Garlic and Arts is a Green Deal

Garlic and Arts is a Green Deal

September 28-29 festival includes speakers on eco-living, climate challenge

As the world’s ‘green lung’ in the Amazon basin burns, and glaciers and polar ice sheets melt at record levels, ever more people grasp the threat to our future well-being. But when we learn about the sharp decline in biodiversity, meaning that whole species of insects, animals and plants are disappearing… well it can be too much, or at least too much to think about. So what to do?

The challenge of thinking, learning – and acting – has always been part of the annual North Quabbin Garlic & Arts festival. This year, Saturday, September 28th and Sunday the 29th, will see the 21st gathering of this unique, all-volunteer event that brings thousands of visitors and families to a former hillside farm in Orange.

Along with delicious foods and farm produce, creative presents and information booths, those who venture past the large (solar powered) stage will enter a section called “The Portal to the Future.”

Each year portal organizers choose a theme. “This year,” says coordinator and Warwick Energy Committee member Janice Kurkoski, “we present this question:  What’s the Deal with the New Green? …or what can YOU do to ensure a livable Earth for present and future generations?”

Youth organizers from the Sunrise Movement and and Extinction Rebellion (XR) will join members from North Quabbin Energy to talk about how to Go Greener.  “Following a series of stations on the path from the Kids Activity Tent to the Portal, you can come up with your own Go Greener Goals and post them on a giant globe for others to see.”

Once in the Portal, with its exhibits and information, a popular goal is the speaker’s tent, site of eight 45 minute sessions with local experts on key topics, four each day from noon through 4 pm.

Saturday’s themes start at noon with a talk on protecting bees and other pollinators from harmful chemicals, and at 1pm, on using the Common Good payment card for community power. At 2 pm the focus is directly on climate politics, with speakers from the youth-led Sunrise Movement and activist Extinction Rebellion on the Green New Deal. The final presentation, starting at 3 pm, is on “Community Makerspace” a non-profit, member-based community workshop.

From Sunday noon, presentations continue with speakers on: community seed libraries; cooking healthy mushrooms; and the development of sustainable building products. The final session, starting at 3pm, is on greening the electrical grid, with speakers from the Center for Ecological Technology.

For detailed information on all talks and speakers see:

SATURDAY, Sept. 28


Give Bees a Chance: What Everyone Needs to Know about Neonicotinoids – Tom Sullivan, Western MA Pollinators Network


Common Good: a Payment Card for Community Power – Christine Lindstrom


Sunrise Movement, Extinction Rebellion and the Green New Deal


Meet Your Community Makerspace – Brianna Drohen


SUNDAY, Sept. 29


Starting a Community Seed Library – Tony Reiber, Greenfield Community College


Mushrooms for Dinner: with a side order to heal your body and mind – Paul Lagreze, New England Wild Edibles


Moving Towards Sustainable Building Products: from where we are to where we need to be – Andy Cole, Andy Cole Builders


Greening the Grid – Molly Craft and Ed Rutledge, Center for Ecological Technology


(Anna Gyorgy is a member of the Wendell Energy Committee and North Quabbin Energy)


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