Monthly Archives: February 2012

Tuesday, March 13 – Margaret Pokorny to Receive Park Partners Award

Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department will present the first annual Park Partners Award to Margaret Pokorny of the Back Bay during the Boston Flower & Garden Show Preview Party at the Seaport World Trade Center on Tuesday, March 13. The Park Partners Award recognizes Boston citizens who make a significant contribution to beautification and the city’s parks.

A longtime advocate for protecting the natural resources in her neighborhood, Margaret Pokorny has worked closely with residents and city officials to beautify Commonwealth Avenue Mall since she first moved to Back Bay in 1980. She was instrumental in efforts to revive the turf along the Mall, supported the creation of the Women’s Memorial, and has been active in fundraising and caring for trees along the Commonwealth Avenue.

“Margaret has gone above and beyond in order to preserve the quality of life in the neighborhood by advocating for policies which protect trees and encourage use of Commonwealth Avenue Mall by residents and visitors,” Mayor Menino said. “She is vigilant about engaging her neighbors to help water, replace, and protect trees, especially the Dutch elm population. She is always gracious, honest, and direct. The city is lucky to have such an advocate for our green space.”

A hands-on booster for Boston’s parks, Pokorny’s personal slogan is “Born to Prune.” Her in-depth knowledge of her neighborhood parks was evident in her final thesis in the Radcliffe Seminars program in Landscape Design in 1992: a history and master plan for Commonwealth Avenue Mall. She was mentored in the project by her friend and neighbor, the late Stella Trafford, known as the Grande Dame of Boston parks for her own involvement with Commonwealth Avenue Mall, the Public Garden, and Boston Common.

Pokorny worked with Trafford on issues related to the Mall, and became an active member of the Board of the Friends of Copley Square, the Friends of the Public Garden, and the Board of the Neighborhood Association of the Back Bay. She also served as Co-President of the Garden Club of the Back Bay and joined the Board of The Esplanade Association when it was founded in 2000. Margaret has also received the Boston Bowl from the Boston Committee of the Garden Club of America.

Tickets are still available for the March 13 Boston Flower & Garden Show Preview Party taking place from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the eve of the 2012 Boston Flower & Garden Show which opens to the public on March 14. In addition to the award presentation, Dr. Gustavo Romero will speak about the Glass Flowers Collection at the Harvard Museum of Natural History and gardening expert Patti “Garden Girl” Moreno will give a talk on Urban Sustainable Living and the five things everyone can do to live more sustainably in the city.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please call the Parks Department at (617) 635-4032 or visit

Saturday, March 3, 4:00 pm – An Everlasting Meal

Join Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge, for an author signing and meet and greet with Tamar Adler, author of An Everlasting Meal, this Saturday, March 3, beginning at 4 pm.

“An Everlasting Meal is beautifully intimate, approaching cooking as a narrative that begins not with a list of ingredients or a tutorial on cutting an onion, but with a way of thinking…. Tamar is one of the great writers I know—her prose is exquisitely crafted, beautiful and clear-eyed and open, in the thoughtful spirit of M.F.K. Fisher. This is a book to sink into and read deeply.”
Alice Waters, from the Foreword

“In this beautiful book, Tamar Adler explores the difference between frugal and resourceful cooking. Few people can turn the act of boiling water into poetry. Adler does. By the time you savor the last page, your kitchen will have transformed into a playground, a boudoir and a wide open field. An Everlasting Meal deserves to be an instant and everlasting culinary classic.”
Raj Patel, author of The Value of Nothing

Tamar Adler is a former editor of Harper’s Magazine, the founding head chef of Farm 255 in Athens, Georgia, and cooked at Chez Panisse from 2007-2009. Her book has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, the Irish Times, the San Francisco Examiner, among other publications. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The New Leader, Mother Jones, Huffington Post, Fine Cooking,, Gilt Taste, the, and more. Tamar lives in Brooklyn, NY.

