Western Mass

How to Get Outside This Winter in Franklin County

We still have a few months until Spring, but that doesn’t mean you need to stay cooped up inside the house until then! Break through the cabin fever and head out to these local gems in Franklin County for outdoor adventuring in the snow.

Berkshire East

Berkshire East Mountain Resort has activities year round. But in the winter, it is the best local mountain, located right in Charlemont, MA! It is a great beginner mountain but has trails for those more advanced as well. They offer lessons for snowboarding and skiing and have high quality equipment rentals. You can also take a fun ride on a tube at their snow tubing park. Afterwards, warm up inside the Crazy Horse Bar and Grill for some good food and drinks.

Stump Sprouts

If sometimes you prefer a slower pace through the snow, then head over to Stump Sprouts Cross Country Ski Center, just up the road from Berkshire East in Hawley, MA. There you can cross country ski or snowshoe with beautiful expansive views of rural northwestern Massachusetts.

Northfield Mountain

For more great cross country adventuring with different views, check out Northfield Mountain Cross Country Ski Area. Located on Route 63 in Northfield, they have 25 miles of trails groomed for classical and freestyle skiing. There, you can rent skis and snowshoesand take a lesson with a ski instructor. They also have trailside warming huts and a cozy base area yurt. Visit them Wednesday through Sunday 9 am to 4:30 pm.

 

Visit shelburnefalls.com or franklincc.org for more ideas on how to stay active this winter!

 

Business Highlight: Spruced Up

Naturally Cleaning, Organizing, and Decluttering Your Spaces!

Where are you located? 
We are based out of Shelburne Falls, MA.

When did you open? 
We started on November 1, 2018.

What inspired you to start this business? 
We both have felt the impact of clearing physical space and becoming intentional in how we are organizing our homes. It has had a positive effect on our well-being and inspired us to start our business with the desire to bring this quality and effect to other’s homes and spaces. We believe that a clean and tidy home has the power to bring physical wellness, clarity of mind and productivity to one’s life.

What is your mission? 
To support health and wellness in others through natural cleaning, decluttering and organizing spaces.

What goods or services do you offer?
We offer: general cleaning; deep cleaning; decluttering and purging of items; organizing spaces; preparing for guests; arranging spaces for optimal flow, function and aesthetic.

What is your favorite service that you offer? Why? 
Our favorite service that we offer is decluttering and purging followed by organizing. We love this because it opens space up and allows for improvement of physical and mental health, free-time, relationships, productivity, and a healthier home. Removing extra “stuff” from one’s space allows for there to be a higher likelihood that the space will stay tidy. General and routine cleaning feels great to come home to, and if one invests in going further with decluttering and organizing, it lays the foundation for maintaining a happier and healthier home.

Do you have any special events or promotions coming up? 
We do not at the moment, but Stay Tuned in the future!

Is there anything else you would like to share with readers about your business? 
We have a wide skill set. If there’s something you need but is not listed, let us know! We can probably help you out!

Hours of operation:
We operate Monday through Friday during day-time hours, and sometimes on the weekends.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/spruceduphilltowns/

Check out one of their recent jobs- Before and After!

  

 

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!

Serene, Private, Underground Contemporary for Sale in Hawley

Experience a serene and private underground living on a 83 acre setting with long range 3 state views and beautiful open preserved farm land. The seller worked closely with earth sheltered home designers known as Formworks Building, Inc. who are featured on Underground Living DIY Network. This safe haven is quality built incorporating local materials and unique details you must see in person to appreciate. The sheltered environment is energy efficient and fully insulated with solar panels and an outside wood boiler.  

It has a welcoming interior with gorgeous cook’s kitchen that is open to the sunlit dining and living area with 22ft ceiling and a gas fireplace. The spacious first floor master suite has a beautiful full bath with tiled walk-in shower. The second floor has a bedroom, half bath and sitting area with exterior access. The bonus is the third level sun room where you can sit back and enjoy the surrounding views as wildlife abounds. In addition there is a propane boiler, radiant floor heat, attached 2 car garage with storage and an amazing front porch! 

For those who need shop space or storage the 26 x 40 Morton Building is fabulous. It has high ceilings, concrete floor and heated. 

Click here for more information!

Or contact Wanda today at wanda@wandamooney.com or 413-768-9848.

This unique home is truly one of a kind and one you would love to call home!

Should You Keep Your Home on the Market in the Winter?

Your home is still listed for sale. You might be thinking it is best to take it off the market and re-list in the spring. However if you are serious about selling, rethink removing it from the market for the following 4 reasons.

1.  If you remove your home from the market, you will have less completion on the market place, which means buyers will have less to pick from. You actually might sell at a higher price in the winter than if you wait until spring when you'll have greater competition.

2.   The winter months are the best time for buyers to make a purchase. They normally have more time to look around before the spring, when life gets busy with kids getting out of school and summer vacations being planned.

3.  Buyers want to already be in their new home in winter so they can enjoy the start of the spring and summer season.

4.  Bad weather is no longer an issue for buyers like it used to be in the past, traveling to view different homes. Nine out of ten homebuyers search for their homes online at their workplaces, on their smart phones, and from the comfort of their homes after dark.

I have sold many of my listings during the winter. My sellers were glad they listened to my advice about keeping their homes on the market. Don’t let the winter season discourage you from trying to sell your home.  

Happy Winter Selling!

