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There is something for everyone at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.  Below is a list of our scheduled events classes, and exhibits.  For details on any individual listing, just click on the event for more information.  If you still have questions, feel free to call the garden at 413.298.3926.  See you at the Garden!

May
4
Sat
Opening Reception for Down to Earth: Architects Redesign the Potting Shed @ Berkshire Botanical Garden
May 4 @ 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm


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This year, we’ve invited six architects to the Garden to give us their artistic interpretation of the Potting Shed.  The exhibit will run from May 5th through Columbus day, with an opening reception and cocktail party to be held on May the 4th from 5 – 7.   A great way to celebrate spring in the Berkshires and welcome the opening of our 2013 season at Garden.

This event is generously sponsored by:

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May
25
Sat
Opening Reception for Rare Earth: Garden Pots as Sculpture @ Berkshire Botanical Garden
May 25 @ 9:00 pm – 11:00 pm


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Curated by Joyce Nereaux, who presented exhibitions of birdhouses in 2008 and benches in 2010, Rare Earth:  Garden Pots as Sculpture displays the work of Mark Hewitt in creating a wide variety of magnificent, huge containers.  Join us for the opening where there will be a cocktail party and guided tour – May 25th from 5-7.  All pots on display in this exhibit will be for sale.

For More information on Mark and his work, visit his website at:  www.hewittpottery.com

We also feature Mark and the exhibit, Rare Earth, in this past issue of “Cuttings.”  Below is the article written by Joyce Nereaux.  To view the full issue of “Cuttings”  click here.

Rare Earth:  Mark Hewitt’s Mighty Pots

Garth and more 024_2_1Regional pottery traditions are like wildflowers that grow only in special soils and microclimates. Seen in this context, Mark Hewitt’s massive pots on display at Berkshire Botanical Gardens are like extremely rare and astonishingly beautiful blooms. North Carolina, where Hewitt makes his majestic work, is home to the only extant Anglo folk pottery tradition in the US, and Hewitt is one of its greatest contemporary stars.

Think for a moment about the music that the American South has produced – the Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Bluegrass, Rockabilly, Country, even Elvis. This music is the foundation of contemporary American popular music. The cross pollination of cultures that produced these iconic musical forms also produced distinctive decorative arts – furniture, metalwork, and pottery. Yankee salt-glazing potters from Connecticut headed South in the early 19th century and met South Carolina potters who were in turn influenced by English journeymen and enslaved African-Americans. “It all came together in North Carolina, the place is a veritable melting pot, and has long been home to one of the world’s great ceramic traditions,” says Hewitt, “The potters produced utilitarian wares that rise above their functionality to become statements of design – classic forms skillfully made, fit for use, and fit for imaginative interpretation.”

Writing for the 2011 exhibition, “Mark Hewitt’s Big Hearted Pots,” at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans, Mellon Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College, Christopher Benfey, plays with the musical connections in Hewitt’s work. “Crossroads: three young lads from Britain, Eric Clapton and his mates, listen to old records by Southern bluesmen from the 1930’s and came up with music utterly new and fresh, where you can feel the crossing in your bones of two traditions – rural and urban, African-American and alienated European, soft and very, very loud – in creative tension. Or a young lad named Mark Hewitt, from the Staffordshire “Potteries” in the English Midlands, listens to the music of Southern potters and comes up with his own distinctive kind of ceramic music, utterly new and fresh – and very, very big.”

North Carolina is to the pottery world what Broadway is to theater, and Hewitt has been a leading actor on its stage for the past thirty years. America’s preeminent folklorist, Henry Glassie, Professor Emeritus and the University of Indiana, writes, “At the center, with his colleagues from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, stands this tall, handsome man from England, Mark Hewitt – in place, at home – productively, inspirationally at work, a great American master.” How did he earn this accolade?

His background gives us some clues. Born into a family of industrial ceramists, where his father and grandfather were Directors of Spode, Hewitt was surrounded by pots from birth. But as a teenager he rebelled from this industrial aesthetic, finding beauty in Sung dynasty Chinese and old African pots instead. After university he apprenticed with legendary British studio potter, Michael Cardew, subject of Yale University Press’s recently published biography, “The Last Sane Man, Michael Cardew: Modern Pots, Colonialism, and the Counterculture.” His three year stint with Cardew included hitchhiking across the Sahara desert to study West African pottery – perhaps the phrase should be rewritten, “mad dogs and English potters go out in the midday sun.”

In 1979 he finally drifted ashore in Connecticut, just a few miles down Route 7 from Stockbridge, to work at Cornwall Bridge Pottery, serving a second three year apprenticeship with another ex-Cardew apprentice, Todd Piker, and while there, he fell in love and married Carol Peppe, daughter of Canaan, CT veterinarian, Dr. Vincent Peppe, and together they left New England for the South in 1983.

