Monday, July 28, 2014

Massachusetts Wine and Cheese Trail

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou
                                                 ~Omar Khayy

Wine aficionados, connoisseurs, and oenophiles alike will be delighted to know that the Massachusetts Wine and Cheese Trail has officially expanded, now boasting 29 wineries and 18 cheese businesses from the dunes of Cape Cod to the hills of the Berkshires!
A wine and cheese trail in Massachusetts? That’s right, the Bay State features 40 licensed wineries, producing wine from a collection of locally grown fruits – grapes, apples, cranberries, peaches, and blueberries – across, roughly, a total of 2,200-acres of wine farm land, where 439 acres are devoted exclusively to wine production.
So, with these award-winning wines and notable cheeses, how does one embark on all that the Wine and Cheese Trail has to offer?
Well, it starts with the trail map, where you can discover wine and cheese makers by region, within a detailed, useful, road-trip-inspiring layout of the state. Ultimately, encouraging visitors – in-state and out-of-state – to learn about the art of wine and cheese making; to discover some of Massachusetts’ award-winning tastes; and to explore the bucolic, picturesque farmlands that our wonderful state has to offer.

Here’s a list of the recent additions, which include nine wineries and seven farmstead cheese producers:
                Amherst Farm Winery, Amherst
                Berkshire Blue Cheese, Dalton
                Black Birch Vineyard, Southampton
                Chase Hill Farm Cheese, Warwick
                Cricket Creek Farm Cheese, Williamstown
                Green River Ambrosia, Greenfield
                Mineral Hills Winery, Florence
                Mount Warner Vineyards, Hadley
                Northfield Mount Hermon School Cheese, Mount Hermon
                Sangha Farm Cheese, Plainfield
                The Sheperd’s Gate Dairy Goat Farm, Holland
                Upinngil Farm Cheese, Gill
                Nobscot Artisan Cheese, Framingham
                Robinson Farm Cheese, Hardwick
                Ruggles Hill Creamery, Hardwick
                Still River Winery, Harvard
                Vandervalk Farm and Winery, Mendon
                Boston Winery, Boston
                Valley View Farm, Topsfield
                Grey Barn and Farm Cheese, Martha’s Vineyard
                Mermaid Farm & Dairy, Chilmark

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rhododendron State Park, Fitzwilliam NH

Just 20 minutes away is the beautiful Rhododendron State Park, which comes alive in mid-July with fragrant rhododendron blossoms, wildflowers, and songbirds. Pack a picnic lunch and walk around the easy trail taking in the sights and sounds.

About the Park:
Rhododendron State Park is named after the 16-acre grove of Rhododendron Maximum, which is the focal point of the park. A 0.6 mile-long universally accessible trail encircles the grove allowing visitors to observe, close up, the fragrant clusters of pink blossoms as they burst into bloom in mid-July.

A wildflower trail, maintained by the Fitzwilliam Garden Club, winds through the forest adjacent to the grove. From early spring to the first frost, wildflowers bloom throughout the 2,723-acre park. The last blooms in the fall are complemented by the forest's brilliant foliage. Visitors exploring the trails are often serenaded by songbirds, which live in the grove.
The rhododendron grove, which is the largest in northern New England, was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1982.

Operating Schedule
This park is always open for recreation unless closed or restricted by posting. During the off-season the park is typically not staffed and comfort stations are not available.

424 Rockwood Pond Rd
Fitzwilliam, NH 03447
Phone: 603-532-8862 (at Monadnock State Park)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 3, 4, 5 Events

Here is a list of some great events happening over the Fourth of July weekend.

3 Thursday 5–11pm. Block Party on Main Street, Fitchburg. Start your Fourth of July celebration, as Fitchburg celebrates its 250th anniversary, with music, dancing, antique cars, food and more — then stick around for the fireworks! DJ AlanHep2the Jive and Dance2Swing Studios will be performing at the Fitchburg Civic Day Block Party. Dancers will be in front of the Fay Club, 658 Main St. in Fitchburg. There will be many local vendors and many food choices at the Block Party. The Friends of the Fitchburg Public Library will also hold their annual Garage book sale during the Civic Days Block Party from 5 to 9 p.m. Lots of books and other items available for $1 a bag. The regular book sale room will also be open at regular prices. On the sidewalk will be bubbles and chalk art for the children. For more information, visit or call 978-829-1801.
3 Thursday 7pm-9pm. The Summer Concert Series at Carter Park in downtown Leominster. FREE family fun! Enjoy the sounds of local talent while relaxing under the stars. Bring a blanket, chairs, and a picnic. Not time to pack a picnic? Visit one of the food vendors. Most importantly….bring your dancing shoes!!! Featuring The Spy Tones, Surf/Instrumental. For more information click here.
3 Thursday 10pm. Fireworks from Rollstone Hill, Fitchburg. Flying from the top of Rollstone Hill, the city’s fireworks display will be visible from many vantage points, including Main Street’s block party. For more information, visit or call 978-829-1801
4 Friday 10am. Fourth of July Parade on Summer Street and Main Street, Fitchburg. The city celebrates the 4th —and its 250th anniversary! — with a spectacular parade. Floats, firetrucks, bands, antique cars, clowns and so much more! For more information, visit or call 978-829-1801
4 Friday noon. Reading of the Declaration of Independence at First Church on Templeton Common, Routes 2A and 101, Templeton. Hear local residents and elected officials read the document that launched this nation, in a historic church set on a traditional New England common. Enjoy an ice cream social on the common after the reading.
4 Friday 7:30pm. Orange Community Band concert on the bandstand on the Bandstand in Butterfield Park, 83 East River St., Orange.
5 Saturday. The Ayer 4th of July Celebration at Pirone Park. Ayer hosts a top quality Fourth of July including a parade, Family Fun at Pirone Park followed by one of the best fireworks show in Central Mass! Fireworks start at 9:15pm.
5 Saturday 12:30pm. Independence Day celebration in Pepperell. Parade from the Town Hall to the VFW starts at 12:30pm, fireworks at dusk. Visit