20 Community Highlights: Barns to Trolleys. Canoeing to Storytelling.

Ashfield Fall Festival

Ashfield Community Preschool alumna volunteer at the Ashfield Fall Festival, helping to raise funds for the preschool!

Barns to Trolleys. Matcha to Blueberries. Honey to Bread. Canoeing to Storytelling.

These are just a few of the community learning highlights we’re featuring this week!

Peruse our list below and make plans to get out into your community and learn while you play!

Featured learning highlight this week is Art Walk Easthampton.  The theme this month is “Know Thy History,” and it happens on Saturday evening. The art on display at participating venues will be supplemented by several historic walking tours, reenactments, tours of the Old Town Hall, and historic exhibitions throughout town. These free events include: a half-mile guided walking tour with a focus on Samuel and Emily Williston; performances of “Weird and True Stories of Easthampton,” or stories taken from newspaper clippings and transformed into live reenactments by the Easthampton High School Drama Club; and special visiting hours at the Easthampton Historical Society.


PollinatorsLocal HistoryIndustryAnimal StudiesStorytellingCanoeingFoodMedieval HistoryCultureScience



Pollinators

Take a tour of Benson Place, a commercial lowbush blueberry farm in Heath, MA, and learn about their pollinator habitat project on Saturday morning, October 12th. Benson Place was previously owned by landscape painter, artist Robert Strong Woodward, 1885-1957. You will feel like you are in another world at Benson Place! You are – Burnt Hill has been managed and burned since pre-colonial times.

Local farming advocates come together for a screening of More Than Honey (2012) at Amherst Cinema on Tuesday evening, October 15th. More Than Honey focuses on honey bee colony collapse disorder and how bees all over the world are being affected, and what that means for agriculture and honey production. 80% of plant species rely on pollination by bees for their survival, illustrating the importance of honey bees to the ecologies and economies of communities all over the world. This screening would be appropriate for older students interested in bees, agriculture, ecology, or other related topics.

Local History

Take a guided tour with Catamount Hill Association on Saturday morning, October 12th, and learn what this 18th century hilltop community was once like in Colrain, MA. Now largely included in Catamount State Forest, the people are gone but the history and artifacts of this community remain.

The Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum is celebrating the restoration of trolley #10 with their annual TrolleyFest on Saturday! The day includes trolley rides, live music, hands-on cider pressing, unveiling of the “Dotted Boxcar,” kids’ activities, and more. Learn about the history of trolleys while having fun at this great local museum!

The Plainfield Historical Society is hosting a barn tour on Saturday afternoon featuring three barns from the late 18th century to the late 19th century. Richard Potter, who has been building and restoring timber frame barns since 1976, will lead the tour. Those who attend will learn not only about the three barns on the tour, but about barns throughout history in Western Massachusetts.

This month’s Art Walk Easthampton theme is “Know Thy History,” on Saturday evening. The art on display at participating venues will be supplemented by several historic walking tours, reenactments, tours of the Old Town Hall, and historic exhibitions throughout town. These free events include: a half-mile guided walking tour with a focus on Samuel and Emily Williston; performances of “Weird and True Stories of Easthampton,” or stories taken from newspaper clippings and transformed into live reenactments by the Easthampton High School Drama Club; and special visiting hours at the Easthampton Historical Society.

Learn about colonial history at the Buckland Historical Society’s Wilder Homestead Colonial Day on Sunday afternoon, October 13th. This “living exhibit” lets you experience life in the Hilltowns during colonial days. There will be open hearth cooking, basket making, weaving, spinning, quilting, chair caning, shoe making demonstrations, oxen, music, cider pressing, dancing, and more. This is an exciting way to learn about life in Buckland in the past!

Industry

Silas Lamson innovated the scythe handle with his ergonomic curved snath in 1834 and in 1837 his sons started a knife factory with a partner. Lamson & Goodnow is now the country’s oldest cutlery manufacturer… and did you know it’s located right here in the Hilltowns?  Brian Hayes, President of the company, will take folks on a guided tour and show you how they still tool their wares by hand during this a morning tour on Saturday, October 12th at the Lamson & Goodnow cutlery factory in Shelburne Falls.

Animal Studies

Explore the Rose Ledges in Northfield with Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center on Saturday afternoon, October 12th. This 3-mile loop free hike will take you through beautiful fall foliage and 19th-century stone quarries to the Rose Ledges. Look for signs of wildlife and explore your surroundings on this lovely fall hike. For ages 10 and up.

