Renewable Energy and Local Living

Interested in renewable energy, energy conservation, and learning new or old skills to thrive locally? We are! The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is committed to strengthening our communities, and this means promoting energy self-reliance and education about how to reduce consumption and waste, use renewable forms of energy, and re-skill our lives to create a better future for everyone.

The  area at the north end of the festival site has been named the Portal to the Future,  where we bring together important trends that contribute to community-building and local resilience.  Visit the virtual version of the Portal to the Future this year.

Be sure to watch the videos on this playlist.  You can still read about the presentations that happened each day in 2019 from 12:00-4:00 in the  “energy tent” and visit the speakers’ web sites listed.  The 2019 presenters covered green energy topics, ideas for building community and organizing on behalf of the planet, threats to pollinators, the healing value of mushrooms, and sustainable building products.  At left, Brian of North Quabbin Energy explains “winserts” – home-made window inserts. Conservation is first in the holy trinity of energy consciousness – conservation, efficiency, renewables.

These energy experts have been part of the festival for many years:

  • North Quabbin Energy: Members of this informal group provide guidance and inspiration to citizens of the 9 towns in the North Quabbin area.
  • Pioneer Valley Photovoltaics (PV²): The music on the Main Music Stage that is typically powered by a solar electric system.  In 2019 all of the festival, including the vendors in the Portal to the Future were powered by solar energy and batteries.  Learn what these folks have been doing in 2020 to continue to support residential and commercial solar installations.

  • Domestic DC systems: Installing off-grid and grid-tied solar systems in the North Quabbin area. Powering the the festival with batteries.
  • CO-OP Power: Grass roots at its best, they are a member based organization bringing solar hot water, home weatherizations, biodiesel, and more to Western Mass.
  • The Rich Earth Institute: providers of ecological sanitation with Best Septic.  They collected approximately 1,200 gallons of urine at the 2019 festival, sanitized it with a pasteurizing unit, and then used it to continue their research into the feasibility of the process for making fertilizer and the social acceptability of the concept.
  • This Chevy Volt powered the Renewable Energy Tent!

    Transportation is responsible for much of the past, present, and future greenhouse gas emissions.  Are there alternatives?  Sure there are!  E-Bikes and hybrids and fully electric cars, such as this Chevy Volt, are here to stay as battery technology keeps advancing by leaps and bounds.  Come check out some examples and learn how this car can be used as a generator.