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Explore the Franklin County CiderDays Cider Trail 2020 All Season Long

headwater cider hawley massachusetts New England is known for its delicious varieties of apples - and New England cider is one of my favorite ways to enjoy these magnificent fruits. This year’s Franklin County CiderDays might not have cider salons or workshops, but you can still enjoy the regions’ wonderful ciders by hopping in your car and visiting all the great spots on the CiderDays Cider Trail. The event has been extended through the end of the season this year, so you have more time to stop by every point on the trail. 

All of the venues on the trail can be found at ciderdays.org/venues. Most of them are found in Franklin County. However, a few are found in the surrounding areas, such as Berkshire Cider Project in North Adams. Opened in July of this year, Berkshire Cider Project is a new craft cidery focused on dry sparkling ciders, located in a beautiful former textile mill with adjacent café and distillery. They are open Fridays and Saturdays from 12 to 6 pm. Check out their website for special CiderDays events!

Hawley’s own Headwater Cider Company is also on the list of cideries participating in CiderDays. Headwater prides itself on doing every step of the cider-making process (growing, pressing, and bottling) all right there at the orchard. With over 2000 apple trees in the orchard at 1800 feet elevation, Headwater has a short but ideal growing season, with plenty of sunlight. This makes for perfect apples for hard cider with lots of flavor and natural sugars. Headwater is open on the weekends starting October 10 to November 8 from 10 am to 5 pm.  Check out their website for more information! (Photo right taken from Headwater Cider Company's Facebook Page.)

west county cider shelburne massachusettsDid you know that the oldest running cider house is located right here in Shelburne, Massachusetts? West County Cider was started in 1984 by the Maloney family. Today, they continue to make small-batch ciders using local apples, working with the variety of flavors that come from each year’s distinct apple harvest. The community is welcome to their tap room and bottle shop, located on Peckville Road, and as well to wander along their hiking trails and picnic grounds with an incredible tri-state view.  For their open hours, directions, and to check out their different styles of cider, head to their website. (Photo left taken from West County Cider's Facebook Page.)

Find out who else is on the CiderDays Cider Trail, plus more information about the 2020 Franklin County CiderDays at ciderdays.org

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Virtual Ashfield Fall Festival 2020: Support The Vendors!

Ashfield Fall Festival Virtual Event MassachusettsIn a normal year, the hilltowns would be gearing up for the Ashfield Fall Festival at this time. Unfortunately, for the first time since 1970, Ashfield has had to cancel the festivities due to COVID-19.  

While they can’t host the festival in person this year, the Ashfield Fall Festival has made it easy to support its vendors. They have a dedicated page on their website to support their vendors at www.ashfieldfallfestival.org/support-our-vendors. This page provides a description and photos for vendors with a link to their websites or online stores. Follow the links to discover crafts such as glass art, handmade leather products, paintings, photographs, custom clothing, jewelry, woodwork, and more. There are also agricultural product vendors such as Bear Swamp Orchard and Cidery, and Gray’s Sugarhouse.

Another way the Ashfield Fall Festival will support their vendors is through their social media pages. Follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ashfieldfallfestival and Instagram (@ashfieldfallfestival) to see their featured vendors. A new vendor will be featured every day for the entire month of October.

Typically, the Ashfield Fall Festival is also a fundraiser for the Ashfield Citizens Scholarship & Community Fund. Proceeds from parking fees and a portion of vendor sales make up this fund which is then awarded for these need-based scholarships. Since this year there will not be any funds coming from this event, the Ashfield Fall Festival has instead started a T-shirt sale to raise funds. The shirts are available now at bonfire.com/store/ashfield-fall-festival/ and feature 2 designs in a variety of colors and sizes.

The Ashfield Fall Festival is expecting to return to normal festivities in 2021 and is planned for October 9-10. Until then, enjoy the Virtual Ashfield Fall Festival and support their vendors online so that they may return in full force next year.

