Bits and Bites: Farm Film Fest to feature regional farms

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Farms on film

The eighth annual afternoon film festival devoted to farms and farming will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 13, at the Crandell Theatre in Chatham, N.Y.

The annual afternoon festival shows films that educate and entertain about farms, farming, farmers, and farming issues. The event is cosponsored by the Chatham Film Club, Chatham Agricultural Partnership, and Columbia Land Conservancy.

Admission is free with a requested donation of a nonperishable food item to the Chatham Silent Food Pantry (cash donations accepted). A panel discussion and Q&A with local farmers, the festival is followed by a free "Meet Your Maker" reception at the Peint O Gwrw, 36 Main St., with snacks featuring local foods (complementary) and a cash bar.

Films from Columbia County and neighboring counties in New York State include "Howard's Farm," which profiles an 86-year-old farmer from Marlboro; "Food for Thought, Food for Life," filmed in part in Columbia County at Hudson Pines Farms, established by Margaret and David Rockefeller; and "The Cream Rises: Local, Sustainable Milk from the Hudson Valley," which includes footage of Ronnybrook Farm and the Hudson Valley Fresh cooperative.

Another film shot nearby is "Massachusetts Farm," which shows how farming is a vital influence on the landscape, economy, and culture in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts.

Local Flavors

Support the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation at its annual fundraising dinner, Local Flavors, on Sunday, March 13, beginning at 6 p.m., at Mezze Bistro in Williamstown.

"Local Flavors is a celebration of the great variety of products from our local and regional farms," said WRLF Executive Director Leslie Reed-Evans in a press release. "We hope to raise awareness of the distinction between preserving farmland and preserving farming. Purchasing local foods and value-added products from our farming neighbors keeps these farms viable, in addition to giving consumers a wide choice of fresh and delicious foods."

The cost of the dinner is $100 per person, $90 for WRLF members, and includes wine and hors d'oeuvres. A vegetarian option is available. For reservations, a more detailed menu description or information call the WRLF at 413-458-2494 or visit www.wrlf.org.

Easter candy

The Easter bunny has had an early start hopping around the Berkshires dropping off chocolate Easter treats at local candy shops.

At Robin's Candy Shop in Great Barrington, a 27-pound chocolate bunny keeps watch over the marshmallow peep display. Pick up chocolate bunnies of all sizes, or go retro with an old-fashioned sugary panorama egg — the hallow sweet egg with miniature flowers and bunny scenes inside made from frosting.

Also in Great Barrington, Catherine's Chocolates is starting production on their chocolate-covered cream eggs.

In Lenox, enjoy the fancier side of Easter chocolates with one of Chocolate Springs' intricate chocolate bunnies that look like art and taste like heaven.

If you're looking for something from the Easter bunny across the pond, stop in to Brits R U.S. on North Street in Pittsfield and grab up specialty Easter candy — Cadbury creations like creme eggs, Egg n Spoon, or an Aero Bubbles Easter egg.

March Maple Dinner

Join Berkshire Grown chefs as they create a farm-to-table menu to celebrate spring at the March Maple Dinner on Monday, March 21, at Cranwell Resort in Lenox.

The dinner will benefit Berkshire Grown and its project, Share the Bounty, which buys shares in local farms for food pantries and community kitchens.

The event begins in the Mansion Music Room at 6 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres. At 7 p.m., people will sit down to a dinner served family style in the Mansion Ballroom.

The evening will feature a live auction for an eight-course tasting dinner with wine pairings for eight guests at The Old Inn on the Green.

Tickets, by reservation only, are $100 for Berkshire Grown members, $125 for non-members. For reservations call the Berkshire Grown office at 413-528-0041; for more information visit http://berkshiregrown.org/join-us-at-the-2016-march-maple-dinner/.


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