Observe birds and learn about bird banding at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Lenox on Saturday morning, October 12th.  Sanctuary volunteers will demonstrate how to use mist nets and what information can be gathered through bird banding.

Storytelling

Dr. Gail Herman presents “Family Folk Tales” at the Emily Williston Memorial Library in Easthampton on Saturday afternoon, September 12th. Dr. Herman will tell family, folk, and personal stories using percussion instruments. Those who attend this free event will get a chance to try out instruments from Japan, Brazil, West Africa, Thailand, Nepal, China, and India.

Spend time at Storrowtown Village on Friday evening, October 18th in West Springfield and hear tales from haunted New England! These spooky stories and mysterious tales will be told in Storrowtown’s Union Meetinghouse. A fun way to tie together history and Halloween!

Canoeing

Enjoy beautiful fall foliage views and look for hawks and eagles on a canoe trip down the Housatonic River at Bartholomew’s Cobble in Sheffield to the mouth of the Konkapot River. Kids 10 and up can go on this canoe trip with a parent on Sunday morning, October 13th, making this a great way to spend time together while enjoying fall in the Berkshires and learning about local habitats. All equipment is provided.

Explore the Mill River at the Oxbow in Easthampton with Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary and Aimee Gelinas of Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center on Monday morning, October 14th. Enjoy peak fall foliage and learn to identify wild rice, a native food staple traditionally collected by canoe. Other wetland plants will also be identified and discussed.

Food

Stop by Historic Deerfield any time on Sunday, October 13th, and learn all about historical foods for the fall harvest at their open hearth cooking demonstrations. You will discover how early American kitchens made use of the fall harvest by processing and preserving foods for winter. The demonstration will focus on traditional fall foods like pumpkins, apples, and corn.

Celebrate World Food Day with the Pioneer Valley Bread House at B’Nai Israel in Northampton on Monday evening, October 14th. This free event is open to all, and people of all ages can come bake, learn, and create with one another. Jonathan Stevens of Hungry Ghost Bread will share his story about how he became interested in bread-making and using local grains. This is a great opportunity for kids to learn a new skill while interacting with community members of all ages.

Mary Lou and Robert Heiss, owners of Tea Trekker in Northampton, are leading an event in the UMass Fine Arts Center lobby on Thursday evening, October 17th in Amherst. Matcha: Japan’s Elite Green Tea” is a lecture and slideshow all about matcha and its importance in the Japanese traditional tea ceremony “Chanoyu.”  Participants can sample authentic stone-ground matcha that was created in Kyoto, Japan following the presentation. This event would be interesting to older students interested cultural studies, nutrition, anthropology, or even those who just enjoy drinking tea!

Medieval History

Living history at the Medieval Faire this Sunday, October 13th at the Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum in Lenox! The historic Jacobean-Revival estate in Lenox will revert to days gone by when chivalry and armored tournaments were a way of life. Organized by The Barony of Bergenthal, a branch of the Society of Creative Anachronism, one of the world’s largest medieval living history organizations, the day will include exciting displays of armored combat, medieval arts, crafts and clothing, and lectures on feudalism and medieval society. Shakespeare & Company will be participating too. Medieval cooking demonstrations can be seen, while several food vendors will be offering their selections.

Culture

The UMass Fine Arts Center presents “Treasures of Japan: Gagaku and Bugaku Classical Music and Dance” by Kitanodai Gagaku Ensemble at Bowker Auditorium in Amherst on Wednesday evening, October 16th. This performance features the ancient and imperial court music of the gagaku orchestra and dances, the oldest orchestral tradition in the world! This exciting performance is a good way for families to experience this historic and beautiful music and dance together.

Science

Students in K-3 can learn all about the sun with Helen Ann Sephton from the Hitchcock Center for the Environment at the Wendell Free Library on Wednesday afternoon, October 16th. Kids will learn about solar energy and will get the chance to experiment with solar panels and build a solar oven. This is part of a four-part “Exploring Science” series sponsored by the Community Network for Children.

List of Weekly Suggested EventsFind out about these events and many other events & activities happening all next week in our List of Weekly Suggested Events. All of our listed events are “suggested.” Please take a moment to confirm that these events are happening as scheduled, along with time, place, age appropriateness and costs before heading out.

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