Hancock Shaker Village Country Fair Set for Sept. 28-29

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hancock Shaker Village will hold its 16th annual Country Fair on Sept. 28 and 29.
The harvest celebration weekend will feature local food, handcrafts, fresh produce, antique farm equipment, oxen demonstrations, pie contests, a bluegrass band, and more.
In addition, children can participate in pony and wagon rides, face painting, farm-related games under the children's tent and chicken races.
"The Country Fair displays a mix of the old and new," said Director of Farm and Operations Bill Mangiardi. "We employ sustainable practices that long ago worked for the Shakers, and incorporate those lessons and techniques into how we operate as a farm and living history museum today. The fair has a little something for everyone."
The theme of old and new blended together runs through each of the Country Fair’s major activities. In large tents filled with vendors, traditional crafts are offered next to contemporary artisans' work. The Farmers Market boasts heirloom produce from area farms as well as new. There will also be an opportunity to sign up for next season's CSA program.
Featured events include:
Second Annual Chicken Races: Held at 11 and 2 daily, the event showcases heritage breed chickens, making their way down a straightaway to reach a treat at the finish line. Kids can select a chicken and get prizes if it wins.

Eighth Annual Pie Contest: Enter a homemade pie from scratch for a chance to win. Fillings can either be the baker's own recipe, or Shaker Cranberry Pie or Shaker Apple Pie from The Best of Shaker Cooking by Amy Bess Miller. This year's judges are Berkshire Eagle contributor Judith Lerner, Berkshire Museum director of communications Lesley Beck, and Joshua Needleman of Chocolate Springs in Lenox. Guidelines for entry and registration forms are available at here.

A Harvest of Quilts: The Round Barn will host the exhibits and quilting demonstrations; selected quilts will be available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds helping to support village programs. Prizes will be presented on Sunday at 4:30. Submissions can be either owned by or made by the exhibitor, but should not have been previously exhibited at the village. Information: Connie Logan at 413-528-9941 or go here for registration forms.
Country Fair admission is free to Hancock Shaker Village members and children 12 and under. Admission for adults is $18 and youth visitors, ages 13 to 17, is $8.
For more info on activities and events, visit the Hancock Shaker Village website.
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MDAR Commissioner Marks 'Green Friday' at Seekonk Tree Farm

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Seekonk Tree Farm was selected for the annual 'Green Friday' pronouncement. MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux traveled to the family-owned farm to present Peter Sweet Jr. and family with the state proclamation encouraging state residents to buy their greenery local.

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — State Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux traveled to Seekonk Tree Farm to celebrate "Green Friday" with the cutting of a Christmas tree.  The day is meant to encourage residents to source holiday plants from local farms.

Lebeaux presented the owners of the farm, the Sweet family, with a proclamation that marked Nov. 26 as Green Friday and outlined the many benefits of their line of work.

This includes adding $3.5 million to the state's economy each year with the sale of about 83,000 trees, providing a renewable source of energy when burned, producing biomass and removing carbon dioxide from the air, and providing stable refuge for wildlife.

"We try to rotate every year and it was the Berkshires turn this year," Lebeaux explained.

The farm has been in business since 1979, when Peter Alden Sweet Sr. married Carol Joan Wright. With the help of a $50,000 grant from MDAR, the family was able to build a gift shop/workshop that was completed about a year ago.

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