Category Archives: lecture

Wednesday, September 2, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – A River Runs Again

In A River Runs Again: India’s Natural World in Crisis, from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan to the Farmlands of Karnataka, a lyrical and intimate tapestry of five stories dealing with life, loss, and survival in modern-day India, Meera Subramanian travels in search of the ordinary people and micro-enterprises redeeming India’s natural world. An engineer-turned-farmer brings organic food to Indian plates. Villagers revive a dead river. Well-intentioned cook stove designers persist on a quest for a smokeless fire. Biologists bring vultures back from the brink of extinction. And in Bihar, one of India’s most impoverished states, a bold young woman teaches young adolescents the fundamentals of sexual health and in the process, unleashes their untapped potential. In these true stories, Subramanian discovers renewed hope for a sustainable and prosperous future for India.

Meera Subramanian is a US-based journalist and Fulbright-Nehru senior research fellow who writes about culture, faith and the environment for newspapers and magazines around the world. Hear her on Wednesday, September 2 beginning at 7 pm at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge. For more information visit

Thursday, September 3, 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Simply Ancient Grains

Maria Speck will be back at Porter Square Books on Thursday, September 3 at 7 pm. Maria Speck makes cooking with ancient grains faster, more intuitive, and easier than ever before in this collection of recipes, most of which are gluten-free.

From black rice to red quinoa to golden Kamut berries, ancient grains are showing up on restaurant menus and store shelves in abundance. Yet in home kitchens, many fear that whole grains are too difficult and time-consuming to prepare. In Simply Ancient Grains, Maria makes cooking with these fascinating and nourishing staples easy and accessible with sumptuous recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Her family-friendly dishes are Mediterranean-inspired and delicious, such as Spicy Honey and Habanero Shrimp with Cherry Couscous; Farro Salad with Roasted Eggplant, Caramelized Onion, and Pine Nuts; and Red Rice Shakshuka with Feta Cheese. Maria’s tips and simplified approach take whole grain cooking to the next level by amplifying the flavor and enduring beauty of these nutritious grains.

Maria Speck is a food journalist and the author of the award-winning cookbook Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. She is currently an instructor in the professional program of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and has contributed to Gourmet, Saveur, Gastronomica, the Vegetarian Times, and Cooking Pleasures. Free. For more information visit

Wednesday, September 2, 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Women Healers of the World

On Wednesday, September 2 at 7:30 pm join award-winning herbalist and author Holly Bellebuono at the Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury for a vibrant presentation of Women Healers of the World: The Traditions, History & Geography of Herbal Medicine, from her new book. This colorful exploration of historic and contemporary women celebrates the contributions of researchers, scientists, midwives, conservationists and healers. Holly’s book will be available for signing after the event. $10/$5 for PHA members. $10 ($5 for PHA members.) Register at

Saturday, September 12, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon – Introduction to Italianate Gardens

Massachusetts Horticultural Society Garden Keeper Beth Gray-Nix will discuss the basics of Italianate Gardens on Saturday, September 12 in the Parkman Room of Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street in Wellesley – their history and their composition. Get your hands dirty as you work in the garden along with Beth. Ask your questions and discover why this garden is a destination.

Beth Gray-Nix is a retired Occupational Therapist. A favorite retirement gift was registration for the Master Gardener class of 2009. Her first volunteer role at Mass Hort was in Weezie’s Children’s Garden. In 2010, Beth became the first Garden Keeper for Mass Hort’s Italianate Garden, site of many family celebrations. Beth’s work in the garden maintains the Italianate as a picturesque destination garden. Beth recently received her WEED certification from Randy Protask.

Please attend dressed to get your hands a little dirty in the garden. Lecture Fee: Mass Hort Members $5, Non-Members $8. Register online at|427|430|433/introduction-to-italianate-gardens?filter_reset=1

Thursday, August 20, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – The Art of Growing Food

The Art of Growing Food presentation at Elm Bank on Thursday, August 20 from 7 – 8:30 will inspire you to elevate an ordinary vegetable garden to an extraordinary European inspired potager. Discover new techniques to grow food in elegant and artful ways. With gorgeous color photographs from her book, The Complete Kitchen Garden, Ellen will share six steps to easily creating a beautiful kitchen garden.

This lecture is ideal for new and experienced gardeners or anyone interested in innovative ideas and classic design. The ultimate goal is to learn new ways to design and plant a kitchen garden for productivity, low maintenance and pure pleasure, turning work into play!

Ellen Ecker Ogden is the author of five books, including her most recent, The Complete Kitchen Garden, and co-founder of The Cook’s Garden seed catalog. She writes many articles regularly featured in Garden Design, Eating Well, Organic Gardening, Country Gardens, The Boston Globe, The New York Times and Martha Stewart Living to name a few. She is also maintains an active website and blog. For more information about Ellen and her work, visit her website here:

Sign up here today to reserve your space!  Mass Hort Members $15, Non-Members $20.

