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A wheelbarrow race at the 2015 Farmer Olympics at the former Route 7 Grill in Great Barrington.

Bits & Bytes: Farmer Olympics; farmstead picnic; Kindergarten Night; Lenox Library book sale; bird language workshop; ‘Halachah, Sex, Lies, and Darwin’

By Monday, Aug 15, 2016 Life In the Berkshires

Farmer Olympics at Hancock Shaker Village

Pittsfield — On Saturday, Aug. 20, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Greenagers will present “Go Pig or Go Home: The 2016 Farmer Olympics” at Hancock Shaker Village (HSV). Aspiring farmers will team up to compete against each other in events such as the Moo-Juice Squeeze, the Grain Bag Toss, the Wheelbarrow Waggle, and the Hay Bale Stack.

The cost for participation in the event is $15 for individuals 12 years of age or older, $25 for teams of two, and free for children 11 years of age and younger. For spectators, tickets are $15 for those ages 18 and older, and free for those ages 17 and younger. Participant registration includes admission to HSV for the day. Participants are encouraged to pre-register by contacting Greenagers at (413) 644-9090 or office@greenagers.org. Participants may also register on the day of the event at the Greenagers registration table at the HSV entrance. For more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call (413) 644-9090.

–E.E.

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GBHS farmstead picnic

Great Barrington — The Great Barrington Historical Society (GBHS) will hold a farmstead picnic on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at 5:30 p.m. on the grounds of its Wheeler Farmstead headquarters at 817 Main St. All are invited to this informal event. Attendees of the picnic, billed as “like Tanglewood except barn-style,” should bring their own food, drinks, folding chairs and blankets. A potluck dessert table will be set up so participants can bring a dessert to share. The guest speaker will be contractor Scott Morrison who will provide an update of the Dutch Wagon House reconstruction project. For more information, contact GBHS at (413) 591-8702 info@gbhistory.org.

–E.E.

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Kindergarten Night at the Berkshire Museum

Pittsfield – On Friday, Aug. 19, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., the Berkshire Museum will host its fourth annual Kindergarten Night. During Kindergarten Night, children are invited to explore a day in kindergarten with fun, hands-on activities while parents learn about the registration process, child development milestones, and how to help their children get ready for school. The event, which is free and open to the community, will also feature special performances, guests, and activities for the whole family. For more information, call the Museum at (413) 443-7171.

–E.E.

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Lenox Library to host annual book sale

Lenox — The Lenox Library will hold its 21st annual book sale will be held Friday, Aug. 19 – Sunday, Aug. 21. This year’s gigantic “Bargains in Books” event will feature a huge collection of books in more than 40 categories, all gathered from Berkshire homes. The book sale will open Friday, Aug. 19, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. with a requested donation of $5 until 2 p.m. The will continue on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. with free admission.

The sale will feature a large selection of children’s books as well as books of fiction, cooking, biography, gardening, art, poetry, the Berkshires, military history, computers and science, how-to and hobbies, plus CDs, DVDs, LPs, sheet music, and more. The sale will also feature artwork including framed original paintings, prints, and art photographs, as well as a large collection of full-color art books in excellent condition. For the serious collector, the “Special Interest” category includes a collection of brand-new Folio Society classics still sealed in original wrappers, as well as first editions, fine bindings, old and rare volumes, and sets. The new “Current and Choice” category will interest avid readers of the latest and the best titles.

All proceeds from the book sale will benefit the library’s many services, programs, and activities. For more information, contact Ilse Browner at (413) 445-5679 or ibrowner@roadrunner.com.

–E.E.

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‘Song of the Forest: Understanding Bird Language’

Lenox — Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries and Flying Deer Nature Center will present “Song of the Forest,” a one-day workshop on bird language, on Sunday, Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

“Song of the Forest,” taught by educators from Mass Audubon and Flying Deer Nature Center, will explore the world of bird language through storytelling, lectures, slideshows, outdoor activities, field exercises, and more. The workshop will cover how to identify the “five voices of the birds” including bird alarms; tools to engage the senses, quiet the mind and cultivate inner peace; basic and advanced approaches to bird identification; and “routines of invisibility” to help quiet the mind and join rather than disturb natural surroundings.

The interactive, experiential workshop is designed for adults and interested teens. A separate bird language program for children ages 6 to 12 will be offered at the same time. Tuition is $50 for adults and teens and $40 for children. For more information or to register, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or call (413) 637-0320.

–E.E.

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‘Halachah, Sex, Lies, and Darwin’

Sigmund Tobias.

Sigmund Tobias.

Pittsfield — On Thursday, Aug. 18 at 10:45 a.m., the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires will present “Halachah, Sex, Lies, and Darwin,” a talk by Professor Sigmund Tobias, at Congregation Knesset Israel. The talk is free and open to the public.

Dr. Tobias will describe the rules about sexual relations established by Halachah, the collective body of Jewish religious laws derived from the written and oral Torah. He will discuss some of the reasons for the laws, as well as the degree to which they are adhered. Dr. Tobias is the eminent research professor of the University at Albany, State University of New York’s department of educational and counseling psychology. He has published extensively in the scientific and professional literature in the fields of instructional psychology and educational technology. He and his family survived the Holocaust by fleeing to Shanghai, an experience described in his memoir “Strange Haven:  A Jewish Childhood in Wartime Shanghai.”

For more information, call the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires at (413) 442-4360 x10.

–E.E.


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