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Welcome to iBrattleboro!

Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

Home & Garden


Home and garden section

Dummerston Perennial Swappers Invites New Gardeners to Come to Swaps Empty-Handed!

[Dummerston]-- Back in 1987, Ruth Marx, a human geneticist and avid gardener, had paid a man good money for his blue lobelias only to hear a friend later say, “Oh, why didn't you tell me? I'd have given you some of that.” About the same time, Bess Richardson, a nurse at Grace Cottage, was tossing her culled perennials over a bank. “Ruth and I talked at church one day,” she said, and they came up with the only logical result: Dummerston Perennial Swappers, a loose-knit club designed to put excess perennials into the hands of people who want them.

We named it Perennial Swappers because of the radio swap show on Smith and Clarke in the Morning on WTSA,” Marx said. “But it's a plant giveaway.” No one has to bring an item to get one. Pre-internet, Richardson and Marx spread the news through church announcements. At the first meet people swapped plants then convened in the church's basement kitchen to hear some sound gardening advice. “ I put up a slide of a cat smelling a crocus,” Richardson remembered, and then she gave the talk. After subsequent swaps, “We started visiting flower gardens, and sometimes those gardeners had plants to share, too.”

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How (Older) Houses Work

SEON presents “How (Older) Houses Work

 The Sustainable Energy Outreach Network (SEON) is presenting a 2-part program on “How (Older) Houses Work” on May 18th and 30th from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Marlboro Graduate Center, Room 2C, 28 Vernon Street, Brattleboro. Peter Yost of BuildingGreen, Inc, 2014 National Association of Home Builders’ Educator of the Year, will be the dynamic presenter for this program on “How (Older) Houses Work.”  Session 1, May 18th, examines how heat and moisture interact in buildings, and looks at some building science “puzzles.”  Session 2, May 30th,  is an opportunity to bring your own building science puzzles and question and will conclude with a survey of the tools and techniques used to diagnose building issues and energy efficiency.

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Spring Home Improvements: Repair, Replace, Enjoy!

Spring is a great time to clean, garden, and make sure one’s home is in good repair. Besides cleaning closets and planting flowers, spring should involve inspecting one’s house following the tough winter weather. Repairs and replacements won’t just help people enjoy their homes more; they’ll also keep energy costs down.

Windham & Windsor Housing Trust’s Home Repair Program is available to help income-eligible homeowners affordably rehab and repair their homes. The Home Repair Program has low-cost loans and provides expert help every step of the way. The loan officer works with homeowners to tailor a loan that is affordable and allows homeowners make ends meet. The Program’s home repair specialists assist owners take a top to bottom look at their home so they can identify all needed repairs and maintenance. The seasoned specialists provide guidance with developing the work specifications, identifying contractors, and overseeing the work ensuring it’s completed in a timely fashion and in line with homeowners’ expectations.

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What to Know Before You Build: Expert Tips for Homeowners Planning Renovation or New Construction Projects

The Sustainable Energy Outreach Network (SEON) will host a panel presentation for the public on “What to Know Before you Build: Expert Tips for Homeowners Planning Renovation or New Construction Projects” on Monday, January 23rd from 6:00 - 7:30 PM at the Marlboro Graduate Center in Brattleboro.

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Shovel Thoughts

I’ve been shoveling out driveways and sidewalks most of my life. With the exception of a few years in Florida and DC, grabbing a shovel and clearing snow has been a part of my winter routine.

Shoveling provides time to think about shoveling.

The type of snow matters. Light powder is easily removed but often blows around and stings the face. Heavy, wet snow is a chore to remove, but it usually stays in place while I move it. Following forecasts to know what sort of snow to expect is a starting point.

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Powerwall Battery Workshop in Brattleboro Oct. 26

For homes (and businesses):  Tesla Powerwall Pilot Program from Green Mountain Power.

Do you want to safeguard your home (or business) against outages?  Would you like to have some reserve power when you need it?  If you already have some solar panels, would you like to extend their life?

Come to a workshop to learn about one advanced option for on-site battery storage.

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Looking for yard trailer for riding mower

I'm looking to buy your used utility trailer, which I can pull behind my riding mower. Maybe, if your trailer doesn't get much use, I can recycle it....if the price is right. Thanks so much !

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The Scythe, Hand Tools and Maintaining Land

An article about my obsession with my newest tool, the scythe. I touch upon hand tools vs. power tools and how I've transformed the land I live on in West Brattleboro in just a few years by doing less.

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Encouraging What is Already There

An article about how I encourage the wild strawberries in my yard, with minimal effort:

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Montreal to Ban Fireplaces and Vintage Woodstoves

They’re not so far away!

Starting in 2018, wood-burning appliances will be banned unless they meet rigorous new emission standards of
2.5 grams of fine particles or less per hour. The bylaw is among the strictest in North America, said Réal Ménard, the city’s executive committee responsible for the environment. Presently, transforming a stove or fireplace with inserts
so that it is in compliance with the coming regulations costs between $2,000 and $8,000.

