Time for the Living Local Harvest Festival: Food, fun, film and more

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Fifty booths will be set up at Harvest Festival, with information, samples, and snacks for sale. — Photo by Michael Cummo

The Living Local Harvest Festival (LLHV), a two-day festival dedicated to promoting sustainability on Martha’s Vineyard, kicks off on Friday, Oct. 2, with a special screening of new episodes of awardwinning documentary filmmakers Liz Witham and Ken Wentworth’s “Sustainable Vineyard” film series.

According to a press release, the filmmakers will premiere their three latest short documentaries from the series, followed by a post-screening Q&A with some of the Island’s most visionary environmentalists. The premiere, sponsored by WCAI and the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, also marks the kickoff for Fall for the Arts, a monthlong celebration of the best in arts and culture on the Island.

“Sustainable Vineyard” is an independent documentary series that highlights Islanders working toward creating a sustainable community and environment. The three films premiering on Friday, each 10 to 15 minutes in length, include “Where Did the Bats Go?” “Growing Habitat Stewards,” and “Forward to Nature.” The films will be followed by a post-screening Q&A with Elizabeth Baldwin, assistant director and wildlife biologist at BiodiversityWorks; Kendra Buresch, director and biologist at Habitat Patch; Luanne Johnson, director and wildlife biologist at BiodiversityWorks; and John Ripley Stanwood, the owner of Top Soil Permaculture.

Friday night is intended to be a stimulating night of films and conversation, and an opportunity to learn more about sustainability efforts on the Vineyard by some of the leading experts in their fields. Ben Taylor will make a special wildlife-inspired musical appearance. The screening will be followed by a wine and cheese reception sponsored by Fall for the Arts.

On Saturday, Oct. 3, the LLHV continues at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury from 10 am to 4 pm with a variety of all-age activities and workshops intended to celebrate and educate on important Island issues including agriculture, local food advocacy, renewable energy, and more.

Lunch will be provided by Morning Glory Farm, Chef Deon’s Kitchen, Chilmark Coffee, Loco Taco, Not your Sugar Mamas, Pie Chicks, and the Kitchen Porch, and local musicians will entertain. A community supper and contradance will finish off the festival from 5 to 9 pm. Here’s a schedule of Saturday’s events:

Fun for all ages

11 am and 2:30 pm Local Reptiles and Amphibians with Felix Neck

11:30 am A teaser from the annual culinary adventure Local Wild Food Challenge

12 pm Sustainable Vineyard Presents “A Celebration of Nature” parade and one-act mobile play

2 pm M.V. Habitat Kids’ Conservation Education through Habitat Stewardship with biologist Kendra Buresch

Other activities include an Energy Carnival provided by the Cape Light Compact and the MVironment Club, kids’ nature crafts, farm animal bingo, field games, pumpkin carving, face painting, antique power show, Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish hatchery techniques, natural dyes with Rebecca Gilbert from Native Earth Teaching Farm, and more.

Workshops for adults

10 am – 12 pm Dehumidifier Recycling. Save energy and get a $30 mail-in rebate; sponsored by Cape Light Compact

10:30 am Composting 101: Talk worms, pallet systems, and more! with Steve Masterson and IGS’s Emily Armstrong and LPA’s Laurisa Rich

11 am Nature Connection Mentoring with Saskia Vanderhoop of Sassafras Earth Education

11:30 am – 12 pm Sustainable Erosion Control with Plant Mimicry: a talk with Gordon Peabody, hosted by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission

3 pm Taking Charge of Your Energy Future with Cape Light Compact

3:30 pm Tiny Houses: Information on affordable and environmentally sustainable housing

The Seed Tent

Learn about the how-to and history of seed saving at special presentations and hands-on workshops:

10 am Seed Saving 101 with Martha’s Vineyard Community Seed Library

10:45 – 11am Seeding Race with Prizes, hosted by IGI’s Thimble Farm

11 am Seed Saving 201 with Hudson Valley Seed Library’s Ken Greene

12:30 pm Tortilla Factory with Edgartown School Garden’s Melinda De Feo

1:45 pm Wampanoag Native Food Traditions with tribal historic preservation office member Bettina Washington

3 pm Seed and Grains Co-Operative Discussion moderated by Hudson Valley Seed Library’s Ken Greene

Local Island Music

10:15 – 11 am Sara Piazza

11:15 am – 12:15 pm Jellybone Rivers

12:30 – 1:30 pm Jemima James

1:45 – 2:45 pm The Pick Pocket Bluegrass Band

3 – 4 pm Charlotte Benjamin

Community Supper and Contradance

5 – 9 pm A meal of Island-raised pork, local farm veggies, and ancient grains by Anson Mills, hosted by the Scottish Bakehouse. Dinner is $15 per person, and music and contradance will be provided by The Flying Elbows.

For additional information about the Living Local Harvest Festival, visit livinglocalmv.org.