Hoosac Harvest will host 'Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food' at All Saints Church on March 7.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Hoosac Harvest will host the third Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food event at the All Saints Church, located on Summer Street, on March 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. Farmers and small food producers of the northern Berkshires will be on hand for this free event.
"It's the end of February and most of us are looking forward to spring and this event is a little pick-me-up to get us through the remaining winter," said Sandra Thomas, a core member of Hoosac Harvest. "Farmers are planning their crops and this is a great opportunity to meet those in our community who are growing food, making cheese, harvesting honey and using local items in the food they produce."
At the event, participants can learn about community-supported agriculture, enjoy free samples and swap seeds for the upcoming season.
Participating farm include Wildstone Farm, Cricket Creek Farm, Country Dream Farm, Many Forks Farm. Wild Oats Market, North Adams Farmers Market and other businesses and organizations will also be on hand.
Hoosac Harvest, a citizen-based organization and a staunch supporter of local farms and food, embraces easy access to locally grown food.
"There are many ways that people can access local food — from double SNAP Benefits at the North Adams Farmers Market, to participating in community-supported agriculture, to building relationships with the people who work hard to provide our community with fresh vegetables, meat, dairy, eggs, honey, fruit and more."
LENOX, Mass. — Berkshire Grown's 14th annual Harvest Supper, celebrating local food and farms, will take place on Monday, Sept. 24, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Eastover Hotel and Resort.
The feast features delicious dishes prepared by local Berkshire Grown member chefs using fresh ingredients from local farms. The evening will feature a video and sound projection by artist Joe Wheaton featuring images of local farms. The evening also includes a silent auction and a drawing for shopping sprees and gift certificates to Berkshire Grown member stores and restaurants.
"The Harvest Supper celebrates our local farms and gives us a chance to show why we support eating locally grown food," said Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown. "Locally grown food is delicious and when we buy food directly from local farmers we’re strengthening our local economy."
Participating restaurants include: Allium Restaurant + Bar, Baba Louie's, Café Reva, Canyon Ranch, Castle Street Café, Eastover Hotel and Resort, Gala Steakhouse & Bistro at Orchards Hotel, Gramercy Bistro, Guido's Fresh Marketplace, HR Zeppelin Find Handmade Chocolates, John Andrews: A Farmhouse Restaurant, Marketplace Kitchen, Martin's Restaurant, Mezze Bistro + Bar, The Old Inn on the Green, The Red Lion Inn, Route 7 Grill, Savory Harvest Catering, Spice Dragon, Wild Oats Market and Williams College Dining. Beverages will be provided by Barrington Brewery and Riverbend Café.
New in 2012, sculptor Joe Wheaton, who has just returned from the Burning Man celebration of arts, will be creating a projection installation inspired by Berkshire farms.
The dinner is by reservation only and will take place Monday, Sept. 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 for members and $75 for non-members. Tickets are expected to sell out so people are encouraged to call 413-528-0041 for reservations. All proceeds benefit Berkshire Grown, supporting its "Buy Local" campaign as well as its "Share the Bounty" project, which buys shares in local farms and distributes the fresh food to pantries benefiting low-income people throughout the region.
A drawing will be held at the Harvest Supper with tickets priced at $10 (six for $50). Drawing prizes include fabulous dining packages at Berkshire Grown member restaurants, and shopping sprees at Berkshire Co-op Market and Guido's Fresh Marketplace.
A silent auction will offer the chance to bid on and win a variety of items including dinner for two at Blue Hill in New York City, dinner at Blantyre, a Cheese 101 class for two at Rubiner's Cheesemongers, a day pass for two at Canyon Ranch, a one-night stay with dinner at The Old Inn on the Green, compost from Holiday Brook Farm, a guided mushroom foraging walk from MycoLodge B& B, and a class at The Meat Market.
Berkshire Grown will create a Zero Waste Event. Bob Daley of Daley & Sons in Lee will donate his services to take the waste to Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton, where it will be added to their compost along with the compostable plates, spoons and glasses and will become part of Holiday Brook Farm’s famous "black gold" compost.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — There are still some shares left for those interested in joining Hancock Shaker Village's community-supported agriculture program.
Shareholders can stop in on Tuesdays and Saturdays to pick up vegetables, herbs and flowers, and share recipes.
Participants like grabbing the pre-packaged shares, said Bill Mangiardi, director of farm and facilities, but anyone with the yen to join in the harvesting as well is welcome to do so.
The working history museum was recently awarded a $1,550 grant from the Green Pastures Fund, a fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, to improve the cold-storage capacity of the root cellars built by the Shakers in the 1910 barn complex.