The event is free. For more information, telephone 617-491-2220, or email


Friday and Saturday, March 30 – 31 – Thirtieth National Pesticide Forum

The 30th National Pesticide Forum, Healthy Communities: Green Solutions for Safe Environments, will be held March 30-31, 2012 at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. The conference will focus on organic land care, urban/ suburban pesticide use, organic food, and protective national, state, and local policies. The conference is convened by Beyond Pesticides, Environment and Human Health, Inc., the Watershed Partnership, Inc., and co-sponsored by local, state and regional public health and environmental organizations.

Sessions will be held in the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies’ Kroon Hall. This sustainable building is a showcase of the latest developments in green building technology, a healthy and supportive environment for work and study, and a beautiful building that actively connects those who use it with the natural world.

More details and registration information is available on the National Pesticide Forum webpage,  Students $15, members $35, nonmembers $75, businesses $175.

Sunday, March 25, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm – Project Native 2nd Environmental Film Festival

Project Native 2nd Environmental Film Festival will take place on Sunday, March 25, 2012 at the Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington, beginning at 10 am. All films will be free to the public. Last year over 600 people from 6 states attended the festival. Films on a variety of topics, from 90-minute features to a series of short films for children, will inspire, enrage, and motivate audiences to engage. This event is supported in part by a grant from the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

For additional information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Karen Lyness LeBlanc at 413-274-3433 or

Tuesday, March 13, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Pretty and Poisonous: The Role of Plant Defenses in Flowers

Lynn Adler, Associate Professor of Entomology at UMass Amherst, will be the featured speaker on Tuesday, March 13 at the Cambridge Entomological Club.  She will present a lecture entitled Pretty and Poisonous: The Role of Plant Defenses in Flowers.  CEC meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month from October through May. The evening schedule typically includes an informal dinner (6:15 to 7:15 PM) followed by our formal meeting (7:30 – 9:00 PM) in MCZ 101, 26 Oxford Street, Harvard University. The latter begins with club business and is followed by a 50 minute entomology related presentation. Membership is open to amateur and professional entomologists.  For more information, email CEC President Jessica Walden-Gray at

Monday, March 19, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Bonsai: History, Facts and Myths

The March meeting of the Garden Club of the Back Bay will take place at the Wellesley College Botanic Garden on Monday, March 19 beginning with tea at 2 pm, followed by another of our “Japan Year” programs, Bonsai: History, Facts and Myths. Learn how bonsai are created and tips for keeping them alive as long as possible. Pauline F. Muth will present a program on the history, art and horticulture of bonsai. She will illustrate her talk with both a photographic and live collection of various types of bonsai. Pauline has been involved with bonsai for almost 40 years. She maintains a teaching studio in West Charlton, NY exclusively dedicated to the art of bonsai. Her gardens are open to the public by appointment. She sits on the executive boards of Mohawk Hudson Bonsai Society, The Mid-Atlantic Bonsai Societies, The American Bonsai Society and Bonsai Clubs International. Her studioʼs web site is The program is co-sponsored by The Wellesley College Friends of Horticulture and the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University.  Garden Club of the Back Bay members will receive written notice of this meeting, along with car pool information.  Others may register on line (Arnold Arboretum and Wellesley College Friends of Horticulture members $10, non-members $15) at

Saturday, March 17, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm, and Thursday, April 12, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm – Tree Rings: Ceramic Panoramas by Warren Mather

Artist Warren Mather, a member of the faculty at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, makes circular panoramas, presenting a simultaneous view of what is in front at the same time as what is behind. In this Arnold Arboretum exhibit, running from March 17 – April 29, he creates inverse panoramas of the bark of various trees. These images are formed into a ring and transferred to silk-screens, printed in ceramic pigments on clay, then fired and glazed. There will be an artist reception on Saturday, March 17, from 1 – 3 in the Hunnewell Lecture Hall at the Arboretum, and an artist talk on Thursday, April 12m from 6:30 – 8, also in the Hunnewell Lecture Hall. For more information visit, or call 617-384-5209.

