Ashfield

Celebrate 25 Years of CiderDays This Weekend

For 25 years, CiderDays has been a Franklin County staple event of all things apple. Every first weekend in November, events pop up all over the area to appreciate and learn more about ciders, cidermaking, and orchards. There are cider tastings, workshops, and tours, hosted by various orchards, cideries, and other cider professionals. This year, CiderDays will be held November 1-3. Some of the events are free; others require tickets purchased in advance, such as the Cider Salon. 

The Cider Salons will once again be held in the large tent in Unity Park, Turners Falls. Sponsored by the United States Association of Cider Makers, the Salons will feature over 130 ciders from a range of producers around North America and Europe. Buy your tickets in advance for either Round 1 or Round 2 and enjoy the opportunity to sample ciders from near and far.

Some events will be happening throughout the weekend and you can drop in anytime to check them out. Check out an art exhibit at the Great Falls Discovery Center in Turners Falls, 25 Years of CiderDays, which will display historic cider presses and images honoring cider producers. While you’re in Turners Falls, you can also stop by the official Cider Days Bookstore at Two Birds on Avenue for books about orchards and cider and even some author signings. Several tasting rooms will have their doors open to the public throughout the weekend, including West County Cider in Shelburne, Bear Swamp Orchard and Cidery in Ashfield, Headwater Cider in Hawley, and more. 

See the full list of tastings and other events happening throughout the weekend here and find everything you need to know about CiderDays at CiderDays.org

Happy CiderDays! 

Franklin County Cider Days November 2019 Massachusetts


 

Crafts, Food, Pumpkingames and More at the Ashfield Fall Festival

It’s time for the wonderful annual Ashfield Fall Festival. This Saturday, October 12th and Sunday, October 13th, Ashfield’s Main Street will be filled with crafts, food, and music from 10 am to 5 pm on both days. 

Check out more than 50 local exhibitors including, Tom Kuklinski woodworking, Ed Branson hand-blown glass, and Walter Cudnohufsky watercolors. View the full list of arts and crafts vendors here. They will be stationed on the town common or the Upper Town Hall.

You’ll find lots of tasty autumn treats at the festival, such as home-made pumpkin donuts, apple pie, and applesauce sundae. Get your savory fix as well with warm chili, burgers, crawfish pasta, or vegetarian and kids options, too.

Bring the kids because there will be tons of entertainment and games, including the pumpkingames! Check out the full lineup of performances, as well, here. Don’t miss out on this amazing community event, with the backdrop of the beautiful fall foliage. 

For more information go to www.ashfieldfallfestival.org.

Ashfield Fall Festival Main Street Massachusetts

5 Amazing Hiking Trails in Franklin County, MA

I always appreciate living in Franklin County because of its natural beauty. There are so many places where you can immerse yourself in nature and take in the magnificent views around the valley. Plus, with so many hiking trails around, you can get all the exercise you need without having to go inside. Take a look at some of my favorite places in Franklin County to hike and explore:

high ledges shelburne massHigh Ledges, Shelburne

High Ledges is a wildlife sanctuary in Shelburne. A series of looping trails allow you to make your hike as short or as long as you’d like. Stop by the vernal pool in the spring time and watch the salamanders grow. Originally the site of Dutch and Mary Barnhardt’s home, the fireplace structure still remains, right next to the viewing point of the village of Shelburne Falls. If you continue on the long trail, you can see the wolf dens, where supposedly the last wolf in the area was exterminated. Visit the Mass Audubon website for more information on High Ledges.

Rocky Mountain Poets Seat Tower, Greenfield 

If you find yourself in downtown Greenfield with just a few hours to spare, Rocky Mountain is the perfect quick hike. This is a 2.4-mile loop, great for all abilities, and moderately trafficked. At the top, you can climb the Poets Seat Tower, a reconstructed stone tower which was built in 1912. From the tower, you can look out over the Town of Greenfield, the Connecticut River Valley, and Montague. Find out more at Greenfield Recreation Department’s website.

