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Quote of the Week
"We are not to throw
away those things which can benefit our neighbor. Goods are called good
because they can be used for good: they are instruments for good, in the
hands of those who use them properly."
--Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 - c. 215)
Despite persistent pedalling, this bike is definitely not going
anywhere. Any guesses on what these folks are trying to accomplish? Once
you have your guess, take a look at this close-up clue
Felix Neck Fall Festival:
Friday, Nov 25
This year, Felix Neck's annual Fall Festival features live
bird demonstrations, horse drawn hay rides, music by the Flying Elbows,
food, crafts, and more. Volunteers are still needed for some jobs:
if you are interested in helping sustain this great community event, please contact the sanctuary at 508-627-4850 or email@example.com
Permaculture: Hands-On Learning
Friday, Nov 25, 2:00-4:00 pm, Native Earth Teaching Farm, Chilmark.
Native Earth is having the second planting day for their permaculture
project, the Edible Forest Garden. This week's session will focus on
nuts with the planting of chestnut and hickory trees. For more
information and directions, see their website
, or call 508-645-3304.
Cut your own Christmas Tree
Saturday, Nov 26, 9:00 am to noon, Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary, West Tisbury.
Sponsored by Sheriff's Meadow Foundation. Please be advised that all
trees are “Charlie Brown” style Christmas trees. Bring gloves; saws and
hot cider provided. Call 508-693-5207 for more information.
Discussion: Reducing Nitrogen in Ponds
Wednesday, Nov 30, 5:00 pm, West Tisbury.
Join Earle Barnhart and Hilde Maingay for a discussion on alternative
strategies for reducing nitrogen in coastal ponds. At the Howes House
(near Alley's, in front of the library). Call 693-3453 for more
Wednesday, Nov 30, 6:00 pm, Edgartown Library.
Fashion a purse, mittens, tote bag or hat from a felted sweater. Choose
from a variety of felted sweaters at the library, or bring one of your
own. The group is limited to five and reservations are required. For
details, call 508-627-4221.
Winter Farmers Market
Saturday, Dec 3, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury.
From their 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
Walk Aquinnah with the Land Bank
Sunday, Dec 4, 1:00 pm.
Natural history walk at the Aquinnah Headlands Preserve. Call M.V. Land Bank at 508-627-7141 for more information.
Local Cranberries for Thanksgiving
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
Berries about to burst in the heat
There is simply no comparison between homemade cranberry sauce and
anything you're likely to find in the store. Even if you prefer the traditional version
of the All-American gelatinous classic (and good luck getting that much
jiggle out of this recipe!), this year why not try out a cranberry
sauce with complex flavors, local ingredients, and natural sweeteners?
It's not like they won't still be making those cans next year.
The interesting thing about this recipe is that it's entirely different
depending on whether you use apple cider or orange juice. Both are
good, but I prefer the OJ version (with pineapple); cider (and no
pineapple) might be a better choice for those looking for something more
consistent with the traditional style.
12 oz fresh cranberries
1 3/4 C orange juice or apple cider
3/4 C honey
1 tsp grated orange peel
2 cinnamon sticks broken in half
6 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
salt (dash or to taste)
1 small can of crushed pineapple (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over
medium heat. While stirring occasionally, simmer until berries burst
and sauce thickens (about 15 minutes). Remove cinnamon stick, cloves,
and bay leaf. Refrigerate and serve chilled.
|Monday, November 21, 2011
Thanks to all our Regular Almanac Readers!
At the Vineyard Conservation Society, we are very thankful for our regular readers of the Conservation Almanac.
It is reassuring to know that well over 1,000 people are interested in
environmental issues and protection as they relate to our island; that
connection to the public helps us know that what we’re doing is
important not only to our membership, but to the island community as a
Of course, while the Almanac will always be free, much of what
we do – for example, protection of Moshup Trail through legal defense –
carries significant financial costs. If you’re not already a member,
please consider joining today. In addition to your much-appreciated moral support of the Almanac, you can help us sustain those more costly efforts.
VCS Recycling Initiative:
The Legendary Dumptique of West Tisbury: Beyond Recycling
Led by David Nash, VCS recently undertook an island-wide survey of recycling efforts. In this final installment of the report,
Dave summarizes some of the important findings and offers some parting
thoughts on further opportunities to improve recycling efforts on the
The shrink wrap model as well as the VCS experience with the Steamship
Authority are useful examples of how to help identify and create new
recycling opportunities and maybe even solve unique waste management
situations. We surveyed Vineyard Decorators and noted the efforts they
use to recycle polyethylene wrapping from furniture shipping.
