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Quote of the Week
"So you can lie in politics, but you can't lie in business. But today's question is: Can you lie in politics, in business
--Bloomberg View columnist Matt Levine (see story and link at bottom right)
Arboretum Winter Tours
Saturday, Jan. 9, 10:00 to 11:00 am, West Tisbury.
Join Polly Hill staff for a look at plants of interest in the landscape.
At this time of year bark and tree structure stand out, along with
fruits and berries. Meet at the Visitor Center and dress for the
weather. Free, for more info see website
or call (508) 693-9426.
Sunday, Jan. 17, 1:00 to 3:00 pm, Chilmark.
A once-a-year chance to visit the Brickyard on the North Shore. Walk the
brickwork ruins with staff from The Trustees of Reservations and learn
about a once-prosperous industry. Light to moderate hiking conditions
with a brook crossing. The walk is $10 for the public (children $3, TTOR
members are free) and about two hours. Preregistration is required,
call (339) 927-8778 or email
Garden Club Meeting
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 1:00 pm, Tisbury.
Regular meeting of the MV Garden Club, featuring presentations by Adam
Moore and Kristen Fauteux of Sheriff's Meadow on their properties and
native vs. invasive plants. At the Wakeman Center (directions
), $10 for nonmembers.
Sustainable Vineyard Films & Paris Climate Talks Highlights
Tuesday, Jan. 19, 7:00 to 10:00 pm, Vineyard Haven.
A big night for short films at the Vineyard Haven Library, including 6 episodes of Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth's Sustainable Vineyard
series, as well as a highlight reel of alternative environmental movements at the recent Paris Climate Change Conference.
Almanac Mystery Photo
A recent photo taken up-Island -- send us an email if you have a guess!
Need a hint? Try this photo
for a better sense of scale.
In Season Recipe
Thai-Style Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup
Here's a nice warming soup that's also a refreshing change of pace from
winter's abundance of heavy stews. With both winter squash and carrots,
even in January it should be easy to include something local!
Recipe and photo by Deryn Macey, see "Running on Real Food" for the the steps.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 2 tbsp red curry paste
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 large or 2 small butternut squash, roasted
- 2½ cups carrots, chopped (approx. 4 medium carrots)
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp brown or coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 can coconut milk
- Cut your squash in half, spoon out the seeds.
- Place face down on a cookie sheet and pour a little water onto the pan.
- Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approx. 40
minutes or until skin is easily pieced with a fork. When done, scoop out
the flesh and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, cook onion and garlic in the coconut oil for 5 minutes.
- Add the ginger, spices and curry paste. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring.
- Add the carrot and squash.
- Add the coconut milk, lime, sugar and vegetable broth.
- Simmer for about 20 minutes or until carrots are soft.
- Puree in batches in a blender until smooth.
- Serve with lime and cilantro.
- Makes 4 large dinner-sized portions or 6-8 sides.
Winter Walk at the Woods Preserve
View more photos of our previous Woods walks in 2012 and 2014
Join VCS at 1:00 on Sunday, Jan. 10 for a return to the ever-changing
Frances Newhall Woods Preserve. Located across the towns of West
Tisbury and Chilmark, the 512-acre property provides one of the largest
intact ecosystems on our island, including at least eight distinct
natural communities, ten different soil types, and more than 200 plant
and animal species.
VCS has offered guided walks on the Woods Preserve since its protection in 1991,
when the owners, Edwin Newhall Woods and Jeanne Woods donated a
permanent Conservation Restriction (CR) to the Nature Conservancy (TNC).
Upon the Woods’ death, the land was bequeathed to TNC and the CR was conveyed to VCS.
The walk will last one to two hours, followed by cider and cookies.
Please dress for the weather, and keep any dogs on leashes. Parking is
off North Rd. about one mile from the West Tisbury end; look for VCS
signs and flags on the south side of the road. For additional info,
please contact our office.
Island-Wide Food Waste Study
Excerpted from the NRDC report "Waste: How America is Losing up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill":
Getting food to our tables eats up 10% of
the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50% of U.S. land, and swallows 80% of
freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40% of food in the
United States today goes uneaten. That is more than 20 pounds of food
per person every month. Not only does this mean that Americans are
throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also 25% of
all freshwater and huge amounts of unnecessary chemicals, energy, and
land. Moreover, almost all of that uneaten food ends up rotting in
landfills where organic matter accounts for 16% of U.S. methane
That’s a daunting problem! Addressing the totality of this waste will
require both patience and persistence; also, different approaches will
be needed for the various levels of the problem. For example, waste on
the production side is at least partly due to corporate practices and
Federal farm policy, which will require consumer pressure and political
action – on a national level – to change. On the other hand, the absurd
waste that happens once the food hits our plate is a problem just
begging for local solutions.
Last year, the state implemented a new law
requiring major food service institutions (those producing over a ton
of waste per week) to send their organic material somewhere more
productive (and less destructive) than the general garbage. Many options
are available: good, fresh food can be donated to food pantries, and
unusable material can be composted or sent to waste-to-energy digesters.
In time, it is possible similar requirements will spread to include
smaller institutions, perhaps even individuals.
Project Leader and Intern Needed
A new study funded by the MV Vision Fellowship program is seeking to
jump-start this process for our island. The goal of the year-long
project is “to identify Island-wide food scrap collection and processing
opportunities on Martha’s Vineyard.” The oversight committee is now
searching for a project leader and an intern to conduct the study – if
you are interested in applying for either position, or would just like
to learn more about the scope of the project, please see the job announcement
Below: Easily compostable materials – food waste and yard trimmings – account for a quarter of all municipal trash sent to landfills (from EPA, U.S. Waste Characterization, 2007)
Exploring the Thin Line Between Free Speech and Fraud
Previously in the Almanac,
we shared the news of an amusing connection between the NFL’s
“Deflategate” scandal and the legal trouble facing Exxon Mobil. The oil
company is currently under investigation by the NY State Attorney
General largely due to false statements made to investors regarding
climate change. (Because it is apparent that Exxon management has long
understood that climate change is real and important, denying the
science and downplaying to investors the threat to the company’s bottom
line may constitute fraud. More on the case itself at NY Times.)
In that story, I noted that lying to the public about science is
entirely legal – but unfortunately didn’t explain it very well, causing
some befuddled reader reactions. Explaining the contradictions far
better than I ever could, this column
by Matt Levine of Bloomberg is highly recommended – a clear and quite
funny argument for why lying to the public is not just ok, it’s truly
the American way.