For more information visit ashfieldfallfestival.org.

(Photo taken from Ashfield Fall Festival's Facebook Page)

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Get Lost in These Franklin County Corn Mazes!

The annual corn mazes are back in Franklin County, with new designs! Every September, people from around the region love to get lost in these fun creative mazes. This year will be a little different with covid regulations but will still be a fun experience for all.

Mike's Maze Warner Farm Sunderland MassachusettsMike’s Maze at Warner Farm

Over the years, Mike’s Mazes have gained national attention for their creativity and intricacy. Every year is a different thematic experience, with games, activities, and amusements to pair alongside the design of that year’s maze. Mike’s Maze spans 8-acres with installations and trivia along the way. Located in Sunderland, Massachusetts, the idea for Mike’s Maze was born over 20 years ago at a Christmas party. Farmer Mike Wissemann and artist Will Sillin teamed up to create incredible corn art. In 2015, Mike’s son David Wissemann and his wife, Jess Marsh Wissemann, took over for Will, and have since created mazes that have gone viral, such as “Alice in Sunderland.” 

This year’s theme is “Vote 2020: The Stalks Have Never Been Higher.” They will be celebrating democracy with a variety of games and rides, including the voting game, pedal carts on the “Presidential Election Racetrack” and the “Election Landslides.” Mike’s Maze is open September 11-November 1 on Thursdays (starting in October), Fridays, Saturdays, and Columbus Day from 9 am to 5 pm. The rates of entry are $15 for adults, $12 for kids under 12, and kids aged 4 and under go free! 

For more information about the exciting events at Mike’s Maze, visit mikesmaze.com.

 

Hick’s Family Farm & Corn Maze in Charlemont

Hick’s Family Farm also hosts an annual corn maze which is a Franklin County Favorite. Their farm is conveniently located on the Mohawk Trail/Route 2 in Charlemont. The corn maze is open September 5 through October on weekends and holidays from 10 am to 5 pm. Entry is $8.00 for adults and $5.00 for children 12 and under. Check out their haunted weekends in October starting October 10th and get ready for a scare! If you scare easily, you can enjoy a milder nighttime version of the maze with their Flashlight Fridays on September 18 and October 2. Go to their website for more information on the Hick’s Corn Maze at Hick’s Family Farm, www.hickscornmaze.com

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Restaurants Re-Open in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts

The temporary closure of restaurants and eateries was hard on both the businesses and the locals in Shelburne Falls, who would normally frequent these places for delicious food and to see their fellow townspeople. Many people are excited to see some restaurants in Shelburne Falls slowly re-opening and even a new restaurant opening. These businesses have taken the time to set themselves up in a way that creates a covid-safe space for their customers while offering the delicious cuisine that everyone loves and has missed.

Posada Grill

Posada Grill is a new Mexican and Salvadorian restaurant located on the Mohawk Trail in Shelburne. Their authentic menu includes a variety of papusas, fajitas, quesadillas, and more. They even serve special dishes such as sweet fried plantains, fried yucca, and flan. Posada is open 7 days a week from 11 am to 8 pm with dine-in or take-out available. Welcome them into the neighborhood by having your next meal with them or for take-out call (413) 489-3323. Follow them on Facebook to see what they are cooking up!

Blue Rock Restaurant Shelburne Falls MassachusettsThe Blue Rock Restaurant

The Blue Rock Restaurant has re-opened with an exciting new menu. Their new options include java rubbed baby back ribs, roast eggplant and vegetable panang coconut curry, and grilled steelhead trout. Their hours have also changed. You can dine with them Fridays and Saturdays 5-9:30 pm and Sundays 5-8:30 pm. new set of hours but remember to make a reservation first! The Blue Rock has taken measures to keep everyone covid-safe. However, you can always opt for takeout with their easy curbside pickup by calling 413-625-8133. They even have to-go cocktails, bottles of wine, and growlers of beer from their rotating taps. Click here to view a recent message from The Blue Rock regarding their new safety practices and re-opening. Head to their website to view their new food and drink menu, thebluerockrestaurant.com.