Our survey didn’t include many of our local efforts to recycle such as
the recycle operation known as “Dumptique” at the West Tisbury transfer
station. This is the perfect example of how recycling really is nothing
more than exploring alternative uses for materials and items before
simply discarding. Farmers routinely recycle compostable materials in
their fields and Morning Glory Farm takes that a step further by
operating a passive composting facility which accepts leaves, grass and
small brush. Keene Excavation uses stump grinders and equipment to
create mulch from land clearing debris. Many businesses and individuals
rely on the MV Community Services sponsored electronics collection
events representing an affordable alternative to more costly disposal at
our transfer stations and certainly a more acceptable environmental
alternative then illegal dumping.
Businesses which have taken the time to evaluate their waste management
options often come up with cost saving alternatives and many simply do
what they can to maximize their efforts to recycle. Our local waste
haulers are in a very competitive business but when we interviewed all
of them we found a common theme to be a willingness to work with their
customers to both save them money and make their waste management task
easy and effective. Haulers can help deal with limitations to recycling
such as cost and available space.
Two of our island haulers, Allied Waste (recently purchased by ABC
Disposal) and Bruno’s participate in LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) certified projects. LEED is essentially a green
building initiative which features a unique certification process to
assure compliance with the standards and practices which LEED promotes. .
. . LEED participating haulers need to provide waste management
options on site to assure that the post-construction management of
wastes and recyclables is accountable enough to assure the correct
management of these materials. The entire LEED process is extensive and
the waste handling part is critical to its success. LEED compliance,
however, is very expensive.
Please see our website for the full-length version of this article, or start from the beginning if you've missed anything.
Why Climatologists Just Won't Answer the Question Already
Climate scientist Richard Betts recently submitted a good explanation of
why many scientists think it’s inappropriate, counterproductive, or
even impossible to give a simple, firm answer to the question “How much
global warming is too much before it becomes dangerous?”
"Asking a climate scientist to define a “safe” or “dangerous” level
of global warming is like asking a weather forecaster to decide whether
you should cancel your wedding, school sports day, or other event
because he’s issued a severe weather warning.
The weather forecast is only one factor in the decision to cancel the
event – other factors include how sensitive the event is to weather, how
easy it is to make adjustments either in advance or on the day in order
to cope, and the consequences of cancellation compared to battling on.
Ultimately the decision to cancel or not will be a judgment call, which
you will have to take yourself once you have carefully considered all
the angles." (Continued at NY Times)
Betts makes an important point, and makes it well: I can understand why
climate scientists would be fed up with constantly being asked by the
public to just “pick a number already!” Further, the IPCC’s choice to
actually do so (3.6 deg F above preindustrial temperatures is the
official “danger level”) carries significant risks: fatalism from
scientists who think that much warming is already inevitable, defeatism
from the general public if and when we reach that level, and political
opportunism from fossil fuel interests when there is any deviation from
Betts goes on to explain that while climate scientists can provide
information on probabilities and magnitudes of the various impacts of
climate change, it is up to society to consider the science, determine
its own attitude toward risk, and choose those policies and practices
that best balance its competing interests. My concern with taking the
position that “it’s all just a matter of one’s attitude toward risk,”
though, is that while true in a literal sense, it whitewashes the
magnitude of the consequences, and the social and political reality of
who will be affected, relative to who is making the decisions about
So, fine. There’s no particular level of warming that is, or is not,
dangerous. Depending on how you look at it, the world is dangerous.
Hurricanes happen, and even with the best planning, construction, and
emergency response, lives are lost. Nevertheless, the odds of someone I
know dying in a hurricane are very small; in a warmer world with more
frequent and powerful hurricanes, it might be twice as likely while
still being very improbable. But does that mean it doesn’t matter? As a
society, we certainly expend a lot of effort (and money) avoiding far less probable risks.
A smaller murmuration in Somerset England (photo by Tim Graham for the Guardian)
Finally, for anyone who hasn't seen it and has two minutes to spare, check out this video
that has been circling the web for the past few weeks. Two canoeists in
Ireland recorded the spectacular movements of a huge flock of
starlings, or murmuration, a term akin to a murder of crows or skein of
geese (that is, what a gaggle instantly becomes upon taking flight;
sometimes it seems we have more words than we really need).