Thursday, March 1, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm – Restoring Buzzards Bay’s Natural Resources

The first of the free 3-part workshop series will focus on identifying critical ecosystem needs, assessing damaged natural resources, and the values associated with restoration. David Burdick, Marine Wetland Ecology and Restoration Professor at the University of New Hampshire will be the keynote speaker and the workshop will include a site visit to Acushnet River restoration sites. This March 1 event will take place from 10 – 5 beginning at the Buzzards Bay Coalition office, 114 Front Street in New Bedford. Free. For more information, call 508-999-6363, x 226, or email

Thursday, March 1, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Gardens of Portugal

Treat yourself to a trip through the Gardens of Portugal with Val Libby, a landscape designer and garden historian. She will share pictures and comments as she explores the garden history of Portugal while traveling from Lisbon south to the Algarve and visiting the palaces, quintas, and convents of Portugal’s past. This free program on Thursday, March 1, from 7 – 9, will be held at the Medford Public Library, 111 High Street in Medford, and is sponsored by the Medford Garden Club.

Sunday, March 18, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Love Your Lawn Again

Paul Tukey and Victoria Rowell introduce their new book, Tag, Toss & Run: 40 Classic Lawn Games on Sunday, March 18 from 3:30 to 5:00 pm at The Boston Flower & Garden Show at the Seaport World Trade Center. For the last five years, Tukey has focused his energies on teaching about growing lawns naturally through the SafeLawn Foundation. In his new book, co-authored by actress and best-selling author Victoria Rowell, Tukey shares his desire to inspire people to use – rather than just look at – their lawns. Meet Paul and Victoria and get re-acquainted with the joy of old-time-y family lawn games like bocce and croquet and maybe learn a few new ones, too! Free with admission to the show – for more information, visit

Mondays, March 12 – April 2, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Organic Vegetable Gardening

Designed for those starting or caring for a vegetable garden, get all your questions answered in this Berkshire Botanical Garden practical class on growing food, to be held Monday evenings from March 12 – April 12, from 6 – 9. This course will include site selection, soil and nutrient management, seed selection, design, crop rotation schemes, seeding and planting, pest management, and specific plant cultivation. These topics will be discussed with an emphasis on building a healthy soil and careful management of moisture requirements. Each week students will investigate a different vegetable family (Melon family, Tomato family, Beet family, Cabbage Family, Legume family and the Greens family) to insure all questions are answered about cultivation of these important food groups.

John Howell is the former Extension Vegetable Specialist, for the University of Massachusetts and currently lectures on vegetables, fruits and soil management Author of numerous newsletters for growers and is currently the editor for New England Vegetable Management Guide, published biennially by the University of Massachusetts. Course fee $185, and you may register on-line at

2012-2013 New England Vegetable Management Guide

Friday, March 9, 6:30 pm – Small Footprint, Big Flavor: A Dinner of Sustainable Grass-Fed Meats

Some people proclaim that free-range, grass-fed animals taste differently from conventionally produced meats and that once you try sustainable meats you won’t want to go back.  Join The Museum of Science at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Boston at 215 First Street in Cambridge as special guest chefs showcase their recipes in a four-course dinner featuring organic lamb, beef, pork, and chicken. It’s an ideal way to taste the difference for yourself. Also hear from them about raising animals sustainably and how what they eat and where they live affects the flavor of the meat they yield. Menu details and more event information available at

Price ($70 for four course dinner, including tax and gratuity, but beverages not included) also includes a voucher for discounted Exhibit Halls admission, applicable for entry to Meaty Matters. Purchase tickets in advance at  Sponsored by Le Cordon Bleu, College of Culinary Arts. Sustainable meats provided by Whole Foods Market.

