Sunday, November 2 – Saturday, November 8 – Volunteer Gardening Trip to Ecuador

Volunteer in a native tree nursery, work with kids in a school garden, and experience the culture and biome of highland Ecuador with the Tandana Foundation.

When: Arrive in Quito on the night of Saturday, November 2; Leave Ecuador on the night of Saturday, November 8, and arrive back in the U.S. on Sunday, November 9, 2014.

Where: In the Andean highlands outside of Otavalo, Ecuador. Lodging will be at La Posada del Quinde in Otavalo; a lovely inn with great food, free wi-fi service and friendly staff. Ecuador is a beautiful country on the equator in South America that is on the Eastern time zone and uses U.S. dollars. Spanish is the major language. Tandana will provide group coordinators who are fluent in Spanish. The weather should be in the 70’s during the day and quite cool at night.

Why: To help 23 communities who have joined together and created an operating nursery to raise native trees to plant in their watersheds and protect their water supplies. We will be collecting seedlings, weeding, planting trees, etc. The nursery is run by a dedicated plant-lover, Matias Perugachi. You can see a video of him on the Tandana Foundation blog. We will also help children with their school garden and teach them a garden-related lesson. And, we will learn about another culture and biome.

Cost: $1,200 double occupancy, $100 additional for single occupancy. Plus: airfare and personal expenses. The trip fee covers all the basic expenses (food, lodging, transportation, activities) from when you land at the Quito airport until we drop you off there.

How to sign up: Please register by filling out our online registration form:  Send a check made out to the Tandana Foundation for $1200 (double occupancy) or $1300 (single occupancy).  The mailing address is 2933 Lower Bellbrook Road, Spring Valley, OH 45370.

Tentative itinerary:

Saturday: arrive in the evening.
Sunday: orientation and visit the world-famous Otavalo market.
Monday: help in a minga, [community work party] planting trees in one of the communities. In the afternoon, participate in a traditional cooking class and learn about the plants cultivated by local families.

Tuesday: collect seedlings for the tree nursery. In the afternoon, tour a rose plantation.

Wednesday: work all day at the tree nursery, potting the seedlings we collected, weeding, and trimming roots.

Thursday: work at the tree nursery most of the day, and then visit Cuicocha volcanic lake (photo below.)

Friday: teach a lesson about plants to school children and help them work in their school garden. In the afternoon, visit a master weaver.

Saturday: visit the high-altitude páramo to see another biome, have a celebratory dinner at a hacienda, then head back to Quito and fly out at night.

Sunday, February 16, 6:30 pm – Cultures of China, Festival of Spring

“Cultures of China, Festival of Spring” made its Boston debut in 2009,winning critical acclaim throughout the community. In 2014, “Cultures of China, Festival of Spring” returns to the city in celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Horse with audiences in Boston and the New England area. This feast of traditional arts includes Chinese folk songs presented by famous singers Yang Hongji, Dong Wenhua, Cai Guoqing, Liu yanyan; Peking Opera performed by artists Yu Kuizhi, Li Shengsu; Chinese folk dances presented by the Nanjing Battlefront Culture Troupe and traditional Chinese instrument Huqin solo by Huqin performer Yang Jiqiang, etc. The event begins at 6:30 pm at John Hancock Hall, 180 Berkeley Street, Boston, and discount parking is available at the garage at 100 Clarendon. Tickets are available from $30 – $108, and you may buy them online at, or at the Asian Cultural Center, 1035 Cambridge Street, Suite 27, Cambridge, MA, the Boston Bookshop at 214 Lincoln Street, Boston, or at Sunshine Travel in Chinatown, 12 Tyler Street, Boston. Visit for more information.

Wednesday, February 5, 7:00 pm – Wildness in Our Midst: The Middlesex Fells

The Middlesex Fells Reservation has an impressive diversity of 30 different habitat types that spring from its unique geology, topography, hydrology, soil, and climate. These habitats support a rich biodiversity that is unusual for a metropolitan setting. Learn about the flora and how these local plant communities can enlighten the design of our own gardens.

