Inaugural GreenFest Celebrates Sustainability at Coit Road Farmers Market

Sun 7/15 @ 11AM-4PM

Collinwood artist Linda Zolten Wood is admittedly never bored. When she’s not painting upcycled materials and conducting local workshops, Wood teaches art at regional schools without art programs.

“I’m primarily a painter trying to make it relevant in a sustainable way,” said Wood, who over the past decade has become known for her painted rain barrels.

Now the artist is expanding her vision and displaying her passions — which includes holding rain barrel decorating workshops throughout the area — with the inaugural GreenFest, which celebrates sustainability Sun 7/15 at the Coit Road Farmers’ Market.

“It’s the merging of workshops with other sustainable practices, and trying to get Coit Road Market new customers,” Wood said.

In a nutshell, GreenFest is centered around all aspects of healthy living at the Coit Road Farmers’ Market, with booths from local, urban farmers and bakers. There’s also educational opportunities pertaining to beekeeping, raising chickens, sheep and bunnies, as well as gardening tips.  Wood will also do her thing as the Collinwood Painted Rain Barrel director. She’ll guide participants in sanding, priming, designing and painting their rain barrels. The class, which requires a $25 donation, is limited to 10 on a first-come, first served basis.

Others attending GreenFest include personal chef Lisa Pucci DelGado (“The Food Network”), “Spicehound” Kevin Scheuring, Chocolate 76’s Melanie Neal, Karen Papaleo Shumakers’ Bunnies and Susan Gaydos’ Acupressure.

Blue Pike Farm will be on hand talking about growing mushrooms, while Two One Fix Bicycle offers bike tune-ups. In addition to live music, sustainable artists will be selling their wares: pottery, plush ornaments, wearables and jewelry.

“I’ve been going to Coit Road Farmers’ Market for 20 years,” Wood said. “It’s just a beautiful little space of people who work really hard. And it’s growing slowly. They have a giant urban garden behind their space, so lots of people are taking advantage of the land.

“Right now, they’re open twice a week. These people have become my friends. They’re small businesses, they deserve support. I want people to be aware, and I want to help support them.”

GreenFest is partially grant-funded through local donations to ioby with matching funds by Cleveland Climate Action Fund. Also, a portion of the grant will be donated to Coit Road Farmers’ Market for repairs.

In terms of attracting festivalgoers, Wood said she’s hoping residents of not only East Cleveland but also Cleveland Heights and other communities expand their sustainability knowledge.

“I want people to feel like they can go to the market and support local foods while having fun,” Wood said.

“So it’s helping educate residents to how they can make things a little bit better for the climate in their everyday practices. While this is the very first GreenFest, I’m hoping to do it every year.”

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