North 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.
The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is always a highlight of the year in our region and beyond, and North Quabbin Energy is always excited to be part of this great event. As in previous years, we’ll have a table at the festival where visitors can learn about conservation and much more.
We’re also helping with the festival Energy Tent, which will be the site of a multi-town gathering of energy committee representatives and a great lineup of speakers throughout the weekend.
Most of the North Quabbin and neighboring towns have created town energy committees in the past few years, and members of these groups are invited to join in the First Annual Power of Solutions Forum from 10:15 to 12:30 at the Energy Tent. The forum will showcase committees’ recent projects, share ideas and experiences, and consider possible future regional collaborations.
Below are the times and titles of presentations on Saturday and Sunday. For full details on the speakers and their topics, click here.
Saturday, Oct. 1
Is Solar Domestic Hot Water Right For You?
How Infrared Thermography Can Lead You to Deep Energy Savings
Making and Using Low-Tunnel Hoophouses
Dan Botkin and John DiMatteo
Sunday, Oct. 2
Integrating Renewables Into Existing Fossil Fuel Homes
Paul Voiland and Jared Alvord
Converting Your Bike to Electric – real green transportation now
Bring Your House into the 21st Century (without selling the farm!)
Bick Corsa and Laura Biddulph
Forestry as If the Future Mattered
We’re an informal group of people in north-central Massachusetts who are concerned about issues relating to energy use. We seek to educate ourselves and our neighbors about the true social and environmental costs of our current energy consumption patterns. We also work to find ways of changing our individual and collective habits of energy use through conservation, use of renewable fuels, and support for local and regional enterprises that reduce our dependence on imported resources.