Dr. Bryan Hamlin is the lead author of a nine-year study of the Fells’ flora, and is President of the New England Botanical Club. Hear him speak on Wednesday, February 5 at 7 pm at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge. The lecture is free and open to the public.  Photo from

Saturday, February 8, 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm – Dwarf Conifer and Juniper Collections via Snowshoes

Join Jen Kettell on Saturday, February 8 at 12:30 pm for a tromp through the dwarf conifer and juniper collections of the Arnold Arboretum on snowshoe. She will help you identify common conifers, share the stories behind the plants, impart the history of the two collections, and describe the microclimate in this part of the Arnold Arboretum.

Bring your own snowshoes, a travel mug for hot cocoa after the hike, and dress warmly! This tour is not suitable for cross-country skis. Sunglasses are recommended. Space is limited. Photo from $25 for Arnold Arboretum members, $35 for nonmembers. Sign up by calling 617-384-5277, or visit DayPlannerDate=2/8/2014.

Wednesday, March 12 – Sunday, March 16 – Boston Flower & Garden Show – Romance in the Garden

Distinguished garden writers, renowned landscape professionals, master gardeners, local chefs and the Boston Flower & Garden Show’s talented exhibitors will share their expertise at the 2014 Boston Flower & Garden Show in a full program of daily lectures, how-to demos, floral arranging workshops, children’s activities and cooking demonstrations.  The show will take place Wednesday through Sunday, March 12 – 16, at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.

From America’s fascination with the English Garden to “how to” tips on saving money (and the Earth) by using local flowers in your wedding bouquet, many of the show’s programs will take their inspiration from this year’s theme, Romance in the Garden. And some of the sessions will cover topics we know our visitors just can’t get enough of: vegetable gardening, peonies, bonsai, roses, Ikebana, and ornamental grasses.

Special thanks to the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Landscape Institute at Boston Architectural College, which have taken on the presentation of five lectures each. The Boston Flower & Garden Show is proud of its affiliation with these fine horticultural organizations and we look forward to presenting a showcase of their expertise. For a full schedule of activities, hours, and exhibitors, visit Image from

Saturday, February 8, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – From Cacao to Chocolate with Taza

On Saturday, February 8, from 1 – 3 at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, join Taza Chocolate and Appleton Farms as they lead you through the journey from cacao bean to delicious chocolate bar. Suhayl Ramirez, Events and Outreach Coordinator for Taza Chocolate, will start your journey at the Mayan and Aztec origins of Theobroma Cacao and bring you right to the American craft chocolate being ground by stone right in Somerville, Massachusetts. All the while, participants will learn about and taste many different facets of chocolate, from the bean to the bar. Participants will help prepare and enjoy their very own traditional taza de chocolate (sumptuous Mexican hot chocolate) to complete their chocolate experience. Chef Jennifer Knight will demo a chocolate treat to pair with the Mexican hot chocolate.

This event is part of the Appleton Cooks! program of the Trustees of Reservations.  TOR members $40, nonmembers $45.  To register, visit or call 978-356-5728, x 12.

Saturday, February 1, 2:00 pm – Discovering Thoreau the Geologist

Henry David Thoreau’s contributions to botany are well documented. Far less known was his passion for the physical sciences, especially geology. Robert Thorson’s new book, Walden’s Shore, is the first-ever book to focus on Thoreau the geoscientist, from his studies of local rocks and minerals to his interpretation of how Walden Pond and the Concord landscape were created.  Dr. Thorson, Professor of Geology at University of Connecticut will speak on Discovering Thoreau the Geologist at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Oxford Street, Cambridge, on Saturday, February 1, at 2 pm, and will sign copies of his book.

