First Thursdays in Fitchburg MA

The city of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, comes alive the First Thursday of each month. Several events have been ongoing for months if not years.

Butterfly Woman Publishing
Butterfly Woman Publishing

For the first time, Butterfly Woman Publishing, Inc. www.butterfly-woman-publishing.com  participated as a Vendor at the First Thursday Fitchburg Farmers Market, at Fitchburg Art Museum. The museum welcomes the community to participate at the museum, FOR FREE, on the First Thursday of each month. Through a generous grant, Ward Four residents are granted an annual free membership. First Thursday at the museum is dedicated to the Fitchburg Farmers Market. Other events may occur on the same evening, which proves to enhance the event. More traffic is generated when different functions take place.

The Fiddler's Gardens
The Fiddler’s Gardens Steve and Sue

Last night was no exception. Sheila Lumi, Community Organizer, invited Steve and Sue of The Fiddler’s Gardens to play Celtic music. Sue plays fiddle and Steve plays guitar. I absolutely loved it. I am sold on the idea of partnering.

I am a member of Fitchburg Art Museum and Fitchburg Farmers Market Association. Can you imagine setting up a table next to the Hudson River School Painting Exhibit? Yes, there are several rooms devoted to American Scenery: Different Views in Hudson River School Painting, on exhibit through June 2.  There was also art on the walls where I was stationed. It is a tremendous privilege to be part of this program. I was raised in Saratoga Springs, New York, home to the oldest thoroughbred horse races in the world. Saratoga is near the Hudson River with its magnificent views. Fitchburg Art Museum has landscape paintings of Lake George and Seneca Lake, which are right in my childhood backyard.

VeeLashua Vee Lashua and her son Zack, student St. Andrews School, were selling fresh eggs, vegetables, and organic meat. I bought two pounds of grass fed ground beef and pork chops last month. This month I bought two dozen eggs (yes they are that good), cut kale, and beets. Vee’s crops are delicious and the pork chops are the best I have ever eaten. Zack was selling fresh made “Award Winning” chili that his mother had made. I had a bowl and suggested Vee make chili again for next month. It was delicious. They also served hot chocolate.

Nick Capasso and Terry Impostato
Nick Capasso and Terry Impostato

Nick Capasso, new 10th Director of the Fitchburg Art Museum, stopped by to introduce himself. Nick says, “I am proud to join a museum with deep ties to its community – in Fitchburg and in the surrounding towns and cities in Central New England.” Next month I learned that Nick is planning to host an informal meet and greet reception where he will greet museum visitors.  This is why I love the art scene here. Everyone is on the same playing field when it comes to promoting Fitchburg to the World.

Terry Impostato of Semi Precious Gem Treasures assisted me by restoring some old family jewelry necklaces that had broken. Both were from the 1940s or earlier. The seed pearl necklace is gorgeous now set with some red inland stones and the cinnabar necklace has been interlaced with black onyx. I am well pleased. Now I can start to plan to buy some jewelry each month.

Duffy Lanciani of I shoot Wildlife.
Duffy Lanciani of I shoot Wildlife.

Robert “Duffy” Lanciani was there last night representing his wife Mary, who was ill. Mary is a fabulous photographer. Matter of fact, I bought two of her photos made up as greeting cards. Naturally one was a wet monarch and the other was a standing bear in fall. They both shoot nature, wildlife, artistic impressions. Check them out at www.ishootwildlife.com

Janice Oikelmus recently relocated to Fitchburg from San Francisco.
Janice Oikelmus recently relocated to Fitchburg from San Francisco.

Afterwards, I walked over to First Parish Church to participate in the monthly First Thursday Drummers Group that starts at 7 p.m. The music led me to the meeting room. How warm it was to see a Music Alter set with instruments around the lit candles set for intention.

Music alter honoring intentions
Music alter honoring intentions

Some participants’ play drums; others played talking sticks, flutes and wind primitive handmade instruments, while melodic drumming kept the beat.

Sacred gourd
Sacred gourd

I immediately fell into a meditative mood and played my gourd rattle that I grew and dried. Nature provides musical instruments.  I would have liked to stay longer, but it had been a long day already.  I did a wrap within an hour and walked home with Glenda Littlehale. We both live at The Sundial.

One can only anticipate that things are getting better in downtown Fitchburg. The more we partner and enjoy the fruits of our labors, the better we become.

Fitchburg’s Winter Farmers Market is a new spin for a Museum

Once a month, the Fitchburg Art Museum is a host site for the Fitchburg Farmers Market, which takes place every first Thursday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., January – June. Local growers and artisans, come to sell local grown or frozen grass fed beef, pork and poultry, eggs and handcrafted products. 

ImageIt was a joy to meet local farmers. I met Vee Lashua, owner of Brookside Family Farm, Westminister MA. Fresh farm eggs, winter crops such as Brussels sprouts, turnips, carrots and frozen grass feed beef and pork chops were purchased. When I returned home I cooked up the Brussels sprouts and devoured them in one sitting.

ImageSilver Oak Farm in Ashby is home to alpacas. Pam Welty, owner, sold me two pairs of Alpaca Survival Socks with a blend of spun alpaca wool. These will be Christmas presents.

ImageI bought hearty fresh baked bread by Hearth Fire Traveling Wood Fired Cuisine. Scott and Kerry Metcalf are the owners. I purchased a loaf of spiced apple cider and raisin bread. On Sunday after church, my sister made us a breakfast at Winter Hill Farm. We enjoyed the bread at that time. 

 Growing Places Garden Project was also there. I had an opportunity to speak with Anna Finstein, an AmeriCorps volunteer. I plan to collaborate with the project to educate children about growing food at school and in city backyard gardens. I will be representing Happy Tonics, headquartered in northwest WI. As a board member of the nonprofit environmental education organization, I look forward sharing garden information with gardeners in my new city.  As a published author, I write about pollinator corridors and monarch butterflies, I look forward to teaching children about monarch butterfly habitat and native plants that are necessary to the butterfly’s survival. It is thrilling to know that I can have my very own garden plot, in the park, in front of The Sundial, the building where I live, thanks to Growing Places Garden Project.

ImageTerry Impostato, owner of Semi Precious Gem Treasures, had an inviting display of fine art jewelry. I asked Terry to repair two necklaces that I had saved for years. One is a pearl necklace from Japan, probably from the 1940s; the other is a cinnabar necklace. She told me that cinnabar was a byproduct and at one time was a toxic waste product. Now it is beautiful carved beads that have separated from the string.

 According to http://www.chinafinds.com/cinnabar-guide.html  Cinnabar, also known as Chinese Lacquer, is a famous Chinese handicraft. Traditionally, cinnabar items were created by painting multiple layers of lacquer onto an item, letting the item dry between each coat, and then carving the resulting layers of lacquer into beautiful patterns. Cinnabar gets its name from the toxic red mineral cinnabar (mercury sulfide) that was once used to give the distinctive red color to the lacquer used in the process. Lynda Ireland, a friend, had given me the broken necklace years ago. It is only now that I am having the necklace repaired, at least 12 years later.

 In the future, I plan to interview other vendors in order for readers to learn about Fitchburg Art Museum and the wonderful programs that are happening there.

Till then, be happy butterfly friends wherever you are.