About the Festival

2021 NQGAF Save the DateStill Stinkin’ After All These Years… and still celebrating community in different ways.

In 2021, the festival’s 23rd year, we are all finding safe ways to get back to the things we know and love. Although it was looking positive in the Spring when we normally begin festival preparations in earnest, there remained enough uncertainty about the Fall that we decided to again forgo putting on the Festival in its usual large gathering style.

However, we remain committed to supporting our exhibitors, promoting skills for resilience, providing donations to local organizations, and uniting the community in a variety of ways as this time has been especially important to uphold the values and actions that keep our communities strong. We are now excited to sponsor a SMALL Pop-Up Marketplace we believe will bring together our festival community in ways that are safe and joyful. Stay tuned for more details found here. 

Although the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is on hiatus for 2020 and 2021 during the COVID pandemic and for continued collective well being, the committee felt it more important than ever to maintain our grant-making to local organizations that propagate the arts, food and social justice, and community building. In 2020/21 we made small grants totaling over $9,000 in to sixteen local and worthy organizations and projects.  Learn more about these grant recipients.

In 2020, we created a virtual festival with videos that may be found throughout these web pages and on our YouTube channel.  Links from our exhibitor and vendor pages take you to sites where you can support them.

We encourage you to join us in community in a variety ways that will bring you the lively spirit and joy that you have experienced with us over the years.  Here are some suggestions:

Support Your Favorite Festival Vendors and Exhibitors.  While we are grieving the loss of many valuable annual community gatherings, including our own Garlic and Arts Festival, we also understand the economic impact the loss of events can and will have on our local and regional small business owners.  We encourage you to financially support all those who have been a part of the festival family.  Find them on the booths web pages and follow the links to their own internet presence.  For many of them it is possible to order gifts, goods and services from them on-line or otherwise support them.

Enjoy a Variety of Virtual Presentations for the Whole Family.  We have gathered and created a playlist of engaging educational videos, performances, and other resources that will inspire skills for local living, healing arts, family art projects and more.  These resources are now posted to the pages of this site.  Garlic and Arts lovers will be able to enjoy favorite presenters and performers, and gain inspiration and new ideas, at their leisure.  Learn more About the Festival on this playlist.

Take a Day Trip.  Enjoy exploring the North Quabbin region.  We have updated our suggestions for things to do While Visiting Orange and put together a list of some nearby, favorite farm stands and markets to gather items for a picnic, and special spots and activities to relax in the natural beauty of the region.

We hope you will join us as we proceed into a new and different foreseeable future.  Due to all the unknowns, we continue to move forward crafting new ideas, adapting our game plan as needed, all while listening to what the guidance and data tell us.  We will reach out with updates as they unfold. Stay safe, healthy, and keep working toward the greater good.

Celebrating 22 Years of Peace, Love, and Garlic!  We feel great appreciation for the many thousands that attended the 2019 festival; over 100 fabulous art, farm, and food exhibitors; and 150 plus weekend volunteers. It is truly a joy to co-create the festival with a fabulous group of neighbors and friends, who initiated and sustain this beloved community event. Wonderful memories.

There is something for everyone at this family-friendly fall event, held on a beautiful historic farm amidst autumn foliage.  To get a feeling for the flavor, and aroma, of the festival, check out the photos from the past.   A couple of local photographers have shared their photographs from 2019 with us.  Take a look at those by Norm Eggert and Christine Regan Davi.  Read this if you are wondering Who Puts the Festival On, Where the Money Goes, and Whose Land Hosts It.

Festival proceeds keep the event sustainable and affordable, and support the festival’s community grant program for local art, agriculture, health and energy projects.  The Festival is consistently awarded one of the top three best festivals out of hundreds across the region by the Valley Advocate reader’s poll. Join us for a weekend of fun, food, and fantastic community.

Just as we were taking down the festival field in October 2019 and sharing festival stories, our friends at No-till Growers released a great podcast on Seeds of Solidarity recorded earlier this summer. We love that it already has over 5,000 interested listeners and we are getting great feedback on our story, techniques, and philosophy. Listen to our podcast on No-till Growers here and many thanks to Farmer Jesse for doing this super series!

Deb and Ricky’s book, Making Love While Farming: A Field Guide to a Life of Passion and Purpose, is published and available.  You can learn more about the book, read excerpts, and put future scheduled readings and events on your calendar.  We are so happy for them!

Kindness, community and inspiration are always in style at this popular destination that attracts lovers of art and alliums from throughout New England.  This short video captures the spirit and values of the Festival.

Mission Statement:  The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is a celebration of the artistic, agricultural and cultural bounty of the region. The purpose of the festival is to unite North Quabbin people whose livelihoods are connected to the land and the arts, and to invite both local residents and those who do not live in the region to experience the richness of an area that is often overlooked.

The festival emphasizes what is homegrown, handmade and high quality, as well as what helps preserve and support the environment and the community. Everyone involved – organizers, exhibitors, volunteers, performers, attendees, a supportive community – makes the festival what it is: an engaging, fun and educational celebration for all ages.

An all-volunteer committee composed of neighbors, artists, farmers, and community members meets year-round to organize The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival. The Forster/ Stewart Family graciously hosts the festival at their beautiful, historic farm, and the festival is a non-profit event under the umbrella of Seeds of Solidarity Education Center. Over 200 volunteers the weekend of the event park, welcome, recycle, and support exhibitors; and exhibitors contribute time to raise tents, feed work crews, and more to help bring the festival to fruition. The festival admission is kept affordable to families, and is used to cover the costs of the festival, as well as support local projects that promote a vibrant North Quabbin region.