Regular museum admission rates apply. Free event parking in the 52 Oxford Street Garage.  For more information visit,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Saturday, February 1, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm – Earth Rocks! A Family Festival

Explore our amazing planet from the inside out at the Harvard Museum of Natural History on Saturday, February 1, from 9 – 4! Discover how volcanoes and other earth processes help us understand Earth’s structure. Examine rocks, minerals, fossils, and meteorites from the museum’s collections. Meet Harvard paleontologist Anjan Bhullar, interact with members of the Boston Mineral Club, and learn about Harvard research. Look back in time and peer deep inside the earth with demonstrations, presentations, and hands-on activities for all ages. Regular museum admission rates apply. Free event parking is available in the 52 Oxford Street Garage the day of the event. For more information visit

Tuesday, February 4, 7:15 pm – Get Ready for Spring

February is the perfect time to plan new gardens, research plants, and get organized for the spring planting season. This Walnut Hill Garden Club presentation with Suzanne Mahler on Tuesday, February 4, beginning at 7:15 pm, will cover spring pruning, garden themes, transplanting trees and shrubs, and dividing perennials, plus a Q & A session. In-club expert Suzanne is an avid gardener, photographer and lecturer who has been developing the 1.5-acre property surrounding her home in Hanover for more than 30 years. Her weekly gardening column ‘Green Thumbs Up’ has appeared in GateHouse Media New England newspapers for more than a decade. She is a past president of the New England Daylily Society, an overseer for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and is employed at a local garden center. Come with questions about your gardening problems and get advice from an expert. The program will be held at the Phoenix Lodge, 133 Broadway, Hanover, Massachusetts.

Valley Green Feast – Local, Organic Food Biked to Your Door in Boston!

Residents of Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Chinatown/Leather District, Dorchester, Downtown, Fenway-Kenmore, Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill, North End, Roxbury, South Boston, South End, and the West End can enjoy food deliveries at a cost of $23 and up.

Valley Green Feast, Western Mass’ trusted local, organic food delivery service is offering $5 off their first order with the coupon code, VGFBOS.
Orders will be delivered by bike thanks to our co-op partners, Boston Collective Delivery, from their hub on Channel St. Enjoy customized produce baskets in different sizes, meat, cheese, yogurt, baked good and so much more biked right to your door.  For complete details visit Image of cooperative members from

Thursday, January 30, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – BYO Container Terrarium Class

Lindsey Swett, owner of niche urban garden supply, located at 619 Tremont Street in the South End, will hold a BYO Container Terrarium Class on Thursday, January 30, from 7 – 9 pm.  Bring in that glass vase that’s been collecting dust on your shelf, or grab one there.  The class will cover the basics of constructing terrariums.  The $50 fee will cover all materials except for the plants and vase if you need to buy one.  To register, visit, or call 857-753-4294.  Image courtesy of Improper Bostonian.

Sunday, February 2, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Tarts, Three Ways

On Sunday, February 2, from 1 – 4, Jackie King, co-owner of A&J King Artisan Bakers in Salem, will show you the basics of tart production and assembly using three distinct methods. Based on the recipes and techniques outlined in her new book, Baking by Hand, participants will create three tarts from start to finish—to bring home or eat right away! This class is perfect for the aspiring pastry chef, sweet lover, or home cook. Join us for this inspiring workshop, then stop by the Appleton Farms Dairy Store to pick up your own copy of Baking by Hand.

This event is part of the Appleton Cooks! program at Appleton Farms in Ipswich. Cost – Trustees of Reservations members $75, nonmembers $85. To register, and for directions, visit, or call 978-356-5728, x 12.

Remembering Debbie Roberts

Debbie Roberts Program

The Garden Club of the Back Bay lost one of its most active members on January 15, 2014, when Debbie Roberts passed away suddenly while on vacation with her husband Bill in Hanoi, Vietnam.  Debbie, a resident of Beacon Street and Nantucket, served as Corresponding Secretary of the Club, and was a volunteer for the annual Wreath Project and for the Twilight Garden Party.  In addition to her husband, she leaves behind her son Brian and his wife Becky, her son Tyler and his wife Kelly, and two grandchildren, Owen and Fisher.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Debbie’s memory may be made to The Debbie Roberts Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Nantucket ( or as a tribute donation to Doctors Without Borders (  We mourn her loss.

