“Go Solar” at the 2017 North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival

This year at the Garlic and Arts Festival, North Quabbin Energy will be focusing on the theme “Go Solar,” with resources, games, and inspiration for bringing more solar power into your home and your life.

“Solar power” probably makes most people think of high-tech panels and technologies, and we’ll have information about those too, including incentives and strategies for installing photovoltaic (PV) panels on your own home or buying into shared generating projects. The tax and production incentives for home installations will be changing in March 2018, and we’ll be able to point you toward the latest info on what that will mean for homeowners.

But solar power can be the simplest and most low-tech, too! If the sun is out, we’ll demonstrate some techniques for solar cooking, as well as the “why” and “how” of letting the sun dry your laundry.

Make sure to visit our booth in the Portal to the Future area behind the main stage (you know you’re going to be coming back there anyway to get your Bart’s Ice Cream). While you’re there, test your knowledge about solar energy and make a flag to add to the beautiful installations at the new “Climate Action for All” section of the festival. There’s a presentation about electric bikes (rechargeable by the sun) at 2 pm on Saturday, and one at noon on Sunday on making New England’s power grid fully renewable and resilient. Click here for more about these and other great presentations at the Renewable Energy and Local Living tent.


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