Chapel Brook, Ashfield

 Chapel Ledges Brook Ashfield MassChapel Brook in Ashfield offers hiking, swimming, and rock climbing all in one place. Its rugged beauty and tranquility makes it a perfect place to escape for an afternoon or a day. Hike to the top of Pony Mountain and gaze at the top of the hills in Ashfield. There is a direct, steep hike, or another more moderate trail that winds around the side of the mountain. Both trails end at the top of Chapel Ledges, a tall rock face which draws rock climbers from around the area. On hot days you can cool off in the brook, which has a series of small waterfalls with beautiful pools below, perfect for taking a dip. Visit The Trustees website for more information.

Bears Den, New Salem

Bears Den is another spectacular place in Franklin County that offers a great reward with little work. It is located where the middle branch of the Swift River drops off into a woodland pool in a gorge on its way to the Quabbin Reservoir. Hike along the short, quarter-mile trail and then decide - left or right. Go left and be enchanted by the beautiful waterfall or go right and hike along the stream, past large boulders, ending at the site of an Old Mill. Get directions to Bears Den at the Trustees website.

Gunn Brook Falls, Sunderland

Another great waterfall that we are lucky to have close by is Gunn Brook Falls in Sunderland. The trail to get there is only 0.2 miles, which makes it great for families with small children. However, if you’re looking for more hiking, you can continue on the trail up Mt. Toby. At the top of Mt. Toby, you can climb the tower if your fear of heights allows, and get an awesome 360 degree view of the area. Learn more about Gunn Brook Falls here.

 

 

 

24th Annual Franklin County CiderDays

For a long time, cider has been the traditional drink of New England. Right here in Franklin County, we are lucky to be surrounded by wonderful orchards and cideries, who make this delicious fall drink. For 24 years, Franklin County has celebrated cider with their Annual CiderDays. This 3-day event, always occurring on the first full weekend in November, brings together cider lovers across the county. This year, CiderDays is happening November 2-4 and includes 19 participating venues.

From Friday evening to Sunday evening, there will be a wide variety of events all based around cider, but not necessarily just based around drinking it. There will be talks around cider and apples, demonstrations and cider-making workshops, orchard rides, cider and cheese pairings, and more. You can view the full schedule of events at CiderDays.org, but here are some highlights:

The Shelburne Buckland Community Center will hold talks, tastings, and workshops Saturday and Sunday for beginner through advanced cider lovers. The events at the Community Center will be FREE!

Check out the world’s longest-running hard cider tasting at the Cider Salon in Unity Park, Turners Falls. There will be two sessions on Saturday (3:30-5 and 5:45-7:15) where you can try 120 different ciders from across North America and Europe. Make sure you purchase your tickets for the salon soon because this event sells out.

Bring the whole family to the Cider and Apple Festival, hosted by New Salem Preserves and Orchards on Saturday and Sunday. Attend free workshops, child-friendly apple pressing, and browse local artisan exhibits and farm products.

For the full schedule of events and to purchase tickets for specific events, visit ciderdays.org.

 

Fall Festivals in Franklin County!

It’s October! That means pumpkins, cider, foliage, and Fall Festivals! Next weekend, October 6 and 7, Ashfield’s main street will be filled with people for the Ashfield Fall Festival. Admission is free to this annual event, which started in 1970. Celebrate Ashfield and browse over 50 arts and crafts exhibitors, book sales, and tag sales. Enjoy locally-grown and prepared foods, live music, and dancing. There will also be plenty of kids’ events, including the annual Pumpkingames! For more information, visit www.ashfieldfallfestival.org.

Another great fall festival that you won’t want to miss is the Great Falls Festival aka Pumpkinfest in Turners Falls on October 20th. From 2 to 9 pm, Avenue A in Turners Falls will be filled with over 150 food and craft vendors, 3 live music stages, 2 performance stages, a beer garden and of course, a pumpkin display! Bring your own pumpkin to add to the beautiful pumpkin display or carve one there for free. There will also be free kids activities. For more information check out their Facebook page.