Debbie Roberts Program

Monday, February 10, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Déjà vu all over again: Denialism of Climate Change and of Evolution

Eugenie Scott, PhD, Director of the National Center for Science Education, will speak at The Arnold Arboretum on Monday, February 10, from 7 – 8:30 as part of the Director’s Lecture Series.  This program is sold out but you may join the waiting list by calling 617-384-5277.

Both evolution and global warming are “controversial issues” in education, but are not controversial in the world of science. There is remarkable similarity in the techniques that are used by both camps to promote their views. The scientific issues are presented as “not being settled”, or that there is considerable debate among scientists over the validity of claims. Both camps practice “anomaly mongering”, in which a small detail, seemingly incompatible with either evolution or global warming, is held up as dispositive of either evolution or of climate science. Although in both cases, reputable, established science is under attack for ideological reasons, the underlying ideology differs: for denying evolution, the ideology of course is religious; for denying global warming, the ideology is political and/or economic. Eugenie Scott will deconstruct the arguments and identify the ideologies that hinder widespread understanding of evolution and responsiveness to climate change.

Eugenie Scott, a former university professor, served as the executive director of NCSE from 1987 to 2014; she now serves as the chair of NCSE’s Advisory Council. She has been both a researcher and an activist in the creationism/evolution controversy for over twenty-five years, and can address many components of this controversy, including educational, legal, scientific, religious, and social issues. She has received national recognition for her NCSE activities, including awards from scientific societies, educational societies, skeptics groups, and humanist groups. She holds nine honorary degrees, from McGill, Rutgers, Mt. Holyoke, the University of New Mexico, Ohio State, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Colorado College, the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Chapman University. A dynamic speaker, she offers stimulating and thought-provoking as well as entertaining lectures and workshops. Scott is the author of Evolution vs Creationism and co-editor, with Glenn Branch, of Not in Our Classrooms: Why Intelligent Design Is Wrong for Our Schools.

Saturdays and Sundays through March 30 – Relics from the Pergolas

Clara Endicott Sears was a visionary, writer, historian, preservationist, and founder of Fruitlands Museum.

Born in 1863 of Boston Brahmin lineage, Sears was cosmopolitan, cultivated, and independent. She preferred artistic and intellectual pursuits to the conventional roles expected of a lady of her social stature. Instead, she chose a life of the mind, nurtured by extensive travel, illustrious friendships, and her own curiosity and spirit.

In 1910, Sears built a summer residence known as the “Pergolas” on Prospect Hill in Harvard, Massachusetts. The house (now gone) and property commanded dramatic views of the Nashua River Valley, originally settled by the Nashaway Indians.

This spectacular site turned out to have historical associations that dovetailed with Sears’ passionate interest in the great minds and spiritual seekers of America’s past. Along with this extraordinary property came the farmhouse site where Bronson Alcott had founded his Transcendentalist community known as Fruitlands.

Alcott’s utopia was short lived, but Sears was drawn to Transcendentalist writings, and their experiment in communal living. In 1914, she had the vision to turn Alcott’s farmhouse into a museum housing a treasury of original artifacts and furnishings.

It was the beginning of Sears’ career as a preservationist, historian, writer, and curator of the four distinct collections she built over the next thirty years. Fascination with Alcott led Sears to the Harvard and Shirley Shakers, whom she befriended and admired for their ingenuity, spiritual devotion, and industry.

When the Shaker community closed in 1917, Sears brought the eighteenth-century Shaker office to Fruitlands, furnished it with Shaker artwork, implements, and artifacts, many donated by the Shakers themselves.

