Life In the Berkshires

EDGE WISE: Happy holidays? Yes, happy holidays

Thursday, Jan 1 - I hope that this holiday season and throughout the year, we remember that giving can begin with how emotionally generous we are to ourselves. If we each take a deep breath and remember this, everyone else in our lives will feel the beautiful effects of that most important generosity.

Happy New Year – past and present

Wednesday, Dec 31 - In young adulthood, you imbibed your way past any sense or inhibition, danced yourself into a good lather, and got to kiss your neighbor’s wife at midnight.

Culinary Adventures: The eponymous Preservation Society and P.S. Bistro

Wednesday, Dec 31 - Chef and owner Christophe Jalbert places a high premium on local ingredients on his menus. In a short time that he has owned the former Route 7 Grill, Jalbert not only developed solid relationships with 40 or more farmers in the area, but the people who come to his restaurants expect locally grown food prepared to show off its high quality.

Voices from NESAWG, Part II: The pragmatic professor

Tuesday, Dec 30 - "The veterans of the 'back to the land' movement who are now in their 70s didn't even know what a business plan looked like when they started out. But younger people today have way more business acumen. We sold the idea of using climate friendly biomass fuels for heating greenhouses by demonstrating that it would help their bottom line." -- UVM Extension Prof. Vern Grubinger

Voices from NESAWG: The young farmer and the future of food

Sunday, Dec 28 - The first of two reports from the Northeast Sustainable Agricultural Working Group(NESAWG): A centerpiece of NESAWG’s plan is the "50 by 60" program, which plans that by 2060, 50 percent of the food produced in the northeast should be consumed in the northeast. Tom Kelly of the University of New Hampshire envisions a tripling of New England acres under cultivation from 2 to 6 million.  

Bob Gray: The day after

Friday, Dec 26 - I just can’t stop thinking of all the good which might be done with simply the eight million dollars this country spends each day for airstrikes against the Islamic State in a “war” which will never be “won” despite all the bombs and the billions of dollars we drop into that black hole.

EDGE WISE: What’s in a gift? Considering generosity in the holiday season

Thursday, Dec 25 - Since joining the Generosity Economy, I’ve been spending less money — especially on food and clothing. But I’ve also changed the way I approach purchasing things in general. I think longer before simply buying something new, asking myself, Do I really need this thing? How much is it worth to me? Is this something my community can provide?

BerkShares names new slate of directors

Tuesday, Dec 23 - “If we continue on this path of — dare I say it — food self-sufficiency, we could feed the whole county using 500 acres or fewer. BerkShares is a currency that actually reflects an understanding that we can do things for ourselves.” -- Ted Dobson, Equinox Farm in Sheffield

Connections: Legislating Morality, Part II: The 18th century paternity test

Tuesday, Dec 23 - In order to secure child support, the unwed mother had to repeatedly say the name the father in the hearing of the midwife during labor. During labor, over and over again, the midwife asked any unmarried mother to identify the father. It was believed that any answer given during “her travail” was equivalent to a deathbed confession.

Bob Gray: Merry Christmas   

Saturday, Dec 20 - It will suit us well to remember no clergy, no zealot, nor king had any hand in what may have or may not have happened that April, October, February, or December night.

EDGE WISE: Shopping the winter blues away  

Thursday, Dec 18 - I love to give gifts, especially when they’re handmade by some of my talented women friends. What follows is a decidedly idiosyncratic list of some of the local woman-run craft businesses that are high on my list for holiday gifts.

Culinary Adventures: John Andrews, a farmhouse restaurant

Wednesday, Dec 17 - The full name of Smith’s restaurant is “John Andrews, a farmhouse restaurant.” Thus it is not surprising that each week Smith presents a special menu highlighting the bounty of a local farm. Recently the menu featured Susan Sellew’s Rawson Brook Farm goat cheese.