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Monday, April 30 – Thursday, May 10 – National Parks of the Southwest

Join a small active group in spring of 2018 (April 30 – May 10) for a land tour of the National Parks of the Southwest. The Southwest is a land of scenes epic in scope. Begin in Tucson at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, a 98-acre tribute to the natural world comprising a zoo, botanical garden, natural history museum, aquarium, and art gallery. Encounter Sedona, famed for its towering red sandstone formations, on an open-air jeep tour. Visit the Grand Canyon, often considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world. Embark on a rafting excursion on the smooth waters of the Colorado River before traveling onto Navajo land to discover Upper Antelope Canyon. In southern Utah, hike in Bryce Canyon National Park, then spend a day amid the wondrous Zion National Park, one of the most diverse national parks in the United States. Study leader Fran Ulmer, Chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, will discuss America’s National Parks: Brief history and current issues; Western Water Wars: How does water scarcity and state laws complicate life in the West; and The Interconnectivity between American Indian Reservations: Culture and History. Pricing starts from $4,495 per person land only / $4,795 per person including air. Registration form is available online at www.alumni.harvard.edu, or call 800-422-1636 or 617-496-0806.


Friday, August 25, 7:00 pm – The Wildcrafted Cocktail

Meet the natural lovechild of the popular local-foods movement and craft cocktail scene. It’s here to show you just how easy it is to make delicious, one-of-a-kind mixed drinks with common flowers, berries, roots, and leaves that you can find along roadsides or in your backyard. Foraging expert Ellen Zachos gets the party started with recipes for more than 50 garnishes, syrups, infusions, juices, and bitters, including Quick Pickled Daylily Buds, Rose Hip Syrup, and Chanterelle-infused Rum. You’ll then incorporate your handcrafted components into 45 surprising and delightful cocktails, such as Stinger in the Rye, Don’t Sass Me, and Tree-tini. This lecture and book signing will take place at 7 pm on Friday, August 25 at Porter Square Books, 25 White Street in Cambridge. For more information visit http://www.portersquarebooks.com/event/ellen-zachos-wildcrafted-cocktail


Thursday, August 24, 7:00 pm – Fiery Ferments

The authors of the best-selling Fermented Vegetables are back at Porter Square Books on Thursday, August 24 at 7 pm, and this time they’ve brought the heat with them. Whet your appetite with more than 60 recipes for hot sauces, mustards, pickles, chutneys, relishes, and kimchis from around the globe. Chiles take the spotlight, with recipes such as Thai Pepper Mint Cilantro Paste, Aleppo Za’atar Pomegranate Sauce, and Mango Plantain Habanero Ferment, but other traditional spices like horseradish, ginger, and peppercorns also make cameo appearances. Dozens of additional recipes for breakfast foods, snacks, entrees, and beverages highlight the many uses for hot ferments.

Kirsten K. Shockey and Christopher Shockey got their start in fermenting foods with their farmstead food company, where they created more than 40 varieties of cultured vegetables and krauts. Their current focus is on teaching the art of fermenting vegetables to others through classes and workshops at their farm. They live on a 40-acre hillside homestead in the Applegate Valley of southern Oregon. Porter Square Books is located at 25 White Street in Cambridge. More information at http://www.portersquarebooks.com/event/kirsten-shockey-fiery-ferments


Saturday, August 26 & Sunday, August 27, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Bee Weekend

On August 26 and 27, enjoy exhibits, demonstrations, honey tastings, hands-on activities, games and much more as visitors to Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, learn about the fascinating world of bees and why they are important for our gardens. Free with admission. Interactive Displays feature:

Pollinate New England, NE Wildflower Society: Learn to plant diverse, systemic pesticide-free native plants that support a wide variety of pollinators throughout their life cycles.
Master Gardeners from the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association: Get answers to your gardening questions and tips for bee and pollinator friendly gardening.
Blossoms by Bees: Learn about their mission to revitalize and protect the native flora population for pollinators through educational events and habitat conservation.
Worcester County Beekeepers: The Worcester County Beekeepers Association has been a leader in beekeeping education for over one hundred years. They are the oldest county beekeeping organization in the United States, with members from all over New England. Through their beekeeping school, quarterly newsletters, monthly meetings and outreach activities, the club provides ongoing education for our members. Get more information at their Educational table.
Brilliant Botany: Geared toward kids and families. Brilliant Botany is a resource for anyone interested in plants, and a means for building community. Brilliant Botany’s web content has been used by teachers, professors, and the general public to build knowledge about the amazing natural world that surrounds us. https://www.brilliantbotany.com/about/
Crafts/Games: Enjoy bee-themed crafts and games about pollination in the garden.
Scavenger Hunt: Children and visitors of all ages can enjoy exploring our grounds with a pollination-themed scavenger hunt.
Collaborative Art Project: Each visitor will be able to add to our growing beehive! Decorate your own honeycomb cell to see what we can create together.
Photo Booth
Honey Tasting

There will be lectures on pollinator-friendly gardening along with workshops on late summer containers and seed saving, plus extraction demos and a Bee Parade. Photo by jsmcelvery. For complete information visit www.towerhillbg.org.