Sears went on to develop a small but exquisite Native American collection (with help from the Peabody Museum at Harvard), and later still, she built the Picture Gallery to house her Hudson River School landscapes and 19th-century vernacular portraits. Each museum: Fruitlands Farmhouse; the Shaker Museum—the first in this country; the Indian Museum and the Picture Gallery celebrate a unique spiritual encounter with the New England landscape, with the mind, and with the heart.

Come celebrate the life of Clara Endicott Sears, and explore all the Fruitlands Museum has to offer, on Saturdays and Sundays through March 30, in the new exhibit in the Art Gallery entitled Relics from the Pergolas. For directions and complete information visit

Sundays, January 26 – March 23, 11:00 am – 12:00 noon – Photography Workshops

Individuals of all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate in these free and informal photography sessions presented as part of the ParkARTS program sponsored by Bank of America and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. Participants will learn techniques for taking impressive photographs of Boston’s scenic parks as well as be given a theme to focus on each Sunday. The programs will take place Sundays from 11 – 12, at the locations below. Please note there is no session on March 16. Photo below from For more information please call 617-961-3051 or email 
January 26 -  Jamaica Pond Boathouse, Jamaica Plain

February 9 -  Christopher Columbus Statue, Christopher
Columbus Park, North End

February 23  – Grampian Way Basketball Court, Savin Hill Park,  Dorchester

March 9  – Millennium Park, Canoe Launch, West Roxbury

March 23  – Lagoon Bridge, Boston Public Garden, Boston

Saturday, February 1, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm – Mothers Out Front

Join Mothers Out Front to Kick Off The First Massachusetts Campaign!  Saturday, February 1, 2014 — 11am to 1pm at Tremont Temple Baptist Church, 88 Tremont Street, Boston
(Red Line, Park Street Station).

Together, send a clear message to Governor Patrick and Gubernatorial Candidates that we can and must choose clean energy in order to protect our children and grandchildren.

Mothers and Grandmothers Organizing in Massachusetts Communities
State Representative Lori Ehrlich
Special message from Bill McKibben of
Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band

Refreshments and banner making for the whole family
March to the State House
Group photo for delivery to Governor Patrick

Click here to RSVP!

Sunday, January 26, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Boston’s Orange Line

The story of the Orange Line is the story of Boston: always in flux but trailed by its long history. Since 1901, this rail line’s configuration has evolved in response to changes in the city, society, and technology. Hazardous sections have been eliminated, ownership has transitioned from private to public, and the line has been rerouted to serve growing suburbs and to use land cleared for the failed Inner Belt. Both its northern terminus, which shifted from Everett to Malden, and the southern route, realigned from Washington Street to the Southwest Corridor, have seen dramatic transformations that have in turn changed riders’ lives. Today, the line’s 10 miles of track curve through many Greater Boston communities, serving thousands along the way.

The Jamaica Plain Historical Society will host an authors book talk on Sunday, January 26, from 3 – 5 at Doyle’s, 3484 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain. The authors Jeremy C. Fox and Andrew Elder are JP residents and will have copies of the book for sale. Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served (but cash bar).

Saturday, January 25, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Closing Reception: Dispersal, Photographs by Anna Laurent

Seed pods are incredible vessels, protecting seeds as they develop and assisting with their dispersal. Photographer Anna Laurent explores the evolution of various forms to fulfill these common biological functions in a column for Print magazine’s online blog, Imprint. For this Arnold Arboretum exhibition, images of seed pods were captured exclusively at the Arnold Arboretum, highlighting select examples of dispersal mechanisms employed by both flowering and non-flowering plants in the living collections. Individually, each of the 33 photographs included in the exhibition is a fine art portrait of a unique botanic specimen; as a series, it is a scientific exploration of reproductive adaptation and the diversity of botanic design. Don’t miss this last chance to see the exhibit, at the closing reception on Saturday, January 25 from 1 – 3 in the Hunnewell Building.

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