Benfey writes tellingly about the way Hewitt has absorbed North Carolina’s folk pottery tradition, “The vision of North Carolina that Hewitt conveys in his writing and in his work is audacious and compelling. He talks the talk and walks the walk; in so doing he has bent inherited tradition into potent new shapes. His big-hearted pots are on a truly heroic scale – heroic in conception and execution. They place him in the company of the great folk potters who have preceded and inspired him.”pots

Rare Earth feels like a homecoming,” comments Hewitt, now 57, “I’m back where I first arrived in America, bringing fresh blooms – my best new work – to New England from North Carolina. This group of big pots is the product of thirty years refinement of technique, materials, and a singular but ever-evolving aesthetic.” His big pots instantly command attention, whether they’re classically shaped vases or jars, or his more recent abstract ‘Sentinels.’ They fit majestically into a landscape, or even in an elegant interior, drawing your eye to them, challenging and consoling in equal measure, and, like old friends, you are always glad to see them. Henry Glassie writes, “Other ceramic confections cower in closets or parade across shelves, but Mark’s pots stand outside, braving the wind and weather, becoming part of the landscape, like houses, like barns, like temples.”

He continues, “Robust and beautiful, Mark Hewitt’s pots disturb distinctions, disrupt dichotomies. Inside and outside, folk and fine, old and new, native and alien, art and craft, the utilitarian and the aesthetic – Mark’s pots mix and merge categories in centered courage. They stand in the midst of life, where academic antimonies fade away, and work is good and true and human.”

Be sure to see this magnificent collection of big pots at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens. “Rare Earth” runs from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.

Jul
29
Mon
Farm In The Garden Camp – Week 5 @ Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jul 29 @ 1:00 pm – Aug 2 @ 7:00 pm

Limited space remaining.  Please call the Garden to register:  413.298.3926
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Kids, parents, grandparents and farm animals all agree – Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Farm in the Garden Camp is THE place to be!

Have your 5-10 year old join us for one of our five, one-week sessions between July 1st and August 2nd. Children learn the connections that exist with themselves, nature, the food we eat and the friendships that develop in between. There are baby animals to feed, vegetables to tend to, songs to sing, food to prepare and a life-long relationship with the outdoors to start building.

Submit an enrollment form via mail or fax:

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About Farm in the Garden Camp

  • Open to 5 -10 year olds
  • One-week sessions
  • Camp runs Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Drop-off at 8:45 a.m.
  • A maximum of 18 campers per session
  • Low staff to camper ratios

Camp PhilosophyFITGC2

Berkshire Botanical Garden has designed a program that will nurture the seeds of earth stewardship for young and old alike while connecting children to our food, our shared place, and to one another. The camp provides time, space, and guidance for children to do meaningful work and play in a caring, garden community brimming with expertise. The camp offers inherent pleasure and personal agency that comes with making things by hand. We will make cheese after milking our visiting goat, collect eggs and harvest and grind wheat berries before baking a quiche, and harvest dill to press carefully into goat cheese rounds. Our work at the garden will be to care for the plants and animals that sustain us and to make good use of the harvest. At Farm in the Garden Camp, participants are invited to join a community of children, grown-ups, plants and animals that engages one another through care, understanding, interaction, and sustenance.
Some of the things we do…
  • care for sheep and goats, feed bunnies, collect eggs
  • build a bean trellis, pull carrots, dig potatoes
  • make (and eat!) ice cream
  • sing songs and hear stories
  • eat snacks that we grew ourselves
  • card and felt wool
  • sell flowers at our farm stand
  • make new friends!

A typical day at Farm in the Garden Camp

  • 9:00 Campers Arrive/ Morning Circle
  • 9:30 Farm Animal Chores
  • 10:00 Snack
  • 10:15 Activity I
  • 11:15 Activity II
  • 12:15 Lunch/Circle of Thanks
  • 1:00 Story in the Schoolhouse
  • 1:30 Choice: Games, Craft, Animals, or Water Play
  • 2:30 Small group time
  • 3:00 Campers leave for the day

What to Bring to Camp

  • Campers should arrive in appropriate clothing for farm and garden work including a hat
  • Campers should wear comfortable, closed toe shoes
  • Snack, Lunch, Water bottle
  • Swimsuit & towel (for slip and slide)
  • Backpack or bag for bringing home swimsuit, towel, crafts, etc.
  • Sunblock/bug repellant should be applied before campers arrive
  • Please label all items with child’s name

 

 

Aug
9
Fri
Family Fridays – Birds of Prey – Tom Ricardi, Wildlife Rehabillitator @ Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 9 @ 2:30 pm

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Our popular Family Fridays are back!

Meet the feathered, hairy and scaly creatures that live near and far.  Family Friday programs are for children and adults, open to all, and free with paid admission to the garden.  Designed to develop an appreciation of the natural world, these programs will inform and delight participants of all ages.  These popular programs meet in the Education Center at 10:30am.

Join wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi for his ever popular presentation on birds of prey. This program is designed for families. Tom will share the natural history of these magnificent birds, demonstrate some of their unique behaviors and will inspire children of all ages to appreciate, respect and conserve these important members of our wild kingdom.

