Hilltown Families

From our archived column, "Not Your Grandparents' Shtetl: Exploring Jewish Culture in Western MA," Amy Meltzer shares different symbols and rituals of Rosh Hashanah...

Ringing in the Year of the Earth Pig! Chinese New Year (also referred to as the Lunar New Year and Spring Festival) takes place this year on February 5, 2019.  By...

Gestures of caring and acts of kindness hold a space of sanctuary during shared meals. In this place of refuge, we can fill ourselves with gratitude and appreciation for the gifts...

While almost all food scraps make great compost, certain scraps can make something even more wonderful - more food! Families can engage in hands-on experiential learning by collecting bits of these...

Did you know that Western Massachusetts was once considered the “asparagus capital of the world?” Our region is known for this late spring harvest that still grows profusely in Western...

Interested in cooking up the spring harvest at home? Spring crops to include in your recipes this time of year include fiddleheads, ramps, rhubarb, strawberries, and asparagus. By keeping ourselves in...

The beauty of New England living is that each season offers a new way to learn and engage in our communities. Locally grown and produced food is a community-base resource that...

Community meals and family suppers connect us through the sharing of food and stories. Add a trip to the local farmers' market to select seasonal produce grown locally and add another...

The act of cooking calls upon centuries of cooking methods, ingredients, spices, and flavors that have shaped our distinct cultures and traditions. Within our families, recipes are passed down and certain...

The act of growing food, the experience of living on a farm, and the process of cooking have all inspired writers to ponder how the cultivation of land has influenced the...

Let sugar season be a time of year for reconnecting to community and strengthening your sense of place through value-based community engagement that supports learning. Maple sugaring is a centuries-old tradition...

A popular sugar season tradition for families in western Massachusetts is visiting a nearby sugar shack. There are sugar shacks to visit all over the region, and a great many of...

If sugaring is something that your family is particularly interested in trying and you’ve got a yard full of maples, try it out for yourself at home! With the right supplies,...

How do you think your food consumption would change if you were to eat only foods from within 10 miles of your home? What foods would you not have access to...

Dinner on Thanksgiving Day is a meal when extended family and friends come together to celebrate and share the harvest. It's a holiday when we talk a lot about food,...

It’s that time of year when the fall harvest begins to wane and a golden light fills the landscape, shining on the incredible bounty that is about to enter our homes...

In New England, a common cured meat was dried and salted cod. Like the prosciutto in Italy, the cod in New England was traditionally dried and salted. When the cod...

Food preservation is an ancient practice rooted in our human history. In fact, one of the oldest forms of food preservation is the drying of food.

The harvest is a time for making jams and fruit butters! Making jam can be an intergenerational activity that allows for skill-sharing between family members and across generations. It’s a...

Food connects us. It’s an integral part of our cultural identity and is often prepared with the idea of sharing, giving, and enjoying together. Nothing indicates the beginning of autumn...

Participate in the tradition of apple-picking and support local agriculture! Check out these orchards and farms in Western Massachusetts for Pick Your Own Apples!

What family recipes do you still make that have been passed down generation after generation? Can you recall and share the history of their origin with family and friends?

Apple Chutney When our vegetable garden begins slowing down, we begin apple season. We harvest our own apples, visit friends who have apple trees, and gather apples from wild trees and...

Western Mass really drops an abundance of local food into our laps every summer! It's an incredible bounty that brings with it a possibility of some waste, as storage can prove...

Summer offers learning opportunities that integrate culinary arts with botany and agriculture. In addition to many, year-round offerings of culinary workshops and resources in Western Massachusetts, seasonal events such as guided...

How sweet the end of winter is here in western Massachusetts – and not just because the snow is beginning to melt! Warmer temperatures signal the start of sap flow in...

Food is a delectable lens through which to explore local history and culture: not only is it delicious, but it's something that is a part of everyone's life, no matter age...

Cooking shows are robbed of their central sensory features – the ability to smell and taste the food being prepared. To compensate, they have to create a full-spectrum visual and audio...