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Almanac Archive for April 9, 2012

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Quote of the Week
"It is so moving to see entire families at the end of the Clean-up, proud of their hard work and happy to have shared time together in service."
-- Liza Gonzalez, Nicaragua, regarding the Ocean Conservancy's annual "Trash Free Seas" clean-up event.

Conservation Calendar

Massachusetts Estuaries Projects in Chilmark
Tuesday, Apr 10, 5:00 to 6:30 pm, Chilmark town hall.
Join representatives of the Massachusetts Estuaries Project, Coastal Systems Program & School of Marine Science & Technology for a public meeting and Q&A session about projects slated for Chilmark.

Stormwater Management Workshop
Thursday, Apr 12, 8:45 am to 1:00 pm, Edgartown.
From the MA Department of Environmental Protection, and co-sponsored by the Martha's Vineyard Commission. Free, with refreshments. Call 508-693-3453 to pre-register. At the VTA building in the Airport Business Park.

Spring at Polly Hill

Saturday, Apr 21, 10:00 am, at the Polly Hill Arboretum.
This time of year our annual flower show begins, with azaleas, camellias, magnolias and cherries bursting into bloom. Meet at the Visitor Center. Tours run for a little over an hour. Free. For details, see website or call 508-693-9426.

Rising Water, Rising Concerns:
Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

Thursday, Apr 26, 6:30 pm, Oak Bluffs Library
Geologist Rob Thieler (USGS, Woods Hole) will introduce the fundamentals of climate change and sea level rise, and describe what the future may hold for both people and plovers in the coastal zone. Dr. Thieler will demonstrate how field data and models may be used to develop plover habitat conservation recommendations that can be implemented by land managers and inform regulatory authorities. Presented by the Library Friends of Oak Bluffs and Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. Free. For more information, contact Cristina Pereira at Felix Neck, 508 627-4850.

CSA shares currently available at Whippoorwill Farm!

Help sustain local agriculture while maintaining a steady supply of the freshest seasonal produce. Sign up here, or call 508-693-5995 for more information.

In Season Recipe
Lamb Curry

Here’s an idea for anyone with leftover lamb from the past weekend’s holidays: a quick and easy curry. And if you managed to eat it all, please see the recipe box in the last Almanac for a list farms offering fresh local lamb.
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 -3 cups cubed cooked lamb
  • 1 onion
  • 1 apple, peeled and cored
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp Indian curry paste (or curry powder)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 can tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • rice
  • cilantro (garnish)
  • Finely chop the onion, apple, celery, and garlic.
  • Melt the butter in a skillet and cook the vegetables until softened but not browned.
  • Stir in the curry paste (or substitute curry powder for a milder flavor) and cook while stirring for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, and raisins; simmer for two minutes.
  • Puree everything in a blender or food processor and pour back into the skillet.
  • Add the lamb to the skillet; cover and simmer until the lamb is heated through, about 10 minutes, adding a little more stock if the sauce is too thick.
  • Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Note: This can be easily modified into a chunky vegetable curry for a balanced complete meal. After adding the stock, but before the tomatoes and raisins, add 1 cup of peas, or 2 cups of cut green beans, or any other vegetables and cook mostly through, then continue the recipe. Do not blend the sauce, though -- just mix in the lamb, heat through, and serve over rice.
Monday, April 9, 2012

Local News

20th Annual Earth Day Beach Clean-Up
Saturday, April 21

A fine haul on a fine day . . .

On Martha’s Vineyard, our beaches are among our most precious resources. For 20 years, the Vineyard Conservation Society has helped protect them by sponsoring the annual Earth Day Beach Clean-Up. On Saturday, April 21st, from 10 to 12, we invite you to join us at your favorite beach and make the 20th anniversary the most memorable clean-up yet.

This is a great event for families -- a wonderful opportunity to get outside for the first beach day of the year, all while helping out both our natural and human communities. There will be an after-party at the Tisbury Wharf Company (on the waterfront in VH) with free refreshments and pizza from Flatbread Company, as well as free t-shirts from shirtsbyTed for the kids! (Pizza and shirts while supplies last.)

