Though there are plenty of ways to make life simpler and greener, that doesn't mean it's easy or fun – at least at first. Most people could use some down-to-earth instruction in how to streamline the everyday flow of life and strengthen the bonds of community. The Simple Living Institute ( will nurture such positive practices in several programs that director Tanyia Hall has planned for fall.

Once a month, Langford Park will become a Spherical Wonderland as an eco-activist of the present leads an outdoor discussion of the teachings of an eco-visionary of the past. The program's Oct. 19 debut is given over to the studies of recently deceased Mary Appelhof – aka "The Worm Lady" – author of Worms Eat My Garbage (1982). Beth Hollenbeck of Eco-Action fame will lead the way. The program (co-sponsored by the city of Orlando) isn't limited to discussion: The stage is open to music, spoken word and just about any other mode of communication. (7 p.m.-9 p.m. third Wednesdays, October through March; Langford Park, 1808 E. Central Blvd.; $2; bring your own tea mug.)

The Simple Living Institute is also a regular presence at the weekly College Park farmers market, which opens for the season Oct. 13. The group will have a table there to apprise the public of their latest efforts, including a workshop series at their farm (five acres on the Econlockhatchee River, between UCF and Christmas) and a gardening outreach for kids. (6 p.m.-9 p.m. Thursdays, October through May; Albert Park, 2400 Edgewater Drive.)

Plans are underway for an Oct. 15 fund-raiser, "Our-Lando 2005," an outdoor, evening show in a new venue: The Alleyway at DMAC. Five bands top the bill, with vendors, food, a bake sale, a raffle and other activities. (6 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15.) This very week, Simple Living invites any volunteers interested in fleshing out the event to attend an organizational meeting. (7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26; Simple Living Institute office, 225 N. Magnolia Ave.)

Call 'em granola-crunchers or tree-huggers, but the Simple Living folks really are serving community comfort along with the herbal tea and wholesome munchies in a time of need.


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