ENERGY - Renewables

  Local Living Venture



Ely Homestead, Rossie

  Sachno Homestead,  
Crary Mills (Potsdam/Canton), NY

* The LLV defines "appropriate technology" as using the lowest and wisest resource inputs possible. 
We honor that "high" technology sometimes is the most appropriate, while at other times the healthier and least resource intensive methods will involve low-tech means: animal and human-power and so on. 
Apparently there are some who define this term as eschewing modern technology altogether, which we at the LLV find to be neither a positive nor a constructive approach for our work, though we honor people's choices for themselves.

Energy Future Working Group is
in hiatus and needs YOUR "energy" to bring it back,
a brand new series of learning opportunities as part of our
Resourceful Living Skills Workshops.
Join our team!  Or, check back for forthcoming details below and
on our
Workshops & Events page!

of sections below (sorry, you have to scroll!)

Upcoming Events
Rocket Stove Resources
Energy and Home Power Resources
Past Events


Regional Green Home Tours

Tours are featured in both Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties!

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Join us for two sets of tours - in two different counties.
Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Jefferson County tours are Open House style, between the hours shown with each home's listing. 

The St. Lawrence County tours are guided tours, by caravan from home to home. 

You can join in or drop off the tour wherever you wish.  You may also want to do the Jefferson County tours in the morning and trek to St. Lawrence County to catch some of those tours in the afternoon!

For details go to: Green Home Tours

Rocket Mass Heater
Seasonal Inspection
& Firing

HOME TOURS - a 23 year tradition in the North Country!

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Local Living Venture's

Rocket Mass Heater Demonstration Project
Sunday, October 18, 2015
1 - 4 pm

West Pierrepont, near Canton/Russell, NY

Mass Heater Rocket Stove - High-efficiency, positive draft or "convection heat pump" method; super safe wood mass heater with warming bench.

This is a special event - we will open up the barrel, inspect it for fly ash and damage, and really get a good look at the "innards."  Then fire it up for the first burn of the season!  This is not an opportunity that comes around often. Local craftsmen and rocket stove enthusiasts will be on hand to share information as well.

For more details and to register: Mass Heater Tour

~ Spring 2016 date to be determined ~

Full day, hands-on workshop

 Build Your Own Rocket Stove! 
for cooking and small space heating * not a mass heater unit

If you are on our mailing list (approximately 2 notices per month are sent out) you will receive advance word of these events!  Write us at to be added to the mailing list - be sure to note your interests in order to be placed on the appropriate list(s).

~ rocket stove resource materials ~

see below for Renewable Energy resources
See this link for Green Home Tours
See this link for resources on Heating With Wood


and Mass Masonry Heaters

It doesn't cost a fortune to set up a heating system in your home that will luxuriantly warm you twice from a small amount of wood - in fact, you can build many of these for FREE out of reclaimed materials and natural elements right under your feet!  Add to that the fact that it's virtually impossible to have a house fire from one of these style of stoves, and you will be impressed! 


These are "DIY" projects (including water heating, too!) that are fun and well worth a few days work to have one in your home, business, or greenhouse.  Some estimates claim that you can burn as much as 90% less wood - for the same heating factor or better, since it's radiating into your home all day, not just when the stove is going!  Think about how much less tree felling, splitting, stacking, and hauling that means for the average woodstove user - even if it's only 50% less, that is significant!

PHOTO:, Double Bell Mass Heater

 Local Living Venture's 
 Rocket  Stove Demonstration  Project

You can check out a video (7 minutes) of the our Rocket Stove demonstration project (at Local Living Venture home headquarters near Canton, NY) by clicking here as well!  Video made by Oliver Asselin; learn more about Oliver and his work at

This rocket mass heater (chaise lounge style) was built in a Local Living Venture workshop attended by 25 people, who came from as far as Toronto to Delaware, over three days in late September of 2012.  The workshop was led by nationally-recognized presenters Erica and Ernie Wisner

 Rocket Stove Mass Heater 

Our Demonstration Project (near Canton, NY) is toured regularly, often in conjunction with other area mass heaters, both with and without rocket-style combustion.  Check the Index near the top of the Full Events Schedule page (and then scroll down to that date for details) to see if another tour is scheduled soon!  A private tour can sometimes be arranged as well.

Tours sponsored by 
Radiant Hearth, Inc.,
Mark Seymour, Potsdam, NY  ~

Our first tour of five local homes specifically featuring these technologies was held on April 5, 2014.  It was a great day, with over 60 sign-ups for the Tours, and loads of information shared!  If you are on our mailing list (approximately 2 notices per month are sent out) you will receive advance word of these events!  Write us at to be added to the mailing list.