If you would like to volunteer, please email or give us a call at the office (508-693-9588). You can also help us spread the word by printing and posting our posters. Both the full-size 11x17'' poster and a smaller version for regular paper are available for download; just go to this page and scroll to the bottom. 

This year's beaches include:
Lobsterville, Philbin, Tribal Beaches

Squibnocket, Menemsha, Lucy Vincent

Fuller Street, Wilson’s Landing, Lighthouse Beach, South Beach
(Left & Right Fork), State Beach (Bend in the Road)

Oak Bluffs:
Eastville Point, State Beach (Little Bridge), Town Beach (SSA to Inkwell)

Lagoon Pond Landing, Lake Street Landing, Tashmoo Opening, Owen Little Way, Grove Ave Beach, Mink Meadows, Hines Point, Owen Park, VH harbor
(SSA to RM Packer)

West Tisbury:
Cedar Tree Neck, Lambert’s Cove

Extra special thanks to our sponsors, Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, Comcast, shirtsbyTed, Flatbread Co., WMVY Radio, and Tisbury Wharf Co., and to our many volunteer beach-cleaning groups:
Church of Latter Day Saints, Cub Scout Packs 90 & 93, Dukes County Trial Court, Friends of Sengekontacket, Girl Scout Jrs. Troop 802, Harbor View Hotel, Lagoon Pond Association, Mink Meadows Beach Association, MV Community Services, MV Rod and Gun Club, MV Savings Bank, MV Surfcasters, Rotary Club of MV, Tisbury School, Tisbury Waterways Inc., Sassafras, Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, Squibnocket Association, Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).

Volunteers Needed for Invasive Weed Pulling: Garlic Mustard Must Go!

Garlic mustard plants in flower

The Nature Conservancy, Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, Polly Hill Arboretum, and Vineyard Conservation Society are teaming up in an effort to contain & reduce patches of Garlic Mustard on Martha’s Vineyard. Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a very aggressive biennial from Europe that has become widespread in parts of southern New England. Because it has just arrived on Martha's Vineyard in the last 10 years, we still have a good chance to limit its spread.

Wednesday, April 11 (weather permitting), we will be meeting at 9:30 at the Sheriffs Meadow Sanctuary on Planting Field Way in Edgartown to tackle the garlic mustard growing there. This is a large patch, so we can use lots of help. Volunteers should bring drinking water and gloves if you have them. We’ll provide spare gloves and bags for the yanked plants.

If you can make it, please RSVP by email or call 508-274-6919. We are also interested in hearing if there are other patches that people know about near natural areas. Let us know.
(Thanks to Liz Loucks of The Nature Conservancy for contributing this announcement)

Other News

Protect Wildlife: Help Control Fly-away Balloons

While we’re cleaning beaches next Saturday, one thing we’re sure to find are balloons. Almost no one would just leave a balloon on the beach, or anywhere else that they value for its beauty, but what many don’t realize is that once a balloon gets loose, it usually travels a very long distance. That’s surely part of the point behind the intentional mass releases at graduations and other important occasions: the symbolism of freedom and the promise of travel to unknown distant places.
With roughly 70% of the Earth’s surface covered by water, it’s no surprise that – unlike graduating seniors – a great many of these travelers end up coming to rest in the ocean, contributing to Earth’s five great ocean garbage patches or to litter on beaches worldwide. This, from a Q&A in Audubon magazine, summarizes the threats to wildlife well:
At best, free-flying balloons become litter; at worst, they jeopardize wildlife. . . . Balloons can choke, smother, or cause starvation. Their strings and ribbons can cause entanglement. In water, they bear an uncanny resemblance to jellyfish and other organisms eaten by turtles, fish, cetaceans, and shorebirds. Dead sea turtles have washed ashore with balloons hanging from their mouths, and scientists have found whole balloons and parts of balloons in whales during necropsies.
The rest of the answer provides more interesting information, including distances travelled and various prohibitions. On the other hand, a warning . . . Unless you’re in the mood for some appallingly ironic examples from the wide world of mylar balloons, do not click these links.
Submit your conservation news to: almanac@vineyardconservation.org

Copyright (C) *2012* *Vineyard Conservation Society* All rights reserved.

Original content by Jeremy Houser unless otherwise noted.