Tom Ricardi is a licensed rehabilitator and wildlife biologist. He runs Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center in Conway, MA, and is now retired after 40 years of service as a Massachusetts Environmental Conservation police officer.

Aug
10
Sat
Contained Exuberance: Walk About Tour @ Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 10 @ 3:00 pm

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Each year we bring together some of the region’s most talented designers and invite them to create individual container gardens that we display in an exhibit we like to call Contained Exuberance.  Tucked away in different spots throughout the Garden, one of the highlights of this exhibit will be on August 10th at our Designer Walkabout, where we learn the stories behind the designers’ visions.  It never fails to yield insight and ideas.

Aug
16
Fri
Family Fridays – Meet Atka, Ambassador Wolf @ Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 16 @ 2:30 pm

Atka

Our popular Family Fridays are back!

Meet the feathered, hairy and scaly creatures that live near and far.  Family Friday programs are for children and adults, open to all, and free with paid admission to the garden.  Designed to develop an appreciation of the natural world, these programs will inform and delight participants of all ages.  These popular programs meet in the Education Center at 10:30am.

Meet Atka, Ambassador Wolf

from the Wolf Conservation Center

Join Atka, a magnificent arctic gray wolf,  and Maggie Howell from the Wolf Conservation Center of South Salem, NY, for an awe-inspiring, up-close encounter with this important but misunderstood predator. Learn about the natural history of wolves in the United States, the importance of wolves in a healthy ecosystem and the efforts to save these magnificent creatures for future generations.

Maggie Howell is Director of the Wolf Conservation Center, the pre-eminent facility in the eastern United States for the captive breeding and re-release of endangered wolves. She earned a BS in Biology from Vassar College, with a focus on animal behavior. She has been working with large predators since 1998 and with WCC since 2005.

Aug
23
Fri
Family Fridays – Snakes and Frogs @ Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 23 @ 2:30 pm

Familyfrog1

Our popular Family Fridays are back!

Meet the feathered, hairy and scaly creatures that live near and far.  Family Friday programs are for children and adults, open to all, and free with paid admission to the garden.  Designed to develop an appreciation of the natural world, these programs will inform and delight participants of all ages.  These popular programs meet in the Education Center at 10:30am.

Snakes and Frogs

Tom Tyning, Reptile Expert

This program, designed for families, is an introduction to local amphibians and reptiles, animals that are both fascinating and elusive. More than 30 different frogs, salamanders, turtles and snakes inhabit Berkshire County, and we know little, if anything, about many of them. Professor Tom Tyning will encourage families to get to know these animals, from tadpoles and turtles to salamanders and snakes. A small collection of local live animals, including snakes, will be available for close examination.

Tom Tyning is Professor of Environmental Science at Berkshire Community College. He specializes in reptiles and amphibians in his research and actively researches local rattlesnake populations.

Feb
6
Thu
Permaculture @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Feb 6 @ 11:00 pm – Feb 7 @ 2:00 am

Permaculture design

Classes meet on Thursdays, 6-9pm: February 6, 13, 20, 27, 2014.

Permaculture is multi-disciplinary approach to designing and maintaining productive, regenerative human ecosystems. In this class, students will gain the framework and information to design, build and maintain permaculture landscapes with specific focus on food systems such as gardens, orchards and edible forest gardens, water systems, strategies on steep slopes, soil building, productive conservation and restoration, as well as urban and broadscale applications. This course combines lectures, slideshows, classroom exercises, handouts and online resources to expose students to current thinking and strategies in permaculture design.

Instructor – Jono Neiger synthesizes his diverse expertise in permaculture design, conservation biology & restoration ecology to create productive and integrated landscapes. Working as collaborator, teacher and guide, Jono empowers individuals, communities and organizations to understand and steward their land and landscape through design. He is principal at Regenerative Design Group (www.regenerativedesigngroup.com), faculty at the Conway School of Landscape Design (www.csld.edu), board president of the Permaculture Institute of the Northeast and stewards his homestead, Hickory Garden, as well as Brook’s Bend Farm in Massachusetts.

10% discount for 3 or more Spring Level III courses

Jul
19
Sat
Woodworker’s Guild Show
Jul 19 @ 2:00 pm – Jul 20 @ 9:00 pm
Aug
7
Thu
BABE – Free Outdoor Movie Series @ Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 7 @ 11:00 pm – Aug 8 @ 1:00 am

FREE Family Movie Night!

Bring the family, your friends and a picnic to the Berkshire Botanical Garden for a special, free screening of BABE, the charming tale of a small country pig who dreams of being a sheep dog. Grounds will open at 7 pm. Come early and meet some of the BBG Farm in the Garden Camp animals, including a llama, sheep, goats, piglets and Dante, the English angora rabbit. Enjoy popcorn provided by the Garden. The movie will begin promptly at 8 pm. 

This film is brought to you free of charge by the Berkshire Botanical Garden and the Berkshire International Film Festival.

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