Sunday, August 16, 11:00 am – 1:30 pm – Japanese Summer Picnic Bento and Book Signing

Learn to make a sumptuous bento box lunch for a summer picnic at a Sunday, August 16 class (11 – 1:30) at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston. In this hands-on workshop you will create the colorful rice salad called chirashizushi: a mélange of vegetables, and shrimp atop seasoned rice, Accompanying the rice will be a variety of tasty side dishes like seaweed salad, miso salmon and, for dessert, an icy treat called kakigori. We will use some of the garden’s Japanese herbs in the bento box. Debra Samuels, author of My Japanese Table, will include a short presentation on Japanese cuisine and culture. $55 for THBG members, nonmembers $65. Register online at

Friday, August 14 – Sunday, August 16 – NOFA Summer Conference

The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference takes place August 14-16, 2015 at UMass Amherst in Massachusetts.  This year’s main conference features 144 individual sessions with 27 different topic areas. Workshops address organic farming, gardening, land care, draft animals, homesteading, sustainability, nutrition, food politics, activism, and more. The theme for this year’s Conference is “Healing the Climate, Healing Ourselves: Regeneration through Microbiology”.

This year, among the five pre-conference intensives will be an all-day seminar on Friday, August 14, given by Natasha Campbell-McBride, on the healing potential of food for overcoming chronic illness. She will also give the first keynote on Friday night.

Our second keynoter, Ronnie Cummins will speak Saturday night on “Reversing Global Warming & Rural Poverty through Regenerative Organics”.

Each year, we offer educational and fun workshops designed for kids and teens where children bond with others throughout the Northeast while parents attend workshops and the plenaries.

This is an event for the whole family: Music, dance, films, games, animal rides, and meet-ups. Modest registration, inexpensive dorm rooms, camping and delicious, wholesome organic meals.  For complete details, visit

Thursday, July 30, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Seed Saving Basics

Bryan Connolly will speak at Elm Bank on Thursday, July 30 beginning at 7 pm in the Parkman Room on the techniques and benefits of seed saving. Connolly is author of the  Organic Seed Production and Saving: The Wisdom of Plant Heritage, which covers both the history and cycle of seed saving. This colorful presentation will give you the courage and knowledge to try seed saving.  Lecture Fee: Mass Hort Members $10, Non-Members $15. Register on line at

Wednesday, July 22, 7:00 pm – What a Plant Knows

Tower Hill Botanic Garden will host Professor Daniel Chamovitz of Tel Aviv University on Wednesday, July 22 from 7 – 8 pm for a lecture and book signing. Highlighting the latest in plant science, renowned biologist Professor Daniel Chamovitz takes us into the lives of different types of plants and draws parallels with human senses to reveal that we have more in common with sunflowers and oak trees than we realize. What a Plant Knows was listed as one of the Top 10 Science Books on Amazon and has been featured on the BBC, NPR, and CBS. Tower Hill members $15, nonmembers $25. Register online at

Wednesday, July 22, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, and Thursday, July 23, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm – The Seventh Annual Nantucket Garden Festival

The 7th Annual Nantucket Garden Festival highlights the unique and beautiful garden ecosystems on Nantucket and focuses on the importance of sustainability, conservation and gardening ethics for the long-term health of the island. Scheduled for July 22nd & 23rd, the festival celebrates gardening through creative workshops, exquisite garden tours, children’s workshops, family activities and an opening night party. For a complete listing of walking tours, workshops, book signings, and teas, visit Prices vary by event.

Friday, July 24, 7:00 pm – Unprocessed

In the tradition of Michael Pollan’s bestselling In Defense of Food comes this remarkable chronicle, from a founding editor of Edible Baja Arizona, of a young woman’s year-long journey of eating only whole, unprocessed foods–intertwined with a journalistic exploration of what “unprocessed” really means, why it matters, and how to afford it.

In January of 2012, Megan Kimble was a twenty-six-year-old living in a small apartment without even a garden plot to her name. But she cared about where food came from, how it was made, and what it did to her body: so she decided to go an entire year without eating processed foods. Unprocessed is the narrative of Megan’s extraordinary year, in which she milled wheat, extracted salt from the sea, milked a goat, slaughtered a sheep, and more–all while earning an income that fell well below the federal poverty line.

What makes a food processed? As Megan would soon realize, the answer to that question went far beyond cutting out snacks and sodas, and became a fascinating journey through America’s food system, past and present. She learned how wheat became white; how fresh produce was globalized and animals industrialized. But she also discovered that in daily life, as she attempted to balance her project with a normal social life–which included dating–the question of what made a food processed was inextricably tied to gender and economy, politics and money, work and play.