Historic Deerfield Hosts Fun Fall and Holiday Events for All

With Thanksgiving and the holiday season right around the corner, now is the perfect time to head over to Historic Deerfield. They have a variety of upcoming events and demonstrations that are great for the whole family and for the cold weather. Located in South Deerfield, Mass, Historic Deerfield is an outdoor museum that exhibits life and culture of early New England and the Connecticut River Valley.

Every weekend, there is something exciting to do at Historic Deerfield. This weekend and next (November 10-11 and November 17-18), their Open Hearth Cooking Demonstration will be all about pie. Come and learn about savory and sweet pies, a fall/winter treat since early New England. While you’re there, you can also check out the hands-on workshop about brooms. Learn about brooms and broom making, try sweeping with a handmade broom and even make your own whisk broom to take home. You can drop in to this workshop, titled A Clean Sweep, any time between 12 and 4:30 pm and entry is included with the price of admission.

Later on this month, Historic Deerfield has even more awesome events planned. On Friday, November 23 from 10 am to 4 pm, see live historic trade demonstrations by local artists. Learn about redware pottery with Stephen Earp and paper marbling with Regina St. John from Chena River Marblers. There will also be a lot of great events for the holidays in late November/early December, such as wreath making, gift making, horse drawn wagon rides, and make your own hot chocolate mix.

But that’s not all there is to do at Historic Deerfield. Go any time of the year and take a tour through twelve preserved antique houses dating from 1730 to 1850 with authentic furniture, art, textiles, and other original decorative pieces on display. You can also view exciting exhibits at the Flynt Center for Early New England Life and do some research of your own at the Henry N. Flynt Library, which has over 21,000 volumes on the history and culture of the region.

For the calendar of events and more information on Historic Deerfield, visit their website.

 

Drive Off the Beaten Path to Crafts of Colrain Open Studio Tour

Franklin County is a wonderful place to explore a variety of art and handmade crafts, since it is home to so many artists and creatives. Colrain, specifically, is a very concentrated area of talented artists and craftspeople, since it is such an inspiring place, with beautiful rolling hills, and preserved natural areas. Every year, the artists of Colrain open their doors to the public for a self-guided open studio tour. This year, Crafts of Colrain will take place Saturday and Sunday November 10 and 11 from 10 am to 5 pm both days.

Grab a map and drive through Colrain to as many as 18 artisans’ studios. You’ll see a wide variety of art, from craft beer to woodworking, fiber art to photography, and more. Kedalby Farm, home of Moonshine Design, raises angora goats to provide the mohair for their hand-dyed, hand-woven goods. Visit their farm and learn about this process, which takes place entirely on-site. See a variety of art in one stop at stop #17- Sarah and Hans Schoedel. Hans makes scratchboard illustrations and prints, wooden bowls using wood from local trees, and decorative and functioning fishing lures. While Sarah makes handwoven baskets and jewelry using recycled fence wire, copper, silver, and gemstones. If you’re a collector or even just an admirer of pottery and stoneware, you’ll want to check out Cliff Daniels’ studio. Cliff’s original and decorative designs uses a broad color palette and durable glazes.

Before you hit the road, be sure to print out a map, located here. You can also find all the participating artists, sponsors, and partners at craftsofcolrain.com. Support local artists and farms, while you enjoy the beautiful scenery of Colrain, hopping around to these open studios.

 

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.

 

September Real Estate Market Report for Pioneer Valley

Franklin County sales were down 9.9% and the median price down 5.5% in September, 2018 compared to September, 2017.  The sales were also down in both Hampshire and Hampden County. 

Inventory of single family homes fell in Pioneer Valley 14.3 percent from 2,107 single family listings at the end of September 2017, to 1,806 single family listings at the end of September, 2018.  

The average days on market increase 3.7%  from 63 days in September, 2017 to 66 days in September, 2018. Listings which are pending (under agreement to sell) are down 5.2%  from 520 in September, 2017 to 493 in September, 2018.

 

The sale reports are provided from the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarecrow in the Park: Happening This Weekend!

Looking for something fun and fall-y to do this weekend? Head to Bernardston for the 6th Annual Scarecrow in the Park, hosted by the Bernardston Kiwanis Club! This two-day event, happening Saturday, October 20th and Sunday, October 21st has become an annual tradition, where Cushman Park becomes filled with artists and craftspeople, live music, food vendors, a Halloween dance party, and of course, handcrafted scarecrows, on top of much more.

The scarecrow contest is a signature part of this event, where participants can pay $10 to enter their scarecrow and could win a cash prize. This year, scarecrows will be judged based on the categories of scariest, funniest, prettiest, most interesting use of materials, and best art. The radio station, Bear Country 95.3, also gives a prize to the best “Bearcrow.” Enter your own specially made scarecrow or simply walk around and enjoy viewing all of the amazing ones made by other people. For more information on the contest, click here.

Be sure to bring the whole family because there will be something for everyone to enjoy. Browse the artists’ booths, featuring fiber arts, preserves, gourd art, seasonal decorations, home adornments, and more. Listen to live music by local favorites Appalachian Still and enjoy a live performance by Celtic Heels, local Irish step dancers, as well as the Tractor and Rag Shag Parade. There will also be hay rides, a visit and demonstration with local canine police officers, and face-painting and balloon-sculpting by Melha Shriners clowns.

For more information on Scarecrow in the Park, visit their Facebook page. Don't miss this awesome event!