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.
Tracy Allen, supervisor, UMass Soil Laboratory, explains that soil properties are not going to change much in the winter because soil processes slow way down in the cold, so soil test results and recommendations that offered this fall will be accurate and useful for the whole growing season in your garden next year.
“Make-It Springfield,” the downtown Springfield collaborative design and makerspace co-founded by Michael DiPasquale in June 2016, was awarded $50,000 in funding to support its growth. The funding includes $25,000 from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts “Collaborative Workspace Program” administered by MassDevelopment and a matching grant of $25,000 provided by the MassMutual Foundation.
BELCHERTOWN — The University of Massachusetts Cold Spring Orchard Research and Education Center — its full name — is a facility where researchers are hard at work addressing sustainability, pest management, and climate change, in the name of growing the best possible fruit. (Boston Globe 10/10/17)
An editorial praises two UMass Amherst agricultural initiatives in South Deerfield—a dual-use farm, combining solar panels and crops, and a student-run vegetable farm. “Both farms are providing an impressive demonstration of successful, practical education for an occupation as old as the earth but in a modern world,” the editorial states. Amanda Brown, Stockbridge School of Agriculture and director of the Student Farming Enterprise program, is quoted.
On a perfect late summer evening, farmers from Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire hopped on a hay wagon to catch a ride to the UMass Extension research field plots. UMass Extension educators and specialists met with over 40 growers on a tour of ongoing research trials at the UMass Crop and Animal Research and Education Center in South Deerfield, Mass. Growers like Maureen Dempsey from Intervale Farm in Westhampton, Mass., and Tom Petcen, owner of Pop’s Farm in Hatfield, Mass., zeroed in on harmful insects. Petcen said, “I came to learn about the newest results in pest management.
Nutrition educator, Amanda McCabe, at UMass Extension in Amherst, cooked with young students, using recipes that incorporated veggies students are growing in Springfield at Square One. (MassLive 9/6/17)
Microbiologist Stephen Rich's laboratory team at UMass Amhest tests ticks that have crawled across, bitten or otherwise come into human contact. Within three business days of mailing in a tick as part of the Send a Tick to College program, people get a list of any pathogens the ticks carry. (Cape Cod Times 8/26/17)
The University of Massachusetts Amherst received a grant from the state to help waterways and habitats in Franklin and Hampshire counties. David Boutt, associate professor of geoscience, UMass Amherst, will study water samples to understand impacts of drought. Boutt is looking for samples from wells and streams across the region.