Local Dinner & Local Blues Fest

Notes from Nan: A Real Blues Festival! Really and Truly!
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

Blues Festival

Okay! I finally know all the details! And here they are presented in a most professional-like fashion!

  • Elmer’s First Annual Blues Festival
  • with Chris Smither & Jeremy Lyons
  • and Fine, Good Old Fashioned Southern Food & Music
  • on August 2, 2008
  • at Elmer’s Store in Ashfield, MA (413) 628-4003
  • Doors open at 4:30


  • 5:15 The Academy at Charlemont Bluegrass Band
  • 6:00 Bill Perlman
  • 7:00 Jeremy Lyons & Greg Schatz –The Deltabilly Duo
  • 8:30 Chris Smither

Food is not included with the price of the festival ticket and cannot be bought separately from the festival. On the other hand, we’ll have plenty!

Locavor’s Summer Tasting Menu

And speaking of food … This Friday night is our annual Mid-growing-season Locavor’s Summer Tasting Menu with all Local food!

We are still finding out what all the growers have, but what we know so far is

  • Mary’s spinach-mint soup,
  • local greens salad with warm goat cheese and beets
  • a bread/cheese/veggie platter

Stay tuned for more of the menu—or call us at 628-4003 to ask what else we’re cooking up!

And speaking of local food, let’s go now to Little Donna Elwell’s Far, Report!

Today a 90 year old woman delighted us with a visit. She loved our beagle – “a dog isn’t a dog unless it chases rabbits!” As we walked out to the barn, I lost her to the raspberry patch. “Oh, I love raspberries!” she said as she tottered into the patch and savored each berry. “I used to invite all the single woman of my church to my house for iced tea and pie. I would make raspberry, blueberry, and apple pie – but my favorite is raspberry! All you do is cook the berries in a saucepan on the stove and pour them into a cooked pie shell. There is nothing like the flavor of those raspberries!”


SUNDAY, 7/13/08
RASPBERRIES from Alex Osterman, Ashfield

SATURDAY, 7/12/08
BLUEBERRIES from Nancy Intres, Ashfield
SPINACH from Sangha Farm, Ashfield

THURSDAY, 7/10/08
BROCCOLI from Paddy Flat Farm, Ashfield
GREEN BEANS from Spring Water Farm, Ashfield
TOMATOES from Sidehill Farm, Ashfield
SNAP PEAS from Spring Water Farm, Ashfield


Okay, Mr. “I only want to talk about Groceries that Elmers’ doesn’t carry”—I’m going to talk about groceries now, since I obviously can’t trust you to do it!

I found something new that makes my little heart sing, as it looks so good here—

It’s Harmony Springs Soda Pop. It’s made in Ludlow, Massachusetts, which means it’s local, and it’s been made by the same family since 1904. The label on the front is the same label they’ve had since 1904, and gosh darn it, they just look so cute there in the drink cooler!

They’re made with 100% real cane sugar (instead of Corn Syrup—isn’t it funny that 100% cane sugar is the new new-age sweetener?) and I just think you’ll like them. They good great in our old fashioned general store in their proud flavors:

Grape, Orange, Cream Soda, Pineapple, Black Cherry, Root Beer and that’s all I have right now. There are other flavors available and I’m going to try them all!

But here’s YOUR “Grocery” Report, Rob. . . .

Rob’s Grocery Talk with Rob


Ashfield unemployment rate plummets after accident

Associated Press

ASHFIELD MA- The loud “thud” that startled breakfast patrons at Elmer’s Store certainly was caused by a car accident, but it also signaled a significant drop in the town’s unemployment rate.

The rear-end collision, which occurred approximately 10:20 Sunday morning on Main street just outside the store, quickly mobilized a long-idled workforce that immediately descended upon the scene. Even before police and emergency crews had arrived, dozens of workers were already on the job, carrying out their appointed tasks like seasoned veterans.

Governor Deval Patrick, who was notified of the situation while attending church service, granted special permission to allow at least twenty civilians to work road detail at the accident scene. The detail consisted of traffic directors every ten feet for approximately one half mile to the east and west of the accident. With arms flailing enthusiastically, they guided confused motorists through the situation. “It’s a pretty busy street, so when we’re down to the one lane things can get kind of tricky” said an unidentified detail worker, holding his hand up to stop an SUV.

On the sidewalk, about a dozen “Supervisor, Arms Folded” or S.A.F.s held conference with five newly appointed “Supervisor, Pointing” or S.P.s to assess the situation. After quite a bit of nodding within the group, one of the S.P.s declared “yep, that bumper’s tore completely off”. When asked how he qualified for the job, the S.P (who requested anonymity) replied “I used to make a living pointing at things so it feels pretty good to be back at it again. I thought I might be a little rusty at first, but I guess pointing at things is kind of like riding a bicycle. If you know what I mean.”

Other workers were dispatched to nearby Shelburne Falls and Conway to alert unsuspecting pedestrians of the accident and advise them to “take precautions” if they were planning to drive to Ashfield in the next few minutes.

“That bumper tore right off” said Bob Parati, sitting on the stairs of Elmer’s front porch. Parati is an Ashfield retiree who, along with his wife Jane, accepted positions as “Observer / Commenter- Porch Sector”. Jane, perhaps seeking a slightly different viewing angle by sitting ten feet from her husband, nodded her confirmation.

Unfortunately, Ashfield’s job boom came to an end shortly after the accident scene had been cleared by police and the workers were informed that they were no longer needed. When asked what they were going to do now that they lost their jobs, most of the laid off workers said they were going to file for unemployment benefits. “They say you can get about thirty bucks a week” said Parati. “That’ll buy a few breakfasts.”