 Rocket Stove Mass Heater Instructional DVD 

You helped to "crowdsource" (many small contributions funding a worthy project) a new Rocket Stove Instructional DVD by Calen Kennett, with Erica and Ernie (workshop leaders for our rocket stove demonstration project!)   Now, you can sample this complete step-by-step instructional video on one of their most useful designs, and buy it if you're interested, at this site:

 Rocket Stove Mass Heater 
The  Local Living Venture  has a copy of the seminal book, Rocket Mass Heaters: Super Efficient Woodstoves You Can Build (and Snuggle Up To) and Erica and Ernie 's brand-new booklet on the Art of Fire - we bring them to most of our Outreach tabling events or can arrange to meet if you email us!  Write us at to be added to the mailing list as well.

You can also order these books for your own library at - the links below will also take you there:
Rocket Mass Heaters : NEW Edition III $20.00
Rocket Mass Heaters: Super Efficient Woodstoves You Can Build (and Snuggle Up To) $15.00

Also, Check out  Erica and Ernie's friend Paul Wheaton's set of rocket mass heater videos. These are his usual amateur-but-informative technique (see the video itself for examples).

A great article on Thermal Mass Rocket Stoves:

A great forum on Thermal Mass Rocket Stoves where Ernie and Erica give advice and feedback:

Erica and Ernie have lots of fun with fire (see Art of Fire
book referenced above) - some of what they shared with us during our Mass Rocket Heater construction project:
  • fire burning sideways and upside down 
  • bare hands bonfire tricks 
  • rumford effect 
  • fireplace designs 
  • flammable chimney demonstrations 
  • stump stove 
  • diagrams and physics and math, oh my! 
  • fire, flames, heat and overall rockety-ness 

PHOTO: Stump Stove demo, from Paul Wheaton's Kickstarter page with Erica and Ernie.

  Mass Masonry Heater Resources Mark Seymour, Potsdam, NY
 Au Sable Forks, NY

   “The Book of Masonry Stoves: Rediscovering an Old Way of Warming” by David Lyle 1984, Chelsea Green Publishing
   “Masonry Heaters: Designing, Building, and Living with a Piece of the Sun” by Ken Matesz 2010, Chelsea Green Publishing

PHOTO: Watertown Daily Times, February, 2014, Potsdam, NY


 (see below for Past Events) 

A pretty comprehensive article on HOW TO START A FIRE (yes, that's withOUT matches, thank you!) reprinted at the site (click on link above) with permission from
When Technology Fails, published by Chelsea Green, 2008.  NOTE: Author Mat Stein was a Featured Speaker at our Local Living Festival in 2011.

BioLite Wood Burning Campstove & Charger
About the size of a Nalgene bottle, this camp stove powers most USB-chargeable devices and boils water or warms up dinner!
Check it out!

 Interested in solar power 
for your home but need a primer in the basics?  Go to!!  These folks have been writing the book, or in this case,  the magazine about all things "renewable" in energy (not just solar) since 1987.  For a good mix of beginner and advanced information check out 
Home Power Magazine  for Solar, Wind, and other renewable energy sources for home and business.  Check out the latest issue of the magazine by clicking their name above. 

NY State Offers Low Interest Loans for Solar Energy
February, 2014
NY State now offers all residents low interest loans to allow homeowners to finance solar electricity and energy efficiency improvements to their home. There are two options for financing your solar electric system: On-Bill Recovery loans and Smare Energy Loans.  On-Bill loans are recovered through a monthly utility bill fee and Smart loans are lower interest rate and similar to a bank loan, but through NYSERDA.
Contact one of the local solar installers below for more information.

      Since 2011, a locally-oriented resource:
    St. Lawrence County, NY
   for all things "Energy Efficient"
     <---  click on the logo for

 Green Building Certification Training at SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton has a Building Analyst training course which can lead to BPI Certification.  "Building Analyst" will introduce you to the building science field for residential housing.  You can continue with Envelope Professional or Heating Professional to be accredited with BPI (Buidling Performance Institute), allowing you to offer NYSERDA incentives to your customers.
Contact Art for a registration form and a schedule of upcoming training opportunities.

Arthur Garno '78, Program Coordinator, CREST
enter of Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies
SUNY Canton, 315-386-7197

  Energy Task Force   in St. Lawrence County and Region --
works on all things energy-related locally.
Contact Ann Heidenreich at

A stalwart of the North Country Sustainable Energy Fair, Steve Spence's website is a great resource chock-full of interesting DIY, tutorials and information!  Steve has moved south for now, so may not be available for projects in the North Country for the foreseeable future, but his site is well worth perusing regardless.

  Energy Clearinghouse   website for
St. Lawrence County and Region

                    Local (North Country of New York) Renewable Energy Contractors: 
    • Adirondack Battery & Solar LLC, Amanda Potter:
    • Alternative Power Solutions, Owen Pugh:
    • Borderlands Energy, John Charamella:
    • Four Winds Renewable Energy Co, Roy Butler:
    • Northern Lights Energy, Scott Shipley:
    • Northern Solar:
                    Please mention to these contractors where you found them!

For locally produced wood pellets for your stove:
  • Curran Renewables:

  Energy Efficiency (and Renewables!):  Loads of useful information on this comprehensive government resource site.

  Federal & State Tax Incentives for Energy Efficiency:
                Federal Tax credits for solar energy systems, water heaters, and insulation.

EE Video
Plug Heat Bleed Calculator

Tech Beat

See how the Energy Response Corps' online tool can evaluate how much your home is losing to Heat Bleed.

Read more.

Living Efficiently? Videos Show Energy-Saving Suggestions for Your Life

EE Tips

Check out this video series for every day energy-saving suggestions.

Read more.

           Considering Solar Power?

Note the list of North Country Contractors above!

  Solar Resources, Definitions, Loans, and More

  Solar Energy:   Free solar energy webinars every Wednesday

  Solar Savings: Solar Hot Water Resources & Explanations :

Solar Energy Guide

If you are looking for general, basic information about working with solar energy providers, including company profiles, financing, ownership, equipment and more, check out this very helpful  online guide from Consumer Affairs.

Have a Leasing Company Install Your
Grid-Tied Solar Power System for Free?

Leases & Power Purchase Agreements (PPA's)
Note that these are not yet happening in our region of NY State, though they could begin at any time.  The way it works: a dealer installs a system at your home under contract for 15 to 30 years.  The system is sized to create as much power as you use, on average.  You still are hooked up to National Grid and receive a bill from them for basic service and delivery of any electricity you use -- beyond what your solar panels created and fed into their grid.  You receive a second bill each month from the leasing company charging you for the power you used that month; power that was created with your leased system.  Note that contracts generally are in the 13.5 cents per Kw range, which is not cheaper than National Grid BUT you get that same price for the life of the contract -- see if you get that with National Grid over dozens of years!

There is more you need to know!  There is a difference between a Lease and a PPA, as explained in this thorough article.

If your home is not appropriate for this program,
there's a larger community-based option, but it will take some doing!

"Community-Owned Solar Gardens" are another way to shift to locally produced, renewable energy by buying into a community array and receiving credits on their monthly utility bills.  See also

"Solar Gardens"

Solar Buying Co-ops

  Green Reports of Interest (2010)

  Five Emerging US Public Finance Models:  Powering Clean-Tech Economic Growth and Job Creation

For a little fun, check out this article on PV Portability!
PhotoVoltaics are everywhere now, and can do many things, including help you charge all of those other electronic devices we've come to depend on!

Hydrofracking Information, compliments of Michael and Kathy Gorr at a Local Living Festival 2011 workshop.  Definitely a document with a particular point of view. Click on the attachment "Hydrofracking Information 2011" at the very bottom of this page for resources.


HOME TOUR - a 22 year tradition in the North Country!
Rocket Mass Heater Demonstration Project
Saturday October 11, 2014, 1 - 3 pm

Mass Heater Rocket Stove - High-efficiency, positive draft or "convection heat pump" method; super safe wood mass heater with warming bench.

This is a special event - we will open up the barrel, inspect it for fly ash and damage, and really get a good look at the "innards."  Then fire it up for the first burn of the season!  This is not an opportunity that comes around often. Local craftsmen and rocket stove enthusiasts will be on hand to share information as well.

Home environs: Primitive living, but in style -- "walking" water instead of running water, beautiful slate-covered composting toilet outhouse featured in TAUNY Homesteaders exhibit, 100% off-grid solar DC power, local building materials plus the rocket mass heater addition built in September, 2012Home built by owner, and in part by Schulze Construction.     

Due to limited space, you will need to RSVP on a first-come first-served basis.

Reserve early!
  • Attendance is limited to 20 and it fills up!  RSVP is necessary due to limited space.
  • There is a suggested donation of $10 per person to benefit Local Living Venture workshop creation.
  • Note that this income is the sole current source of support for our small, hardworking staff who are managed by full time volunteers.  We appreciate your support!  We are dedicated to sharing resourceful living skills with the community in symbiotic ways.
  • Email us at to RSVP for your spot -- include your phone number(s) and the number in your party -- and we will send you the location and directions as well as any other pertinent information.

                  Green Home Tours                  
  Cheap & Efficient Mass Heaters -  
     Masonry, Bell & Rocket Stoves    
Saturday, April 5, 2014
It was a great day, with over 60 sign-ups for the Tours, and loads of information shared!

10 am ~ 
On-Grid Passive Solar
/ Russian Mass Heater

This home is "on-grid," but highly energy efficient; and has a centerpiece of a solarium with a gorgeous "Russian" or "Swedish" style mass masonry stove. Super efficient, passive solar; the home is built with local, green and recycled materials and features an earthen floor and an indoor garden. Home built by Bryan Lee.

11 am ~ 
Solar / Primitive / Off-Grid / Rocket Stoves
Passive solar and wood heated house.  100% off-grid photovoltaics, local building materials.  Basic Rocket cooking & heating inured to Small is Beautiful principles: less polluting, higher efficiency wood burning. This home does not have a mass heater but features a cook stove rocket retrofit adapted to small spaces (which burns way more efficiently using rocket stove principles.)  Adaptations include water heating, plus a homemade chimney heat extractor (using water as thermal mass) and an outside rocket "summer kitchen" -- simple warm weather cooking for those oriented to simplicity.  