Saturday, March 10, 11:00 am – 1:45 pm – Meaty Matters, and at 2:30 pm – American Meat

Join The Museum of Science in the Gordon Current Science & Technology Center prior to the screening of the new documentary film, American Meat, as each of the individual panelists is interviewed in depth on the subject of sustainable meat agriculture and production. Discover the real difference between organic foods and their traditionally grown counterparts when it comes to nutrition, safety, and price. Talk with the experts during the question and answer sessions after each interview. Attend our Small Footprint, Big Flavor dinner and receive discounted Exhibit Halls admission for this program. Panelists include Jonathan D. Kemp, president, FoodEx/Organic Renaissance Food Exchange, New Bedford, MA | Dan Mandich, owner, Westminster Meats, Westminster Station, VT | Danielle Nierenberg, senior researcher and director, Nourishing the Planet Program, Worldwatch Institute | Theo Weening, global meat coordinator, Whole Foods Market | Nick Zigelbaum, livestock manager, Siena Farms, Sudbury, MA.

At 2:30 pm, Food on Film presents American Meat. This new documentary chronicles America’s grassroots revolution in sustainable meat production. The film, an official selection of Food Day 2011, explains our current industrial meat system and shows the feedlots and confinement operations, not through hidden cameras but through the eyes of the farmers who live and work there. Featuring legendary sustainable farmer Joel Salatin, American Meat frames the debate on whether sustainable meat production could ever meet the needs of the consuming public and showcases the people who could change everything about the way meat reaches the American table.

A discussion follows the screening about the sustainable meat industry and whether it can meet the needs of the world’s, and New England’s, growing population. Advance registration begins at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, February 25 (Wednesday, February 22 for Museum members) at

Admission is free thanks to the generosity of the Lowell Institute. Additional funding provided by the Richard S. Morse Fund.

Sunday, March 11, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Organic Berry Growing in the Home Garden

Want to learn how to grow the fruits your family loves? Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are delicious and nutritious, and beloved by kids of all ages. This Tower Hill Botanic Garden course on Sunday, March 11 from 1 – 4 will cover: variety selection, planting site recommendations, soil and nutrient needs planting, spacing, mulching, pest control strategies, structural considerations (containers, netting, frames, etc.) and pruning/thinning.

Patti Powers has been growing small fruits organically since 1978, first at her farm in Western Massachusetts, and for 26 years at Cheshire Garden in Winchester, NH. She studied Plant and Soil Science and Botany at UMass, and worked for 10 years as a researcher in the UMass Entomology Department studying insect behavior. THBG member price is $30, nonmembers $35. Register online at

Friday, March 23, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm – It’s a Small World – Macro-Digital Photography

Discover how to create stunning close-ups of flowers and other plant features in this one-day workshop with photographer David Kahn, at the Wellesley College Botanic Garden in Wellesley, Massachusetts.  Begin with a discussion of equipment, preparation, composition, lighting, tips and tricks, as well as see examples of what can be achieved.  Then practice macro techniques using a variety of settings in the Ferguson Greenhouses and Visitor Center.  This hands-on workshop is ideal for photographers who want to explore their own creative vision in the realm of macro photography as well as artists who want to record small details as a reference for future artwork.  Requirements: a digital camera and a good working knowledge of your camera, including being able to focus on a subject 6″ or less from the lens, set your camera’s exposure mode, and turn your flash on or off.  A more complete list of requirements will be available online at  Please contact the office if you are not sure if your equipment or experience is sufficient.  Please bring your lunch as David plans a special presentation over lunch hour.  The class, which runs from 10 – 4, will take place Friday, March 23 (snow date Friday, March 30), beginning at 9:30 am.  Friends of the Wellesley College Botanic Garden: $75, non-members $95.

Saturday, March 10, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Optimizing the Growing Season in Your Vegetable Garden

Work with Jessie Banhazl, owner of Green City Growers, a raised bed vegetable gardening company, to learn how to make the most of the New England growing season.  The Tower Hill Botanic Garden class will be held Saturday, March 10, from 10 – 12, and you may register online at  THBG member fee is $10, nonmembers $12.  Come prepared to chat about your garden and make a four season plan for producing food all year long.

