Living Local Harvest Fest
As worthy and pointed last weekend's Living Local Harvest Fest events were, it was the exuberance with which they were carried out, and the enthusiasm they elicited that made the experience such a thorough and quintessential community-driven success.
Maybe it was the timing, but last Saturday there was a party-like atmosphere at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury. Just beyond the two cars displaying alternative power sources, family activities drew crowds at the hall's entrance. Antique hand-powered tools were exhibited, including a cider press that gobbled up apples. Homemade offerings such as pumpkin pies, cakes, cold rolls, and squash soup were purchased as quickly as they could be served. People crowded around booths offering information and displays on environmentally considerate products, alternative energies, homespun yarns, homemade papers, and nonprofit organizations.
Photo by Susan Safford
There were tents outside where panel discussions and workshops were held throughout the day on recycling, home energy options, Island fisheries, energy sources, and food production.
Kids milked goats, carved pumpkins, played supervised games such as exploring a hay bale maze, and learned about tomatoes, worms, and composting, baking cookies, and making felt.
It was a rock 'n' roll show without the music. The rafters of the Ag Hall were ringing with the animated voices of people calling out greetings, of strangers engaging each other in conversations about their personal experiences in planting, growing, composting, and doing the things that were all around them. Wiggling through the clusters of baby strollers, reunions, and knots of people, you could hear one telling another what not to miss, what he liked best, which booth was where - "and make sure to see the honeycombs and taste the honey."
Living Local Harvest Fest was proof of the pleasure of people who were doing their individual best for the good of the community.