12:15 pm ~  Solar / Primitive / Off-Grid / Rocket Mass Heater

Mass Heater Rocket Stove - High-efficiency, positive draft or "convection heat pump" method; super safe wood mass heater with warming bench.  Primitive living, but in style -- "walking" water instead of running water, beautiful composting toilet outhouse featured in TAUNY Homesteaders display, 100% off-grid solar DC power, local building materials.and the rocket mass heater built in September, 2012Home built by owner, and in part by Schulze Construction.     


1:45 ~  On-Grid Passive Solar / Russian Mass Heater
Masonry Home with "Finnish" style soapstone mass-masonry "contraflow" stove and passive solarThis "don't miss" new home features radiant floor heat, super-insulation, old world lime plaster - plus a 30' year-round winterized yurt with radiant floor heating (which may or may not be on the tour after the main house), as well as a living roof garden on a large Asian-style shed -- not the season for it, but it's cool anyway!  New home built by Schulze Construction.

3 pm ~  Triple Bell Heater & Hot Water

This brand new project was just built in March 2014 and one of the first firings was at this Tour!  Their triple bell style heater (for heat and hot water) is mounted atop the mass masonry wood cookstove and is using the free gas movement method.  An exciting and ongoing project that should heat water, heat the house, cook food, bake food, bring fresh air into the house, and be pleasing to the eye.  It’s not costing a lot of money to build, is very efficient on how much wood it burns, is safe, easy to operate, and the Martin's shouldn’t have to start a fire nearly as often as with a conventional metal stove.  Home built by the extended Martin family and friends.
PHOTO CREDIT: Melvin Martin.  Stove in process!  Began building it March 21, 2014.

  Home Tour  
 Rocket Stove Mass Heater, Innovative Heating Option 
Sunday, February 3, 2013, 1-3 pm, near Canton
Join us on this tour as a follow up to the "fire science" and "wood heat innovations" portions of our recent Renewable Energy Extravaganza! 

View the rocket stove mass heater in action!  It was built at a home about 10 miles from Canton during an intensive three day Rural Skills Workshop, involving over 25 participants, in September of 2012.

RSVP is necessary for location information.  There is a suggested donation of $5 for anyone able to contribute to keep Local Living Venture programs going strong.  Email us to RSVP for your spot -- we will send you the location and other information.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

A MASSIVE Thank You to the close to 60 volunteers involved in putting together the wonderful mini-Energy Fair on December 1!

It was a great day (although pretty cold!) and many people shared and gained a LOT of useful information!

We really appreciate all of the wonderful volunteer presenters who contributed their time and knowledge, as well as community members who pitched in and helped to make it happen!

Our favorite quote of the day:
"We go to similar shows where we pay $2,000 for a booth and don't speak to nearly as many engaged people as you attracted here, and that aren't nearly as well organized.  We'll be back, and would like to have our banner out front next time as a sponsor!"
Marc Andre Lemieux
Solart International, Montreal, Que.

Well, thank you heartily for that wonderful vote of confidence, Marc Andre!  We endeavor to always earn that level of praise, and appreciate your generosity in sharing such affirming thoughts with us.

Keep an eye on this page, and our Workshop Schedule page for upcoming events -- and mark your calendar for the Local Living Festival on April 27, 2013!

Yours Truly,
Chelle Lindahl & Krystal White, and the LLV Energy Working Group:
Miles Manchester, Jackson Francisco, Al & Martha Lumley
LLV Board & Staff: Jenna Brown & Rajiv Narula

  Small Scale Renewable Energy 
      & Energy Efficiency 
 New Homes, Retrofit for Older Homes 
& Grid Tied Power + Wood Heating Innovations 

Saturday, December 1, 9:30 am to 5 pm
Exhibit booths will open at 9:30 am, Speakers begin at 10 am.
Cooperative Ext. Learning Farm, 2043 Rt. 68, Canton, NY, 13617

Check out our interview with Todd Moe at NCPR!

          Wood Heating Innovations     
                          Energy Efficiency     
      & more!                                        

Confirmed Speakers

This is the confirmed
schedule.  As with all things, however, it may be subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control.  Thank you for your patience as we've pulled this wonderful event together!

10 AM   
"Crazy Jerry" Bartlett 
Woodstoves, Rocket Mass Heaters, and the Missing Link
We think the title says it all on this one!  Come share in the amazing world of an North Country favorite -- tinkerer-extraordinaire "Crazy" Jerry!  (Don't let his nickname fool ya!)
Presenter Biography:

Crazy Jerry is “just a normal Northern NY recluse with a side order of ambition."  He says, "Make plans to come to the Extravaganza. You definitely won't see any of this on TV!"

