Hitchcock Harvest 2023
Hitchcock Harvest Feast and Celebration
Sunday, October 1st, 2023
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
The Hitchcock Center has been sowing seeds of change and educating for a healthy planet in the Valley for more than 60 years. In October 2023, we celebrated the harvest with local friends and businesses and shared what we are brewing up next. We can’t wait to see you next year for our third annual Harvest event where we will celebrate Hitchcock Center’s mission to educate and inspire action for a healthy planet with food, drink, community, garden and building tours, a short program, and lots of fun!
At our 2023 Hitchcock Harvest event, we honored three Hitchcock Heroes:
Sustainable Business Award: Barstow’s Longview Farm
Hitchcock Center honors Barstow’s Longview Farm, a sixth and seventh generation owned and operated dairy farm in Hadley, Mass. Their motto is, “Looking Forward Since 1806,” which speaks to the daily commitment to their herd, soil, workforce, community, and food systems. They have 600 head and milk 300 dairy cows using Lely robotic milkers. They are proud to be one of the 500 farm families, a part of the Cabot Creamery Cooperative, a B-Corp with big sustainability goals and accomplishments.
Barstow’s grows 100% of their own forage for their own herd on 450 acres. Here in the Pioneer Valley, open farmland is good for wildlife habitat, clean air and water, climate resilience, and food security. Barstow’s uses no-till equipment for all crops including their cover crop. They feel lucky to live in an area with so many active farms, which enables them to lend a helping hand to neighbors, share ideas, and share equipment such as a no-till planter, which makes our local food system more efficient, sustainable, and connected.
Barstow’s Longview Farm is also home to an anaerobic digester, a system that takes the energy potential (methane) from cow manure and food waste and turns it into enough electricity to power 1,600 homes. In addition to renewable energy, the digester also provides the farm (and neighborhood) with a fossil-fuel-free heat source and a chemical-free fertilizer for fields. This technology has increased crop yields, enhanced soil health, and decreased their chemical fertilizer usage by 90% all while diverting food waste from landfills, reducing farm odors, generating green electricity, and bringing in an additional revenue stream that supports their family dairy farm right here in our Western Mass community.
Thank you, Barstow’s!
Education for a Healthy Planet Award: Faith Deering
Hitchcock Center honors Faith Deering for her many years of educating for a healthy planet, a core part of our mission. Faith most recently was a museum educator at Historic Deerfield. Before Deerfield, she worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History as an entomologist and educator, and was an environmental educator here at the Hitchcock Center. She is a world traveler who has been to Thailand, Senegal, Central America and Europe in search of insects. One of Faith’s many talents is making connections between the natural world and human cultural history. From honey bees to silkworms, shellac scale to Cochineal dye, Faith enjoys talking about the myriad roles insects play in people’s lives.
Faith is masterful at bringing connections of nature and cultural origins to whatever she is teaching. She has created several traveling programs that go into the deep natural history and cultural history such as silkworms and broomcorn or hot chocolate programs; weaving the science, the interdependence, and the magic through the storytelling and lessons.
Faith is a model for creating relationships of deep care and respect with children as learners and future leaders, as well as for the material she is teaching. Hitchcock Center looks to her gentle way of connecting with young people and to her subject matter for inspiration.
Most recently, Faith is a founding member of the David Ruggles Center for History and Education in Northampton, Mass which honors the contributions made to the abolition of slavery by courageous individuals in the Valley. Their staff grows flax, sugar beets and broomcorn and interpret their use by the abolitionist community in Florence.
Thank you, Faith!
Youth Climate Leader: Julian Hynes
Julian Hynes is being honored as Hitchcock Center’s Youth Climate Leader. He has participated in Hitchcock Youth Climate Summit as well as other environmental programs with us throughout his youth. Julian is an active community member and already has a long history of advocacy work. He has been an invited speaker at several local climate events such as the League of Women Voters “The Intersection of Race and Climate” event and for the Community Land and Water Coalition.
He is the co-hub lead of Sunrise Amherst, a local chapter of the nationally youth-led Sunrise Movement which works to combat climate change and achieve racial justice. Climate justice is a main priority of Sunrise Amherst, and an essential part of Julian’s work. In his work for our local future, he envisions a town and town council that prioritizes climate justice through improving infrastructure, like repairing and adding bike lanes and sidewalks to major arteries in Amherst.
Julian is also the Co-chair of the Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee and a Governor Healey’s Youth Climate Council Inaugural Member. He and two other Amherst youth crafted the Winning Submission of Gov. Healey’s Portrait Essay Contest, which emphasizes his commitment to environmental justice. “Look to the young, the poor, the people of color, and the ones who need the most help…ask, ‘Who is not represented here?’ Then, break free from the symbolic fetters that bind you and invite them….”
Julian is committed to harnessing the power of community and honing climate science to positively impact the region through local political action.
Thank you, Julian!