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We’re an informal group of people in north-central Massachusetts who are concerned about issues relating to energy use. More...

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Every year North Quabbin Energy gathers together presenters on various topics related to Renewable Energy and Local Living. In 2016, the Festival will take place on Sept. 24 & 25. We are gathering new speakers so check back in early summer for the line-up.

Here was our exciting line-up for 2015:

Community Solar Unveiled

Lynn Benander, of Co-op Power and Adam Thurell of PV²

Community Shared Solar is a great way for people to get in on solar energy, especially for renters or those whose roofs or yards are not appropriate locations. Lynn and Adam will explain the in and outs of Community shared PV systems, including business models, ideal locations, how investors fit in, etc. They will also provide up-to-date information on net-metering and the current options for home and business owners in the National Grid and Eversource service territories.

Allying with the Fungal Kingdom: Simple outdoor cultivation and foraging skills

Willie Crosby, Fungi Ally

Join Willie for an introduction to the fungal kingdom. This vast kingdom has much to share with us once we begin to look. We will discuss the role fungi play in our lives and ecosystems while uncovering their lifecycle. Willie will demonstrate a simple process of growing Wine Cap mushrooms in your garden or landscape and easy methods to expand these beds INFINITELY! We will also have a look at several edible mushrooms, which are fruiting in Massachusetts right NOW (Sept/Oct). Participants will leave with ability to identify several wild mushrooms and the knowledge to start cultivating mushrooms when they leave the workshop!

Cover Crops for Home Gardens

Sharon Gensler, Wild Browse Farm and Sustainability Center

Cover Crops aren’t just for large farms!  Explore how to make use of “friendly” cover crops in the home garden:  what types, how & when to plant, how they fit into a crop rotation, while improving soil health, reducing weed pressure, preventing erosion and sequestering carbon.


Heirloom Madness,

Fred Swedberg, that Heirloom Guy

Each year at his annual Heirloom Tomato plant sale (you’ve seen the signs on Rte. 2!) Fred offers not only the “tried & true” Top 20 Heirlooms, but all the way to the “weird and whacky”. He has created a few dozen open-pollinated crosses and features his own “Calabash Collection”. Trading and saving seeds from all over the world has been a passion for Fred and his family for 20 years.

Fred will offer seed saving tips, folklore, a song or two, and how to write a fictitious story so people will buy your plants.

The Basics of Lacto-fermentation

Heather Wernimont, Real Pickles

Come learn about lacto-fermentation, the original and healthy way of pickling vegetables. Heather will talk about the key concepts you need to know to make delicious fermented pickles at home, such as salt concentration, temperature, etc. She’ll demonstrate preparing small batches in mason jars and have some finished samples on hand for tasting.

What’s so Hot about Heat Pumps?

Peter Talmage, P.E.

No matter how you currently heat your house there is now a better way. Mini split heat pumps can heat your house less expensively than most every other system and with the addition of a modest solar electric array you can provide all the energy right on site. Peter will review this amazing technology including information on rebates and incentives and how, with a push of a button, the system becomes the world’s most efficient air conditioner.

Building an Affordable High Performance Home

Spartan Giordano, Spartan Solar

Super-energy efficient homes don’t need to be more expensive than standard new construction. Contractor Spartan Giordano will share his experience and lessons learned in building his own affordable, award-winning, net-zero home. He will share strategies that can save thousands on construction. This talk will be helpful for do it yourself home-owner builders, contractors, and anyone interested in homes that produce as much energy as they consume!

Learn more about his home at zeroandbeyond.com

“If You Can Boil Water: Brewing Beer at Home”

Joel Watts, Millers River Hops Exchange

See what it takes to make your first batch of beer at home using a simple extract process. The equipment and ingredients needed will be covered in a step-by-step look at the homebrewing process.

Joel Watts first started dabbling in homebrewing 20 years ago. His hobby got out of control in 2014 when he opened Millers River Hop Exchange in Athol.