agriculture

Come to the 102nd Heath Agricultural Fair This Weekend!

horse pull heath agricultural fairThe Heath Fair is one of the few country fairs still around that stays true to its agricultural roots. For over 100 years, it has offered events such as the ox draw, sheep shows, and various trade demonstrations to teach the community about agriculture in an engaging way. Every year the residents of Heath and visitors from surrounding towns look forward to this end of summer event. This year, the 102nd Heath Fair will take place this weekend, Friday evening, August 16th, and all day Saturday and Sunday, August 17th and 18th. 

It is truly incredible to see how a large event like this with a variety of activities comes together in such an organized way. It is because of the commitment of volunteers who run each of the events that the Heath Fair is so successful. This year’s lineup of events include the antique tractor pull, rabbit show, ADGA sanctioned senior goat show, ox draw, truck pull, and adult sheep show and more. Bring the kids because there will be so much for them to do too like the zucchini races, wagon rides, kids garden tractor pull, demonstrations, and the parade! 

Make sure you come hungry because there will be plenty to eat! Join the organized meals such as the Church Ladies Ham and Bean Supper at 5:30 pm on Friday, the Heath Firefighters Association BBQ on both Saturday and Sunday, or the Blueberry Pancake Breakfast on Sunday morning. There will also be a great group of vendors selling food at the lower food booth and upper food booth.

A country fair is not complete without music and this year’s artist lineup is spectacular. On Friday night, check out Mamma’s Marmalade, a Northampton-based newgrass band and then join in on the square dancing, called by Doug Wilkins. On Saturday at 10 am, Under the Tree Music Company will perform a kids show. Then throughout the day, there will be musical performances by Uncles of the Pioneers, Lonesome Brothers, Josh LeVangie and the Pistoleros, and Deadgrass. On Sunday, check out the Shelburne Falls Military Band at 11:30 am and the Gaslight Tinkers at 1:30 pm. At 3:30 pm, there will be a special performance, Amazing Magic Show for All Ages with Damian Odess Gillett.

For the full schedule of events, visit heathfair.org. The Heath Fair is presented by the Heath Agricultural Society. Admission is only $10 or $8 for seniors and free for children 10 and under. Parking is free. See you at the Heath Fair!

heath agricultural fair massachusetts

Photo credit: Heathfair.org

Get Your Yard Spring Ready: Local Landscapers and More

There’s no denying it now -- Spring is here. Birds are chirping, buds are blooming and the snow has melted away. Now’s the time to get your yard ready for spring!

If you enjoy working outside, perhaps you prefer to do it all yourself. However, time doesn’t always allow for that. Get some help with the weeding, mowing, and clean up, by calling these local professionals:

Canepari’s Landscaping

A small local company providing professional landscaping services to Franklin County and the hilltowns since 2003.
www.CaneparisLandscaping.com
(413)625-2324

CountryScape Landscape

Professional landscape design and construction services for residential and commercial customers.
www.countryscape.com
(413)625-9501

Snow & Sons Landscaping

They offer a complete line of services for every aspect of lawn maintenance, snow removal, excavating, landscaping and hardscaping work.
www.snowandsons.com
(413)774-2604

If you do have the time and energy to do it yourself you can pick up supplies and tips from these local garden vendors:

Shelburne Farm and Garden

Located on the Mohawk Trail right outside of Shelburne Falls, they offer everything for your home and garden, plus nursery, pet, birding, and livestock supplies.
www.shelburnefarmandgarden.com
(413)625-6650

Greenfield Farmers Cooperative Exchange

A farmer owned Cooperative with thousands of products for your home, farm, garden, and pets.
www.greenfieldfarmerscoop.com
(413)773-9639

landscaping yards spring new england


 

Syrup: One Sweet Performing Arts Festival in Shelburne Falls

For the 10th year in a row, Shelburne Falls local theatre company, Piti, will hold their sweet performing arts festival, Syrup! This year, the festival will take place at the Shelburne Buckland Community Center in Shelburne Falls, with the benefit of having two stages for their performances. The�two-part event is scheduled for Saturday, March 9th and 23rd. This years Syrup festival will feature world class performances for all ages, a syrup tasting, free Real Pickles, and more.

Help Piti kick off the festival at 11 am on Saturday, March 9th, with a pancake brunch. Admission is free, just pay for your organic buckwheat pancakes and sample different local syrups. At noon, enjoy selections of Greatest Bits Volume 1 played by Carrie Ferguson. Then at 2:30 pm, Piti Theatres Olde Coleraine will return after a 3-year hiatus, a musical about Colrain at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. At 3:30 pm, experience the clown performance of award-winning Alex the Jester. After his performance, Alex will lead a workshop called Primal Talk: Non-Verbal Stuff Made Fun for teens and adults about communication tools. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students/seniors, and $5 for kids for the performances and $15 for the workshop.

