The North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival at Forster’s Farm,Â 60 Chestnut Hill Road in Orange, Massachusetts is a celebration of the artistic, agricultural and cultural bounty of the region. The purpose of the festival is to unite North Quabbin people whose livelihoods are connected to the land and the arts, and to invite both local residents and those who do not live in the region to experience the richness of an area that is often overlooked. The festival emphasizes what is homegrown and high quality, as well as what helps preserve and support the environment. The festival is an engaging, fun and educational celebration for all ages. Everyone involved-organizers, vendors, volunteers, performers, attendees, a supportive community-makes the festival what it is and we are grateful and look forward to celebrating the richness of our communities for many years to come.
The Agricultural Vendors at the Festival offer amazing, locally grown and produced products that celebrate the bounty of the North Quabbin and surrounding regions. Through on-going demonstrations and workshops you’ll learn to grow your own garlic, experience live honeybees, make an herbal tincture, or delight in a flower garland or wheat weaving. Celebrate this feast of the land, honor the good work of farmers, and rejoice in the harvest season. Don’t forget your shopping bag!
The food vendors at the festival celebrate the bounty of the harvest through their delicious garlic infused creations. Individuals and restaurants that sell food at the festival are committed to culinary creativity and local agriculture. Some vendors are community organizations that raise funds through this event. Many vendors use organic and local ingredients. There is a ‘no polystyrene’ policy, and highlight biodegradable utensils and plates which are composted after the festival. Compostables from past festivals are now fertile soil rather than filling landfills!Â The trash is transformed into compost – last year 10,000 people generated only three bags of garbage.
The wood fired oven at the Garlic and Arts Festival was built 4 years ago for use at the festival and for the local community. It is used for baking loaf and flat breads like foccacia and pizza and for preparation of many other types of dishes. It can roast and even grill using the coals from the fire in the oven.
The oven is built to an ancient Italian design fundamentally the same as larger ovens that still exist in the Pompei archeological site. There are many thousands of similar ovens in Italy today where backyard cooking and roasting is very popular. There have been similar ovens in many parts of the world for millenia along with other forms such as the pit and open topped ovens in Central and South Asia.Â Garlic painting below by Julian Merrow-Smith.
A complete list of demonstrations, games, activities, chef demonstrations, family stage productions, and workshops, along with directions, can be found at www.garlicandarts.org.