2023 — Portal to the Future at Garlic and Arts Festival Sept. 29-Oct. 1 – 25th Anniversary

“Imagine the Future” with North Quabbin Energy! They’ll be hosting a booth with info about the latest MASS Save incentives for weatherization, heat pumps, solar loans, etc., including what’s coming down the pike under the Inflation Reduction Act. You can also take a spin on the “Wheel of Fortunate Beings” and participate in other thought-provoking fun and games (for all ages) to help envision a better world.

See www.garlicandarts.org and https://garlicandarts.org/portal-to-the-future/ for more information about speakers in the Renewable Energy and Local Living Tent.

2022 — Garlic and Arts Festival Returns October 1-2 — 24 years and going strong

North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival Returns Oct 1 and 2!
24 and Back for More!
Two Days of Peace, Love and Garlic

Travel, shuttle, parking info, schedules of entertainment, activities, and exhibitors: www.garlicandarts.org

Many exciting things are happening at the Garlic and Arts Festival for 2022. Visit the Portal to the Future. Hear speakers on “Renewable Energy and Local Living”, visit Launch Space and other activities.

Portal to the Future

For the past several years the festival has featured a Portal to the Future area at the north end of the site that highlighted some of the ways that art, food, small-scale farming, renewable energy, smart transportation, care for the land, and hand skills all contribute to community-building and local resilience. 

This year we are promoting this theme:  The future is born of our imaginations.  Come and conjure up the world, community and even the you of your fondest dreams.

There are all kinds of things to consider when standing at the “Portal to the Future” and pondering what is to come. One question is, how are we going to get there? . . . Not only in the philosophical, social, and political sense, but also in the physical sense, i.e., how are we going to get around?

It seems certain now that electric vehicles (EVs) will be playing an important role in our lives. The technology behind EVs and the number and variety of makes and models is improving and increasing rapidly. To be sure, new technology brings challenges, issues, and problems that will need to be solved, but the promise of reduced emissions, less dependency on fossil fuels (with their inherent environmental and political problems), and a chance to make progress in the fight against human-caused climate change make EVs an intriguing and likely important part of the solution.

This Chevy Volt powered the Renewable Energy tent in 2019.

Acting Locally and Regionally on Energy Issues

Both North Quabbin Energy and North Quabbin Pipeline Action continue to plan events to educate people about energy conservation and efficiency as well as working to stop the proposed gas pipeline.

In the area of energy conservation, winsert making workshops are alive and well.  North Quabbin Energy along with town energy committees will co-ordinate two workshops in November – one on Nov. 7th at the Royalston Town Hall and the other on Nov. 14th at the Orange Armory. For information about these workshops see events and for instructions on how to make inexpensive interior storms (winserts) see Winserts – the Wrap Method.

People from the North Quabbin area also attended recent hearings at the State House in Boston.  These hearings before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy considered several energy bills. People working on these issues hope that the net metering cap affecting solar development projects in National Grid territory will be lifted this fall, and that a favorable energy bill will be passed by the State Legislature.

North Quabbin Pipeline Action had a presence at the Garlic and Arts Festival in Orange recently.  People staffed a table and got over 100 people to sign and write short letters to State Senators asking them to commit to upholding Article 97 of the State Constitution – an article pertaining to protected public lands in the state (see Resources and Research).  See Events for more information about upcoming activities.

Watch for Local Actions on Nov. 29th — Week-end of Climate Action on Road to Paris —  Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground.  See http://350.org/roadthroughparis/  —  “This huge weekend of action is being dubbed the Global Climate March, and a lot of organizations will be taking part. There will be a big march in Paris with hundreds of thousands of people, as well as key marches on every continent. Here in the U.S. it will be a holiday weekend, so we’re anticipating that many events will be a bit smaller. We’re still fired up to add our voices to the global call for action though, and we hope that you are too.”


Good Energy at the 2011 Garlic and Arts Festival!

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?
Brandon Turner

2 p.m.
How Infrared Thermography Can Lead You to Deep Energy Savings
Neil Anders

3 p.m.
Making and Using Low-Tunnel Hoophouses
Dan Botkin and John DiMatteo

Sunday, Oct. 2

12 p.m.
Integrating Renewables Into Existing Fossil Fuel Homes
Paul Voiland and Jared Alvord

1 p.m.
Converting Your Bike to Electric – real green transportation now
Peter Talmage

2 p.m.
Bring Your House into the 21st Century (without selling the farm!)
Bick Corsa and Laura Biddulph

3 p.m.
Forestry as If the Future Mattered
Bruce Spencer