Have fun, get informed at this year’s Living Local Harvest Festival

The two-story chicken coop includes a spiral staircase and a private roost. — Photo by Steve Myrick

Following the panel discussion Friday evening, Living Local continues Saturday, Oct. 5, to celebrate the fall and local foods, with an event at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury from 10 am to 3 pm. There will be food, vendors, presentations, demos, and live music. A community potluck dinner concludes the festival from 6 to 10 pm that evening.


Food booths will be manned by Morning Glory Farm, Beetlebung Farm, Chilmark Coffee, Chilmark Baker, and The Kitchen Porch. Free tastings will be available from “Wild Edibles” with Felix Neck, Not Your Sugar Mamas, M.V. Sea Salt, Martha’s Vineyard Organics, and Pea Shoots M.V. In a demo session, Offshore Ale will offer a local hops tastings of their Farm Road Pale Ale. The potluck dinner that evening will allow community members to serve and share other dishes. Guests should bring a dish for six, plus their own place settings and beverages.


There will be more than 50 booths at this year’s festival. A press release from Living Local said they hope festival goers will “strengthen communities by purchasing locally crafted and grown goods.” In addition to local farm and food vendors, many booths will sell the work of local artisans. A pop-up museum and art gallery will be on display in the front room of the Ag Hall. Various community organizations will also run booths to highlight their work.


Musical performances are expected from Mike and Charlotte Benjamin, Dana and Jaiden Edelman with Eric Johnson and friends, and other groups yet to be announced. During the evening potluck celebration, The Flying Elbows, an old timey string band consisting of Bob Hammond, Nancy Jephcote, Paul Thurlow, Tom Hodgson, and Brian Weiland, will perform.

Kids activities

For “little locals,” there will be activities including pumpkin carving, farm and garden crafts, campfire education, face painting, field games, oxen rides from The FARM Institute, and nature activities by Sassafras Earth Education. Kids can also visit farm animals at work, composting pigs, chickens, and alpacas.

Family activities

In addition to entertainment for kids, there will be other activities that the whole family can enjoy.

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and Cape Light Compact will sponsor an Energy Carnival. The Antique Power Show, showcasing antique engines cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors, and machinery, will be held during the Festival. There will also be a Fall Fuzzy Horse Show.

Presentations and demos

Every hour from 10 am to 3 pm, presentations and/or interactive demos will take place. They include:

Vineyard Nutrition’s Josh and Prudence Levy on “Healthy Snacks for Kids;” Scott Carroll of Bruno’s and “waste activist” Tomar Waldman on “Trash! The, where, what and how we can cut down on waste,” moderated by MV Times reporter Barry Stringfellow; Billy Manson on the annual Local Wild Food Challenge; Slow Food and Mass in Motion on local eggs and backyard chickens; Cape Light Compact team on saving energy, natural resources, and money on home heating and electric bills; South Mountain Company’s John Abrams on Benefit Corporations, a new form for business that encourages greater community responsibility; and Anna Edey on her new book “Green Light at the End of the Tunnel.”

The Festival hopes to be trash free by recycling waste or transforming it into fertile compost. Living Local Harvest Festival is presented by Cape Light Compact Agricultural Society, Island Grown Initiative, Vineyard Conservation Society and Vineyard Energy Project with the support of Cape Air, Cronig’s Market, Mass In Motion, Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, Slow Food, South Mountain Company, The FARM Institute, and The Martha’s Vineyard Times.

The entire festival is free for all ages. For schedules and more information, visit livinglocalmv.org.