Wanda Mooney

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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.

Order Delicious Native Blueberries From Burnt Hill Farm in Heath Massachusetts

burnt hill blueberry farm heath massachusettsPlace Your Blueberry Order Today!

It’s time to place your order for Burnt Hill Farm’s native low bush blueberries. Harvest will begin the last week of July and continue through August. This year’s prices are $40 for a 10 lb box and $70 for a 20 lb box. Order your blueberries online through Burnt Hill Farm’s website and they will let you know when your berries are ready for pickup. Don’t forget your mask when you go to pick them up!

 

About Burnt Hill Farm

Burnt Hill Farm is located in Heath, Massachusetts. In 2018, the Nartowicz family, which has been in Heath for over a hundred years, purchased the farm. They are grateful to be able to share these native low bush blueberries with their community. 

Visit www.burnthillfarm.com and follow them on Facebook for more info!

blueberries western massachusetts burnt hill farm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Sign Up Now For a Summer Farm Share in Franklin County Massachusetts

Fresh vegetables csa farm share western mass The Connecticut River Valley has some of the richest and most fertile soils around, which makes us fortunate to have plenty of wonderful farms in our own backyards. Take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy delicious fresh produce all summer long. Now is the time to sign up for a summer CSA/Farm Share. Here’s a list of some Franklin County farms and how you can get fresh veggies from their fields to your kitchen table, as well as other delightful prepared foods. 

 

Sweet Morning Farm, Leyden, MA

Sweet Morning Farm was on the fence about whether or not they would be offering farm shares this summer, with so much uncertainty due to the virus. However, they recently announced that yes, they will! Of course, they will be taking measures to ensure everyone’s safety around pick-ups. All shares will be pre-bagged and there is a delivery option available. Sign up on their website, sweet-morning-farm.blogspot.com, where they also post weekly what you will find in your share.

 

Red Fire Farm, Montague, MA

Red Fire Farm is still accepting sign-ups for their farm shares in Montague, Granby, Northampton, and Springfield. Their regular summer share, early June through October, is great for households which cook 3 times a week and comes with full pick-your-own privileges. You can also add on baked goods to your share. Sign up is easy on their website, www.redfirefarm.com. 

 

Just Roots, Greenfield, MA

Just Roots is a nonprofit community organization located in Greenfield, Massachusetts, consisting of local people who seek to promote vegetable gardening and grow food on municipal land. They grow their produce on the Greenfield Community Farm which was sold to the Town of Greenfield in 1849 by Justin Root - hence the name Just Roots. You can still sign up for their summer CSA share which runs for 20 weeks from June through October. Each share provides a weekly array of fresh veggies to choose from plus access to the pick-your-own garden. Learn more about Just Roots and sign up for the summer farm share on their website, justroots.org

 

Atlas Farm Store, South Deerfield, MA

Located on the rich, fertile soils of South Deerfield in the Connecticut River Valley, Atlas Farm offers their own certified organic produce, as well as other regional, sustainable farm products. They have made it super easy and safe for customers to make purchases through their online store, with curbside pickup available Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm. Any order made before 2 pm, can be available within 2-3 hours on the same day! Visit their website, atlasfarm.com, to view their long list of offerings and complete an order. 

 

Natural Roots Farm, Conway, MA

Natural Roots is a horse-powered farm in Conway whose aim is to “raise every plant and animal on the farm in optimal health and vitality.” Although they are sold out of farm shares for the 2020 season, you can still stop by their farm store to purchase a long list of either theirs or other products made locally. They also offer part-time shares, so if you’re only in need of a share for part of the season or a smaller quantity of vegetables than what the share provides, then contact Natural Roots to sign up. Visit their website, naturalroots.com, for more information.

 

Diemand Farm, Wendell, MA

Anne Diemand Bucci has found herself very busy lately with a huge demand for Diemand Farm’s turkey pot pies. In addition to their popular pot pies, the farm store offers a variety of other prepared foods using their meat such as soups, meat loafs, burritos and more. Some options can even be made gluten-free! They also have vegetarian options and a list of delicious desserts available for purchase. All of their products are made using local ingredients. Visit their website, thediemandfarm.com, to find out what they offer. You can stop by their farm store Monday through Saturday 9 am to 4 pm. They are also offering curbside service or scheduled deliveries by request. 

Connecticut river valley farm land agriculture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Photo Credit: Sarah Heminger

Burnt Hill Farm Shares Their Delicious Blueberries With Western Mass

Burnt Hill Blueberry Farm Heath MassachusettsBurnt Hill Blueberry Farm in Heath, Massachusetts is excited to share their delicious blueberries with their neighbors of Western Mass. Last year, the Nartowicz Family, which has been in Heath for over a hundred years, purchased the farm. Now, they are growing low bush wild blueberries high in the hills of Heath. 

Their first blueberry season is already off to a great start, with all of their pick-your-own appointments already filled! You can still get some blueberries of your own, by ordering pre-picked boxes of blueberries on their website, burnthillfarm.com. You can pick them up in July and August. Prices are $38 for a 10 lb box and $68 for a 20 lb box.  

You could also run into them at a local farmers’ market or farm stand, selling pints and quarts! Stay up to date on what they’re up to this summer by following them on Facebook

Happy berry season!

burnt hill blueberry farm heath massachusetts bushes

 

 

Greenfield Farmers' Market Opens This Saturday!

Start Saturdays Fresh!

Greenfield Farmers' Market Massachusetts

Head over to the Greenfield Farmers' Market this Saturday to help them kick off the 2019 season. Going 45 years strong, the Greenfield Farmers' Market continues to provide fresh organic produce and local crafts such as herbal ointments and salves, hand-made wooden bowls, home-made soap, handcrafted clothing, and more. You'll also find delicious food ready to eat. Check out the various vendors from 8 am to 12:30 pm in Court Square in downtown Greenfield. 

