|Visit our Website
Support Vineyard Conservation
Find us on Facebook
Quote of the Week
"The colors of the beds here are strikingly brilliant. Beds of
Cretaceous clay may be seen in a section over a mile long. Upon the
Upper Cretaceous clay lie the Miocene greensand and some Pliocene sand,
which is in turn overlain by Pleistocene deposits."
--Woodward and Wigglesworth, 1934: Geography and Geology of the
Region Including Cape Cod, the Elizabeth Islands, Nantucket, Martha’s
Vineyard, No Mans Land and Block Island
Winter Farmers' Market
Saturday, Nov. 23, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, West Tisbury
The winter market
is indoors at the Ag Hall on Panhandle Rd. Twenty vendors, live music, and lunch available.
Felix Neck Fall Festival
Friday, Nov. 29, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Edgartown
Felix Neck's Fall Festival is a tradition held annually the day after
Thanksgiving. Now in it's 23rd year, the festival this year features
hayrides, face painting, wreath making, crafts for kids, live music by
The Flying Elbows, and live birds of prey from New England Reptile and
Raptor. For more info, see website
or call 508-627-4850. Felix Neck is also seeking volunteers to help with the festival.
Farm Programs for Little Ones
Learn about farm animals, food and farming at these two great educational resources.
Wednesdays, 10:00 am to noon: Farm visits at Native Earth Teaching Farm.
For toddlers with an adult, call (508) 645-3304 for more info or to
arrange to come by at a different time. North Road, Chilmark.
Saturdays, 9:30 - 11:00 am: Wee Farmers at the FARM Institute.
For ages 2 - 4 with an adult, $15/session. Call (508) 627-7007 ext. 104 to regi
ster. Katama Farm, Edgartown.
In Season Recipe
Coconut Butternut Squash
This is a wonderfully simple and versatile recipe. Among its many
virtues, it’s a good way to use butternut squash (super abundant at
local farms this time of year) without having to peel them! Spiced with
ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg it’s a festive fall dish for the holidays.
Alternately, without the spices it makes for a fine baby food (or, for
the intrepid baby, leave the spices in). Canned coconut milk will give
the richest flavor, but with a substantial amount of fat for those
concerned. You can also find a relatively new product in the milk case
of the grocery store that uses real coconut milk, but lightened up (and
calcium fortified) to match the nutritional specs of 2% cow’s milk.
Cut a butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place the
halves face down in a baking dish with about ½ inch of water and bake at
350F for about an hour (it may be done in as little as 40 minutes if
you want to check).
When soft, scoop out the flesh. If you have a blender or food processor,
drop it in there; otherwise a big slotted spoon or potato ricer will
Add the coconut milk, a dash of salt and pepper, and any or all of:
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp to 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Mix until smooth. That’s it!
|Monday, November 18, 2013
Living at Sea Level, Walking Through History
Bob Woodruff presents our glacial past for the gathered walkers. (Photo by Brendan O'Neill, click here for the slideshow)
VCS kicked off its annual program of guided winter walks in November
with an interpretative hike to some of the Vineyard’s most ancient
geological deposits, the Gay Head Cliffs in Aquinnah. More than 100
participants learned about the complex geology of the cliffs and current
influences like erosion and slumping.
Ecologist and amateur geologist Bob Woodruff led the walk with VCS
Executive Director Brendan O’Neill. Both had lots of great information
to share, but given the sounds of surf and gusting wind, we know that
not all of the large crowd could always hear. So, extra thanks to
Brendan, who has prepared this distillation of the program from his
At the Gay Head Cliffs, one sees the deforming and dislocating
effects that the most recent ice age sheet had on pre-glacial sediments
as the glacier advanced to its southern terminus some 20,000 years ago.
The pre-glacial deposits in the Gay Head Cliffs consist of ancient
continental shelves, river deltas and beach sediments as much as 135
million years old. Continued at VCS site
We are also thankful for a very nice recap of the walk itself, penned by Albert Fischer and contributed to the Vineyard Gazette.
His story includes more history of the VCS walks program, the human use
of clay at the cliffs, and the Wampanoag Tribe's efforts to protect
this beautiful natural resource.
Climate Change and Super Typhoon Haiyan
Following last year’s Superstorm Sandy, it was quite common to hear
questions about climate change and causation: Was this hugely damaging
storm caused by climate change? Should we expect more such storms in a
warmer future? Could it simply be evidence of the reality and importance
of the problem, an ugly and tragic “I-told-you-so” for global warming
skeptics? We took on these questions last year in a piece for the Vineyard Gazette, though the most important conclusion was that those aren’t really the correct questions to be asking.
As with Sandy, the most important connection between climate change and
Super Typhoon Haiyan is that the damage – to property, ecosystems, and
human life – is magnified by the other effects of global
climate change. With higher sea levels, for any given storm the storm
surge is larger. The frequency of heavy precipitation events is expected
to increase; if a heavy rain comes just before the tropical storm (as was the case in Haiyan),
flooding will be exacerbated due to the saturation of the soil. On the
Vineyard, the coastal erosion and wetland loss due to sea level rise
will only contribute to more of the same during major storms. In less
financially secure locations, climate impacts on the food and water
supply will worsen the human tragedy of devastating storms.
At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Poland,
lead negotiator for the Philippines Naderev Saño evoked these impacts on
the developing world with an appropriately forceful dare:
“It was so strong that if there was a Category 6, it would have
fallen squarely in that box … To anyone outside who continues to deny
the reality that is climate change, I dare them, I dare them to get off
their ivory towers and away from the comfort of their armchairs. I dare
them to go to the islands of the Pacific, the Caribbean, the Indian
ocean and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous
regions of the Himalayas and the Andes to see communities confronting
glacial floods, to the Arctic where communities grapple with the fast
dwindling sea ice caps, to the large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges,
the Amazon, the Nile where lives and livelihoods are drowned, to the
hills of Central America that confronts similar monstrous hurricanes, to
the vast savannas of Africa where climate change has likewise become a
matter of life and death as food and water become scarce.”