Hilltown Families


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 and the fall harvest in Western Massachusetts like the crisp bite of a local apple picked right off the tree, or the sweet taste of a freshly baked apple pie. Traditional recipes, the scenic orchard landscapes, and the representation of apple-picking in literature and art remind us of how the apple has become a rich part of our cultural heritage.

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!

Poetry of William Cullen Bryant “The Planting of the Apple-Tree” Did you know that William Cullen Bryant, a 19th century poet (and Schoolhouse Poet like John Greenleaf Whittier) planted over 800 apple trees on his farm property? While the orchard is no longer active, you can still visit the poet’s homestead in Cummington, MA. A property of The Trustees, The William Cullen Bryant Homestead is open for house tours and other activities… Read More

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?

Nutritional Anthropology and Culinary Education Every culture has its own set of values, rituals, and traditions surrounding food. The staple ingredients, indulgences, and forbidden fruits of a given culture are influenced by agricultural systems, habitat, ethical concepts, and religious beliefs. Holidays and celebrations around the world are associated with traditional and ritual foods. Have you ever wondered why birthday cakes are round? Or why latkes are fried during Hanukkah and Buche de… Read More

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 or socioeconomic status. Eating is a universal human experience, and the what and why of this experience speaks volumes to the context in which we live our lives.

Covering the contents of local plates over the last 250 years, Historic Northampton’s “Table Talk” spotlights the changes that the city’s food-centric downtown has seen. Speaking to food and many other topics, the exhibit offers a unique opportunity for community-based learning.

Food connects us. From the hands and land that grow and nurture our ingredients to the moment we gather together and share a meal, food has the power to reveal the cultural layers that help us learn more about identity and place. Read how cooking can be used to teach the basics of intercultural competence and encourage a compassionate perspective of our world.

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There are many different entry points for thematically investigating history: fashion, architecture, industry, literature, and even food! This autumn, the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke will host a lecture series that examines local history through the role of food in the Pioneer Valley…

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