Lee Venolia’s homestead, Williamstown
On Saturday, July 20 from 10am-3pm, discover what’s happening in the front and back yards of your neighbors. From chickens to sheep, an orchard to a sugar bush, edible gardens to cider making, discover the wonders of growing and making your own during Hoosac Harvest’s inaugural North Berkshire Homestead Tour. Tickets are $15 and support subsidized shares at Many Forks Farm in Clarksburg and Square Roots Farm in Lanesborough. Tickets are available at Shima Boutique, North Adams; Images Cinema, Wild Oats Market and Where’d You Get That?!, Williamstown.
“The Homestead Tour is an extreme garden tour,” says Caroline Scully, Hoosac Harvest core group member. “It’s a chance to take a peek at small and large homesteads while supporting the work of Hoosac Harvest whose mission is access to local food for everyone.”
The ticket to the event is the guidebook that will direct participants to locations in Williamstown, North Adams, Adams and Stamford, VT. Participants are encouraged to visit gardens in any order that they would like. The owner(s) will be present to answer questions about how they do what they do and the tour will operate rain or shine. Two of the gardens feature free raffles including two collections of five books each from Storey Publishing.
“Urban Farm Organics (U.F.O.) is our backyard garden in the City of North Adams that feeds three adults,” says Sandra Thomas, one of the participants of the Homestead Tour. “Most everything we grow, whether it be vegetable, flower, herb, or tree, serves a purpose. We also host two beehives from La La Honey and the bees help with the pollination and that means better yields from our crops.”
With the cost of food rising, more people are growing their own food and raising their own chickens or other animals. The tour will show examples of what people are doing and will be an opportunity to ask questions and gain information to do it yourself.
The tour runs through the lunch hour and participants are encouraged to bring a picnic and plan a break, maybe stopping at a local park. Some hosts may be offering refreshments, and there is a chance for a pizza sample at the North Adams Community Oven during the afternoon.