Berkshire singer/songwriter Bernice Lewis has performed nationwide since she first came to the Kerrville Folk Festival four decades ago. This year, in Covid-19, she and her daughter Mariah have returned to festival — online.Read article
My parents have just dug some of last year’s potatoes and carrots out of the garden. They will make stew with meat from a family farm. And my friends in Vermont say their chickens are starting to lay again with spring coming. But for most of us food doesn’t come from the dooryard, especially in late March with snow on the ground. And right,now many of us may be thinking about where our food comes from in a new and immediate way.
As I sit at home now, trying to understand life in a pandemic, I know that I should responsibly keep away from public places. And I am thinking about things I have always done without thinking. Like getting a cup of coffee at Tunnel City or a few cups of locally ground flour at Wild Oats. I never stopped to wonder before what it would be like if I couldn’t.
I’m thinking about it now. Ruth Reichl recently invited us, on Twitter, to imagine a world withouor restaurants. Think about that for a moment. Expand it to family farms and corner markets. The state order to work from home is necessary, and it will fall hard on restaurants and small businesses and the local farmers who are producing milk and eggs and apples and pork sausage.
I have always cared about them for their role in the local economy and the environment. And I care because I love sitting over coffee at Dottie’s, and walking through the fields at Caretaker on quiet days. Right now, I care about them because they help keep me going.
When we are not sure of our supply lines, being able to grow and make food in the Berkshires feels doubly important. And even now, with shops shut, we can find local sources. Berkshire restaurants, co-ops, markets and farms are adapting to the changing world. They will tell you what precautions they are taking. And many will deliver. Here is a running list of resources I’m finding.
Berkshire restaurants for takeout
• Berkshire Magazine is keeping a list of Berkshire restaurants open for takeout across the county. (I worked with Anastasia Stanmeyer to put it together, with links from each restaurant to its most current updates, and we are checking regularly.)
• Mayor Tom Bernard has collected a list of restaurants open for takeout in the Northern Berkshires.
• Eat Berkshires from 1Berkshires gives Berkshire restaurants a place to share information.
Berkshire local markets
Starving Artists Café is offering a weekly grocery basket: order by Wednesdays at 10 a.m. for delivery on Fridays to Lee, Lenox, Stockbridge and Pittsfield, with local coffee, eggs, dairy, vegetables and more.
Berkshire Food Co-op in Great Barrington is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with curbside pickup, and they are updating their hours and precautions on their website.
Old Creamery Co-op in Cummington, the co-operatively owned hilltown community market on Route 9, is open 10 a.m to 6 p.m. daily, with local, natural, and organic groceries. You can call ahead and order your groceries for curbside pick up, and the cafe is open for takeout. They are also updating on Facebook.
Wild Oats in Williamstown is open with local and organic groceries, cheeses and meats, produce, breads, snacks and more, and takeout meals from the hot bar. They have curbside pickup on weekdays.
Berkshire farms and farmers markets are exploring ways to get their eggs, milk, greens, meats and more to local people who want them, safely. Some will deliver.
Shop the Berkshires gives an online source for stocking your pantry with Berkshire-made honey, coffee and more.
Square Roots Farm is offering delivery in the Northern Berkshires for eggs, vegetables and meats.