Jim Juczak
Woodhenge Sustainability Campus

Micro Hydro: Macro Benefits

Is the stream/river on your property productive enough to run your own power off of a hydro system? Learn prices, brand names, the simple math behind measuring stream flow, as well as the equipment necessary to hook it up.
Presenter Biography:
James S. Juczak lives with his family at Woodhenge, a 55-acre intentional community. He has written several articles and books, lectures on a wide variety of self reliance topics and is an inventor extraordinaire. He also consults on off-grid energy system design.

11:15 AM

Marc-Andre Lemieux 
Solart Group

Renewables Make Dollars and Sense
for Energy-Intensive Agricultural,
& Home Applications

Solart will share how investing in solar is both cost effective and financially intelligent for average homeowners, farmers, and small businesses -- as well as the philosophy of Solart in assisting you to meet your goals.
Presenter Biography:
Marc-Andre Lemieux founded Solart International 4 years ago primarily focusing on the Ontario market. Through our headquarters in downtown Montreal, we have been able to expand our operations into the US and Caribbean.

Bill LaPoint, Steve Sherwood, Richard Gast
NY Forest Owner's Assn. (NYFOA)

Wood: The Other Renewable Fuel
Comparing Benefits & Managing Forests for Home Heating

Learn about the energy output of various types of wood and how they compare to other fuels. Burning wood can be used with sustainable forestry to encourage preservation of wilderness areas for future use, wildlife preservation and recreation enjoyment, as well as reduction of carbon emissions.
Presenter Biographies:
Bill LaPoint is the NYFOA Adirondack Chapter Chairman
Steven Sherwood is a DEC Forester
Richard Gast is an educator and programs assistant for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County

12:30 PM

Mark Mayhew
Project Manager at NYSERDA

NYSERDA's Small Scale Wind Turbine Incentive Program
Mark will discuss the basics of wind energy including the different sizes of turbines and what might be right for each type of person. He will also describe how NYSERDA's incentive program works.
Presenter Biography:
Mark Mayhew is project manager for New York State Energy & Development Authority (NYSERDA) on-site wind turbine incentive program

Jim Juczak
Woodhenge Sustainability Campus

Whole Home Heating & Comfort:
Tankless Water Heaters; Radiant In-Floor Heating; GeoThermal and more

1:45 PM

Scott Shipley
Northern Lights Solar Energy

Benefits of the Grid-Tied Solar Community
Grid-tied solar connects people to a system as well as a community. It can be simpler and less expensive to install than off-grid systems and uses the technology and components more efficiently. Grid-tied systems can now make electricity cheaper than off the grid. Learn about how grid-tie solar works, including costs and the various financial benefits and incentives.
Presenter Biography:
Scott Shipley is President and owner of Northern Lights Energy, Hermon, NY. Northern Lights Energy has been designing and installing on-grid and off-grid solar electric systems in St Lawrence County since 1996.

Gerald Loch
commercial energy auditor/evaluator for NYSERDA's Small Commercial Energy Audit Program

Residential Energy Efficiency & How to Measure Progress
Learn about no-cost and low-cost efficiency measures. Topics will include: "apparent temperature" computations and relative humidity; use of high velocity; low flow shower heads; appliance management; phantom power and computations of the "energy factor" to measure relative month-to-month usage. Attendees will receive a free "Energy Kit" (a value of $15).
Presenter Biography:
Gerald Loch is a commercial energy auditor/evaluator for NYSERDA's Small Commercial Energy Audit Program. He is also the green jobs, green New York outreach coordinator for Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.

3 PM

Panel Discussion:
Jackson Francisco, Chelle Lindahl, Miles Manchester, Allen Lumley

Wood Heating Innovations, Fire Science, and "Rocket" Stove Technology

optional feature: a tour of our recently built rocket mass heater (sign up at welcome booth!)

Recently the Local Living Venture organized a weekend-long workshop where we built a low- to no-cost mass masonry heater using "rocket" stove technology, which has nothing what-so-ever to do with jet fuel!  It is a highly efficient way to burn wood that saves money, makes wood heat a much safer prospect (no creosote build-up, no chance of chimney fires), and greatly enhances your comfort in the home.  There's a lot to it, and yet it is the sould of simplicity -- come learn more from the folks who shared in this building process, and go see the stove in action too!

Bring a bag lunch! 
There will not be food available on site, so please bring provisions if you plan to be here all day!

Confirmed Exhibitors

Exhibits will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

   Alternative Power
Solar and wind systems for residential and commercial customers are installed here! We want to help you live an independent, and energy conscious lifestyle. We provide innovative, flexible solar power and wind power solutions that meet the pure power demands of the new energy marketplace. We want to help you take advantage of renewable energy to deliver greater freedom from an increasingly uncertain energy supply. Our goal is to raise your awareness of the benefits of living an energy conscious lifestyle. We stand behind and strongly believe in doing what is right for the environment, while making sure the chosen system matches the customers lifestyle.

