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Rich Escutia with his 6-year-old female Harris hawk, Cazadora, on his arm explains to a passerby about birds of prey. Escutia was one of several participants in the Illinois Valley Community College’s Green Expo in the college’s court yard Monday.
You could sample organic instant coffee, see some live hawks or ponder the power of a home windmill at Monday’s Green Expo at Illinois Valley Community College. As the Human Element played live reggae, Jody Osmund explained Cedar Valley Sustainable farm. The farm north of Ottawa began in 2003 with vegetables but has since switched to all livestock and eggs, free of drugs and hormones. It sells beef, pork, chicken and eggs through community supported agriculture shares averaging about $90 per month. Customers can sign up for a delivery of meat and eggs every three, six or 12 months. “We like it because it’s a frozen product,” Osmund said. “We raise all of the meat, the birds, the egg layers.” They graze chickens outside during the growing season by rotating chicken pens every three weeks on pasture, Osmund said. Timothy McKinsey and Chelsea Collings of Mendota provided were selling and providing samples of Organo Gold coffee. The coffee contained ganoderma, a tropical mushroom with purported medicinal benefits. They also were selling vitamins and soap made by Organo Gold, a global company with offices in the United States, Canada and Europe. “The soap I like because now that I’ve been using this my face doesn’t break out,” McKinsey said. Collings, who wore a headband she made of stockings, shared a homemade air freshener recipe: Mix baking soda and essential oils sold commonly at stores, place in a jar with a lid and poke holes in the lid, and it will release fragrance into a room, she said. The college’s basic/advanced renewable wind energy technician program was profiled with a display of two home-scale windmills. Home wind turbines can cost as little as $1,500 to $2,000 each but there are added expenses of hooking them up and storing the energy in batteries, said student John Stetter. There also were solar-powered water fountains, chairs made of old pallets and many other green ideas and products. Nancy Maze of Peru checked out the displays and explained the recycling effort at the La Salle County Historical Society & Museum, Utica. The museum recycles aluminum and plastic beverage containers and the aluminum is provided to Youth Services Bureau to redeem for funding, Maze said.