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Maker Day at The Bidwell House Museum

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MONTEREY, Mass. — The Bidwell House Museum will hold an outdoors maker day on Oct. 23.
Originally scheduled for July, but postponed due to bad weather, the Museum will welcome visitors to the property for a free afternoon event with craftspeople, music and fall themed refreshments.
Attendees will have an opportunity to see traditional crafts being practiced by local artisans as they might have done in the 18th century and see these skills as practiced by both the Native Peoples of early New England and the European settlers, including:
  • Del Martin, of Knox Trail Forge, who will demonstrate traditional blacksmithing techniques and will show some of his wares.
  • Roger Longtoe Sheehan of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe who will show visitors how to make soap stone pipes and talk about their history and uses
  • Linda Longtoe Sheehan of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe who will be working with shell and glass beads to make wampum belts. She will talk about the history of wampum and why it was so important to the Native peoples then and now.
  • Jim Taylor, of Abenaki and Cherokee descent, is a traditional Eastern Woodlands Quillworker who will create decorations for bags and knife sheaths using porcupine quills.
  • The Berkshire Hills and Dales Spinning Guild will share traditional spinning and weaving techniques.
Also onsite that day, there will be music by local favorite Moonshine Holler from 12:30 to 3:30 pm along with free cider and apple cider donuts, a hallmark of fall in the Berkshires.
This event is free and open to the public. The demonstrations will take place outside, on the property, which is open all day, free of charge. The house will not be open for tours on this day.
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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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