Two weeks later come back for Day 2 of Syrup on March 23rd, an afternoon of works in progress showings and syrup tasting at The Barn at 31 Water Street in Shelburne Falls. This event is only for those aged 15+ and admission is free. The works to be shown include Narieka Maslas clown/dance piece and Jonathan Mirins Canary in the Goldmine a staged reading of the story of how him and his wife and production partner developed microwave sickness/electrical sensitivity.

Buy your tickets in advance and get more information at http://ptco.org/festivals/syrup/. Email info@ptco.org to register for the workshop. Have a sweet time at Syrup!

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Franklin County CiderDays Coming This Weekend!

Fall in New England is such a favored time of year; the bright colors of the foliage, a chill in the air, and of course, all things apple. Every fall on the first full weekend in November, I look forward to CiderDays, a Franklin County celebration of apples. Many of the events are free and range from workshops to talks to tastings to festivals with music and more. This weekend, November 3-5 marks the 23rd Annual CiderDays.

Here are a few events happening this weekend that caught my attention:

On Friday from 6:30-8:00 pm, the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center will host “How to Taste Hard Cider.” Learn from cider educators Eric West and Nicole Leibon of Farnum Hill Ciders the thought process behind tasting and evaluating cider. Then, be guided through a tasting of various cider styles. The cost is $30/ticket and includes light hors d'oeuvre.

On Saturday, the Shelburne-Buckland Community Center will host free workshops, talks and tastings from beginner through advanced for cider makers, home orchardists and cider aficionados.

Then, on Sunday from 2:30-3:30 pm at the Deerfield Community Center in Historic Deerfield, learn how to make Spanish style cider (Sidra) from cidermakers Scott Heath (Tilted Shed, CA), Ryan Burk (Angry Orchard, NY), John Reynolds (Black Duck Cidery, NY), cidermaker/restauranteur Sam Fix (ANXO, Washington DC), and beverage director Brian Rutzen (The Northman, Chicago, IL). Join moderator Darlene Hayes for discussion and samples. Tickets are $30.

Plus, I am very excited about this year’s Cider Salon — the world's longest-running hard cider tasting. This year, the Salons will be held in a large tent in Unity Park, on the Connecticut River in Turners Falls, with more than 90 individual cider brands from across North America and Europe. There will be two sessions — 3:30 - 5:00 and 5:45 - 7:15. Tickets are $30 per session.

For more information, to purchase tickets, and to download the full schedule, visit ciderdays.org.

The Cummington Fair is This Weekend! Celebrating 149 Years!

Summer is winding down but there is still plenty of exciting summer events happening in the valley. Thursday, August 24th kicks off the 149th Cummington Fair, in Cummington, Massachusetts, which will run through Sunday, August 27th. The Fair was initiated in 1883 with the purpose of spreading agricultural knowledge. Today, the Fair holds true to this with a variety of farm-themed events, such as Horse & Ox Draws, various animal showmanships, and judging of livestock.

However, that is not all there is to see at the Cummington Fair! Each day there will be a motorized event, like the tractor pull and Stoney Roberts Demolition Derby. Live music will fill the air with country acts such as Jose Duddy and Truck Stop Troubadours. There will be over 50 vendors selling everything from food, to crafts, to agricultural products. Plus, entertainers such as Kenya Acrobats, Christopher the Magician, and Wayne from Maine will perform multiple times throughout the weekend.

Whether you are a resident of Cummington, or the Pioneer Valley, or you are travelling from surrounding areas, you won’t want to miss this huge event. Purchase your tickets ahead of time at cummingtonfair.com to receive a discount and save time waiting in line. Also visit their website for a full listing of events and other information such as directions, parking, and camping. Hope to see you at the Cummington Fair!

www.cummingtonfair.com

The Heath Fair Celebrates 100 Years

As a native of Heath, Massachusetts, I look forward to the Heath Fair every year. This community event, filled with music, food, and agricultural-inspired activities, truly emanates the spirit of the Town of Heath and the surrounding Hill Towns.  The 2017 Heath Fair, happening Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 20, is extra special because it will be the 100th one!

In honor of this milestone, the organizers of this event, the Heath Agricultural Society, have added some new activities. On Saturday, there will be a zucchini race, where participants will decorate a zucchini, plug a set of wheels into it, and send it down the track in hopes it will cross the finish line first! Click here to see all the new added events for 2017, including a goat parade and a raffle for hot air balloon ride.