Friday, September 8, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm – Northeast Region Perennial Plant Symposium

On Friday, September 8, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Perennial Plant Association are teaming up to offer a day-long symposium entitled “Perennial Inspirations & Concepts.” The symposium is open to all levels of gardeners and professionals. Five of the best writers and creative plantsmen from across the country will be there, and you’re invited to listen, learn and ask questions. Continuing Education Units (CEU)s available.

This Year’s Roster of Presenters Includes:

Karen Bussolini, Garden Writer and Coach

Rebecca Lindenmeyr, Garden Designer and Owner of Linden L.A.N.D. Group

Barbara Pierson, Nursery Manager at White Flower Farm

Kathy Tracey, Garden Writer Designer at Avant Gardens

The Symposium will be held at The Gardens at Elm Bank in Wellesley. Register before August 31: $99; Register on or after September 1: $125. Must pre-register at www.masshort.org. Price Includes lunch. Image from www.avantgardensne.com.


Wednesday, August 16, 5:30 pm – Landscaping in Tune with Nature

Many of us wish to create a garden that works with nature—not one that fights against it! In this Polly Hill Arboretum presentation on Wednesday, August 16 at 5:30 pm, Dr. Art Cameron, director of the Michigan State University Horticulture Gardens, will share strategies for creating a natural aesthetic in your landscape. Learn which native and exotic plants are tough, but not weedy; beautiful, but not fussy. Art will discuss some of his favorite plants, including a wide assortment of native and non-native herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses suitable for diverse locations. He will also give ideas on how to blend these plants together to design landscapes that are in tune with nature. Learn to create a new look in your garden using some of these great plants. $10 / $5 for PHA members. Sponsored by SBS: The Grain Store. For more information visit www.pollyhillarboretum.org.


Thursday, October 5 – Saturday, October 7 – America in Bloom National Symposium

The 2017 America in Bloom National Symposium is coming to New England for the first time this October.  The Town of Holliston will host the event October 5 – 7, and attendees from out of state will lodge at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center.

The conference kicks off with an East Coast Garden Tour on Thursday, October 5 from 10 – 4, advance registration required. If you want to experience horticultural heritage in the Boston area at its best, this tour is for you! We’ll start by visiting one of the oldest and finest garden centers in the Boston area, Weston Nurseries. Known for offering exceptional plants and garden ideas, this nursery in Hopkinton, MA also has an amazing railroad garden. After touring the garden center we’ll enjoy lunch hosted by Peter Mezitt, fourth generation nursery owner. Then we will head to The Gardens at Elm Bank in Wellesley, MA, headquarters of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here we will enjoy special tours of 12 display gardens, including an historic Olmsted Italianate Garden as well as the Bressingham Garden designed by English nurseryman Adrian Bloom. The last stop on the tour is to Wellesley College, rated one of the most beautiful small college campuses in the country. We will have a special tour of their botanic garden which now focuses on the fundamental role of plants in nature and culture. The cost is $50 and includes lunch. Tour is limited to 50 people so register early.

If you prefer, take a tour of the Urban Farming Institute from 1 – 4. If you believe in sourcing local, fresh food, don’t miss this tour! The Urban Farming Institute is a brand-new concept in the historically-diverse Roxbury/Dorchester/Mattapan neighborhoods of Boston. The Institute’s mission is to develop and promote urban farming as a commercial sector within the city and to create green collar jobs for residents. It is also committed to engaging its urban community in building a healthier and more locally-based food system. The Fowler-Clark-Epstein Farm, currently under reconstruction, is becoming the center for celebrating the agricultural heritage of the Boston area as well as the cultural and historic heritage of this unique community. On this tour, you will see first-hand the work the Institute is doing to enable urban farming through farm creation, farmer training, public education, and policy change, and how the Institute brings people in urban neighborhoods closer to food production. Your tour leader is Barbara Knecht, partner in “Strategies for Cities.” Barbara has brought 30 years of developing urban land for public good and a love of all things edible to her work developing urban farm sites. The cost is $35. Tour is limited to 11 people so register early.