Link

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Heat Pump Workshop Offered In Brattleboro Nov. 9

Do cold climate heat pumps make sense for you? Cold climate heat pumps have rapidly emerged as a promising technology for Vermont. Come to a workshop to learn about heat pump options for both hot water and space heating to see if they make sense for your home, business, or rental property.

These devices provide heat and domestic hot water using 25-50% less energy than conventional systems. They are environmentally-friendly as well – 87% free of carbon emissions when the electricity comes from Green Mountain Power. Heat pumps can also be combined with solar electric panels to provide 100% renewable energy.

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Mushroom Foraging Workshops Through the Brattleboro Food Co-op

The Brattleboro Food Co-op (BFC) is sponsoring a series of four wild mushroom foraging workshops this summer and fall. Led by Justin Garner, a clinical herbalist and founder of Sweet Flag Medicinals, each workshop will focus on whatever edible fungus is popping up in that particular month. Precautions will be taught for harvesting wild mushrooms, as well as cooking instructions and some on the ecology, natural history, flavor and medicinal value of the different species.

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Pay As You Throw and the Rising Cost of Recycling

Pay As You Throw wasn't so bad, now was it? All you have to do is spend a few extra hours (and/or dollars) a week on your trash and voila! It's trash day and out to the curb it goes, in multiple assorted bins, to be sure, but at least it's gone and that's what matters. End of story, right?

Oh, how we wish. Unfortunately, now that we're all composting, recycling, and reducing our landfill waste to little piles of plastic and metal oddments, we have a new problem. Curbside recycling is not profitable. It doesn't even pay for itself. In many places, including Brattleboro, the recycling companies have to be propped up financially by the municipalities, costing taxpayers money (again).

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Celebrate Solar Tours Saturday

Sunny Skies Forecasted for First Annual Statewide Celebrate Solar Tours Saturday

Sunny skies are forecasted for the weekend of the Summer Solstice when more than forty locations throughout Vermont will open their doors for Celebrate Solar Tours. Like the open sugarhouse weekend in the spring and open art studio weekend in the fall, the summertime tours will give Vermonters and visitors the opportunity to get an up-close view of solar systems to learn about the technology, solar economics, and the benefits of solar to our communities. Many locations will offer refreshments, music or other entertainment like community walking tours, miniature golf and on-site yoga.

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June 16 Forum to Promote New No- or Low-Interest Financing for Energy Improvement Projects

Two great low or no-interest financing options are now available to help Vermonters make energy improvements in their homes: PACE financing and the Heat Saver Loan.

A public informational forum on these energy financing options will be held on Tuesday, June 16 at 5:30 pm at the Marlboro College Graduate School, 28 Vernon Street in downtown Brattleboro. Pizza and beverages will be provided. Space is limited – to register, contact Paul Cameron at 251-8135 or pcameron@brattleboro.org.

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PACE and Heat Saver Loan Forum June 16

Two great low or no-interest financing options are now available to help Vermonters make energy improvements in their homes: PACE financing and the Heat Saver Loan.

A public informational forum on these energy financing options will be held on Tuesday, June 16 at 5:30 pm at the Marlboro College Graduate School, 28 Vernon Street in downtown Brattleboro. Pizza and beverages will be provided. Space is limited – to register, contact Paul Cameron at 251-8135 or pcameron@brattleboro.org.

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Hilltop Montessori Students to Build and Raffle Tiny House with Proceeds to Benefit Morningside Shelter and Scholarships

BRATTLEBORO – Hilltop Montessori School of Brattleboro is launching a “Tiny House Raffle” to benefit the school’s financial aid program and Morningside Shelter. Jamaica Cottage Shop has donated a tiny house kit that Hilltop students and families will assemble this spring. The 7’ x 12’ house is built on a trailer for easy mobility and will be raffled off at 3pm on the Brattleboro Common after the Strolling of the Heifers parade on June 6th.

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Road Map to Efficiency: A Regional Energy Roundtable

Come to “Road Map to Efficiency”, a regional energy roundtable Wednesday, January 20, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Windham & Windsor Housing Trust’s community room located at 68 Birge Street, Brattleboro

The roundtable will offer tools, resources, and support to homeowners, energy committees, and interested community members.

Roundtable topics include community grant opportunities, programs for schools, cold-climate heat pumps, residential solar options, on-bill repayment for residential efficiency projects, NeighborWorks H.E.A.T. Squad program updates, advice for starting an energy committee and how to spur action in communities.

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Holiday Lights on Washington Street

Don't miss this great light display!

Holiday Lights on Washington St. video.

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Schedule a Home Energy Audit Today! Do It For Kitten

Your house is drafty and your kitten is cold. It's time to do something about that. If you're a Brattleboro homeowner, schedule a home energy audit today and learn how you can save money and make your home more comfortable. Contact Brattleboro Town Energy Coordinator Paul Cameron to get started. 802.251.8135 or pcameron@brattleboro.org. Do it for kitten.

This is a project of the Brattleboro Energy Committee. Please watch and share this video on social media sites, email, blogs and list serves. Thanks!

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iBrattleboro Poll

Single use plastic bags in Brattleboro, to me,

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