The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival is nestled in the forest and characterized by a reverence for local wood products. The Forster Family provides their beautiful farm land, bounded by historic stone walls and forest, for the Festival. The festival fields combined with neighboring lands total more than one thousand acres that have been placed under conservation restrictions by the residents of Chestnut Hill, working in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and regional land trusts. The land adjoins state forest land and by virtue of its size and the efforts of groups and individuals, there are several public hiking trails that traverse the public and private lands.
Sustainable forestry is an active component of the local landscape and woven throughout the fabric of the festival. Some of the festival infrastructure is part of the Forster Family legacy including the homestead, milk house, and barn. The family and main stages as well as the tables used at the festival were crafted from pine donated by Heyes Forest Products and built with hands, sweat and laughter by members of the all-volunteer festival committee. The main stage utilizes black locust foundation posts, a naturally rot-resistant local wood. The festival celebrates the forested landscape of the region, and the traditions and contemporary crafts of those who work in and with with the woods.
Woodworkers at this year’s festival include:
Bellwood Creations – Wood artistry by Gary Bellemare, Athol, MA.
Seeds of Solidarity Farm – Hand crafted cedar meditation benches and furniture by Ricky Baruc, Orange, MA.
Stillwater Flutes, Standing Bear Drums, Windsong Herbal – Larry ‘Windsong Healer’ Anderson and Michael Longrider craft Native American style flutes and drums from 10″ up to 50″ in diameter. Michael is a Native American Music award winner.
White Oak Timber Framers – Jesse Brown and his friends will be creating riven clapboards from timber. They will also be displaying a few pieces of reproduction furniture as well as antique tools, throughout the weekend. Sunday they will be doing timber frame demonstration.
Turn, Turn, Turn – Sam Scherer with Dick Williams, Sandy Renna and Pete Diemand: Wood turning on a lathe. Turned wood bowls, rolling pins, boxes, and plates from black walnut, maple, birch, black oak, and cherry.