Here are some other exciting fall festivals in Franklin County coming soon:

8th Annual Riverside Blues, Brews, and BBQs - October 6 - Greenfield

Old 78 Festival - October 6 - Orange

Scarecrow in the Park - October 20 - Bernardston

24th Annual Franklin County Cider Days - November 2-4 - Various locations throughout Franklin County

 

Completely Renovated Colonial For Sale in Ashfield

Serenity surrounds this completely renovated 1817 Colonial that combines period details of yesteryear with the modern conveniences of today. State of the art green technology features a geothermal heating/cooling system, solar array, high rated foam insulation and Pella Low-E Argon windows while attractive woodwork, restored mantels, original wood floors and exposed posts and beams enhance the interior. There is a gorgeous kitchen w/soapstone countertop, fabulous great room with cathedral ceiling & gas fireplace, dining room, formal living room with original fireplace, first floor bedroom & full bath. Three additional bedrooms and a luxurious bathroom with slate and soapstone open shower & custom built vanity are upstairs. In addition, there are 3 outbuildings, 2-3 car attached garage, screened-in porch and a deck with views of the pond, stream and hills beyond. A nature lover's oasis, the private 11.8 acres is mostly open, perfect for gardening & animals. Less than 30 min to Northampton/Greenfield.

                

Click here to view the full listing.

Contact Wanda Mooney today for a tour! 
Wanda@Wandamooney.com or 413-768-9848

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.

One Long Weekend, Two Fabulous Festivals

This Columbus Weekend, the Pioneer Valley will host two popular festivals. On Saturday, October 7 through Monday, October 9, the Paradise City Arts Festival will take place at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton. Meanwhile, only 30 minutes Northwest of Northampton, Ashfield will host its Fall Festival on Saturday, October 7 and Sunday, October 8 up and down Ashfield’s Main Street.

Founded by two artists 23 years ago, the Paradise City Arts Festival now fills up three buildings, an outdoor sculpture promenade, and a festival dining tent. Many artists apply to have a booth at the festival, but only some are selected to attend. Their works for sale range from wearable arts to furniture and home décor to fine art and sculpture. Under the dining tent, local food vendors bring flavors from around the world. Enjoy live music while you dine from The Jazz Divas, The O-Tones, and The Blend. Returning this year is the Silent Art Auction to benefit WGBY/57 public television.

The Ashfield Fall Festival also features arts and crafts exhibitors, but with more of a hometown feel. More than 50 exhibitors will line the Main Street in Ashfield. You can also pick up some locally grown and prepared foods, enjoy live music and dance, and participate in fall-themed games, like pumpkin bowling! Although the Ashfield Fall Festival has been around for almost 50 years, the purpose of it is still to celebrate Ashfield, showcase local business, fundraise, and provide opportunity for the town’s youth to practice creative, social, and business skills.

For more information on the Paradise City Arts festival go to https://festivals.paradisecityarts.com/shows/northampton-october-show

For more information on the Ashfield Fall Festival go to http://www.ashfieldfallfestival.org/.

Whatever you do, enjoy the weekend!

Pioneer Valley Moving Into Seller's Market

An article recently published by Mass Live announced that the Pioneer Valley is moving into a “seller’s market”.  This means that the real estate market is currently favoring sellers, rather than buyers. The lack of homes for sale puts pressure on buyers to move quickly in their purchasing actions, or else risk losing out on getting the house they wanted.

According to the article, sales of single-family homes in June 2017 are fewer than in June 2016, while the median sales price rose. Also, the average number of days a home is on the market for June 2017 has decreased compared to June 2016. Specifically in Franklin County, sales are down 1.3 percent with 75 sales in June 2016 and 74 sales in June 2017 and the median price rose 16.3 percent from $224,000 to $260,500.

So what does all this mean for you? In a seller’s market, desirable houses sell quickly. If you are pursuing a new home, act in a timely manner. On the other hand, if you have been thinking of putting your home on the market, now is a good time to do so. However, sellers sometimes get overexcited in a seller’s market and might ask too high of a price. This leads to their house sitting on the market for too long. Make sure to maintain reason when listing your home.

For more advice on how to act in a seller’s market of if you are thinking of buying or selling, get in touch with Wanda Mooney at (413) 768-9848 or wanda@wandamooney.com.

To read the full article on masslive.com click here.

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.