Community Agriculture Alliance: October brings sustainability

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— Are you starting to think fall thoughts and planning for the local harvest, weatherproofing and other sustainable practices before the snow flies? If so, October is the month for you.

It kicks off with a week of green events, beginning with the Taste of Sustainability Fun-Raiser, a sustainable foods sampling and fundraiser for the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

The evening of local food and live music also includes a silent auction for guests to bid on while they taste. Auction items range from stay-cation packages in Steamboat to regional packages in Denver, Boulder, Winter Park and more. There will be sustainable local products and services such as beetle-kill wood furniture, garden packages and gift certificates for Yampa Valley products and services. Given the sustainable theme, this will be a unique silent auction. The Sustainability Council still is accepting auction items.

Local and sustainable foods will be a highlight of the evening, with more than a dozen local restaurants participating in this tasting event offering locally raised beef, milk, vegetables and more. Even the beer at this event will be Colorado-grown. Entry to the Taste of Sustainability is $35 a person in advance, or $40 at the door.

Following the Taste of Sust­ainability is YVSC’s annual Green Building and Solar Tour from 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 2 in conjunction with the 15th annual American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour. ASES, established in 1954, leads national efforts to increase the use of solar energy, energy efficiency and sustainable technologies, and is the award-winning publisher of Solar Today magazine. Check out http://nationalsolartour.org.

Steamboat’s tour costs $10, starting at the Steamboat Springs Community Center and finishing at the Steamboat Smokehouse for a reception with drinks and appetizers. The self-guided tour of eight properties offers a variety of homes and buildings featuring green building practices.

These events benefit Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and its programs, such as Talking Green, a monthly educational forum on a variety of sustainable subjects, and the Zero Waste Initiative, helping events, schools and businesses to be waste-free. To register for these events, visit http://www.yvsc.org.

Routt County Habitat for Humanity joins October’s green theme with World Habitat Com­munity Building Days from Oct. 1 to 5. Visit www.routtcounty

habitat.org to join a painting, roofing or landscaping team at one or all of five local homes getting work done. Habitat also is looking for used, functioning appliances.

At 7 p.m. Oct. 8 in Library Hall at Bud Werner Memorial Library, Deep Roots and Transition Steamboat team up to host an Intro to Permaculture evening with Steamboat resident Herald Stout, who will discuss permaculture, community-supported agriculture principles and gardening as local economy. Gain a local’s perspective from Stout, whose Steamboat home garden was based on permaculture principles.

Oct. 9 brings two events from Transition Steamboat — the second annual Old Town Garden Tour from 9 to 11:30 a.m., a walking/cycling tour of five sustainable downtown gardens starting at the Fielding residence, Oak and 12th streets. The tour is followed by an Intro­duction to Aquaponics and Sustainable Food Production Systems at Rex’s American Grill & Bar from 1 to 4 p.m. the same day. The Garden Tour is free, and the Intro to Aquaponics is by registration (early bird price is $20) on the Transition Steamboat website, http://transitionsteamboat.ning.com.

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