2017 “Food from the North Quabbin” is live!

Like the slow, damp 2017 spring, extending right into the summer season, this year’s local food brochure has been slow getting going. But it’s available at last, here on our website as well as in area farmstands, stores, libraries, and other venues.

This year’s edition features a sidebar on small local food stores, a crucial piece of our local foodscape.

There are also listings for food producers in the nine North Quabbin towns plus Barre and Hardwick, as well as information about farmers markets, food-related festivals, and resources relating to food, farming, and gardening.


Tag sale in support of pipeline resistance at Standing Rock

Supporters of the actions at Standing Rock silkscreening and painting banners and flags in Oakland, California, Oct 28, 2016. Photo by Peg Hunter

Earthlands, a local environmental organization, local renewable energy advocates, and Nipmuk Cultural Preservation Inc. of Oakham are sponsoring an estate and tag sale on Saturday & Sunday, November 5-6, 2016 from 8:00 a.m.to 2 p.m.on the Petersham South Common to benefit the Standing Rock Sioux campaign and local environmental education initiatives. Continue reading Tag sale in support of pipeline resistance at Standing Rock

Come through the Portal!

Look for the beautiful logo (designed by Mary King) at the north end of the festival site.
Look for the beautiful logo (designed by Mary King) at the north end of the festival site.

We’ve been hard at work envisioning and building the new Portal to the Future learning area for the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival, just a couple of weeks away, and we’re trying to get the word out as widely as we can about all the great things that you’ll be able to find there. Visit our full listing of presentations and mini-demonstrations here, or click here for a PDF poster with a schedule on the back. Continue reading Come through the Portal!

2016 local food brochure now available

2016-NQ-food-brochure-thumbOur fourth more-or-less annual local food brochure is now available in area stores, libraries, farmstands, and other locations.

You can also see the online version here.

In addition to town-by-town listings of farms and other food producers, the brochure includes information about markets and festivals, resources for farmers and eaters, and even a bit of history. Continue reading 2016 local food brochure now available

Announcing the latest edition of our local food brochure

It’s here! The 2015-16 edition of our North Quabbin local food guide is now available. You can access a digital version by clicking here, or look for it at local outlets (stores, libraries, retail farmstands, and related venues) over the next few weeks. Continue reading Announcing the latest edition of our local food brochure

What’s happening with North Quabbin Energy

Members of the core North Quabbin Energy group are currently working on many projects, including town energy committees, pipeline resistance, local food, and winsert-making workshops. The group is not currently meeting as a whole, but we’re working on keeping this website up to date with new developments and information. Keep an eye on new posts here if you’re interested in finding out more about any of the above issues and projects in north-central Massachusetts!

A climate scientist spells it out for us

A packed house at the Wendell Free Library on Thursday night listened to Ray Bradley,  University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geosciences and Director of the Climate System Research Center at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst, talking about the state of current scientific research into the world’s warming climate, as well as the chilling story of how a few climate change deniers in Congress tried to put science on trial by indicting Bradley and two colleagues for “fraudulent” use of federal research funding.  The latter part of the story is related in Bradley’s book, Global Warming and Political Intimidation:  How Politicians Cracked Down on Scientists as the Earth Heated Up (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011).

I came away from the talk not sure whether to be depressed or reassured.  On the one hand, there was plenty in Bradley’s presentation to feel pessimistic about.  He noted that even in the very best imaginable scenario, if all fossil fuel burning were to stop tomorrow, enough greenhouse gases have already been released into the atmosphere over the past 200 years (and particularly since the Second World War) that the world’s climate will continue to warm right through the 21st century and beyond.  In other words, it’s too late to reverse what’s already been done–the best we can possibly do is to deal with the consequences and try to stop making it even worse. Continue reading A climate scientist spells it out for us

Politicians connecting the dots: The “superstorm” and climate change

Here’s a short list of some good articles about the connections between the changing climate and this week’s “superstorm,” particularly as it relates to political responses to the storm.

NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 29/12

2012 Local Food Brochure Now Available

brochure coverNorth Quabbin Energy’s 2012 “Fresh & Local Food Guide” is now available.  The annual listing highlights local farms and food producers in the North Quabbin towns (Athol, New Salem, Orange, Petersham, Phillipston, Royalston, Warwick, and Wendell) and neighboring Barre and Shutesbury.  Foods grown locally include fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, flowers, eggs, dairy products, mushrooms, and herbs.  The brochure also lists area specialties plus non-food and “value-added” products like honey, maple syrup, local cheeses, bakery goods, hay, compost, wool and fleece, and imported fair-trade coffee.  Look for information about area farmers markets, festivals, the local food co-op, “Community Supported Agriculture” (CSA) farms, and more.

Eating locally is an energy-related issue because the food industry in the U.S. is based on energy-intensive modes of farming, processing, shipping, and storing food.  Produce and other foods are typically shipped over hundreds of miles from the source to the consumer, adding to the “carbon footprint” of products that are usually grown with petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides.  Buying closer to local sources not only reduces the energy required to grow and ship food, but helps support area farmers and food producers who are working to strengthen more sustainable regional food systems.

The 2012 “Fresh & Local” brochure is available in locations throughout the area, including libraries and general stores, town offices, and many of the farms and businesses listed in the guide.  You can also download it here as a PDF file.