January 11th 2011 | Posted in Westside Field Notes
WestSide Farm Project’s main site in 2011 will be at 109 Linden Street. We are looking for additional vacant lots starting at about 2,000 square feet, with good exposure to sunlight. We can use demolition sites, lots that need trees and shrubs removed, odd-shaped lots that might not be suitable for building…as long as there’s plenty of sun and it’s not on a steep grade, it might work for us.
It is never a waste of time to evaluate a potential garden space. We encourage anyone who might be interested in donating land to contact us. Unless there’s a building on the space, or the property is on a steep hillside, we wouldn’t rule it out without a visit.
In addition to providing multiple benefits to the community, there can be significant tax benefits for the donors themselves. WestSide Farm Project is eager to open new gardens in virtually any area in Pittsfield. We accept land transfers, easements, leases, and licenses.
Any landowners considering property donations to WestSide Farm Project should contact Thom Pecoraro at 413-329-1400.
December 1st 2010 | Posted in Westside Field Notes
Join us for Saturday’s Wyomanock Center Open House & Circle
In case you are wondering, Wyomanock Center is the parent organization of WestSide Farm Project. Its first annual Open House & Circle will be Saturday, December 4th:
1pm – Meet at the Geodesic dome (68 Wyomanock Rd., Stephentown, NY) for a guided walk on the nature trails
3pm – Tour a green renovation project (307 Newton Road, corner of Route 43), lead by Thom Pecoraro. This will be an opportunity for learning about reclaimed, natural, and non-toxic building materials and solar energy for home heating and electric.
(ALL EVENTS FROM 3:00 on WILL BE AT 307 Newton Road, corner of Rte 43, Stephentown, NY)
4pm – Potluck
5pm – Talk on Wyomanock Mission and Vision
6pm – Live Music and Dancing on the “Solar Stage”
Check http://wyocenter.org for more events to come including green building workshops, discussion groups based on the Northwest Earth Institute curriculum, and a recycled vegetable oil fuel workshop.
August 28th 2010 | Posted in Westside Field Notes
Where do our vegetables go? Our cherry tomatoes, green beans and other vegetables that aren’t popped directly into the mouths of garden volunteers? To date, with the help of Berkshire Food Net (http://co-act.org/category/food-net/), our vegetables are delivered to the First United Methodist Church, Christian Center, St Stephens, First Baptist Church, First Congregational, Lenox United Methodist Church, Barton’s Crossing, WIC, Salvation Army, and Lanesboro VFW.
According Paul Deslauriers of the Berkshire Food Net, an organization that channels fresh food to sites throughout the Berkshires, “The Food Net delivers up to 900 lbs of produce a week, so I see lots of vegetables. The Westside Farm Project is the most consistent high yield producer in the Food Net. The quality and variety of produce from their project is outstanding, and the cooks love the quality.”
We care deeply about what we grow, and about the people who eat what we grow. We are always looking for community meal sites and pantries in and around the Westside in need of fresh food, so please contact us if you are aware of sites that could use an infusion of delicious vegetables!
August 11th 2010 | Posted in Westside Field Notes
August 5th 2010 | Posted in Westside Field Notes
Yesterday we took a break from the gardens and the neighborhood. Ten kids and a handful of adults left the noise, traffic and concrete of Pittsfield. We were transported to a new neighborhood, where we climbed into canoes for an adventure down the Housatonic River in Lenox. We felt small as we paddled through the shadows of rolling hills and huge trees. Our new neighbors? Frogs, ducks, beavers, muskrats, spiders, snakes, and many other critters.
We also got to know each other in a different light. Not at the playground, basketball court or street where we normally see each other. We met in canoes, paddled together, observed wildlife together, encouraged each other to move to the ‘right’ or ‘left’, and shared an adventure.
We stepped away from the brawls that sometimes stifle our streets. We momentarily forgot the bravado, and slipped into the magic of splashing water and turtles.
It was a good day. Thank you Massachusetts Audubon Society!
July 10th 2010 | Posted in Westside Field Notes
Our first workshop was a success! And it was crazy. It looked like an art tornado blew through the garden, strewing paintbrushes, fabrics, glue, scissors, bottles and scraps everywhere. Stick a watermelon and pasta into the mix. Add a broken rope swing and a huge, foam mattress. Whaddya got? Kid paradise, and the start of some pretty neat puppets for an October parade. Thanks Anaelisa, Diego, Ken, Thom, Lisa, Ashley and all the kids and parents who participated.
Next workshop, “Canoe Safety” . . . in the garden. Should be interesting.
July 6th 2010 | Posted in Westside Field Notes
Marching in the July 4th parade with the Westside Neighborhood Banner -
June 30th 2010 | Posted in Westside Field Notes
Garden at 109 Linden: Before & After
Garden at Silvio O. Conte Community School
More photos coming soon…
June 11th 2010 | Posted in Westside Field Notes
Yesterday Ramona stopped by, on her way to Love and Rain Church. “Who puts flowers in pots around town and plants those trees on sidewalks? I want one…”. She was on her way to hand out baked and canned goods at Love and Rain. “We serve a lot there . . . a lot of new people are coming in there. There’s no fresh food!”
Ramona drove off, promising to weed with me soon, as I jotted down her ‘tree request’.
I continued planting – in my church of love and rain. The clouds were in a giving mood. Rain tumbled down, hand in hand with the sun. It was the kind of weather that puts inches on plants.