behalf

*  Indian Dinner (hosted by the Friends of India Association) was held as a fundraiser for the Local Living Festival.
*  A mixer was held featuring Modern Times Theater Group and LLF Speaker Elizabeth Henderson at the Parkview. This fundraiser benefited the
Local Living Festival.
*  Two Paul Meyers house concerts were hosted by Robin McClellan to benefit the
Local Living Venture.

Sponsors and Donors

Workshop and Event "In Kind" Sponsors
Elliott’s Farm & Home Supply
Potsdam Agway
Potsdam Food Co-op
Birdsfoot Organic Farm & CSA
Friends of India Association
Blackbird Cafe / Parkview

Local Living Venture Sponsors
Northern New York Community Foundation

Hands on Health Holistic Healing
Potsdam Food Co-op
Potsdam Agway

Local Living Festival Sponsors

Saint Lawrence University administering Andrew W. Mellon Foundation support
North Country Public Radio – media sponsor for festival and events
Anonymous Benefactor
Liam Hunt and Kathleen Stein
Robin McClellan
Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm
Schulze Construction
Tedra L. Cobb and Associates
Maple Ridge Charitable Fund
Clarkson University Institute for a Sustainable Environment
Bob Shepherd
Casella Waste
North Country Dairy (North Lawrence, NY)
SeaComm Federal Savings
North Country Savings Bank
Potsdam Food Co-op
Friends of the Nature Center
Hands on Health Holistic Healing
SUNY Canton
Potsdam Farmer’s Market

Local Living Festival “In Kind” Donors
Nature Center at Robert Moses State Park
Vocal Skies Shape Note Singers
Waldroff Equipment
Unitarian Universalist Church of Canton
SLU Campus Kitchens Program
Sam’s Party Tents
Potsdam Agway
Rex Hardware
Northern Regional Center for Independent Living
Jackie and Ray Bartholomew
Bittersweet Farm
Brasher Falls Girl Scout Troop
Spiral Scouts
Canton Central School
Canton Central’s Girls Modified LAX Team
Canton Central’s One Voice (Peer Health Leadership Initiative)
Cheryl LaBarge and friends
Green Machine Hydro Seeding
Little River Community School
Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm

Local Living Festival Gift Baskets Donors
McDuff’s Tavern
Beyond Tattoos
Empire Vision Centers
Great Northern Printing
Main Street Barbershop
Northern Music and Video
Model Works
Argent’s Jewelry and Coin Shop

Local Living Festival Program Advertisers
Grasse River B Ranch
Iroquois Organic Farm and CARI
New York Forest Owners Association
Old Market Farm
Saint Lawrence University
Sunfeather Handmade Bodycare

Volunteers and Interns


293 Volunteers contributed 3307.5 hours to assist the Local Living Festival; 97 volunteers contributed 2129.75 hours to assist the Local Living Venture as a whole.

The following are the SUNY Potsdam Festival Interns from Professor Heather Caitlin-Sullivan’s Sociology class “Environment and Society” who contributed displays and demonstrations to the Festival: Ashley Scott, Caroline Rivellini, Carter Cruick, Clara Dempf, Holly Bucher, and Josh Slocum.

The following are Saint Lawrence University Festival Interns from Professor Andrew Jones’ Sociology class “Environmental Problems” who researched and curated themes for the Local Living Festival: Marc Perroni, Julie Chase, Charles Cocharan, Catie Johnson, Tirzah Zeigler, Sarah Kossak, Kylee Disotelle, Carina Taliaferro, Justin Ingram, Braulio Acuria, Paul Piatelli, John Ferguson, Todd Shouvlin, Michaela Lewis, William Crompton, Oliver Dennis, Kendra Campbell, James Wilcox, and Molly Caplan.

Total Intern Hours: 385 hours

Volunteer and Intern Hours
Local Living Festival 2013: 3307.5 hours

Local Living Venture: 2129.25 hours
Intern Hours: 385 hours
Coordinator volunteer hours: 2678.25 hours (included in LLF and LLV total hours)

Total 2013 Volunteer and Intern Hours: 5821.75 Hours

Future Plans
Continuation of Resourceful Living Skills Workshops

Making application for 501(c)3 status.
Acquisition of a multi-use campus for:

1] Homestead Learning Community (HLC), to assist the next generation of farmers, foresters, energy workers, and homesteaders. To include a residential campus focusing on classes and demonstrations of rural and homesteading skills in several areas of concern:
Farming / Gardening / Food
Renewable Energy
Healthy Hearth and Forestry

Green Building
Homesteading Skills

North Country Native Botanical Gardens, to include:
Demonstration pavilions for rural skills as part of the larger self-guided botanical garden experience, staffed by students from the HLC and volunteers.

Local Venture Center, to include:
Our current Resourceful Living Skills Workshop program as well as many community projects, such as a tool lending library, a retreat and conference setting, food processing incubation and many other community-building and entrepreneurial endeavors, as evolves organically and on an as-needed basis within the larger community.

Moving Forward!
As the newly minted Local Living Venture (LLV) departs from it's mentor and progenitor Seedcorn, Inc. we wish to acknowledge the many contributions of that fine organization in helping the LLV to figure out "what we want to be when we grow up" -- allowing us the space and place to work through those processes with wise leadership and fiscal responsibility.

The goal of Seedcorn is to have projects "fledge" within a reasonable period of time and the
Local Living Venture appreciates the four-plus years spent in their tutelage, utilizing the services they offered to a brash non-profit "start-up" such as ourselves!

A specially annotated cornerstone brick, acknowledging the contributions of Seedcorn, Inc to the development of the
Local Living Venture (LLV), has been presented to the Seedcorn Council. This cornerstone brick will be placed auspiciously in the first building constructed on the future LLV campus, in honor of Seedcorn's contribution to the Local Living Venture (formerly Sustainable Living Project.)