Backed by extensive research and wide-ranging interviews–and including tips on how to ditch processed food and transition to a real-food lifestyle–Unprocessed offers provocative insights not only on the process of food, but also the processes that shape our habits, communities, and day-to-day lives.

Megan Kimble is a food writer living in Tucson, Arizona, and the managing editor of Edible Baja Arizona, a local foods magazine serving Tucson and the borderlands. She will appear at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge, on Friday, July 24 at 7 pm for a talk and book signing. For more information visit

Wednesday, July 22, 7:30 pm – Longwood Gardens: Every Place Tells a Story

The Annual Lisina and Frank W. Hoch Lecture will take place at the Polly Hill Arboretum, 809 State Road, West Tisbury, on Wednesday, July 22 at 7:30 pm, sponsored by Middletown Nursery.  At the heart of Longwood Gardens is its story about people, place, and the pleasures of a beautiful garden. Join Paul B. Redman, Longwood’s visionary executive director, as he tells the story of this great garden of the world, from its legacy and horticultural grandeur to its focus on research, education, and the arts. Hear about what millions of guests to Longwood see and learn about an interesting historical connection with the Polly Hill Arboretum. $10/$5 for PHA members. For more information visit or call 508-693-9426.

Saturday, July 18, 10:00 am – Tough Plants for Tough Times

Long days of hot, intense summer heat can stress many garden selections. Join Mount Auburn Cemetery Visitor Services Assistant Jim Gorman on Saturday, July 18 at 10 am for this walk to look at low-maintenance, tough perennials. Take home some garden planting ideas. $7 for Friends of Mt. Auburn, $12 for nonmembers. Register at Funding for programs has been provided in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Photo of the Willow Pond at Mount Auburn from

Saturday, July 11 & Sunday, July 12, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm – Butterfly and Caterpillar Weekend

On Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12, meet an amazing array of native New England caterpillars in various stages of development, and learn more about caterpillars and butterflies through live presentations and interpretations throughout the Museum of Science.

On Saturday and Sunday from 10 – 3 there will be a Caterpillar Lab. This one-of-a-kind experience is a celebration of the impressive diversity of New England caterpillars. Each individual display includes a variety of caterpillars, in various stages of development and on their local host plants. With no glass between you and the displays, you can experience caterpillars up close — eating, pooping, camouflaging, or defending themselves with clever adaptations such as warning coloration, inflatable horns, strange smells, and squeaking mandibles.

From 1 – 3 on both days you may Create Your Own Butterfly Habitat. With your paid admission to the Butterfly Garden, learn how to create and plant your own butterfly habitat. We’ll discuss the importance of using native plantings and how to get your garden started. Get your hands dirty planting native seeds and take them home to help start attracting butterflies!

On Saturday at 11:30 hear Dr. Gerard Talavera from Harvard University describe the amazing migration of the Painted Lady butterflies, Vanessa cardui. Learn more about the challenging task of studying this beautiful insect, which is found on five continents. Also on Saturday, at 12:30, Dr. Naomi Pierce, curator of Lepidoptera at Harvard University, will introduce you to the insect-eating predators and their nourishing ant prey. Dave Champlin from the University of Maine unravels the amazing transformation of how the butterfly gets its wings on Sunday at 11:30, and finally, on Sunday at 12:30, Norah Warchola from Tufts University discusses the fascinating relationship between an endangered species of caterpillar and the ants that protect it from predators in exchange for a sugary bribe.

Also on Saturday and Sunday there will be presentations on Gardening for Butterflies at 1:30 in the Shapiro Family Science Live! Stage, Green Wing, Lower Level. As a bonus, The Secret Lives of Fireflies will be featured both days at 3:30 pm. Watching fireflies is a special part of warm summer nights in New England. We watch and we enjoy, but do we really know what they are saying? This program sheds a little light on the secret lives of fireflies. You’ll also learn how you can participate in a scientific research effort to find out if these magical insects are disappearing from our landscape, and if so, why and what can be done about it. Solitary Bees: The Other Bees will be discussed at 5:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Honey bees are in decline. Since they are responsible for pollinating one third of our food crops, their disappearance threatens our food supply. While scientists try to find out why and how to reverse this trend, our crops still need to be pollinated. Find out how you can help by becoming a “solitary beekeeper.”

