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David Sinish, Dennis Regan, and Schuyler Thomson (from left) will lead a 10-day, 149-mile paddle trip along the length of the Housatonic River in April.

Bits & Bytes: Housatonic River paddle trip; BBG spring workshops; John ffrench retrospective; Merwin House open house; Blue Rider Stables members’ dinner

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By Wednesday, Mar 2, 2016 Life In the Berkshires 2

Ten-day Housatonic River paddle trip

Berkshire County — To commemorate its 75th anniversary, and also to celebrate the many partners who protect the river, the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) will present the Housatonic River Adventure – a 10-day, source-to-Sound paddle trip – from Friday, April 22, to Sunday, May 1.

The paddle trip and series of riverside celebrations will follow the Housatonic River from its source in the Berkshires through Connecticut to Long Island Sound. The trip leaders will be David Sinish, an experienced kayak/canoe instructor, trip leader, and former national canoe poling champion; HVA’s Berkshire Director Dennis Regan, an avid paddler and advocate for the Housatonic River; and Schuyler Thomson, owner of Thomson Canoe Works in Norfolk, Conn., and former two-time national whitewater downriver canoe champion.

Traveling down every navigable stretch of the 149-mile river, paddlers will maneuver the narrow channels at the source of the Housatonic at Muddy Pond in Washington, Mass., high in the Berkshire Hills; meander through the fertile flood plains of Sheffield, Mass., and Canaan, Conn.; negotiate rocky rapids in Cornwall; glide across lakes Lillinonah, Zoar and Housatonic; and test the tidal waters at Derby and Shelton to the journey’s end at Long Island Sound in Milford and Stratford.

Registration is required for the paddle trip and can be done online before Friday, April 8. For more information call (413) 394-9796.


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Spring gardening workshops at BBG


John Gwynne, left, and Mikel Folcarelli.

Stockbridge – Berkshire Botanical Garden will offer several workshops and discussions in March to help gardeners get ready for spring.

On Saturday, March 5, at 1 p.m., John Gwynne and Mikel Folcarelli of Sakonnet Garden and Ed Bowen of Opus Nursery will give a joint talk entitled “One Garden, Three Perspectives: Design Vs. Plants.” Attendees will learn how to collect, propagate, and grow plants and incorporate unusual design elements. The cost of the talk is $22 for Garden members and $27 for non-members.

Beginning Monday, March 7, BBG will offer the five-week “Growing an Organic Vegetable Garden” workshop, to be facilitated by Peter Salinetti of Woven Roots Farm. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of soil and nutrient management, seed selection, crop rotation schemes, bed preparation, seed sowing and planting, pest management, and specific plant cultivation. The cost of the workshop is $230.

On Saturday, March 12, at 1 p.m., Maureen Sullivan of Left Field Farm will lead “Ready, Set, Grow,” a hands-on workshop focusing on indoor sowing and growing practices including creation of a well-timed seed-sowing schedule, techniques for successful germination of challenging seeds, and management of plants at various stages of growth. Workshop participants will practice seed sowing and transplanting a variety of plants to take home for the spring and summer growing season. The program cost is $35 for members and $40 for non-members.

For more information or to register for the programs, contact Elisabeth Cary at (413) 298-3926 x15.


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“The Art of John ffrench” at Shire City Sanctuary

Smiling Dad

John ffrench.

Pittsfield – On Friday, March 4, Shire City Sanctuary will host an opening reception for its exhibit “The Art of John ffrench.”

Born in Dublin in 1928, the late John ffrench studied at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland and the Istituto Statale D’Arte in Florence, Italy and worked in such stiudios as the Brogi Studio in Florence; the Ring Ceramic Studio in Kilkenny, Ireland; the West Bengal Design Studio in Calcutta, India; and the Dolphin Studio in Stockbridge. One of the pioneers of studio pottery in Ireland, ffrench founded Arklow Studio Pottery in 1962 and, in later years, established his own ceramic studio near Kinvara in County Galway. He also taught ceramics for many years before his retirement.

The opening reception will feature the traditional music of Duo Eamon from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. A limited-seating corned beef dinner will be available for $12 per person by reservation only at 6:30 p.m. A screening of the documentray film “John ffrench: A Life in Colour” will take place at 7:30 p.m.

For more information or to reserve tickets to the dinner, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact Shire City Sanctuary at (413) 236-9600 or shirecitysanctuary@gmail.com.


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Stockbridge Library to offer final glimpse of Merwin House

Merwin House

Merwin House.

Stockbridge — The Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives will host a final open house at its temporary location, Historic New England’s Merwin House, on Saturday, March 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free.

With the renovation of the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives nearing completion, this will be the public’s last chance to see the Merwin House alongside the Stockbridge History Room of selected artifacts from the Museum & Archives’ collection. Representatives from Historic New England also will be present to provide information on Merwin House and its owners and to answer questions. Barbara Allen and Joshua Hall of the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives will be on hand to explain how Merwin House fits into the larger story of Stockbridge history.

The Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives will reopen in the spring of 2016 as a 21st century library and museum with expanded space and functionality, universal accessibility, and updated technology to serve the needs of the entire community.

Contact the Library for more information at (413) 298-5501.


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Blue Rider Stables’ annual members’ dinner

Sheffield – In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Blue Rider Stables will present its annual members’ dinner on Friday, March 5, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the American Legion Post 340. The event will combines dinner, dancing, and the annual meeting for members of Blue Rider Stables as well as anyone interested in learning about the organization. This event will also serve as the year’s first fund raiser, providing support for equine care and the scholarship fund.

The dinner will be catered by Jean Pollock of New Marlborough with main dish choices of roast beef or vegan lasagna. Both entrees include salad donated by Guido’s Fresh Marketplace and dessert. Music will be provided by DJ Tayo Kaufman. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children aged 10 and under. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call (413) 528-5299. Seating is limited.


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2 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Nancy Fitzpatrick says:

    Very excited about seeing the John ffrench exhibit!!

  2. Nancy DuVall says:

    That canoe trip sounds like a marvelous adventure. Let us hear how it all turns out. Have fun!

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