Fresh cheese and sourdough: Farmers markets and plant sales — #Berkshireweekend

And suddenly it’s May. We feel the change coming for weeks, fizzing in catkins and lapping up the lower slopes — and then the sun comes out and the maples open their leaves, and the world turns green again. Somehow spring always seems to come like that in a morning, and here last Saturday was that day.

This Saturday we’ll have farmers markets outdoors. We’ll walk downtown and hear live fiddlers in the crowds among the sourdough and fresh eggs and asparagus. Berkshire Botanical Garden will set out plant starts in their annual spring sale.

Last night I walked down to vote in the town election, and every crabapple tree in town has come into bloom. After months of cold, the air is sweet again. I joked to my family that the blossoms made a glorious incentive to come out and vote. And I was laughing, but I meant it.

A crabapple tree blooms in Williamstown.
Photo by Kate Abbott

A crabapple tree blooms in Williamstown.

Linda R. Campos photography

Farmers markets

Even on a downtown street a few miles from the fields, farmers markets can bring me close to the interconnected lives on a farm, with voices around me and the colors and scents of cut flowers and and iced coffee and sandwiches toasting on the grill.


At twilight the trees are foaming and dense with petals, as exuberant as fountains twice my height. Long-tongued bees will drink their nectar, and their leaves will feed the caterpillars of hairstreaks and tiger swallowtail butterflies.

And I see a relationship in all this. When I look at the candidates running for Select Board, and when I talk with my neighbors about our ideas for the town and the community, it feels like a solid gauge to ask what we pay attention to, who we see and hear, and how we feel about everything and everyone alive around us. ...

Beech trees unfurl new leaves in spring at Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Beech trees unfurl new leaves in spring at Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge.

Beech leaves unfurl and daffodils and Andromeda bloom at Berkshire Botanical Garden.

Events coming up ...

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

Edvard Munch, The Girls on the Bridge, 1902, oil on canvas. Private collection, Artist Rights Society, New York. Press photo courtesy of Clark Art Instutute.
Jun 10 2023 @ 11:00 am
Jay A. Clarke, curator at the Art Institute of Chicago, introduces the first show in the U.S. to reveal how Edvard Munch animated nature.
Kenneth Tigar stars in The Happiest Man on Earth, adapted from Eddie Jaku's memoir from World War II through a century. Press photo courtesy of Barrington Stage Company
Jun 10 2023 @ 1:30 pm
Eddie Jaku was a teenager as World War II began, and he survived Buchenwald, Auschwitz and a forced death march — a new play tells his story.
David Gow and Zoya Martin perform in Dear Jack Dear Louise. Press photo courtesy of Shakespeare & Company
Jun 10 2023 @ 6:30 pm
Shakespeare & Company presents Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig's story of two strangers introduced through letters and kept apart by war.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

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