   Shaw Family, Heuvelton
First year on grid-tied power exhibit -- see how they did, ask about how it worked!

   Northern Lights Solar
Northern Lights Energy exists to provide expert energy solutions to businesses and individuals. In addition to understanding electrical systems, we have extensive experience analyzing all aspects of energy usage in all types of buildings. Scott has been working and living with Solar for 20 years. Primary services include: solar electric system design and installation, electrical efficiency upgrades, and complete residential electrical wiring services.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is a public benefit corporation created in 1975. Today, NYSERDA’s aim is to help New York meet its energy goals: reducing energy consumption, promoting the use of renewable energy sources, and protecting the environment.

   DMT Foam
Providing spray foam insulation, blown-in cellulose insulation and energy audit services for Northern New York, Upstate NY, Thousand Islands, Adirondacks, Watertown, and the North Country. 

   Solart Group
Solart International is a North American solar energy company specializing in the financing, development, manufacturing, building and operation of residential and commercial turn-key solar systems.  The project sizes can range from home properties to commercial and industrial building owners. Our mission is to take on the most innovative, original and customized solar installations while providing the best customer service possible.  We share an impressive track record when it comes to solar panel installations, customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, far-sighted innovation in solar energy, and the participation in the culture of renewable energy in Canada and the US.

   New York Forest Owners Association
- Northern Adirondack Chapter:

The mission of the New York Forest Owners Association (NYFOA) is to promote sustainable forestry practices and improved stewardship on privately owned woodlands in New York State. NYFOA is a not-for-profit group of people who care about NYS trees and forests and are interested in the thoughtful management of private forests for the benefit of current and future generations.

   SUNY Canton Alternative & Renewable Energy Systems & Center for Renewable Energy & Sustainable Technology: &
CREST offers training in energy and building science along with customized training!

   Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA)  www.adirondack .org
Free or reduced
Energy Star program home energy assessment information 

   Viridian Green Energy
Save  money on renewable energy.

   TJ Toyota, Potsdam, NY 
Showcasing the latest model Prius -- TJ Toyota is a family-owned automobile dealership in Potsdam, since 1980. Their goal is simple – offer you the best product at the best price available and back it up with superior customer service. Plus a personal touch to make your experience a satisfying one.

   Crazy Jerry's yellow bullet hybrid bike (weather dependent)

   Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County
Provides unbiased, educational outreach to the North Country through research, education and demonstration in Food and Agricultural Systems, Life Skills, Community Enhancement, Rural Stewardship, and Youth Development. St. Lawrence CCE's vision is to be a center of dynamic educational programming which will dramatically improve the quality of life and opportunity of North Country residents.

   Local Living Venture 
Volunteer run, community-based non-profit -- organizers of year-round Rural Skills Workshops and events, the Local Living Festival (April 27, 2013!) and the upcoming Homestead Learning Community.  Oh, and this Energy Extravaganza, too!  Our Home Page

   SPECIAL FEATURE: Miles Manchester's Wooden Stove Educational Display -- it's hot stuff!

~ End of Exhibitors ~

Suggested Donation
There is a suggested minimum donation of $10 advance, $12 at the door ($5 student) to attend all of the workshops as well as have access to the vendors.

Seating is limited to 45 or less per presentation, and advance purchase of tickets is suggested.  You may use your credit card via PayPal (see Advance Tickets link below.)  Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $12 each.

On-site or advance volunteer opportunities are available, and are rewarded with free entry and good will.  We work with you to ensure that your two hours do not conflict with speakers you'd like to see.  Contact the Local Living Venture and we will send you a form to fill out listing the times, jobs, and preferences you my have.  Or, go directly to our Volunteer webpage, copy and then paste that information in to an email and send it to us at

Drawing for Free Passes
The drawing for six pairs of free all-day passes 
(a value of $20-24 per set) will be held on Tuesday, November 27.  All registrations for the drawing must be received by midnight on Monday, November 26th.
Melissa Hart, Kerry Newell, Jim & Libby Blackmore, Jo Robinson, Dean Laubscher, Jim Knapp.

Advance Tickets
You can use your credit card through PayPal -- click the link on our Donations Page at  (you may have to scroll slightly to reach the PayPal button link.)

There is a suggested minimum donation of $10 advance, $12 at the door ($5 student) to attend all of the workshops as well as have access to the vendors.

When you are prompted to review and confirm your payment (to Seedcorn, Inc.), please click on the link labeled
"add special instructions to seller".  In the drop-down box that appears, please note:

  •     number of people you are paying for
  •     name(s) for each paid reservation (in case you arrive separately)
  •     your contact email address (for confirmation of your reservation)
  •     your contact phone
  •     where you heard about the event
We will email our confirmation to you and the information you provide will be "at the door" to provide entry for you and your guests.

Please note that the bridge is back in service on Rt. 68 between Canton and the Learning Farm, there is no need to go around.