(Picture Right: Outdoor patio at The Blue Rock Restaurant, source: Facebook)

Gypsy Apple Bistro

The Gypsy Apple Bistro is another gem that the community is happy to see back in action. They will be serving up their delicious, short but sweet menu in house or for contactless curbside pickup. Their hours are Thursday through Sunday 5-9 pm. If you’d like to order for pick-up, they ask that you call (413) 625-6345 between 4 and 6:15 pm and the order will be ready in 45 minutes. Check out their menu here on their website, gypsyapplebistro.com.

West End Pub

The West End Pub has re-opened their riverside dining with social distancing. For now, they are serving dinner only from 3-9 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays and the bar is not open. They highly recommend making a reservation to ensure your table. Other than that, their lengthy menu of tasty appetizers, burgers, salads, pastas, and more is back! Call them to make a reservation or order your meal for pick up at 413-625-6216. 

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Pick Your Own Peaches at Apex Orchards in Shelburne, Massachusetts!

Apex Orchards Fruit Pick Your Own MassachusettsApex Orchards, Shelburne

As of Saturday, August 15th, Apex Orchards  welcomed the community to come and pick their own peaches. Located in Shelburne, just off of Route 2/The Mohawk Trail, between Greenfield and Shelburne Falls, Apex Orchards offers stunning views of Western Mass and the borders of Vermont and New Hampshire. Experience the incredible scenery of the orchard while you stroll amongst the trees and pick your own delicious peaches. 

Pick Your Own Peaches is open to the public on weekends only from 11 am to 4 pm. However, you can visit the farm store daily from 9 am to 5 pm and purchase fresh-picked fruit and other local agricultural products. Currently, the Apex Farm Store has Lodi Apples, Methley Plums, Blueberries, and Garnet Beauty Peaches. Plus, as we move further into harvest season, this list will grow! Stay updated on what’s available in the store and which apples are ready for Pick Your Own by following the Apex Orchards Facebook Page or call the store before you visit at 413-625-2744

(Photo taken from Apex Orchards Facebook Page.)

Pine Hill Orchards, Colrain

You can compare peaches to peaches by visiting Pine Hill Orchards in Colrain and picking up some of their fresh-picked peaches as well! Currently, their farm store is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 am to 6 pm, where they sell other fresh-picked fruit like plums and blueberries, as well. They also offer takeout from their restaurant Thursday through Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm. In just a few weeks, starting Labor Day weekend, Pine Hill will be running their Pick Your Own apples! Check their website or Facebook page for updates on which varieties are ready. 

Clarkdale Fruit Farm, Deerfield

You’ll also find juicy, fresh-picked peaches at Clarkdale Fruit Farm in Deerfield. Clarkdale is a fourth-generation family-owned fruit farm, whose farm store is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. You can stay safe with their drive up ordering and never have to get out of your car. Visit them at 303 Upper Road in Deerfield for yellow-fleshed peaches now or visit them in a few weeks for apple season.  Find out what fruit is available on their website or Facebook page.

Happy Harvest Season to all!

For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

6 Feet Apart, All Together at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield

Every summer I always look forward to the shows at Double Edge Theatre in Ashfield. Their creative performances, which invite the audience to move around their farm with them, always inspire and evoke deep thought in viewers about the world around them. Now more than ever, the artistic imagination of this theater group is something that we all need. This year, Double Edge has utilized their large outdoor space to create a safe experience for all. Now through August 9th on Wednesdays to Sundays, visit Double Edge Theatre’s farm for the showing of 6 Feet Apart, All Together, a summer spectacle for the time of COVID-19. 

This summer’s show has been downsized in both number of performers and audience size to ensure safety for all. The audience will move around in small groups on an invigorating and reflective walk through the scenes which will touch on past shows and also look towards the future. 6 Feet Apart, All Together will be performed in rounds and all audience members must wear a mask for everyone’s safety. 