While you are at the Museum, don’t miss Flight of the Butterflies at the Mugar Omni Theater each day at 1 pm. Weighing less than a penny, the monarch butterfly makes one of the longest migrations on Earth. Follow this perilous journey and join hundreds of millions of real butterflies in the remote mountain peaks of Mexico, with breathtaking cinematography from an award-winning team. Be captivated by the true, compelling story of an intrepid scientist’s 40-year search to find the monarchs’ secret hideaway. Purchase of separate timed ticket required for Omni film. You may buy these tickets on line at

Thursday, July 16, 7:30 pm – Hydrangeas Demystified

On Thursday, July 16 at 7:30 pm join Tim Wood, the Proven Winners Plant Hunter from Spring Meadows Nursery, as he takes you around the world to look at eight beautiful and diverse species of hydrangea. Find out which are best for your garden, how to grow them and meet the breeders that developed the best new selections. Tim will take the mystery out of growing hydrangeas; you’ll learn how to get the best blooms, how to prune and how to change the flower color. The program will be held at the Polly Hill Arboretum, 809 State Road in West Tisbury. $10/$5 for PHA members. For more information visit or call 508-693-9426.

Thursday, September 17 – Monday, September 21 – American Dahlia Society Centennial Show

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding in 1915, the American Dahlia Society will hold a special Centennial Show September 17 – 21 in Hempstead, New York.  Hosted by the Mid Island Dahlia Society, this event includes tours of the dahlia garden at Planting Fields Arboretum as well as tours of private gardens, dahlia competitions, and educational symposium.  Three speakers sponsored by the American Horticultural Society will present: Hanu Pappu, head of the Dahlia Research Project at Washington State University, Allan M. Armitage, and Keith Hammett, ornamental plant breeder from New Zealand.  Register at by August 1.

Saturday, July 11, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, and Sunday, July 12, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm – 56th Annual Lily Show

On July 11 and 12, the Lily Show, presented by the New England Lily Society, returns to Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, for its 56th annual exhibit. The show – which will include hundreds of flowers and varieties such as Asiatic, Canadense, Longiflorum, Trumpet Lily, hybrid American species, and the giant Orientpets – will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Attendees can stop by several educational workshops, including Growing Lilies, Pests and Progress on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Growing Lilies Without Chemicals on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.  Free with admission to Tower Hill.  For more information visit

Tuesday, September 22 – Friday, September 25 – 2015 International Master Gardener Conference

Join International Master Gardeners for the 2015 conference, Horticultural Horizons in the Heartland, on Tuesday, September 22 through Friday, September 25, at the Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Hear three keynote speakers, J. Schwanke on A Life Arranged Around Flowers, Mark Hirsch on That Tree, and Gary Oppenheimer on Ending the Waste of Food – From the Ground Up.  Travel through Nebraska and Iowa on ten terrific tours, including Missouri to the Foothills of the Rockies, Along the Oregon Trail, Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Missouri to Mississippi – A ‘Cruise’ from River to River.  Learn with Extension Master Gardeners from the United States, Canada, and South Korea in 81 available workshops.  For complete information visit Please note the conference coincides with Yom Kippur.

Wednesday, July 29 – Sunday, August 2 – Begonia Revolution New England 2015

The American Begonia Society’s 2015 Annual Convention will take place at The Verve Crowne Plaza Boston-Natick, 1360 Worcester Road in Natick, Wednesday, July 29 – Sunday, August 12.  A variety of tours will be available to participants. On Wednesday, see the Harvard Glass Flowers and Marine Life Collection at the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the greenhouses of the Lyman Estate in Waltham. Thursday, travel to Logee’s Greenhouses in Danielson, Connecticut and the Roger Williams Botanical Center in Providence.  Friday features a tour of Tower Hill Botanic Garden.  In addition to travels, hear Mike Flaherty speak on Begonias of the Rich & Famous, Drew Norris on Growing Begonias Like African Violets, Randy Montes Kerr on Species Begonias for Every Home, Pablo Jourdan on Germplasm Research Update, Mark Tebbitt on Begonias of Andean South America, and Lloyd Traven on How to Bring Begonias to Market. Of course there will be a Judged Plant Show, a Boutique, and Plant Sales in addition to Luncheons and a Seafood Bake.  Complete information on registration and programs is available at 

If you wish to stay at the hotel, there are special room rates ($115 per night, plus taxes) if you book by June 29.

Thursday, June 25, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Historic Landscape Stewardship

This Massachusetts Horticultural Society introductory talk on Thursday, June 25, from 7 – 8:30 in the Parkman Room at Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street in Wellesley, provides an overview of cultural landscapes: what they are, why they’re important, fundamental concepts and the process of cultural landscape preservation, with an emphasis on examples from the Northeastern United States.

Chris Beagan is a historical landscape architect with the National Park Service, Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, in Boston. He works to strengthen research, planning and stewardship of cultural landscapes through technical assistance and the development of cultural landscape inventories and reports. His recent publications include cultural landscape reports for Hampton National Historic Site, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum (below), and Upper Fort Mason. His professional interests include sustainability in cultural landscape management and interpreting cultural landscapes through digital media.

Lecture Fee: Mass Hort Members $10, Non-Members $15. Pay at the door or register online at|427|433/historic-landscape-stewardship?filter_reset=1

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