Thursday, March 17, 2011

OK, I’m not much of a blogger. I get too caught up in research. I guess I’d rather spend an extra hour digging for more information or working to reframe questions than spending time developing my own platform.

But I’d like to share this weeks research adventure. It’s rewarding---and not uncommon working in Vermont--- that a search about one person can unexpectedly shed a new light on others. Gary Hirshberg of Stoneyfield Farms Organic Yogurt (coming up March 28th) worked as the Executive Director of the New Alchemy Institute on Cape Cod when he was in his early 20’s. How interesting! That’s John and Nancy Todd’s creation. John Todd is a brilliant environmental engineer and genius, who lives part time in Vermont. His specialty is taking waste, and finding natural ways to clean it up; The Living Machine, a series of tanks of living matter to transform human waste, a swamp with the right waste loving creatures to clean up industrial pollutant, etc. I interviewed Todd and his wife Nancy number of years ago. So, it was fun to discover that Hirshbrg worked with them in his 20’s. And then I find an amazing archive online of news about the New Alchemy Institute. Someone had scanned whole articles related to the Institute. I looked up 1981 to find out news about Hirshberg. There’s an article about Hirshberg taking alternative practices to China (a tough sell in those day), raising money, etc., and then I notice that there’s an article that has something to do with “Shelburne.” Got to see what that’s about. I pull up an article from Mother Earth News about Shelburne Farms and Vermont’s first Farmer’s Market...from 1981. What we take for granted now was so novel, you could feel the author’s awe of this new experiment in farming going on in Shelburne, VT . Cool find, since I’m interviewing Alec Webb, who founded Shelburne Farms, in a few weeks.

That’s how I get my kicks.

Other news:

Congratulations to George Woodard, interviewed last fall. "The Summer of Walter Hacks" has been accepted to screen at the prestigious Boston International Film Festival in April.

The remarkable Blanche Moyse, co-founder of the Marlboro Music Festival, passed away last month at the age of 101. I remember how feisty she was in on Profile in her 90’s, still teaching, still conducting. She never let physical limitations slow her down. When she lost her ability to play world class violin, she began a stunning and long career as a choir director and conductor. RIP

1 comment:

  1. Fran Stoddard

    On that "amazing archive about the New Alchemy Institute",
    I'm the someone who assembled it and make New Alchemy's
    ideas available in summary articles. The concepts and
    information are still unknown to most people, but would
    be a big help to deal with some our global energy and
    environmental trends.

    Earle Barnhart
    New Alchemist