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Valley Bounty: From seed to vase: At Passalongs Farm and Florist in Florence, Adrienne Bashista grows and designs custom floral arrangements
06-21-2024 10:32 AM

By JACOB NELSON

“In a different life, I think I would have been an artist from the beginning,” says Adrienne Bashista, owner of Passalongs Farm and Florist. “I wasn’t forbidden from a career in art, it just didn’t occur to me. But now in my 50s, I’ve realized what I...

Displaying articles 1 to 20 out of 686 total.
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A doctor’s boarders: Dr. Jessica Bossie’s mission to help the homeless find the right house
06-21-2024 6:01 PM

By BOB FLAHERTY

NORTHAMPTON — An address. Something so basic you’d rattle it off like the date of your birth. But try putting “tent by the river” or “under the overhang” on your next job application and see how many calls you get.But a local physician, known for...


Stairway to heaven in your own backyard: Summer concerts in the Valley for classic rock enthusiasts
06-21-2024 10:30 AM

By PAIGE HANSON

Last week in Northampton, Lez Zeppelin, an all-female Led Zeppelin tribute band, rocked the stage at Iron Horse Music Hall, bringing an electric and mesmerizing performance to the packed audience.“We are just true to the spirit of the band, which is...


Only Human with Joan Axelrod-Contrada: Marching to a ‘Different Drum’: Is Living Apart Together the future of relationships?
06-20-2024 2:39 PM

By JOAN AXELROD-CONTRADA

Linda Ronstadt’s 1967 song “Different Drum” came out during a time of changing gender roles in our country.While the commitment-phobic Peter Pan had long garnered praise as a ladies’ man, the woman who bucked expectations of domesticity got saddled...


Speaking of Nature: Identifying an unusual critter: And an invitation for readers to give it a name
06-18-2024 10:53 AM

By BILL DANIELSON

I first saw this curious little animal on June 1. It was a beautiful day outside, but the cottonwood tree that grows next to my deck was in full seed-dispersal mode and sitting outside was not really an option. Imagine a snowstorm, but the flakes of...


More music, bigger stages: In new hands, Green River Festival returns next weekend with headliners CAKE, Fleet Foxes and Gregory Alan Isakov
06-14-2024 2:11 PM

By SHERYL HUNTER

We are days away from the Green River Festival, one of the most anticipated and most popular summer events in Franklin County. Now in its 38th year, the festival will run from June 21 to 23, Friday through Sunday, at the Franklin County Fairgrounds in...


Valley Bounty: Pea time is upon us: Dave’s Natural Garden in Granby grows a variety of the seasonal favorite
06-14-2024 11:32 AM

By LISA GOODRICH

After the cold of winter in New England, spring on our region’s farms is a treat for the senses. While locals may argue over whether asparagus or strawberries declare the arrival of spring, Meghan Hastings, owner and farm manager of Dave’s Natural...


Earth Matters: A brief history of our soil: Why the Valley land produces such amazing crop
06-13-2024 1:59 PM

By TOM LITWIN

There is a stretch of road that runs north along the Connecticut River from the Whately/Hatfield line to the foot of Sugarloaf. It is no surprise its name is River Road. Leaving Northampton I often take “the river road,” the long way home. Over the...


Speaking of Nature: Too slow to survive? All porcupines want is a peaceful life in the country woods
06-11-2024 2:27 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

I was on my way to work the other day and, at least initially, I was enjoying the morning drive. The sun rises just after 5:00 a.m. these days and the approach of my last day of school added a little buoyancy to the otherwise monotonous commute. I...


D-Day hero: Holyoke native honored as only chaplain killed during initial days of Normandy invasion
06-07-2024 5:04 PM

By SAMUEL GELINAS

SOUTH HADLEY — “No greater love.”That phrase stands out prominently at the grave of the Rev. Capt. Ignatius Maternowski, a Holyoke native who died 80 years ago on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The Purple Heart recipient and candidate for sainthood was the only...


Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: ‘This is my playground’: Saturday’s Northampton Garden Tour grants access to six beautiful home gardens
06-07-2024 12:38 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

I recently heard about a practice called Forest Bathing, which involves spending a few hours in a forest, or at least a sheltered patch of trees, and allowing one’s awareness to settle on all the immediate sensory surroundings. Forest Bathing is...


Around and About with Richard McCarthy: ‘You’re a strong man to do that’: Observations from this side of the shuffleboard court
06-06-2024 3:33 PM

By RICHARD MCCARTHY

When I was 18 years old, I hitchhiked alone from western Massachusetts to St. Petersburg, Florida and back. Hitchhiking was fairly common among young people then, although not typically for such a long distance. I had some trials along the way, not...


Earth Matters: Swamps, stewardship and conservation: What does it mean to care for a forest?
06-06-2024 3:32 PM

By CHRISTINE HATCH

Swamps are great story villains. They are notoriously difficult to navigate due to their sinking sticky mud, spiked vines and dense vegetation; they are neither fully land nor water, negating boats and footwear as helpful vessels for traversing them;...


Speaking of Nature: The return of some familiar feathered faces: Tree swallows come home to the same fields they used the previous year
06-04-2024 1:38 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

One of the great joys of the spring is the year’s first appearance of the tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor). In my yard this event almost always occurs in the first week of April and this year was no exception. It was a close call, but the first...


Does renewed growth in Massachusetts’ higher education mark a turning point or a temporary surge?
06-03-2024 4:52 PM

By XINYI YANG

After a decade of declining enrollment, public higher education in Massachusetts finally saw the first increase in first-year undergraduate enrollment last fall, fueled by a nearly 8% increase in community college admissions.Meanwhile, at the...


HCC graduates share stories of triumph, perseverance at 77th commencement ceremony
06-02-2024 1:17 PM

By ELISE LINSCOTT

SPRINGFIELD — When Carineh Santana was hit by a car last summer, she doubted she’d graduate from Holyoke Community College as planned this spring. That wasn’t the only challenge she’d faced, either, identifying as a queer, Latinx, first-generation...


Valley Bounty: A farm stand in good hands: Wanczyk Produce in Hadley delivers quality, care, and has big dreams for the future
05-31-2024 3:54 PM

By JACOB NELSON

Jackie Pliska, owner of Wanczyk Produce in Hadley, has dreams of keeping the farm stand business open year-round instead of seven months each year. But first, she has to finish college.Pliska started working at the family business when she was 11. She...


Let’s Talk Relationships: Is my assumption true? Unpacking the stories we tell ourselves about other people
05-31-2024 3:52 PM

By AMY NEWSHORE

When our partner or another individual in our life says or does something that leaves us confused or troubled, there is a human tendency for us to create a story about it. Basically, we jump to conclusions. We don’t have all the facts, so we fill in...


The many faces of food insecurity: Exhibit at Forbes Library shares diverse stories of access issues in our community
05-30-2024 3:02 PM

By JACOB NELSON

History is everyone’s story. Its lessons can inform a bright future for everyone, but only if we truly listen to everyone.For almost a year, members of the Storytelling Circle of the Hampshire County Food Policy Council (HCFPC) have been collecting...


Chalk Talk: ‘Investigators of our own practice’: The transformative power of Teacher Action Research
05-30-2024 2:46 PM

By WESTERN MASS WRITING PROJECT

Jennifer DiGrazia, English professor at Westfield State University and co-site director of WMWP: In the Western Mass Writing Project (WMWP) Summer Leadership Institute (SLI), we think that good teaching begins with good questions, the sorts of complex...


GCC grads mark start of ‘a lifelong pursuit of knowledge’
05-29-2024 3:25 PM

By SAM FERLAND

GREENFIELD — Cheers and cowbells rang aloud on Saturday as members of Greenfield Community College’s Class of 2024 marched between rows of flowers to the stage, collected their diplomas, and celebrated their success with their families and friends.GCC...

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