Wanda Mooney

Blog :: 03-2020

Local Lenders Help Those in Need with Mortgage Payments

Greenfield savings bank cooperative massachusetts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s easy to love Franklin County Massachusetts in good times, but it’s in these difficult times that the reasons to love our community are highlighted even more. So many local businesses have stepped up in the past few weeks with the outbreak of COVID-19. Some have done their part to protect our community by shutting their doors, offering services which are in line with social distancing, or even offering ways to help financially.

Two of our local banks, Greenfield Savings Bank and Greenfield Cooperative Bank, have updated their mortgage payment policies to help those who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The following statements are taken directly from each banks’ websites:

Greenfield Savings Bank COVID-19 Residential Loan Relief Program

Effective immediately, Greenfield Savings Bank is offering to defer up to 90 days of mortgage and/or equity line or equity loan payments to all our Residential Loan customers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • This program is available during the National COVID-19 emergency
  • It is available on residential mortgages and/or equity lines, secured by one-to-four family properties
  • There are no processing fees
  • Your Credit Report will not be affected by this program.
  • Customers can select 30, 60 or 90 days deferment of payments
  • The program will include your property tax escrow payment, if applicable
  • It is open to all residential loan customers economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including job loss, reduced wages, etc.

Visit Greenfield Savings Bank online for more information and to opt-in to this special relief program.

Greenfield Co-operative Bank Announces New Payment Option for Customers as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) issues

Michael E. Tucker, President & CEO of Greenfield Co-operative Bank and its Northampton Cooperative Bank division, was pleased to announce that our community bank board has approved a program to provide a “Payment Holiday” for existing GCB customers who have a portfolio loan at GCB to defer making their monthly payments coming up in April and May for up to 60 days. For eligible customers who wish to “Opt In”, there will be a simple form to complete. The payments usually due for April and May would simply be added to the back end of the loan term. Customers would then not have to make those payments until the end of the original term. The term would be extended 2 months to allow those payments to be made at the end of the original term.

If you have a fixed rate Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) loan that is serviced by GCB, we regret we are unable to offer this program at this time. We are contacting FNMA to see what might be available and will notify the public if circumstances change.

Visit Greenfield Cooperative Bank online for more information and to fill out the mail-in or online Opt-In Form. 

 

 

The Sweetest Time of Year: It's Sugaring Season!

Maple syrup sugar house MassachusettsSunrise Farms, Colrain

Sugaring season is in full swing in Western Mass and all the sugar houses in Franklin County are busy! The first boil for most sugar houses happens in early February so by now, the local sugar houses have already had a few boils. This year, the Lively Family at Sunrise Farms in Colrain is doing things a little bit differently. Rather than using the traditional wood-fired maple syrup evaporator as they have for the past 5 generations, this year they are using their new fully solar-powered electric evaporator also known as “eco vap.” Instead of using a wood or gas-fired evaporator, the eco vap uses electricity to create steam, which is then captured and compressed to heat the sap to its boiling point. While this new machine cost about $85,000, the Lively’s feel it is a worthwhile investment since it is eco-friendly and runs more efficiently and at a lower cost than their old method. The machine produces approximately 15 gallons of syrup an hour and has an estimated operating cost of $3 to $4 an hour. Visit Sunrise Farms on Facebook for more information.

Davenport Maple Farm, Shelburne

Meanwhile, Davenport Maple Farm on Tower Rd in Shelburne, MA is also well into the sugaring season. Their breakfast/brunch restaurant has been open for a few weeks now, where they serve up hot items like French toast, pancakes, bacon, and more, all which can be covered in their delicious maple syrup. Davenport is a family-owned maple farm which is open for 6 weekends only (Saturday and Sunday 8 am to 3 pm), starting the first weekend in March. So you better get over there for breakfast before sugaring season is over! Visit them on Facebook.

Maple syrup greenfield mass North Hadley Sugar Shack, Hadley

North Hadley Sugar Shack is now open until April 12th. Visit their sugarhouse located on 181 River Drive in Hadley and learn how to make delicious syrups. They also have a wonderful breakfast menu. For more information visit their website, at NorthHadleySugarShack.com.

Red Bucket Sugar Shack, Worthington

The Red Bucket Sugar Shack opened for the 2020 season on March 7th. Located on Kinne Brook Road in Worthington, Red Bucket is a family-owned and operated traditional New England Sugar Shack. Go there for breakfast on Saturdays 8 am to 2 pm and Sundays 8 am to 3 pm. Visit them on Facebook for more information and upcoming specials!

For a complete list of sugar houses and maple producers visit The Massachusetts Maple Producers Association’s website.

Source: https://www.recorder.com/solar-powered-sugaring-32793139

Inspiration For Your Garden This Spring

Get Your Garden Started

Western Mass Garden Flowers New EnglandMarch is the time of year to start planning your garden and to get ready for spring! When planning your garden, it’s a good idea to first select some plants that will thrive in your yard. Check out this list of North American plants for New England gardens, by the Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment at UMass Amherst. If you’re considering planting a vegetable garden this year, the Center also has some great tips here. Another great resource I’ve found, is on gardenia.net, which has a list of perennials for New England gardens based on moisture of soil, amount of sun, and time of year.

Local Garden Shows

For more garden inspiration, check out some local garden shows happening this month in Western Mass. The Western Mass Home & Garden Show will be at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield on March 26-29. View the list of vendors and happenings at the show on their website. This is a great event for families to attend together since there will be a designated Kids’ area with creative activities, a live butterfly display, a koi fish pond, and more! 

Smith College will run their annual Spring Bulb Show from March 7-22 at the Lyman Conservatory. View a spectacular array of blossoming crocuses, hyacinths, narcissi, irises, lilies and tulips. The show’s hours are 10 am to 4 pm daily, and until 8 pm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Click here for more information. 

Mount Holyoke will host their Spring Flower Show as well on March 7. For 49 years, the college has hosted this show which displays thousands of colorful and fragrant blooms. View an assortment of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and more. Plus this year there will be a special art installment by four Mount Holyoke College art studio majors. The show’s hours are 10 am to 4 pm. For more information, click here

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