Extension in Western Massachusetts
About Western Massachusetts
The western region of Massachusetts is composed of Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. The largest city in the region is Springfield, located in Hampden County, along the Interstate 91 corridor on the Connecticut River.
AMHERST, Mass. – Fall may not seem like a good time for planting, but cool temperatures and ample soil moisture can help plants settle in, says viticulture expert Elsa Petit at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where her students in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture have been busy this fall planting dozens of cold-tolerant grapes at the campus’s first student-run vineyard.
Rick Harper says American elm trees are tough, which make them a great choice for urban locations. The heartiness of this tree is demonstrated by the success found at a one-acre elm orchard at the Agricultural Learning Center at the north edge of the UMass Amherst campus. These saplings have survived severe drought, abnormally wet conditions, deer munching, and feeding injury from gypsy moth and Japanese beetle. Still, about 80% of the 220 seedlings are thriving.
UMass Amerhest students studying sustainable community development put their lessons into action. They created a pop-up event, temporarily transforming a dark alley in Northampton in a light-filled meeting space. (Gazette 11/5/18)
Elsa Petit, viticulture specialist and lecturer at Stockbridge School of Agriculture and Sonia Schloemann, UMass Extension specialist for small fruits comment on popularity of new varieties of local grapes.Edible Pioneer Valley, Fall 2018
A study to explore the role of fermeneted foods in boosting the immune system was conducted by UMass Food Science at Real Pickles (food producer) over a year and a half. Reserchers examined microbiome communities in the Greenfield facility which could lead to future studies and a better understanding of how to enhance nutrition in fermented foods. (Gazette 10/11/18; Recorder 10/15/18)