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Quote of the Week
"I'm queen of my own compost heap & I'm getting used to the smell"
Ani DiFranco, Swan Dive
Can anyone identify this large chunk of something that washed up
on our north shore following the high winds of last week? Click the
image above for a closer look, and see this
for a close-up of the metal used. Send your guesses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nature Program for Home Schoolers
Tuesday, Oct 25, 9 am to 3 pm, Aquinnah.
Sassafras Earth Education
offers an outdoor education program for home-schooled K-8 aged students on Tuesdays. For more information and costs, see their program page
Many other offerings are available as well, including pre-school,
Saturday youth programs, and family gatherings. To pre-register, call
Feed a Pig a Pumpkin Day
Tuesday, Nov 1, Native Earth Teaching Farm, Chilmark.
Bring your old pumpkins out to the farm the day after Halloween for
environmentally- and pig-friendly disposal. Native Earth is also open
every Wednesday from 10 am to noon for toddler time, tours, farm sales,
etc. For more information, call 508-645-3304 or see website
Tuesday, Nov 1, 8 am, Chilmark
Join Susan Whiting, co-author of Vineyard Birds, at the Chilmark Community Center for a morning bird walk. See CCC website
for more information.
Winter Farmers Market
Saturday, Nov 5, 10 am to 1 pm at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury.
From the website
summer may be over but the West Tisbury Farmers Market continues
through December. The Winter Market is an off season favorite, held
indoors at the New Ag Hall with over 25 vendors, great food and live
In Season Recipe
Carmelized Butternut Squash
Farm-fresh winter squash can be delicious even when prepared very
simply. Some varieties, like the almost trendy heirloom Delicata, are so
sweet that there's no real need for added sugar, or even to peel them.
Probably the most familiar, the Butternut is very versatile. It's also
sweet enough to roast without sugar, but this recipe from Ina Garten
(aka the Barefoot Contessa) is worth the extra calories. This is also a
good example of the Butternut's versatility: most anything you can do
with a yam, you can do with this squash, often better.
2 medium butternut squash (4 to 5 pounds total)
6 -8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2-1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut off the ends of each butternut squash and discard.
Peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise.
Using a spoon, remove the seeds.
Cut the squash into 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" cubes (large and uniform is best), and place them on a baking sheet.
Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
With clean hands, toss all of the ingredients together and spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Roast for 45 minutes to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize.
Turn the squash while roasting a few times with a spatula to be sure it browns evenly.
Adjust seasonings if needed.
Serve hot and enjoy!
|Monday, October 24, 2011
Island Cooperative Compost Project Takes Root
The Island Cooperative Compost Project is an effort to expand composting
efforts on island, and to help make use of the many unused sources of
organic matter. The group, including Philippe Morin of Island Alpaca and
Chris Riger of Mermaid Farm, has begun offering hands-on workshops; you
may also have seen them at the “Prize-winning Compost” demo at this
year’s Living Local Harvest Festival. Along with their website,
which features a great deal of information already, these workshops
will make it easier for people new to composting to get started. We at
VCS only ask that small, backyard composters make an effort to secure
their compost piles, which can help promote populations of small mammals
(such as skunks and rats) that threaten our nesting shorebirds.
This is a true grass-roots effort that is actively seeking input from any who are interested. Their objectives, from the website:
1: To dramatically increase the quantity and quality of
compost made here on Martha’s Vineyard for use by Island farmers,
gardeners and grassland managers.
2: To use as the primary measure of quality and primary
production imperative the creation of a high percentage of stable humus
in the finished compost.
3: In compost production to focus on enhancing the role
and effectiveness of earthworms in the composting process and to
utilize actual vermicomposting practices in many situations.
4: To develop production methods for also carrying on
vermiculture to raise large quantities of earthworms for new compost
production and for direct use as chicken food, etc.
5: To organize the project as much as possible as a cooperative effort and to make it self-sustaining.
6: As practical production methods evolve to make use
of as much appropriate discarded organic material Island-wide as
possible with animal manures being central to producing the most fertile
7: To serve homeowners and small gardeners as well as
large farmers, horse owners, groceries, restaurants, schools and
landscapers in collection of compostable materials and supply of
finished compost and earthworms for their use.
Calling Potential Visionaries
by Carolyn Champ, Director, Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship
The Martha’s Vineyard Vision Fellowship supports talented and dynamic
Island residents who are working in or pursuing education or training
towards careers related to the sustainable future of Martha’s Vineyard.
The Fellowship provides need-based tuition and living expenses for
undergraduate or graduate degree programs as well as grants to support
certification and other professional development activities such as
workshops, courses and conferences for those already working in a
In 2012 we are most interested in candidates who are working or interested in the following areas:
Prior to submitting an application, all applicants must be nominated in
writing by an Island organization committed to Island sustainability and
willing to support the professional and educational development of the
applicant. The deadline for nominations and applications is February 10, 2012.
Interviews for qualified applicants will take place in March. For more
information on how to apply or how to nominate a candidate, please visit
our website or email us at email@example.com.
The development and adaptation of renewable energy technologies and energy efficient systems
Environmentally sustainable methods for dealing with water, waste and
energy (especially composting, sewering and water nitrogen management)
Services that support aging in place for elderly Island residents (including healthcare, transportation and housing)
Conservation of open space and biodiversity
Bait Fish and Switch
In a multi-part series,
the Boston Globe is documenting the results of DNA testing of fish at
Massachusetts restaurants, and the results are not pretty. The testing
indicated that 48% of the 183 fish samples (collected from 134
restaurants) were not the species the menu claimed them to be. Often, it
was simply a cheaper fish that was substituted, but in some cases,
health and safety are also involved.
It is a long and detailed series, and well worth reading. However, for
those who want to skip ahead and see what surprises might have been on
their plate – and, yes, some Vineyard restaurants were tested – check
out this summary table (you can sort by the “region” heading for Cape and Islands restaurants).
Apart from the disheartening results of their study, kudos to the Globe,
for this combination of old-fashioned investigative reporting and
modern technology, a bright spot among today's sea of scandal, disaster,
and punditry-based journalism.
Massachusetts Jumps to Top of Energy Efficiency Rankings
The most efficient states are clustered in the Northeast and along the Pacific coast.
This year’s annual assessment by the American Council for an
Energy-Efficient Economy has Massachusetts climbing from #2 to #1 in the
country, trading places with California, which had held the top spot
the past five years (see the L.A. Times for more).
Scores were broken down into several categories, making it easier to see
where there is more room to improve. For example, California still beat
Massachusetts in transportation and appliance efficiency, with the Bay
State making up ground in government programs and incentives. See page 8
of the full document for the state-by-state breakdown.