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Quotes of the Week:
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
- Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama
"All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.
- Friedrich Nietzsche
"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time."
- Steven Wright
Felix Neck Fall Festival:
Friday, Nov 25
This year, Felix Neck's annual Fall Festival (as always, the day after Thanksgiving) features live
bird demonstrations, horse drawn hay rides, music by the Flying Elbows,
food, crafts, and more. Many volunteers are needed for both morning and
afternoon shifts, in a variety of roles, from craft making to serving
food, to assiting with hay rides (and more).
If you are interested in helping sustain this great community event, please contact the sanctuary at 508-627-4850 or email@example.com
Polly Hill Winter Walk
Saturday, Nov 12 at 10:00 am.
Guided tours will be held the second Saturday of every month through the
winter. Observe back patterns, tree architecture, and winter flowers
and fruits in the ever-changing "off season." Walks begin at the
visitor's center. FREE.
Winter Farmers Market
Saturday, Nov 19, 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
Fresh, Local Cranberries
Fresh, certified organic cranberries for sale, locally grown by the
Vineyard Open Land Foundation at at their historic Cranberry Acres bog.
Proceeds support the continuing renovation of the bog (which will be familiar
to those who frequently travel Lambert's Cove Rd). Fresh VOLF
cranberries are $10 lb, $5 1/2 lb. Organic sweetened dried cranberries
are also available for $14 lb. To order, e-mail Carol Magee at VOLF@gis.net
or call 508-639-3280.
In Season Recipe
The days grow short, but the kale will be just fine.
It’s not surprising, in a place with such a strong, but diverse (by both
era and location of emigration) Portuguese influence, that on our
island, opinions abound as to what makes for a good Kale soup. Some
stick close to traditional Caldo Verde
while others may defend their family’s creative derivation as if the
recipe predated Columbus. Not feeling particularly bound by tradition,
I’m perfectly happy with all of the variations: simplicity is wonderful,
but so is the potential for more exciting flavors and/or a heartier
meal on those nights when kale may be the only thing left standing in
Fresh from the Vineyard
author Virginia Jones’ version
is in this more creative, heartier spirit. It’s not too challenging,
and is an excellent choice when you have time to plan for the next day.
Or try the very quick recipe posted below, from Food Network’s Rachel
Ray, which won’t have the depth of flavor that comes with setting up and
chilling overnight, but is quite good in its own right. And “Soup
Guaranteed in 30 Minutes or Less!” is a compelling sales pitch when the
alternative is frequently unhealthy (and infrequently available,
2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium white waxy potatoes, like yukon golds, peeled and diced
2 medium onions, chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 pound kale, coarsely chopped
Coarse salt and pepper
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzos (chick peas), drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pound diced chourico, casing removed
1 quart chicken broth
Heat oil in a deep pot over medium high heat. Add potatoes and onions, cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic, bay leaves, and kale to the
pot. Cover pot and wilt greens 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add beans, tomatoes, chourico, and broth to the pot and bring soup to a
full boil. Reduce heat back to medium and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer or
until potatoes are tender.
Serve soup with hunks of crusty bread and butter.
|Monday, November 7, 2011
VCS Winter Walks Begin this Week!
Moshup Trail: A globally unique
habitat, defined by dunes, heathland, fens, and beach all in close
proximity. (Photo by Brendan O'Neill -- click to enlarge)
VCS kicks off its program of guided winter walks this Sunday, November
13 starting at 1:30 pm with an interpretative hike around the moors,
beaches and heathlands of Aquinnah’s Moshup Trail.
VCS and partners have been working for years to protect land in this
area through donations of conservation restrictions (CRs), gifts of
land, and outright purchase. The habitat at Moshup Trail is considered
globally rare, with more than 90% of these coastal heathlands lost due
largely to land development.
Proceed down Moshup Trail from the down-island side and look for VCS
signs on the left. The walk will last approximately 2 hours. For more
information on Sunday's walk, call the office (508 693-9588) or see our website.
The rest of this year's Winter Walks schedule (check back later for details):
December 11: Chilmark Pond
January 8: Cranberry Acres and Connecting Trails, Lambert’s Cove
February 12: Featherstone, Oak Bluffs
March 11:Woods Preserve, West Tisbury
Mystery Photo Recap
Thanks to all those who submitted guesses, thoughts, and comments about our mystery photo.
Most thought that it was some sort of ship (most likely very old), with
one suggestion that it could be part of an old pier. The most detailed
description came from VCS board member Virginia Jones, who guessed it
could have been a coasting schooner that had spent a good while buried
out in Vineyard Sound.
To those who requested the real answer: it wasn’t a trick, we really
didn’t know! Our guesses here at the VCS office were similar to those
above – most likely a sailing vessel of some sort, quite possibly a
schooner, but without ruling out the possibility that it could be most
anything, from part of a dock to a chunk of some old mainland bulkhead.
Thanks for all the contributions!
National Geographic: 2011's Top Environmental Photos
Kingfisher, from the fish's-eye-view
In their list of the best environmental photos for 2011, National
Geographic has certainly covered a wide range of beauty. It's no
exaggeration to say they've captured magical (natural world finalist), majestic (underwater world finalist), eery (climate change finalist), and horrifyingly poignant beauty (the overall winner). Throw in some humorous anthropomorphism and the documentary
(the only photo that's not really aesthetically interesting) and you
have an excellent, diverse collection. To see the rest, and the stories
behind these photos, see the slideshow.
California Set to Implement Cap-and-Trade
Where gas mileage standards
tackle non-point-source carbon pollution, cap-and-trade programs aim
directly at the big targets. (Photo from L.A. Times)
California has recently adopted the nation’s first cap-and-trade program
for carbon emissions. Enforcement of the new regulations, approved in
late October, will begin in 2013, and gradually stiffen such that
emissions in 2020 will be reduced to 1990 levels. From the L.A. Times:
“The complex market system for the first time puts a price on
heat-trapping pollution by allowing California's dirtiest industries to
trade carbon credits. The rules have been years in the making,
overcoming legal challenges and an aggressive oil industry-sponsored
The Times article is a good read for those interested in the mechanics
of how a cap-and-trade plan works; in the second half, they go beyond
the politics to explain what the plan actually does. Outside of
California, the important question is whether this program can serve as a
model for the nation. It is unfortunately true that it may lead to
little immediate or direct effect on greenhouse gas emissions. To some
extent, critics are right that some of the relatively mobile industries
may just pack up and move out of state. But once the rest of the U.S.
and the developed world adopt similar programs, it is hard to see why
industries that haven’t already moved to China (for the benefits that
already exist, like low costs and virtually non-existent pollution and
labor standards) would do so now, just to avoid purchasing carbon
If we are ever going to achieve some sort of realistic pricing of carbon
(instead of hiding the cost in oil-spill clean-ups, FEMA disaster
responses, and armoring our coasts as the water rises), it will probably
be only after California, with the world’s 8th largest
economy and plenty of carbon-intensive industry, demonstrates that such a
system can be implemented without crippling their economy. Despite
overwhelming evidence to the contrary (even photovoltaic power, long
derided as impractical, is suddenly achieving rapid progress
in affordability), too many simply assume that efforts to reduce carbon
emissions “kill jobs,” to use the language of the moment. California
has been the nation’s test kitchen for environmental initiatives before,
and we’re likely going to need them again.