A young boy paused before an old buggy with large wheels. “Would a horse pull it?” he asked.

Working the cider press. — Tova Katzman

He was exploring the 29th Antique Power Museum show, opened in conjunction with the 17th annual Living Local Harvest Festival. By the late morning George Hartman began to get the steam set up to be puffing and running and a man paused to buy a mug, commenting on the soggy weather.

“Do you actually plan this around rainy days?” he asked.

“Three years in a row now,” said Mr. Hartman, informal curator of the antique power museum.

Despite the rain the Harvest Fest was in full swing at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury. The festival focused this year on reduce, reuse and recycle.

Old plastic water bottles were recycled into miniature planters and milk jugs turned into a catching game.

Mr. Hartman said the antique machines fit in with the theme because understanding history is integral to innovating for the future. The machines document the history of how Vineyarders tackled tasks and reduced effort, including a saw that was powered by a horse on a treadmill.

What says fall more than pumpkins? — Tova Katman

“It was truly a one-horse power saw,” Mr. Hartman said. If it weren’t for the museum, he said, many of the machines would be sitting in basements or backyards, or taken to the dump. The museum provides a home for the machines, as well as an eager caretaker.

Mr. Hartman has been interested in machines since he was a young boy. On Christmas in 1945, he received a small toy steam engine. He could use it to power toy saws and other tools. Now a case holds a whole collection of toy-sized steam engines.

“It’s nice to know where out heritage is from, where we are from,” he said. “This is as local as you can get.”

While the rain put a damper on the rides he likes to give in the replica 1902 Rambler (presumed to be the first style of car on the Island), Mr. Hartman was happy to be in the museum, sharing the stories of the old engines, sewing machines and cars.

Across the grass, dotted with muddy puddles, friends who hadn’t seen each other all summer greeted one another warmly at the Ag Hall. Children decorated canvas tote bags with puffy paint and markers. Visitors paused at the Cape Light Compact table to learn how much energy different appliances use, and to pick up an LED night light.

At the Ghost Island table, people sampled peppers, pea shoots and tomatoes. Across the way, cups of gazpacho were handed out. In another direction bite-size shards of Not Your Sugar Mama’s chocolate were on display.

Alpacas wandered the hall, passing a pair of hydroponic planters next to Island Grown Schools, which passed out cranberries, their harvest of the month.

And then the alpacas visited the Ag Hall. — Heather Hamacek

ReFabulous Decor, a shop from Vineyard Haven, demonstrated how to transform old furniture into something completely new with just a coat of paint.

“It’s really about repurposing old things,” Anne-Marie Eddy said of her three-year-old shop.

Salt, another Vineyard Haven shop, displayed live oak cutting boards. Gannon and Benjamin gave John Zannini oak from the boat yard last winter when he needed wood for a pop-up oyster board.

“If I didn’t make these, they’d be burned,” Mr. Zannini said of the wood.

Though a fire would be welcome on such a chilly day, attendees warmed up with bags of popcorn and by throwing their arm muscles into pumpkin carving.

As the afternoon slipped away, the promise of a community dinner and dancing wafted through the air.

More photos of the Living Local Fall Festival.