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Almanac Archive for December 13, 2012

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Quote of the Week
“When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: if you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren't pessimistic, you don't understand the data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren't optimistic, you haven't got a pulse.”
--Martin Keogh, Hope Beneath our Feet: Restoring Our Place in the Natural World

Conservation Calendar


Friday, Dec 14, 2:00 to 4:00 pm, Vineyard Haven.
Free gently worn clothing at the Christ United Methodist Church (Stone Church). Re-use beats recycling any day. (Also on Sat. the 15th, 9:00 - 11:00). For more info, call 508-693-4424.

Wee Farmers

Saturday, Dec 15 (also the 22nd), 9:30 to 11:00 am, The FARM Institute, Katama.
TFI welcomes 2-5 year olds to the farm for a morning of discovery.  Pet a fiber goat, feed the chickens and help harvest fall veggies.  Wee Farmers must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver. $15 per session. For more info, or to pre-register,  call 508-627-7007

Winter Farmers Market
Saturday, Dec 15, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury.
The winter market takes place every other weekend inside the Ag Hall. Check website for more information.

Solstice Celebration and Ceremonial Fire

Friday, Dec 21, Aquinnah.
All day free event at Sassafras Earth Education. Activities begin with the lighting of the fire and sunrise greeting at 7 am, highlighted by a potluck celebration from 4 to 6 pm. All are welcome, bring a dish and/or firewood to share. Directions here; for full schedule and details, call 508-645-2008.

In Season Recipe
Family Traditions,
Fresh from the Vineyard

Fresh from the Vineyard, by Virginia Jones, features recipes that take advantage of our bounty of local produce, meats, and seafood. Proceeds from sales of the book (see VCS website for locations) will benefit both VCS and the Island Grown Initiative, two organizations that – in very different ways – have helped promote and sustain local agriculture.

The recipes in Ginny's book are almost always simple, fresh, and above all, tremendously adaptable methods of showcasing our Island's native produce, meats, and seafood. This week's recipe will be an exception - but with very good reason. Grandma Lydia's Christmas Carrot Pudding is presented in detail, complete with traditional ingredients (seeded raisins) and methods (you'll need a meat grinder and plenty of patience). But some things can't be rushed!

A traditional dish with its origins in medieval England, Christmas pudding is also sometimes called plum pudding despite the lack of plums. The word "plum" referred to raisins in pre-Victorian times. 
Thursday, December 13, 2012

Local News

Fall Environmental Action Appeal

American Holly in West Tisbury (photo by Brendan O'Neill, click for wider angle)

The Vineyard Conservation Society is the environmental conscience of Martha’s Vineyard. We rely exclusively on member support to continue our advocacy, education and resource protection work, including:
  • Legal defense of critical habitat under imminent threat at Moshup Trail
  • Permanent protection of other valuable open spaces through conservation restrictions and other cooperative agreements
  • Advocacy and educational efforts on environmental issues of special significance to our Island, including climate change, water quality protection, growth and development, and preservation of Island character.
Now through the end of the year, new members and any gift memberships will receive their choice of one of four books and be entered into a raffle for a basket of books on local environmental and sustainability issues. Learn more about this great offer at our website!

Interpretive Winter Walks Keep Community Connected to Nature

The view from Eastville Beach (photo by Signe Benjamin)

Member support is also crucial to the maintenance of our community programs, including the popular Winter Walks series. Last weekend, we hosted an interpretive walk at Eastville Beach (located adjacent to the drawbridge, on the Oak Bluffs side). A small gathering of hardy folk braved the blustery conditions to take in the scenery and hear walk leaders Dave Nash and Brendan O'Neill describe the history and hoped-for future of this priceless bit of open space tucked between two bustling towns. Visit our events page to see a slideshow of the walk and to learn the history of conservation efforts at Eastville.

Our next Winter Walk will be January 13th at the Katama Airpark. For more information, check the Almanac and our website in coming weeks.

VCS and State Coastal Zone Management Team up for Coastsweep

contributed by Samantha Look
On October 13th and 14th, VCS helped coordinate a fall beach cleanup as part of Coastsweep, an annual statewide coastal cleanup. Coastsweep is sponsored by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and is coordinated by The Urban Harbors Institute at UMass Boston. This was the 25th anniversary of their efforts. In 1987 they began with 391 volunteers and removed almost 2 tons of trash from 40 miles of coast. Over the years this has grown considerably; last year, close to 2,300 volunteers removed 9 tons of trash from more than 118 miles of coastline. Beyond just working to clean our state’s beaches, Coastsweep is part of the International Coastal Cleanup sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy in Washington, D.C. Each year, hundreds of thousands of volunteers gather worldwide at beaches, streams and lakes to clean marine trash and debris and record their findings on data cards. The Ocean Conservancy uses the information collected on these cards to create a huge database to better understand what behaviors and sources are leading to so much trash in the world’s oceans. With this they are better able to educate and develop policy to reduce the problem.
Something for all of us to remember when we spend a day at the beach is that the top ten types of trash found during past Coastsweeps – with the exception of rope, #5 – have been recreation and shore based, as opposed to coming from boating or ocean-based activities. The top five items found were:
  1. Cigarettes/cigarette filters
  2. Food wrappers and containers
  3. Caps/lids
  4. Plastic Bags
  5. Rope
Story continued at VCS site, 2nd column.

Crafty Creations Turn Old Books Into Holiday Cheer

The staff at the Oak Bluffs Public Library have outdone themselves this year! In what is becoming an annual tradition, creative folks have decorated the library with homemade wreathes, trees and vases, all made from recycled books. Check out the rest of the photos at the library's facebook page. For more information about the materials and design, please contact Sondra Murphy, Acting Director, 508-693-9433 ext. 141.

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.