The Legend Of Don Dicisco

Lost Nation, Essex, Vermont

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2005: Looking back, ahead, and around...

The following is a summary of Legend 2005, which took place at the Green Mountain Audubon Center in Huntington, Vermont on September 17th.

It has been a long time since Don Dicisco has been summoned from the woods, and all who attended the Legend will never forget the manner in which he appeared. Creating the right type of energy to call Don from the hills took the hard work of everyone involved and here I would like to point to specific occurrences that helped set the stage:

ART: Participants wandering the main field and the woods were able to view a handful of site specific installations set up by local artists including: Seth Aylmer, Matthew Bryant, Chelsie Bush, Adam Hosmer, Dian Hosmer, Christine Holzschuh, Seth Jarvis, Susan Morse, Michael Rothschild, Dennis Sparling, and Robert Spear. Participants were also able to contribute to works in progress at the interactive art station, helping to blur the line between artists and attendees. Thank you to The Drawing Board in Montpelier, The Artist's Medium in Williston and Boutelier's in Burlington for donating materials.

MUSIC: Though the line up was diverse, there was an underlying theme that seemed to permeate all of the music. For this, I would like to thank the following acts: PanAshe, Gordon Stone Band, The Black Sea Quartet, The Dawn Chorus, The New England Coalition Band with Jon Fishman, and Paul Asbell's Jazz/Fusion Allstars.

ECOLOGY: Participants were able to engage field naturalists Charley Eiseman, Amanda Devine, and Ryan Owens in open discussion at different habitats around the Green Mountain Audubon Center. Ecology walks included "Birds glorious birds" led by Dan Wells and "Bobcats, bear, moose and more" led by Susan Morse. The Vermont Institute of Natural Science presented live hawks during their "Raptor Encounter" and Tim Roth offered live snakes in a demonstration entitled: "Reptiles and Amphibians of Vermont and the World." Author Bernd Heinrich gave a talk on the human connection with the natural world, followed by a fiction reading and presentation by artist and farmer Michael Rothschild.

ENERGY: We powered over six hours of music and some of the cooking equipment using solar energy and a generator that ran on vegetable oil. For this I would like to thank Rick Wayman for operating the New England Coalition Energy Van, and Mark Penta of SOV Specialties for operating the generator. I would also like to thank Ben Graham of Natural Design and Build, who helped us build the earthen oven, and Gary Beckwith who provided the biodiesel shuttle service. Thank you to Vermont Biofuel Association, Boise Citgo, and BioQuantum for providing the biodiesel.

FOOD: The day culminated in an historic celebratory feast comprised of food from ten local farms. Thank you to Chef Michael Clauss and his host of NECI volunteers for planning and preparing the meal and to local foods extraordinaire Krista Harness for coordinating the feast. Participating Vermont farms included: Full Moon Farm, Growing Mosaics Farm, LePage Farm, LunaBleu Farm, Maple Wind Farm, New Moon Farm, Pete's Greens, Shelburne Orchards, Solterra Organic Farm, Windy Ridge Farm. I would also like to thank the following product sponsors: Annie's Naturals, Strafford Organic Creamery, Vermont Coffee Company, High Mowing Seeds.

WASTE: For close to 300 people we ended up with four bags of trash. We were able to compost almost everything, including the plates, napkins and utensils. For this I would like to thank Erin Croom and the Association of Vermont Recyclers for running the compost and recycling station, as well as Foley Distributing for donating all of the compostable paperware. I would also like to thank All Cycle Waste for providing bins and hauling services.

DONATIONS: We raised $1000 for two local efforts. Half of the money went to The LaPlatte Headwaters Initiative on Bissonette Farm - a conservation project of Vermont Land Trust, Trust For Public Land, and Hinesburg Land Trust. The remaining funds went to Audubon Vermont's Environmental Education Program.

I would like to thank the staff at The Green Mountain Audubon Center for their cooperation, especially Bridget Butler, Kim Guertin, Steve Hagenbuch, Mark LaBarr, and Doug Parker. Thank you also to all of the volunteers for helping to shape the course of events. And finally I would like to thank the following people who were a source of incredible support and inspiration during the entire process: Matthew Klamm Bryant, Michael Clauss, Three Day, Jon Fishman, Lisa Guerrero, Krista Harness, Lindsay Hosmer, Darren McCaffrey, Kevin McCaffrey, Peet Maclean, Dan Ouderkirk, Patrick Savage, Bevin Smith, Louis Smith, Joel Hobolio Steinberg, Shaun Stotyn and Todd Stowell of Amp'd Ink, and Dan Wells.

We are in the early stages of planning the next chapter of The Legend of Don Dicisco, which will take place September 30th, 2006 at The Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston, Vermont. We will build upon this initial effort by pushing each aspect of the Legend in every direction and by increasing the size and scope of the event.

The footprints of Don
linger on
well after the snow

Michael Goodwin

Contact: [email protected]