General Event Information
   This event is geared to the average family and what might be attainable for their pocketbook, as well as showing how savings can be gained from conventional energy efficiency methods -- even by renters. 

   For instance, various no-cost and low-cost efficiency measures such as understanding “apparent temperature” and relative humidity; the use of high velocity, low flow shower heads; appliance management; phantom power; and, how to figure out the “Energy Factor” to usefully measure month-to-month usage.

   An “Energy Kit”, valued at $15.00, will be given to all attendees of the NYSERDA presentation on residential energy efficiency. Emphasis will be placed in many of the workshops on rebates and incentives available to home and business owners. 

   Many North Country homes use wood heat and seek higher efficiency, less polluting options than the stove of yesteryear.  You can spend a $1000 on a high-caliber stove - and you will get your moneys worth - but you can also build a rocket stove or retrofit your existing stove for almost nothing but your time.  We'll talk about all of this and everything in between...once you understand the principles of simple fire science, your heating experience may never be the same!

  Micro-hydro systems (there are 168 untapped "dams" in the Adirondacks that could utilize this fairly non-invasive technology to power nearby homes, for instance)
  Geothermal systems where you tap into the steady temperature of the earth to pre-warm or pre-cool the air that will be forced through your HVAC equipment.

  Small wind systems can be purchased for as little as $1000, making them affordable for most families with a DIY-er on board, or with friends who are.
Used components can make solar electricity dead cheap.  It's not so expensive anymore to begin with, even new.  Depending on your budget, and whether you're already "on the grid" with the power company, this technology is definitely coming in to it's own, price-wise.
Crazy Jerry's bright yellow bullet hybrid bike and other transportation alternatives may also be on display (weather dependent) for you to talk to them about.
All this and so much more will be on display or shared by presenters.

Advance Tickets WebPage:

Volunteer webpage:

Renewable & Efficiency Energy Resources
Check out our many wonderful Resources on this page, above!

  Northeast Green Buildings
  Open House (GBOH)
Saturday, October 13, 2012, 9 am - 4 pm
NESEA’s Green Buildings Open House (GBOH), held annually in October, is the biggest sustainable energy event in the northeastern United States. In 2011, nearly 11,000 people toured 500 homes, businesses, and public buildings showcasing energy-efficient design, systems, and products, as well as renewables. 
The LLV/SLP is serving as an organizer for this event in our region.  Nationally many more homes are toured a week before the Northeast version we are hosting, through the American Solar Energy Association.

These free tours are on an Open House basis and will be held in various locations throughout St. Lawrence County and as far west as Wellesley Island in Alexandria Bay and as far east as Ellenburg Depot.  We will post more information about specific tours as details become available.
For more information check out the GBOH website:
If you are interested in hosting a tour contact us at:

Masonry Rocket Stove Intensive Workshop
Weekend of September 22, 2012
Presenters: Ernie & Erica Wisner
Near Canton, NY -- 2-1/2 hours from Kingston, Ont.
Build a cob masonry heater using rocket stove technology!!
Up to 20 participants are invited to join in this 2-1/2 day intensive build.
The fee is $150 per person, less for those who contribute to the planning process.
Primitive camping is available free on site, with one empty cabin available free as well, also primitive.
Some meals included and lots of camaraderie with fellow rocket scientists.
See also:,

Plans are to showcase this DIY build during the nationwide renewable energy tours, being hosted in the North Country of New York by the Local Living Venture:

 Green Buildings Open House  (clickable link)
Saturday, October 13, 2012  (see full listing below)
The site where the stove will be built is in the registry of Green Home Tours and is an off-grid solar-powered abode with Swedish gutters for rain water collection, a composting outhouse, and many interesting features in the small intentional community where it is situated. 

Solar Home Tour / Grape Vine Planting Work Party
April 21, 2012,  9am - through out the day, Potsdam NY
Lou and Sandy Maine will be your co- hosts at their off grid solar homestead outside Parishville.  Also co- hosting later in the afternoon will be Matt Whalen, Owner of High Peaks Winery, in Parishville NY.

Lou and Sandy Maine have been living off the grid since 1982 and have a hybrid system of solar panels, diesel generator and battery storage. They use wood heat and have pre-heated wood heated hot water system. They also raise chickens and pigs and have a large garden with vegetables and storage crops. The home tour will take place at 9 am

After the tour there will be an optional Back Yard Vineyard Planting Work Party, which will begin some time after the tour will go until 1pm, followed by a bag lunch ( bring your own lunch please) and more planting from 2-5pm followed by a wine tasting with High Peaks Winery and a barbecue of farm-raised meat. Please bring a dish to pass if you plan to stay for supper (vegetarians welcome, despite the BBQ.)

We will be planting 5 cold hearty test varieties of grapes for a total of 125 vines. If weather is inclement the workshop will be postponed until April 28th. 

If you are interested in signing up the home tour and optional work party contact us by phone at 315.347.4223 or email us to RSVP. Attendance is limited and you must RSVP. Suggested donation of $10 to $20, sliding scale, $5 student - scholarships available when you RSVP.