Monday, March 5, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Mushrooms: Safe Foraging, Delicious Cooking

Have you ever wondered about safe ways to hunt for wild and exotic mushrooms, or wanted to spice up supermarket varieties like crimini or portabello? If so, join president of the Boston Mycological Club, Susan Goldhor, and renowned Boston-area chef Chris Douglass, on Monday, March 5, from 6 – 8 at the Boston University Demonstration Room, 808 Commonwealth Avenue,  to explore fascinating fungi. Goldhor has been collecting and eating wild mushrooms—without a single stomach ache—for more than 25 years, and she writes a regular column for the magazine Mushroom, the Journal of Wild Mushrooming. Chef Douglass is chef-owner of Dorchester’s beloved Tavolo and Ashmont Grill, as well as leading member of Chefs Collaborative and an active proponent and patron of local food producers. Together, Goldhor and Douglass will expand your knowledge of mushrooms and please your palate with mushroom dishes paired with wine. Cost $60.00.  Register online at, or telephone 617-353-9852.

Saturday, March 10, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – A Nursery Man’s Miscellany: New and Lesser Known, Garden-worthy Plants

Join nurseryman Ed Bowen of Opus Nursery on Saturday, March 10, from 1 – 3, at Berkshire Botanical Garden, for a look at the lesser known garden-worthy plants sure to enhance your garden. Ed’s philosophy suggests that while he appreciates the efficacy element of gardening, success depends on many factors beyond simple plant selection. This lecture will open your eyes to an eclectic range of choice plants to rejuvenate your perennial plant palette

Ed Bowen is a horticulturalist and owner of Opus Nursery, Little Compton, RI. Opus is a deliberately small nano-nursery actively collecting, propagating, and growing a diverse range of plants. Ed’s focus is the under-cultivated and garden worthy, and he specialize in unusual perennials. He employs strictly organic pest controls, and is striving to be peat free. The class is $22 for BBG members, $27 for non-members, and you may register on-line at  Photo below, copyright Sakonnet,  from an excellent website, reporting on gardens, horticulture, and botany.

Saturday, March 3, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm – Mass Audubon Birders Meeting – Birds, Baleen, and 20 Years of Marine Conservation

The Massachusetts Audubon Society will hold its 20th Annual Birders Meeting on Saturday, March 3, from 8 – 4 at The LaCava Center, Bentley University in Waltham. Registration fee, which includes lunch, is $63 for Mass Audubon members, $70 for non-members, and you may register online at  Sessions will include talks by Stephen Kress on Restoring Endangered Seabirds: Lessons from Puffins and Terns, Dave Wiley on Foraging Behavior of Humpback Whales in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Debi Shearwater on 35 Years of California Seabirding, and Shawn Carey and Jim Grady on Epic Journeys: Tracking the Migrations of Shorebirds in the Western Hemisphere. Additional breakout presentations will be given by Anne-Marie Runfola, Julie C. Ellis, Brian Harrington, and Joan Walsh.

Tuesday, March 13, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm – 2012 Community Tree Conference

The University of Massachusetts Extension, Massachusetts Department of Conservation, and the USDA Forest Service, will sponsor the 2012 Community Tree Conference on Tuesday, March 13, from 9 – 4 at Stockbridge Hall, UMass Amherst, 80 Campus Center Way, Amherst, Massachusetts.  This Conference is for arborists, foresters, tree wardens, sugar bush owners, and anyone who loves trees.  The conference will cover topics such  as New Research, New Insects (newly discovered, at any rate) & Diseases, A New Safety Standard, and A Reality Check.  The cost is $65 per person for first registration and $40 per person for each additional registration from the same organization.  Coffee break and a parking pass are included in the registration fee, but lunch is on your own.  For a registration form, or to register online, go to



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