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KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID

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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 (www.simplelivinginstitute.org) 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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