Grocery Talk

Two items of interest this week for you!

I got hounded enough by Liz Lovely to bring her back to Elmer’s Store. Liz Lovely, if you don’t already know, is a line of cookies that are safe for Vegans to eat. Now even though I’m not a Vegan I think these cookies are fantastic! So tender, so tasty, so… so…MOIST!!! You will not believe it. Yes, you don’t have to be Vegan in order to enjoy these deliciously MOIST cookies. And check this out:

Dairy free

Egg free

No Trans Ams

Low Sodium

Certified Organic

Certified Fair Trade

Look for the four varieties of Liz Lovely cookies on display on top of our bakery case.


Oh right—NOW you talk about the groceries we have after I do . . .

In the Company of One’s Own Peers

One of the things I remember my great-grandfather telling me in his 99th year was that everyone who was interested in what he was interested in was already dead. It made me think that I had better hold on to a few people so that I don’t end up in that same situation when I’m 100.

In the same vein, Victoria Worth is interested in arranging some tea-and-get-togethers with people in their eighties and on up. It would be a group of people who are interested in talking about what is current and interesting to their generation and not necessarily what their younger families find interesting. (Isn’t that a great idea!!)

If you or anyone in your family is interested, please reply to Victoria at VKWorth@gmail.com.

And now some great ideas for summertime (that seems to finally arrived. I took down the umbrella. That’s why.)

Ever Wanted to Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride???

Here’s the cheapest possible balloon ride you could ever take in a million years—PLUS you get into the Green River Festival with your ride!

At the Green River Festival (this Friday and Saturday!) you can talk a hot air balloon ride that goes up, up and away (and is the coolest thing you’ll ever do in life!) for $200 which includes your ticket to the festival! (I did it two years ago, and, while it scared the crap out of me at first because I’m so afraid of heights, I got over the fear and thought:

  1. Wow, this is so cool!
  2. It’s so quiet up here, yet you can hear people talking on the ground!
  3. Look at all the people running and pointing and jumping up and down at us in this balloon! They, too recognize how cool this is—AND I’m just like a celebrity because they are pointing at me and wishing they were me.
  4. This is like being a part of the history of flight!
  5. This is like being in the Wizard of Oz!

And then it wasn’t scary at all and I didn’t want it to end!

If indeed you are interested, call RIGHT NOW to reserve your flight. If you wait until you’re actually at the festival, it will be more expensive. (What a great birthday present that would be!) (413) 773-5463 to schedule your flight!

It might be sunny and warm right now, but come winter, you’ll wish you had a warm, inspiring journey all scheduled and ready to go. Join Celia Jeffries, MFA and Jacqueline Sheehan, author of the bestselling Lost & Found for a week of writing in two fantastic locations.

February 7-14, 2009. Come to Villa Sumaya on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. 8 days and 7 nights of writing and yoga with a special mask making workshop woven into the week. Participants also receive individual manuscript critiques. Each day begins with yoga, followed by a gourmet breakfast overlooking Lake Atitlan and a day of writing. The cost is $1950 with an early bird discount of $150 if you register by November 14th. For more information, contact Celia at celiajeff@comcast.net or Jacqueline at jrsheehan@verizon.net, or go to our WebPages, www.celiajeffries.com and www.jacquelinesheehan.com.

March 28-April 4, 2009. Come to Bromley, Jamaica! We are really excited about this new location and especially glad to work with Trish Perkins who will handle the registration. If this location was good enough for Bob Marley, then it’s good enough for us. We will start the day with yoga, followed by breakfast, and then write like the literary demons that we shall become. The afternoons are for soaking up the beaches, like Reggae Beach, a secluded and generally quiet beach. And we’ll head back to the Bromley estate for more writing in the evening. Go to www.tropicalescapes.biz and look at the retreats, the details of the estate, and all the pictures of blue skies and sandy beaches. We’ll also answer questions about the content of the retreat, but Trish will work with you on registration. Prices vary, depending on the type of room that you choose. Prices range from $1365 to $1945.

In the summer 2003, Double Edge Theatre re-created Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote for local audiences in the unique form of an indoor/ outdoor traveling performance spectacle. Since then, the company’s indoor touring production, titled the UnPOSSESSED, has premiered in New York City and toured to fifteen venues in three countries. This summer, Double Edge is bringing Quixote back for a brand new production that features the company’s trademark summer spectacle flare: scenes that travel inside and outdoors, actors fly through the air, towering puppets, live music, dazzling imagination underneath the starry sky. This August 6-23, a whole new series of adventures will come to life in Double Edge Theatre’s The Illustrious Return of Don Quixote. To commemorate the fifth anniversary of this project’s inception, Double Edge is proud to present this brand-new traveling spectacle that follows our heroes, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, on a new set of rousing exploits. The Illustrious Return of Quixote opens August 6th, offering pageantry and puppetry, stilts and songs, humor, magic and adventure for all audiences. Spectators literally follow the journey of Quixote and Sancho as scenes move throughout the idyllic grounds of Double Edge’s Farm Center. Fusing Double Edge’s intimate performance style with live, original music and daring circus arts, this spectacle brings the story-book of imagination to life. In the face of an oppressive and arbitrary reality, Don Quixote dares to dream another world and pursue his mad quest of hope, fancy, and flight. ASHFIELD RESIDENTS GET DISCOUNTS—EARLY BIRD DISCOUNTS STILL AVAILABLE

To order tickets by phone, call toll free: 866-811-4111 and for more info about this show, call our office: 413-628-0277

Okay! What a great summer!! Who needs a city at all, with all this going on?

See you around here!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: