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JERREY ROBERTS
Mike April, left, of Amherst, takes his 50th birthday cake from his brother-in-law, David Ryan, as his sister, Cheryl Ryan and Peter Jessop look on Saturday at a Habitat for Humanity building site at 246 East Street in Easthampton. April and his family celebrated his birthday by volunteering to work at the site. Jessop is the site manager.

Mike April of Amherst celebrates 50th by helping building Easthampton Habitat for Humanity home

Saturday, March 28, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — As his big “5-0” birthday approached, Mike April of Amherst said he wanted to do something a little different to celebrate. In planning his party, he kept in mind things he considers important: family and giving back to community. That’s why he decided to gather a dozen of his friends and family to help continue Pioneer Valley Habitat …

Easter and chocolate: Hand in hand

Friday, March 27, 2015

Looking back at the traditional agriculture year shows us the origins of most Easter foods, but tells us nothing about one vital treat: chocolate. It’s a newcomer to the festivities because until the 19th century it was impossible to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids, so chocolate was only palatable as …

Easter feast: Holiday sweets and luscious leftovers

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wouldn’t it be terrific if our local asparagus were with us for Easter? It tastes wonderful with both ham and lamb, which are Easter dinner favorites, but, of course, we can’t expect it to pop through the ground until early May. And that will be too late for Easter dinner. But no vegetable …

Raise your glass, Pioneer Valley

Friday, March 27, 2015

Natura Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Chile, $9.99-11.99 Natura Chardonnay 2013, Chile, $9.99-11.99 About a decade ago, I tried an organic wine. It was expensive and bad. I didn’t spit it out or even pour it down the drain, probably …

Potent, healthy condiments deliver big flavor, few calories in this Passover dish

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wouldn’t it be terrific if our local asparagus were with us for Easter? It tastes wonderful with both ham and lamb, which are Easter dinner favorites, but, of course, we can’t expect it to pop through the ground …

Valley Bounty: Parsnip Latkes

Friday, March 27, 2015

Parsnip Latkes Parsnips are a tapered root vegetable that withstand long winters in a cold cellar, in your vegetable drawer, or over-wintered in the garden. Spring-dug parsnips are my favorite — and they’re coming soon! — but I’ve …

Easter and chocolate: Hand in hand

Looking back at the traditional agriculture year shows us the origins of most Easter foods, but tells us nothing about one vital treat: chocolate. It’s a newcomer to the festivities because until the 19th century it was impossible …

Geneva Della Bitta-Nickerson & Timothy Schmitt, Jr.

Ann Della Bitta and Mark Nickerson of Amherst are announcing the engagement of their daughter, Geneva Rose Della Bitta-Nickerson, of Somerville, to Timothy P. Schmitt Jr., also of Somerville. Timothy is the son of Kacey and Timothy Schmitt …

Ski resorts worth hundreds of millions could be sold

NEWRY, Maine — A real estate investment trust that’s considering getting out of the snow business could sell more than dozen ski resorts from Maine to California that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. CNL Lifestyle Properties …

Diemand Egg Farm in Wendell cancels annual Easter event because of concerns over bird flu

WENDELL — The Easter Bunny will skip his annual trip to Diemand Egg Farm, playing it safe amid reported cases of bird flu elsewhere in the country. The farm has held an Easter egg hunt for 10 years, drawing as many as 700 people annually. Reports of avian …