From now until August 9th, you can view 6 Feet Apart, All Together from Wednesdays to Sundays at 8:00 pm in July and 7:30 pm in August with a Saturday matinee at 1 pm. Purchase tickets here in advance soon as there are a limited number of spaces.

For more information visit their website at doubleedgetheatre.org or follow them on Facebook.

double edge theatre ashfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at wandamooney.com/blog.

National Homeownership Month 2020: A Great Time to Buy

national homeownership month diversityDuring a time when people are spending more time at home than ever before, there is a new importance placed on homeownership and loving where you live. Homes are no longer a place to simply eat and sleep - they are offices, schools, gyms, and a place to feel safe and secure with family. June is National Homeownership Month and with interest rates at an all time low, now is a great time to buy. 

If you’re a first-time homebuyer or not sure where to start, I recommend checking out my Buyer’s Guide which has helpful articles such as “How Low Mortgage Rates Increase Your Purchasing Power” and “How to Make Your Dream of Homeownership a Reality.” After you’ve had a read-through of the guide, you can start virtually shopping with the user-friendly listing searches on my website. There’s advanced search options so you can filter by town, property type, or style. Or browse popular searches such as country homes or log homes.

If you’re thinking of buying a home, feel free to contact me by phone or email at 413-768-9848 or wanda@wandamooney.com.

For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at wandamooney.com/blog.

 

Love Where You Live Franklin County: Greenfield Massachusetts

greenfield massachusetts franklin county Greenfield, the county seat of Franklin County is a hub of arts, culture, and impressive cuisine. With a classic New England downtown area set amongst the rolling hills of Western Mass, Greenfield is home to a vibrant community with many small, locally-owned businesses. Conveniently located at the intersection of Interstate 91 and Route 2/The Mohawk Trail, residents of Greenfield love the town because it has a variety of restaurants, shops, markets, professional businesses, and yet still offers ways to get outside and enjoy nature.

Food & Dining

Right in downtown Greenfield, you’ll find Green Fields Market, part of the Franklin Community Coop, which offers healthy ready-made foods and locally-sourced grocery items. The Greenfield Farmers’ Market is another easy way to find local, fresh groceries every Saturday morning May through October. For affordable groceries anytime, Foster’s Supermarket is a family owned and operated grocery store within easy walking/driving distance to downtown Greenfield. For an evening out, there is a long list of great places to eat, such as Hope & Olive, a sibling-owned restaurant with creative cocktails, and The People’s Pint, a craft brewery with creative pub options. 

Arts & Culture

Greenfield is rich in arts and music, with many artists, galleries, music venues, and more. The Geissler Gallery at Stoneleigh-Burnham School, promotes successful and professional women artists to its students. The gallery offers four different exhibits throughout the year, and includes gallery talks when the artist speaks about her work and her career.

Ten Forward is a music venue which books diverse, eclectic, experimental, and world-class artists. Along with musical performances, they also host theater and dance events, film screenings, DJ nights, comedy, fundraisers and more. Another great spot to catch a live music show is Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center. Located in a beautiful historic building, Hawks and Reed has three performance halls and presents performing artists from around the world.

Get Outside

The Energy Park, an urban greenspace in downtown Greenfield is the town’s newest park. The park has sustainable energy exhibits such as solar panels, herb and native plant gardens, and a Boston and Maine railroad caboose with an exhibit inside. Plus, a bandstand is used for weekly concerts and other special functions.

To get the best view of the town, hike up to Poet’s Seat Tower, a sandstone observation tower on Rocky Mountain. The tower was given its name in honor of the long tradition of poets being drawn to that spot. There are a variety of trails to explore which offer views of the surrounding hills, the countryside, and the Connecticut River.

Griswold/GTD Conservation Area is also a great place to explore outside, with hiking trails, wetlands, grasslands, and open space.

