Stelle’s Annual Celebration of the Earth, May 5th

Hours:  10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Regular Tours and Events

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlease join us for Stelle’s annual Celebration of the Earth this May 5th. As tradition goes, various members of our community wish to share and educate others of their gifts and talents that are recognized as being inspired or modeled after some of the wonderful patterns and processes that the Earth shares with us.

Tour of the Off-Grid Stelle Telephone Company -1:00pm
Tim Wilhelm manager of the Stelle Telephone Company and Professor of Renewable Energy Technologies at Kankakee Community College will give a history and overview of Stelle Telephone. Stelle Telephone was the first totally solar powered digital telephone exchange and the first solar powered internet service provider in the U.S.

Jon and June Haemes’ Straw Bale Home with PV tour! 2:00pm
A bit too far to walk but just 3 and a half mile drive, the Haemes’ home was the first straw bale home built in Illinois. Jon works for Trina Solar as a technical support manager. He used his solar powered work trailer to power all his tools used to build the home. About 30 residents of Stelle helped stack the straw bales in a single day. Jon will also talk abou the ARE 110 wind generator and its energy saving features.

Kids Garden and Pond Activities – All Day at the Pond
(Children should be accompanied by an adult)

This year we are bringing back a time-honored tradition of having family activities in the community garden. Here are the activities that are planned so far:

Kids' Activities

Kids’ Activities will be going on throughout the day in the garden.

  • Family Fishing
  • Seed Planting
  • Garden Art
  • Nature Hunt

Join us throughout the day in between our other programs.  The activities are all simple and low key, but the more the merrier.  We will request that parents accompany children 10 years and younger. (Only a limited number of families will be able to fish at one time since we are furnishing the cane poles)

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Workshop: How to Make Mead

How to Make Mead 
The Fermented Drink made from Honey
with Matt Mehawich

Saturday, February 27, 2010
1:00-3:30 p.m
Nisse Farm, Manteno, IL

Mead is regarded by some as the ancestor of all fermented drinks due to the honey-based libation’s many ancient historical references. It was said to be the preferred drink during the Golden Age of Ancient Greece. Aristotle even discussed it in his theories about the earth sciences, Meteorological. The term “honeymoon” comes from the northern European tradition of newlyweds drinking mead everyday for a month after their wedding in hopes of keeping their new marriage sweet. Mead is also frequently mentioned in British and Celtic legends. Spend an afternoon learning how to make this drink that is so rich in history and tradition.

The flavor of mead can range from dry to sweet just like fruit wines. With all the great tasting, local honey available at the farmers markets why not try learning to make a few bottles (or more) of this lovely drink.

Topics include:

  • A brief history of mead and the tradition of mead making 
  • Fermentation basics 
  • Brief overview of yeast strains for mead making 
  • Honey in the mead making process 
  • Mead styles (traditional, melomel, metheglin, cyser, etc.) 
  • Equipment and where to find supplies 
  • Mead brewing demonstration 
  • Safe bottling procedures 
  • Problems and Troubleshooting 

Bio: Matt Mehawich

Matt first discovered the magic of mead after moving to the city of Chicago in 2000 to finish college. While watching a documentary on the Vikings he found out that mead is made from honey and it sounded simple enough that maybe even he could make some! After he made a couple of batches of what was essentially lighter fluid, he discovered that with some basic equipment and a little technique, really really good mead could be made. He also realized that with proper aging, mead can rival even the finest wines! When he is not making mead Matt also enjoys organic gardening, cooking and playing keyboards in his band, Rhombus.