"The upgrade to the root cellars gives us more time to pull together the harvest and keep everything in pristine condition on hot days," said Mangiardi.
Harvest distribution will runs about 20 weeks between mid-June and late October. This is the second year that the village has operated a CSA. It's designed to provide for up to 80 housholds; full shares for up to three to four people are $500, half shares for one to two people are $250. Reserve at www.hancockshakervillage.org or by calling 413-443-0188.
Cummington Creamery Co-op Finds Financing Support
Old Creamery Cooperative On: 06:52PM / Tuesday May 15, 2012
CUMMINGTON, Mass. — The transition of the Old Creamery in Cummington to a community-owned cooperative grocery store took a giant leap forward this month with Florence Savings Bank's commitment to provide necessary outside financing.
Thanks to the bank's commitment, just one more fundraising task remains before the Old Creamery Co-op can purchase the business. In a drive to raise a total of $285,000 in member-owner loans or additional gifts — the final financing component — three community members have challenged the greater co-op community by promising $25,000 if member-owners pledge an additional $75,000 by the end of the month.
If this challenge is met, the co-op will be able to purchase the business and proceed with renovations to the store and grounds, and finish the last of the fundraising during this year. Of the needed $285,000 in member-owner loans and gifts, $135,000 has been raised already.
"We are excited to be providing the financing support for the Old Creamery Cooperative project in Cummington," said John Heap, president of Florence Savings Bank. "We are also looking forward to serving our Hilltown customers with ATM service at the Creamery when the renovations are completed. The Creamery has been part of the Hilltown community for more than 100 years and we are happy to play a role in building the financial foundation for the next hundred."
Financing for the project, including acquisition, construction, and a capital credit line, is being provided by Florence Savings Bank.
"The vibrant cultural heart of the Hilltowns is the Old Creamery in Cummington," said Rachel Maddow, MSNBC host, author of the best seller "Drift," and a Hilltowns resident. "It is my favorite retail establishment in the entire universe."
The Creamery, in turn, has created a sandwich called the "The Spicy Maddow" to honor the well-known supporter of the co-op.
"The Old Creamery is one of the most values-based and community-oriented businesses I have ever known," said co-op member and longtime Creamery cook and baker Emmy Howard. "I feel very fortunate to be able to work and shop at a business that is able to hold service to the community and environmental awareness as guiding principles. Because the community, in turn, supports the Creamery, it is able to remain a viable business that continues to give back to the community. If this sounds circular, it is, and that is the beauty of the Old Creamery and its community."
To learn more about the creation of the Old Creamery Cooperative, visit www.OldCreamery.coop.
Submitted by Bill Latimer, communications coordinator for Old Creamery Cooperative
Outstanding in the Field Planning Berkshires Dinner
EGREMONT, Mass. — The Outstanding in the Field bus is making its way to Indian Line Farm in South Egremont on Sept. 15 in its first trip to the Berkshires since 2004.
Executive Chef Brian Alberg and his crew from The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge will be manning the field kitchen and presenting a five-course meal to 130 to 150 guests at the nation's first community-supported agriculture farm.
The dining experience on wheels has traveled around the nation for more than a decade promoting local food and agriculture, reconnecting diners to the land and the origins of their food and honoring local farmers and food artisans. The organization donates to a number of farm- and food-related groups whose missions align with those of OITF.
"We are so fortunate to live in an area where our community is connected to the land, and our chefs are interested in supporting local farmers and food producers," said Alberg, who is well known for his efforts in promoting and showcasing locally grown produce and is president of Berkshire Grown. "This dinner is a perfect forum to showcase our efforts and we are psyched to see the bus stop here on Sept. 15."
Farmers Elizabeth Keen and Al Thorp have been growing Certified Naturally Grown produce on the 17-acre Indian Line Farm since 1997 primarily for the CSA but they also sell to the Great Barrington Farmers Market, restaurants and some local stores.
OITF organizes as many as 90 events a year and traveled to Europe last year. Ingredients for each OITF meal are almost all local and generally prepared by a celebrated chef of the region.
Tickets to the four-course, family style dinner on Saturday, Sept. 15, are $220 per person and includes hors d'oeuvres, farm tour and dessert. They go on sale on March 20; more information can be found here.
Beginning at noon Sept. 15, a team from The Red Lion Inn and Berkshire Farm & Table will be streaming live behind-the-scenes coverage, offering a backstage pass to this celebrated event. Media coverage will include blog posts, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter updates.