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Quote of the Week
"The use of sea and air is common to all; neither can a title to the
ocean belong to any people or private persons, forasmuch as neither
nature nor public use and custom permit any possession therof."
- Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603)
VCS Member Photos
Low-tech wind and solar, still effective
(click to enlarge)
From Nancy Weaver, a great combination of clean energy, experiencing the outdoors, and helping out the hostess, all in one.
Do you have a photo that represents any of VCS' goals, or just
gives you that "green" feeling? Send them to
almanac@vineyardconservation and we might run it!
Rain Garden Volunteers Needed!
help the Public Rain Garden at Waban Park (O.B.) get ready for the
off-season. Volunteers are needed to cut down this year's foliage and
for a final weeding. If interested, please contact Steve Auerbach for
more information, firstname.lastname@example.org
Edible Forest Garden
Friday, Sept 30, 2:00 to 6:00 pm, Native Earth Teaching Farm, Chilmark.
Come join in Native Earth's current permaculture project, creating an
edible forest. Friday's planting session involves setting in place spawn
of edible mushrooms. For more information, see the website
, or call 508-645-3304.
Living Local Harvest Festival
Saturday, Oct 1 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury
Join your friends and the MV community to celebrate and learn about
local food production, protection of marine life, renewable energy,
resource conservation, island development and growth and the wealth of
local knowledge. Rain date is Oct 2. On Friday Sept 30, from 6:00 to
9:00 pm, there will be a special storytelling event with Island Elders
at the Grange Hall.
Electronics Disposal Day
Saturday, Oct 1, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Oak Bluffs.
Many electronic devices and appliances contain toxic chemicals that can
be harmful if not disposed of properly -- not to mention, it's expensive
to get rid of them! Bring your burdensome junk to the MV Community
Services campus (across the street from the high school) this Saturday.
Fees range from $1 - $30 and benefit Community Services. For more info,
In Season Recipe
These muffins were a hit with kids at the Edgartown School, who made
them during class with carrots from the school garden (a project
inspired by IGI’s farm-to-school
They’re similar to carrot cake, but a bit healthier, using whole wheat
flour and getting some of their sweetness from orange juice in place of
2 local eggs
1.5 cups orange juice
1 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
4 cups shredded carrots
Beat eggs lightly in a large bowl
Add orange juice, melted butter, and sugar, beating well
In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients
Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture, mixing only until moistened
Gently fold in the shredded carrots
Spoon into well-greased muffin pans, about 2/3 full
Bake at 400 deg for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean
|Monday, September 26, 2011
VCS at Living Local
(Click for full poster)
The free annual Living Local Harvest Festival, presented by Martha’s
Vineyard Agricultural Society, Vineyard Energy Project, Island Grown
Initiative and Vineyard Conservation Society will be held Saturday,
October 1st from 10AM-3PM at The Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury, MA.
Rain date is Sunday, October 2nd.
The festival features activities for kids of all ages (Like a pumpkin-throwing catapult! But see the press release, 4th
paragraph) and interactive educational demos. This year, two demos may
be of particular interest to VCS members: “How to Grow a Vineyard Lawn”
provides information on how you can participate in an ongoing VCS
initiative, and “Prize-Winning Compost” should be interesting to any
folks thinking of starting (or improving) their home compost.
How to Grow a Vineyard Lawn . . . growing a Vineyard-friendly alterative to manicured lawns.
– Kris Henriksen, 1:00 – 1:50 pm
There are alternatives to “perfect suburban lawns.” They are
cheaper, easier to maintain and far more environmentally friendly. Kris
will talk about what we can do to achieve a different vision for our own
homes and the land surrounding them…one that protects our drinking
water, our ponds and our fisheries.
Prize-Winning Compost . . . how to make the best compost on the Island.
– Chris Riger, Rebecca Gilbert, Paul Jackson and Philippe Morin, 2:00 - 2:50 pm
The First, Second and Third Place prizewinners of the first
composting competition at the Ag Fair and its Judge will share some of
their secrets. The sharing includes handouts…complete with squirming
worms…that are guaranteed to appeal to young and old alike, whether
potential gardeners or old hands.
In for a Penny, in for a Pound
The Ring of Brodgar, a
prehistoric stone circle (and vision of future wind turbines?), Orkney,
Scotland. Photo by Paddy Patterson
In some ways, the similarity between the recent history of our island
and that of Orkney, a string of 70 islands just off the north coast of
Scotland, is uncanny. The local economy has historically relied on
fishing and farming, but has recently seen tourism ascend to play a key
role (for example, see Skara Brae,
the best-preserved New Stone Age settlement in the world). For now, the
similarities end when the subject turns to energy supply, but the
Orkney Islands may offer a preview of a renewable energy future.
A recent article in the Guardian
describes Orkney’s leading edge energy program. In addition to offshore
wind, which already provides a large amount of their power, electricity
is being generated by harnessing the power of tidal and wave action.
Implementation of this rapidly developing technology has been on a scale
large enough to create a new high-tech job market, and will make Orkney
a major contributor to Scotland’s broader energy supply.
Here on our island, one way or another, it seems likely that offshore
wind will be the first major renewable energy project. Without diving
too deeply into those waters, and acknowledging that the Guardian piece
completely ignores the negative impacts of offshore energy, the
comparison between Orkney and the Vineyard raises interesting questions.
Compared to our proposed wind farms, the payoff in Orkney appears
greater, both in the amount of jobs and clean energy generated;
presumably, the environmental costs of such a large program are greater
as well. But this all-or-nothing approach has some appeal: to have any
impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a world of rapidly
increasing demand, clean energy projects must be absolutely huge.
Further, the idea of hundreds of high-tech jobs for our returning
college graduates, and complete self-sufficiency in electricity, is
almost fantastical. So the question is, will Cape Wind, or whatever wind
farm comes first, be the necessary first step to a comprehensive
renewable energy program (including wave and/or tidal), or will it still
be the only major project in our waters 50 years from now? And which
would be preferable?
The State of the Birds
The American kestrel, diving and declining. Photo by Kevin Cole
The State of the Birds, a report
released this month by Mass Audubon, indicates that many of the state’s
bird species are in decline. The report summarizes decades of data
(mostly from three major studies) to determine changes in species
abundance. They also discuss habitat loss to development and climate
change as important contributors to the struggles of native species, as
well as toxic chemicals and predation from feral cats.
As reported in the Boston Globe,
many marshland and grassland birds have decreased in number, as well as
some common species such as blue jays and swallows. Not all birds have
been declining, of course. One large study found increases in
red-bellied woodpeckers, Carolina wrens, Great blue herons, Cooper’s
hawks, and the common raven, as well as Canada geese (for better or
worse) and wild turkeys (likewise, though this may not include our
semi-feral, and occasionally criminal, fowl).