Traditional Heath Fair events are planned for this year, as well, such as the tractor pull, fireworks, horse draw, cattle pull, wagon rides, square dancing, and more. Live music will include performances by Small Change, Sweetback Sisters, and Patty Carpenter & the Dysfunctional Family Jazz Band, to name a few. View the full schedule of events here.

On top of all the fun and excitement, it is the time spent as a community and the memories made each year that make this event so spectacular. The Heath Fair is just one of the many reasons that residents of Heath love their town.

For more information on The Heath Fair go to www.heathfair.org.

Photo: Heath Fair 100th Keepsake Print, Heath Fair at Twilight by Scott Prior: Purchase your own limited edition keepsake print and support the Heath Agricultural Society and the continuation of the Heath Fair. Click here for more information.

It's Western Mass Beer Week!

Last Saturday, June 10 was the start of Western Mass Beer Week, a week long celebration of craft beer and those who create it, support it, and love it. Only in its second year, Western Mass Beer Week has over 50 participating breweries, restaurants, venues, and more, covering four counties: Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire Counties. At the core of these events are the values of keeping it local, supporting small businesses, and promoting your neighbor.

I encourage you to explore neighboring counties, but there are also many exciting things happening right here in Franklin County this week! All week long, Element Brewing Company & Distillery in Millers Falls is giving away a free Element pint glass with the purchase of a tasting flight and Hope & Olive in Greenfield is featuring The Valley Flight, six 4 oz pours of their favorite local brews. From 5-8 pm daily, Ryan & Casey's Liquors in Greenfield is offering samplings from various Western Mass craft breweries.

Normally only open on Saturdays, Berkshire Brewing Company in South Deerfield will have open tap room hours on Wednesday, June 13, 3-7 pm. Also on Wednesday, The Rendezvous in Turners Falls is throwing a party from 6 to 8 pm for the release of Element's new IPA brewed just for them, Voo P.A.

On Thursday, June 15, The Lady Killigrew is combining two of their favorite things: waterfalls and beer. They will host a relaxing afternoon featuring Brick and Feather's In Absentia on cask and draft from noon to 4 pm. Then from 6 to 8 pm, Champney's Restaurant & Tavern in Deerfield will host a "talk & sample" with Hitchcock Brewing Company's owner and brewer, Rich Pedersen. 

Even the library is getting involved with Western Mass Beer Week! On Thursday, the friends of the Montague Public Libraries and Element Brewing Company will host Booz, Books, and Brews at the Millers Falls Library from 6:30-7:30 pm, where you can learn about the brewing process from the breweries and access books that give more information on brewing.

On Friday, June 16, Artisan Beverage Cooperative in Greenfield is having a party in the parking lot from 4-7 pm, with tasting room full pours of mead, kombucha, and libations. Also on Friday, and again on Saturday from 5-11 pm, Margaret Fitzpatrick will serve up some special, creative dishes to be paired with local brews, plus live music at Underdogs Lounge in Shelburne Falls. 

Check out all of the events at westernmassbeerweek.org.

Cheers!

Beautiful 7 Acre Building Lot in Ashfield, MA

Looking for that special piece of property to build your dream home?  Take a look at this beautiful open meadow that is located on a scenic town road and near the charming downtown of Ashfield. The approximate 7 acre building site has southern exposure, current percolation test, over 1166ft of road frontage and there is power at the street. This would make a perfect home site and the open land is ideal for animals or gardens. You are less than 30 minutes from Northampton, Greenfield, the Berkshires and only 10 minutes to the Village of Shelburne Falls. The town has 2 golf courses, Ashfield Lake, Double Edge Theater and everyone's favorite, Elmer's Store. Asking $79,000. 

 

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Email Wanda today for more information at wanda@wandamooney.com.

 

Greenfield Farmer's Market open during the Winter

Greenfield MA Farmer's MarketYou can still support your farmers and buy local foods at Greenfield's Winter Farmer’s Market. Open November 21, December 5, January 2, and March 5 from 10:00 a.m to 1:00 p.m. at the Greenfield Middle School. You can purchase produce, meat, prepared foods and artisan crafts are also available. For more information visit their website at www.greenfieldfarmersmarket.com and sign up for their weekly newsletter.

Three County Fair: September 4th - 7th, Northampton MA

 

3 County Fair County Fair in Northampton 

This weekend September 4th - 7th.  Bring the whole family and enjoy the rides, shows, demolition derby, music, demonstrations, barn animals and lots of fair food!  

Click here for more information and this weekend's schedule.

Learn more about Western MA recreation with this resource guide. To start browsing homes for sale in the Upper Pioneer Valley, try exploring Wanda's recommended search categories.