Farmers’ markets are community builders and are intrinsically a part of New England culture and traditions. In Western Massachusetts, many farmers’ markets have expanded to not only include agricultural products but to also provide a space for local artists, crafters, performers, and teachers to make their services, knowledge, and products directly available to the community. This type of collaborative consumption allows community members to support small businesses and individuals that directly affect the health of a small town’s economy, promoting sustainability and resilience at a local level. Additionally, some farmers’ markets host spaces for instructors to lead workshops on topics related to homesteading, nutrition, and cooking. The opportunity to learn at farmers’ markets through intergenerational skill-sharing makes them an important community-based educational resource that brings people together via shared interests.
Who am I? Where am I? These are the fundamental questions proposed by the humanities. Inquiries related to local history, literature, and education, inspire us to think deeply about the places where we live and how our identity fits into the context of our community and the seasons.
Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts is a new bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.
With these downloadable seasonal itineraries, self-directed teens, lifelong learners, and families are encouraged to engage together in cultural opportunities that support similar interests, resulting in a shared history, strengthening a sense of place.
It’s strawberry season in Western Massachusetts and as the harvest approaches, everybody seems to either grow, pick or buy lots strawberries. They can be frozen and used throughout the year, and there is nothing better than coming up with a broad range of delicious strawberry recipes. In the “Oak and Acorn” this month, Leslie share her strawberry smoothie recipe- something that is tasty, cool and easy to make with your kids! Freeze into popsicles and have a frosty treat during the dog days of summer!
Holiday Farmers’ Markets in the Berkshires Local food isn’t only available during the growing season! A bounty of locally grown and produced foods are available year-round in Western MA, and Berkshire Grown is making these products even easier to purchase by hosting two annual pre-holiday farmers’ markets! “We’re thrilled to host our 4th annual farmers’ markets,” says Barbara Zheutlin, Executive Director of Berkshire Grown. “We’re extending the season for our local farmers,… Read More
Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Markets Given the remarkable success of past Holiday Farmers’ Markets, Berkshire Grown will host four markets in 2011 with a north and south county presence: Thanksgiving markets will take place in Great Barrington on Saturday, November 19, and in Williamstown on Sunday, November 20. A second set of markets will take place again, both in the same locations on December 17, the Saturday before Christmas.
UPDATE: Read about CISA’s 2011 Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide HERE. CISA’s 2010 Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide Summer is almost here, and the bounty of locally grown produce and agricultural products continues to grow. Western Massachusetts farms are geared up to provide everything from asparagus and alpaca wool to zucchini and zinnias. But where to begin your search for the best that Valley farms have to offer? With the annual Locally Grown:… Read More
As local berries and fruits ripen, finding new ways to use the abundance can be exciting. Pies, cobblers, and tarts are delicious ideas, but fresh fruit shouldn’t be limited to desserts- add them to salads, breakfasts, or get creative with savory dishes. Want to enjoy these treats year-round?