Thinking of moving to Greenfield?

Check out available commercial and residential listings in Greenfield, Mass here.

Plus, there are only 2 available units left at Green River Commons, beautiful single level, sustainable, comfortable and net zero ready townhome condominiums. View them here!

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If you are interested in learning more about the area and what each town has to offer click here to explore Franklin County or search for homes for sale by checking out Wanda's search page here

United Way of Franklin County 20th Annual Arts and Leisure Auction

united way franklin county auction fundraiserThis year, you can still take part in United Way of Franklin County’s Auction Fundraiser from your home! The auction has been moved online to keep everyone safe while still raising money for our community’s education, health, and financial stability. Although we’ll miss the in-person interactions, we’ll still be able to enjoy the fun and humor of the auction through a livestream video feed of the hosts John Howland and David Howe. The auction, which is themed Casino Royale, will include live music, online live and silent auction bidding, and raffle drawings. 

Online bidding opens up Wednesday, May 27 and will close with the virtual event on Saturday, May 30 at 5:30 pm EST. So keep checking back on the items you want because there’s even more time to outbid others. Visit the auction website where you can already start browsing the auction items, which includes a variety of art, household items, gift cards to local attractions, local services, and more! This year’s live auction includes some very exciting getaway packages and a year of desserts by Timberly Grout, baker extraordinaire. You can also start buying raffle tickets for restaurant gift cards and home-cooked meals! 

To start bidding, you’ll need to create an account. It’s easy! Just go to the event page here, select “Click here to register,” fill out your details, and then start bidding on the silent auction. Then on Saturday, tune in to the live event to bid on the live auction and enjoy the show!

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If you are interested in learning more about the area and what each town has to offer click here to explore Franklin County or search for homes for sale by checking out Wanda's search page here

Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail: The Show Must Go ON-Line!

Steve Earp potter western Massachusetts The Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail is an annual event in Western Mass, which draws pottery lovers from around the region and even the country to experience firsthand where and how the potters craft their one-of-a-kind pieces. Trail-goers are welcomed to grab a map and guide themselves door to door to 9 different studios where the artists and their guest artists are ready to proudly demonstrate their techniques and offer sales on their pieces of work. 

This year’s Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail has a new slogan: The show must go on...line! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately the potters cannot open their doors to the public this year. However, the artists did what they do best - they used their creativity to create something new, different, and wonderful! They have brought the pottery trail to the public through virtual tours and online shopping. 

While some of the artists already had existing online stores, many had to create new ones to cope with these times of social distancing. All of the potters have been working hard to boost up their online stores in time for the new Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail online event. From May 30 at noon to May 31 at midnight, the 9 artists and their guest potters will offer sales through their online stores. So you can still purchase locally, handcrafted pottery straight from the makers. The potters are accustomed to shipping their fragile products, so they can safely send you your purchases. If you are local, some may be able to leave your package on their front step for curbside pickup.

Molly cantor Shelburne falls pottery Massachusetts To make up for the studio tours, the team of potters have recorded 9 different videos of the 9 studios, so you can see the spaces where the creativity happens and demonstrations of how the products are made. Check them out on their Facebook page

In past years, there has been a mug giveaway for one person who visits 7 or more of the studios. Instead, this year anyone who purchases a piece from Lucy Fagella during the event, will have their name entered into a drawing for a free mug. 

The Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail normally draws in thousands of dollars to these potters, who count on this boost in sales once a year. Other local businesses usually benefit from this event as well through all of the visitors who come from near and far and usually spend the weekend shopping, going out to eat, and staying at local accommodations. Let’s all support the potters this year through this adaptive online event so that they may continue their craft and reopen their doors to us all again next year. 

Visit asparagusvalleypotterytrail.com for more information!

Asparagus valley pottery trail western Massachusetts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are interested in learning more about the area and what each town has to offer click here to explore Franklin County or search for homes for sale by checking out Wanda's search page here

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