Benson Place Events



UPDATE:   5/  14

Even though it is supposed to rain through the morning, we will still hold all the events.  The walk of the fields in bloom will still be lovely even if there are not as many bees, and  we will hold the talking part of the workshops  indoors if it is very wet.   Piti theatre's play " To Bee or not to Bee" will be held in the blueberry barn.   On the plus side, the wet weather will be perfect for planting out a pollinator garden here at the farm.   And the weather is supposed to clear on time for the family contra dance in the afternoon!  

Come to our second BLOOM! fundraiser on May 17th, 2014 from 9 am- 5 pm.  Held at the farm here in Heath, BLOOM! will be the culmination to Hilltown Bee Week.  While the last BLOOM! festival raised money for a pollinator project here at the farm, this year we will raise money for public and publically accessible gardens in Franklin County.  Garden sites will be selected in the late fall of 2014 and the sites will be designed and prepared for planting in the spring of 2015.  We envision Franklin County filled with adundant flowers and the sweet sounds of buzzing bees, butterflies, and the other pollinators we depend on. 

Here is the schedule for the day:

9:00 am  Farm walk around the blueberry field to observe the many species of pollinators at work.  This year's tour will be led by UMASS insect and plant ecologist, Jarrod Fowler.  We will  also tour last year's pollinator project installation and answer questions.

10:00 am Workshop:  How to design and plant a pollinator garden in your yard.    Learn the basics of plant selection for pollinators and plant out a hazelnut shrub hedgerow with pollinator plants.  Participants will go home with species information to design and plant out their own pollinator gardens at home.  Led by Meredith Wecker and Andrew Kurowksi.

11:15 am  Workshops  Mason bee nesting sites for your pollinator garden- come learn about these amazing native bees and how you can attract and care for them in your yard.  There will also be a microscope set up to view bees up close.  Led by Tom Sullivan, owner of Pollinators Welcome,  who designs for pollinators and consults with people interested in attracting pollinators to their landscape making the link between meadows and food crop pollination. He also gives talks about native bee habitat creation and this year started giving workshops at That’s A Plenty Farm, Hadley. At the farm, he and Jarrod Fowler, Wildlife Conservation Biologist, will be teaching habitat creation techniques ranging from seed to pollinator identification. They gave their first workshop at the Northeast Natural History Conference this April.

 Tom has given talks at Nasami Farm, The Hitchcock Center for the Environment, The Permaculture Convergence, Mt. Grace Land Conservation Trust, the 40th Anniversary of the Conway School, and NOFA Summer Conference.

 Tom Sullivan, M.A.L.D.



12:30 pm Bring your own picnic lunch 

1:30 pm    Piti Theate's To Bee or Not to Bee , an all ages show about the decline of the bees with an audience participatory hopeful ending.    For more info:

2:45  pm  Family Contra Dance - Calling by Steve Howland, music by Steve Howland and friends.  Family friendly dancing, all dances will be taught.  Contra dance will end at 4:30 pm.  

There will also be a pollinator Plant Sale for the day. 

Suggested Donation:  $10 per adult, $ 5 per child or $ 20 per family  

Thank you to our sponsors! - Artisan Beverage Cooperative, Real Pickles, Tire Warehouse of Greenfield, and Greenfield Copycats