AU Press Releases

Make plans to attend the 10th 'From the Earth' celebration

The 10th annual “From the Earth” event in Alfred will be held Saturday, July 29, with demonstrations and talks at various locations in the Alfred area.

Alumna Linda Huey, who earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from Alfred University in 1993, began “From the Earth” as a celebration of “our connections to the land in meaningful, creative, sustainable and educational ways.” The event is a “kid-friendly, free event created with a labor of love and respect for the earth.”

The schedule is as follows:

Bird Walk at Foster Lake, 5471 Lake Road, Alfred Station,  8 a.m.:  Join Betsy Brooks, a bird expert, on guided walk around Alfred University’s Foster Lake.  Participants will be able to see and hear birds, especially those that nest in high-elevation mature conifer forests, including Golden-crowned Kinglets, White-throated Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and more. There will be information available on building various types of nest-boxes and how to manage habitat for the benefit of birds. (Foster Lake will not be open to the public after the Bird Walk.)

Mary Lu Wells’ Garden, 4891 McAndrews Road, Alfred Station, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Mary Lu Wells, a master gardener, opens her gardens for public viewing. She will be presenting a talk, Gardening in a Time of Erratic Weather, from 9:30-10:15 a.m., discussing strategies that work for dealing with “crazy” weather while gardening.

Hyland Timber Frame Shop, 4964, Kenyon Road, Alfred Station, from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.: Tour Sean Hyland’s shop and see the methods and tools he uses to turn local timber into hand-crafted homes using traditional joinery methods.

From 10:30-11:15 a.m. and from 3:15 p.m., Hyland will talk about “Timber Framing and the Principles of Sustainability.” Hyland loves to talk about sustainability, and it’s a word we hear a lot about these days. From cars to chickens, it can seem as though almost anything is marketed as sustainable or “green.” But what do these terms really mean?  Get beyond the marketing hype to learn some of the concepts that will aid in discerning the truly sustainable form the merely “green-washed.” (www.hylandtimberframing.c...)

From 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 4:15-5 p.m., From Firewood to Functional: Making a Lathe-turned Wooden Bowl. Luke Voytas is a woodworker specializing in hand-crafted furniture and lathe-turned vessels. Using found material, Voytas will demonstrate turning a bowl from fresh-cut green wood. He will show how to select wood for a bowl from a log, as well as the techniques involved in shaping the vessel on the lathe and preparing it for use. (

Gardens, Pottery, Fi ber Arts at Linda Huey’s, 1530 Randolph Road, Alfred Station, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.:  Walk through a vegetable and flower garden surrounded by a bewitching twig style fence to the sugar shed where Huey’s  pottery is displayed. ( Also, enjoy several garden talks, a rag braiding demo and additional demonstrations by members of the Southern Tier Fiber Arts Guild.

From 10:30 – 11:15 a.m., Seed Saving 101. Dr. Cheryld Emmons, a professor of biology at Alfred University, will demonstrate how to collect, process and store seeds for future use. The focus will be on seeds from produce, but will also include seeds from flowers and trees. Emmons is extremely knowledgeable and fascinating to learn from.

From 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Garden Mapping: Planning and Plotting your Veggie Garden. Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Debbie MacCrea will give a brief but thorough explanation of her favorite ways (and the reasons behind them) to plan out each season’s vegetable garden for the mutual benefit of the garden, the gardener, and the family dinner table.

From 12:30-1:15 p.m., Traditional and New Braiding Techniques. Watch Peggyann Watts show the basics for preparing to braid and learn how to make a variety of heirloom gifts and  prized displays for your home. Braiding is a traditional hand craft using recycled wool fabrics, but it is not necessarily only for your Grandmother’s braided rug. Table runners, totes, laptop carriers, baskets, chair pads or stair pads and rugs can all be made for everyday or holiday use. (

Throughout the day, Southern Tier Fiber Arts Guild demonstrations: Guild members will be busy giving demonstrations that will include spinning, knitting, felting, rug-making, simple weaving, etc., with many items on display. (

Sunny Cove Farm, 1444 Randolph Road, Alfred Station, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Sunny Cove Farm is a small, grass-based family dairy farm that produces high quality organic milk, beef, maple syrup and apples. (

9:30-10:15 a.m. and 2:30-3:30 p.m., Back to Basics: Soaking Grains. Maria Adam, Alfred’s nutritional therapy practitioner, and Meghan Snyder will share their knowledge about properly preparing grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Learn the nutritional importance of these steps and the methods used. Samples will be available after the demo.

From 1:30-2:30 p.m., follow along with Bill Coch and learn how to make Swiss cheese at home with minimal equipment in a step-by-step demonstration that will include curd cutting, cheese pressing and waxing. Sample a number of homemade cheese, including Swiss, cheddar and parmesan.

Alfred State College Farm Garden, 1254 State Route 244, Alfred Station, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Join Jessica Hutchinson, instructor in Alfred State College’s Department of Agriculture and Veterinary Technology, for a tour of the College Farm Garden. This year the garden includes peanuts,  potato towers and a tomato/bean tunnel. (www.facebook.comAlfredSta...)

From 12:30-1:15 and 3-3:45 p.m., Kids’ Activity. Jessica will teach how to upcycle a plastic container into a unique planter form.

From 4:15-5 p.m., Storytelling: If Trees Could Talk. Dr. Steven Jakobi will share lessons from nature in a storytelling format. Jakobi will also be able to answer questions about The Sierra Club, New York Forest Owners Association and the Master Forest Owner Program.