Prior to that evening’s silent auction and cocktail reception there will be a Mayor and Elected Leaders Reception, and later, a Celebration Dinner.

The Symposium begins in earnest on Friday, with a Keynote Presentation by Ken Kruckemeyer, board member of LivableStreets Alliance and partner in “Strategies for Cities.” Ken specializes in the design of civil infrastructure focusing in pedestrian and bicycle corridors as well as roadway and bridge design. Historic preservation has become a fundamental tool for strengthening communities. When understood as a combination of physical and human attributes, it can provide a framework for communities to build on their assets and improve health, affordability, prosperity, and well-being. Historic preservation can make it possible to achieve a wide range of public goals, including small business incubation, affordable housing, sustainable development, neighborhood renewal, heritage tourism, and economic development. By examples primarily drawn from his Boston experience, Ken will address the importance of historic preservation and the role that walkable corridors play in an effective immersion in the historic character of a community.

Friday brings a host of panel presentations such as Creating a Sense of Place Downtown, and a How-To Guide to Improving Your Town Through Horticulture. Afternoon and evening tours of the Freedom Trail and the Rose Kennedy Greenway, plus Mount Auburn Cemetery, are on offer.

On Saturday the Showcase of Innovation continues, and America in Bloom President Katy Moss Warner will take a brief look at collective successes in her morning Keynote Speech. A lunch and Holliston Walking Tour round out the afternoon, and that evening, the America in Bloom Awards Banquet will take place.

Full registration is $345, and by registering online at http://www.americainbloom.org/Symposium/Registration.aspx before September 8 you will receive a discount. You may also call 614-453-0744, or email aib@AmericainBloom.org.


Saturday, August 19, 10:00 am – Root Cellars, Then and Now

An upcoming Old Sturbridge Village Garden Thyme program, to be held Saturday, August 19 at 10:00 am, is a members only event and should encourage our readers to join the organization now, in order to attend this fascinating lecture on Root Cellars, Then and Now. The root cellar was an integral part of the 19th century home that is making a comeback in the 21st century. Learn how root cellars work and some suggestions to bring modern equivalents into your home to preserve your garden harvest.

Garden Thyme programs are held on the third Saturday of each month and are FREE for members of Old Sturbridge Village. Led by Village horticultural and agricultural staff, these programs and workshops are held at various sites and deal with a variety of plant-related themes and topics. Participants gather at the Visitor Center and are led to the appropriate setting. Membership begins at $65 annually, and you may learn more at https://www.osv.org/members


Wednesday, August 16, 7:30 pm – Agroforestry: From Global Strategies to Wright-Locke Farm

In the spirit of inspiring and facilitating conversation in a time where it is crucial that we stay informed about the world around us, the staff of Wright-Locke Farm invites you to their 2017 Speaker Series. Join them monthly in the beautiful 1827 Barn in Winchester for an evening of discovery and discussion. The Speaker Series is free and open to the public. They kindly ask you to RSVP by emailing kkneeland@wlfarm.org so they can save you a seat.

Each presentation will begin at 7:30PM and allow for a follow-up Q & A session. Working closely with the farm this past year, principal and head designer at AppleSeed Permaculture LLC, Connor Stedman, M.S., will unveil the newly developed Master Plan for the pasture and forest lands of the Farm and share how agroforestry can benefit farms and communities throughout New England in the years to come. The lecture will take place Wednesday, August 16.


Friday, August 11 – Sunday, August 13 – NOFA Summer Conference

NOFA is grateful to have Dr. Don Huber and Michael Phillips as 2017’s keynote speakers at the NOFA Summer Conference, to be held August 11 – 13 at Hampshire College in Amherst. We are also excited to host an amazing collection of organic minded professionals that will enliven our potential to create robust, healthy food systems that provide real food for all. Our three-day conference offers a wide-range of seminars, workshops and other educational opportunities. Immerse yourself in a community of like-minded practitioners and curious learners eager to share inspiration and ideas for organic food, farming, health, activism, and beyond.

From generations of past cultures that established the sustainable production systems upon which we base our modernized techniques, to our immediate relationship with neighbors and the global community of conscious minded producers and consumers, to the microbial life that supports our bodies and our environment, we exist within a vast web of interconnectedness.

Simply put, we are better together. We are stronger together. Inseparable, in fact, from each other and the systems that support our lives and our food. If we work to ensure a harmonious relationship with ecological and social systems, we can cultivate fair and thriving production and consumer models to live within.

Join us to build upon this interconnectedness – from microbial to human communities – on August 11-13! Registration prices range from $70 – $250. Check all the options and register at http://nofasummerconference.org/