Oct 26-27, 2023

After assuming the role of Field Trip Organizer for the BCC, I approached Kate Stillman, owner of Stillman Quality Meats and Halley Stillman, Still Life Farm as to the possibility of our members being allowed access to their farms for photographic field trips. They have enthusiastically embraced the concept, and approached the Hardwick Farmers Guild to recruit other farmers. We've agreed to October 26 and Oct. 27 for our first foray. Their interest lies in this as an opportunity to promote Hardwick agriculture and their community. Participants will be strongly encouraged to share images with the farmers for use on their websites.

Please note: Interested members please contact Craig Childs craig.c.childs@gmail.com by Oct. 4. Registration deadline Oct. 16. Depending on interest, members may be allowed to bring guests for a small fee. Participants will be limited to 12 per day.

Hardwick is the center of a traditional New England farming community whose history dates back to the 1600s. The region is just east of the Quabbin Reservoir (Boston's water source), with Hardwick in the center, Ware to the south, Petersham northwest, Barre to the northeast, New Braintree to the southeast, and Ware to the southwest. Being there is like walking into a time machine. In a word, heavenly. We are being welcomed with open arms and enthusiasm. There is so much to see and do in the area, from classic town Commons, historic Congregationalist, Unitarian, and Universalist churches, rock walls, great views. Access to the farms has so many opportunities- open fields, greenhouses, barns, farm critters, landscapes, environmental portraits, and so on. Being in October, we'll have the fall colors. 

We are looking at the potential for a partnership between the BCC and the Hardwick Farmers Guild. I've posted my first photos from around Hardwick on my instagram site @rnmboston. My new friend and fellow photographer Michael LeClair has been photographing the community for years. His excellent work can be seen on instagram @mleclairphoto. Michael has shown me some of his favorite spots and made introductions. After a couple of visits to the Hardwick area, I've been made to feel  already a part of the community.

Hardwick is about an hour and a half-two hours from Boston, just close enough to allow for day trips, depending on how early or late one is willing to drive. Carpooling would seem to be the order of the day. Me, I hate driving after dark so in order to catch the morning and evening light, I've been staying overnight, which is what I'll be doing the night of the 26th (staying at the inexpensive Copper Lantern Motor Lodge in West Brookfield, link below). There are many inns, B&Bs, etc. in the area (list below). We decided that a Thursday and Friday would work best, as the farmers will be most likely to be present, as the other days and weekends they are typically on the road selling.

The general structure of the trips would be meeting on the commons at Hardwick. I'll have itineraries laid out, with a site to get back together at lunch, most likely at Mimi's (https://www.mimiscoffeehouse.com) on the commons in Hardwick. We'll work out details as we get a rough headcount.

If interested, please contact by email craig.c.childs@gmail.com. Be thinking about which days, or both, your interests, etc. Suggestions, you bet!

Did I mention the covered bridge near Ware?

Please don't hesitate to contact me for information, queries, etc., if you are interested in coming, staying overnight, day trip, etc etc.

My contact details are:

Craig Childs

617-751-9925. call or text. If calling, leave a message.


instagram: @rnmboston 

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