North Country Clean Energy Conference
June 21-22, 2012, Lake Placid Conference Center       (not an LLV coordinated event)
Registration is now open for the inaugural North Country Clean Energy Conference!
The idea for this conference came out of the winning North Country Economic Development Council Plan’s vision and goals that called for “Creating the Greenest Energy Economy in the State.” Following a presentation at the North Country Symposium in late 2011, a team of committed individuals started working on developing a conference to identify the projects and investments that will help the region achieve its Clean Energy vision.

Taking place at the stunning new Conference Center in Lake Placid (NY), the conference will begin Thursday, June 21 at 5 p.m. with networking, a student poster session and other activities. Dinner will be served at 6:30.
  Friday’s session is a full day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., featuring workshops in five areas: solar, wind, hydro, biomass and conservation. There will also be an opportunity for input to the NYSERDA-funded Cleaner Greener Communities Sustainability Plan for the North Country.

All meals are included in the admission fee, which is $50 until May 15. After that, the price goes up to $65. Register now by following this link:

Presenters and Sponsors sought:  Contact Dan Mason, Conference Director at  Conference Host: ANCA, 518-891-6200,

Green Home & Garden / Farm Tours
Living Roof, 30' Yurt  & Garden Planting Party
Saturday, May 28, 2011, Garden-10 AM,  BYOBag Lunch-noon,  Tour-1 PM

Green Home Tour
Visit a Living Roof and a Yurt home near Potsdam and meet with the builder/growers!  View an Asian-style storage building with an attached carport that is a thin-shelled concrete living roof supporting an ornamental and vegetable garden.  You can also tour the 30' yurt home and ask questions about life in the round.  Here's the link to Todd Moe's interview with our hosts, on NCPR.
Directions:  Click here for  a map to the Gardens (see below) - which is where we'll park for the Tour as well.  Wear boots for crossing a wet field!

Garden Planting Party
Help plant out transplant seedlings -- the traditional way to spend Memorial Day weekend in the North Country!  Learn from experienced gardeners and help create part of Cecilie's Garden this year.  UShare, a community service project managed by Canton's Unitarian Universalist Church plants hundreds of seedlings every year, tending and harvesting for donation to area food pantries.  You will learn about planting out seedlings, raised beds, drip irrigation, and proper mulching.  This will take place at the the cooler time of 10 AM, with the nearby tour at 1 in the afternoon.  Bring a bag lunch for noon break or zip into town on your bike (!? lovely hint!)  See the link above for directions.

Suggested donation (for the Tour only) is $10 to $20, sliding scale, $5 student - scholarships available.  By reservation only, please RSVP for location and other information.  Please note if you are interested in the "free" Gardening event, the "donation-basis" Tour, or both.

This series of monthly tours features only one tour in a day.  They are much more intensive and "whole-homestead" than previous (more renewable energy-related) tours.  Energy, building systems, agriculture, cottage industries, land management, animals/livestock, and more will be covered as befits the host home that month.  Some tours will also feature an optional "work day" event where you can help out with a project that is useful to the household and educational for you!  Check back for updates of new events - usually on the last weekend of a given month, or thereabouts.  Bookmark

GREEN HOME TOUR!  The first of monthly tour events upcoming!

SATURDAY APRIL 23, 2011, Noon
Crazy Jerry's on the tour again!  His presentation will focus on a nuts-and-bolts approach to Off-Gridding your older decrepit, non-energy star home -- in this case showcasing some very unique items.   See how some of the oldest technology, simply and elegantly mingles with the new to provide the domestic amenities we love in a tinkerers treasure trove of a home.  By the end of the tour, you'll be hot on the trail to start your very own endeavor -- within your skills and your budget.

Here's a teaser list that should get you talking:
Mobile-mounted Solar Panels, Sine-Wave inverter/Chargers, Batteries, 375 rpm in-house Diesel Co-Gen, Human Power!, Staber Washer, Spin-X Dryer, Sundanzer Refrigerator, Demand Water Heater and a fire truck extension ladder windmill tower ready for deployment.  You'll also take in
the in-house bicycle generator setup,  the North Country's only bio-diesel powered motorcycle (115+ mpg!), sine wave inverter shootout AND a 3 minute spin dryer demo.  New this Spring is a  hotttt yellow  human-electric hybrid full-bodied tricycle dubbed "The Aurora Project" (see pic on our Green Home Tours page!)  If you're a tinkerer, and even if you're not, you will never forget this tour!

Crazy Jerry says, "Make plans to come to the Green Homes Tour
-- you definitely won't see any of this on TV!"

Pre-register for this tour at or by calling 315-347-4223.  Suggested donation of $10 to $20, sliding scale, $5 student.  Limited attendance, and it fills up fast!  Exact address and directions will be sent to registered attendees.

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Oct 2, 2011, 7:22 PM