Arts & Life

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Valley Bounty: Resourceful and really delicious: The Upper Bend in Turners Falls serves classics with local seasonal add-ons

05-24-2024 1:30 PM

By JACOB NELSON

The Upper Bend Cafe and Bruncheonette in Turners Falls aims to be reliably amazing. That means serving familiar breakfast and lunch favorites while unleashing their creativity, squeezing every drop of goodness from farm-fresh local food.“Using as many...


Earth Matters: Biodiversity crisis in our backyard: The science behind saving habitat for wildlife

05-24-2024 11:23 AM

By KARI BLOOD

One of the reasons many of us love living in the Valley is being able to see wildlife around us. But those sightings will become increasingly rare if humans don’t take bold steps to slow the loss of species around the world. Scientists are sounding...


Faith Matters: Coming out can feel like a miracle

05-24-2024 11:22 AM

By THE REV. VICKI IX

I have added my coming out to the list of miracles in my life — the glimpses of the resurrection I have been granted in this life. I count this moment as a blessing and pray for those who have not yet been able to say the words out loud.More...


The slow spell of Negril, Jamaica: Scenes from an idyllic island getaway

05-24-2024 11:21 AM

By AALIANNA MARIETTA

“You don’t want to stay in paradise?”It’s our fourth day in Negril, Jamaica, and the fourth time we have heard this question. A local is dipping his head under our striped umbrella on the beach, trying to sell us a boat tour despite us repeating that...


Sounds Local: Outdoor concert season is upon us: Memorial Day weekend kicks off a robust summer of music in Franklin County

05-22-2024 1:54 PM

By SHERYL HUNTER

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and with it comes the arrival of summer and all the summer concerts and festivals. The summer of 2024 may be the busiest one yet in terms of live music, leaving fans with an abundance of choices.One of the best parts...


Catching up with rhubarb: A cup of stewed, sugared rhubarb contains as much calcium as a glass of milk

05-21-2024 3:44 PM

By TINKY WEISBLAT

My favorite season of the year is here. Asparagus and rhubarb tend to ripen in New England at about the same time, and they have arrived. I’ll talk more about asparagus soon. Meanwhile, I’m savoring rhubarb as much as I can.I try to learn something...


A gem in the center of town: Greenfield Farmers Market celebrates 50 years

05-20-2024 12:41 PM

By EVELINE MACDOUGALL

Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series about the Greenfield Farmers Market, which is in its 50th year.On Saturday mornings — spring, summer and fall — the Greenfield Farmers Market in the town’s center bustles with open-air vendors,...


Speaking of Nature: Wilson’s warbler sighting my first in a decade: The story of a bird named after the ‘Father Of American Ornithology’

05-20-2024 6:01 AM

By BILL DANIELSON

In 1794, a Scot named Alexander Wilson arrived in the newly-independent nation of the United States of America and got to the business of starting a new life for himself. He had been employed as a weaver back home and thought he could make a go of it...


‘As the woods wake up, it’s my favorite time’: Turkey hunters relish spring season

05-17-2024 12:36 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

The Boston Red Sox season will still be warming up by the end of this month, with about 110 games remaining before the playoffs. But outdoor sportsmen across Massachusetts will have already hung up their gear until around the time the World Series...


‘A generational healing experience’: Exhibit documents the struggles of Cambodian families fleeing the Khmer Rouge who found refuge and a new community in Amherst

05-17-2024 12:34 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Not long after 20 years of war finally ended in Vietnam in 1975, another wave of horrendous violence erupted just to the west.The Khmer Rouge, the Communist party of Cambodia, seized control of the country and began a brutal “reeducation” campaign...


Faith Matters: We are all in the same boat: Finding God and our common humanity in ‘the between’

05-17-2024 12:30 PM

By BEN TOUSLEY, M.DIV.

Years ago, I stood with some family members and a large crowd of strangers on a whale watch boat anxiously anticipating the appearance of the first whale. When the mighty leviathan breached the water quite close to one side of our boat, all let out a...


Finding solutions for student assessments: Part two of a conversation about the complicated issue of assessments in our schools

05-17-2024 12:29 PM

By DOUG SELWYN

This is part two of an interview with University of Massachusetts Amherst Professor Jack Schneider, who heads two organizations focused on helping educators develop assessment approaches that serve the goals and values of their classrooms, schools and...


Sounds Local: Greenfield’s own Elvis returns to sender: Travis Ledoyt brings ‘The Elvis in Me’ to Greenfield High School, May 25

05-15-2024 2:29 PM

By SHERYL HUNTER

Twenty-five years ago, Travis Ledoyt, a native of Greenfield, performed Elvis Presley’s music at Greenfield’s Classic Days for the first time. Backed by a group of local musicians, he sang on a makeshift stage in front of the town common and belted...


The cool new ‘underground’ spot in town: Le Peacock in Shelburne Falls delivers on colorful décor, people, food and cocktails

05-14-2024 12:23 PM

By TINKY WEISBLAT

For weeks, friends have been telling me how much they love Le Peacock in Shelburne Falls. I finally got there on a recent afternoon … and the place lived up to the hype.Le Peacock is located beneath 10 Bridge Street in Shelburne Falls. The restaurant...


Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: Venture beyond your garden walls: Plant sales and noteworthy gardens to visit this season

05-13-2024 12:18 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

After long weeks of yearning for gardening weather, we’re suddenly inundated by spring. Endless outdoor chores beg for our attention — composting, mulching, edging, scrubbing birdbaths and, at least in my garden beds, pulling out multitudes of maple...


Speaking of Nature: Surprised by strawberries in the grass: Flowers will bloom whether you pay attention or not

05-13-2024 6:01 AM

By BILL DANIELSON

Every week I try to end my column with an inspirational line or two in the hopes of motivating my readers to get outside and see what’s going on in their own back yards. As I sit and peck away at the keyboard this morning I realize that the...


From fair to fantastic: Memorial Hall Museum exhibit shows how Green River Festival blossomed over 37 years

05-10-2024 3:15 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

In anticipation of Green River Festival in June, the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association (PVMA) and former festival operator Signature Sounds are presenting a history of the region’s largest and most popular musical event.With a trove of...


Poet’s Seat Poetry Contest: Winning poems

05-10-2024 3:13 PM

Adult 1st Place Winner“Untitled” by Joannah L. Whitney If there were a telescopeif I knew the night sky, if I werebeyond the nodding acquaintanceof “Yes, it is dark” and more the translatorof scattered pricks of lightknowing their patterns this time...


Faith Matters: ‘Glimmer moments’ can be found everywhere: The importance of finding and sharing moments of joy, peace and safety

05-10-2024 3:12 PM

By THE REV. LINDA M. RHINEHART NEAS

Have you heard of “glimmer moments?” I thought this was something cutesy that someone made up, but after doing research, I learned that it is actually a scientific term.The phrase “glimmer moments” was created by psychotherapist Deb Dana in an attempt...


Valley Bounty: Fibers for farmers: Western Massachusetts Fibershed turns local ‘throw away’ wool into fertilizer pellets

05-10-2024 3:11 PM

By JACOB NELSON

Local wool for your wardrobe … and for your garden?That’s the idea behind a new project from Western Massachusetts Fibershed, an organization working to strengthen our local fiber economy, right alongside our local food economy.Peggy Hart is a core...



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