This Saturday, enjoy live music by Tom Gizzi while you visit the following vendors:

FARMERS

PRODUCE/PRODUCTS

Balky Farm Wool, fleece, rovings, wool blankets, sheepskins, yarn, pickles, barbeque sauce, quilted table runners. 
Bear Meadow Farm Hard cider and vinegar from their own apples; honey.
Beaumont’s Berries Homemade preserves/jams, including low and no-sugar, and jarred pickles, relish, picalilli. 
Bostrom Farms Grass fed beef, pork, ham. 
Clarkdale Fruit Farms Apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries and cider. 
Eden Pond Farm Heritage breed pastured chicken, whole and parts, fresh and frozen, eggs from pastured chickens. Starting in July. 
Hart Farm Vegetables, currants, blueberries, gooseberries, raspberries, early greens, eggs from chickens fed non-gmo local grain, fruit popsicles. 
Heart Rock Ranch Farm Native pollinator plants.
Johnson Farm We offer a large variety of produce including sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, summer squash, winter squash, peas, strawberries, potatoes, cabbage, annuals, peppers, carrots, and lots more.
Just Roots Just Roots grows over 50 different types of fruit, vegetables and herbs.
Lyonsville Farm Raspberries, strawberries, herbs, vegetables, starts, annuals, perennials, fresh and dried flower bouquets, eggs.
Rainbow Harvest Farms Organically grown but not certified, heirloom tomato plants and other nursery plants, salad mix, greens, heirloom tomatoes, peppers, peas, other heirloom & unique veg & herbs, dried chiles, dried heirloom tomatoes, dried mushrooms, seasoning salts, berry plants, wheatgrass.
Sage Farms Prepared food vendor providing grilled sausage served with sides of vegetables, onions, peppers, salad with ingredients from other local farms and from pigs raised by the farm.  Breakfast sandwiches and pastry available as well as their own pork cuts available for purchase and eggs. 
Shoestring Farm Plant starts.
Sunrise Farms Maple Syrup & rhubarb, fire wood, pumpkins, gift baskets, small tree saplings, maple candy, cream.  
Warner Farm Asparagus, strawberries, peas, farm made jams and pickles. 
Wing and a Prayer Nursery Plant starts. 
P.K. Industries

Annuals, perennials, jams and jellies.

 

CRAFTERS/ARTISANS

(most of whom come occasionally throughout
the season)

PRODUCTS

Bake My Day Baked goods.
Comida Latina  Fresh and delicious Handmade tamales– chicken, bean, or cheese, hot or frozen.
Cozy Home Critters Pet Accessories.
Earthern Herbal (Blue Dragon Apothecary) Botanica cocktail bitters, rose & hibiscus elixir, aromatherapy blends. 
Harper Keehn Knife and Tool Sharpening Knife and tool sharpening.
Hearthstone Artisan Bakery Artisanal sourdough and ciabatta bread.
Nuthatch Studios Linen clothing and housewares.
Prospect Prints Hand-screened pre-loved shirts with a message you can get behind.
Square Knot Flour sack towels.
Sweet Latina Baked goods.
Taproot Threads Original designs screened on responsibly sourced clothing. 
Dr. Cookie Homemade baked goods including cookies, coffee cake, and all kinds of delicious treats.

 

Information taken from greenfieldfarmersmarket.org -- Visit their website for more details!

Your Local Winter Farmers' Markets for the Pioneer Valley

Summertime in the valley means local farmers markets full of fresh produce, artisanal products, and handcrafted items. Just because the winter months are upon us doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to this wonderful part of living in the valley. Here are some local winter farmers’ markets where you can still get your farm fresh fix:

On one Saturday per month, the Greenfield Winter Farmers’ Market will pop up in Four Corners Elementary School. Check out this wonderful market on the following dates from 10 am to 1 pm: December 15, January 5, February 2, and March 2. Buy lots of goodies from local farm vendors such as Clarkdale Fruit Farm, Barberic Farm, and MycoTerra Farm. Plus a few other local favorites will be there too such as M&G Kettle Korn selling their delicious non-GMO kettle corn, Comida Latina selling delicious Latin cuisine, and Prospect Prints with their fun, hand-screened shirts. For a full list of vendors visit www.greenfieldfarmersmarket.com.

If you’re more of a once-a-week Farmers’ Market goer, head south to the Northampton Winter Farmers’ Market, every Saturday until April 20th. Located at the Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street, this market is open from 9 am to 2 pm. The vendor list changes from week to week, but you can find the updated list at www.northamptonwintermarket.com. Some vendors you might find include Red Fire Farm, Holyoke Hummus Company, Bread Euphoria, and Winter Moon Roots. Plus, enjoy different events from week to week such as live music by local artists, storytimes, and craft workshops.

Happy Farmers’ Market-Going!

Colrain Artists Open Their Doors This Weekend!

Colrain, Massachusetts is a beautiful town in northern Franklin County, just below the Vermont line. The town draws many artists who seek inspiration from its natural beauty. There are so many artists, in fact that each year they all come together to host Crafts of Colrain Open Studio Tour. Grab a map and a friend and take a tour around Colrain this Saturday and Sunday, November 11-12.

18 artisans will open their doors to showcase their art and offer live viewings of their processes. Their crafts include woodwork, fiber art, metalwork, painting, pottery, and more. One particular artist whose work I always enjoy is Ruby Rice. She creates visionary healing arts ranging from pillows to wall hangings to notecards and more. Her sanctuary and gallery has the feel of a chapel and is meant to comfort and make guests feel at home.

For more information and to download a free map and schedule, visit www.craftsofcolrain.com.

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.

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