Look out, Canyon Ranch: There’s a new spa up the street— HIGH LAWN FARM, home of fresh Jersey milk. They decided there is nothing too good for their girls. New spa facilities have been competed on their farm in Lee, MA. After a leisurely stroll around the track, the cows moooove on to a head and neck massage and then it’s time for a nap in a private suite on a waterbed. When properly rested, off to Lely’s, a gentle massage and cleaning of the udders leads to a robotic milking to relive the weight gain after a hard day, all this while munching on a serving of sweet oats. Oh, and then a quick dunk in the pool to rinse off the hoofs. The Lely Astronaut A4 milking robot, from the Netherlands, is heaven on earth to these girls.
Upon check in, each resident is assigned an elegant necklace with its very own transponder. This allows the staff to monitor their production and health through the milk. The Lely can keep tabs on the girls who just can’t resist an extra helping of oats by restricting double dippers. Everyone gets a chance, at their leisure, to partake twice a day in the offerings of Lely. It’s a win-win: The girls couldn’t be happier and milk production is up about 30%.
High Lawn Farms milk, cream, butter and now ice cream available throughout the Berkshires.
BERKSHIRE HARVEST RENTAL KITCHEN, a fully equipped “Serve Safe Facility,” has opened at 195 Water St., Route 20, in Lee. Owned by Tina and Rod Clark, this 600-square-foot food preparation kitchen is equipped with stainless steel commercial equipment to help innovators and entrepreneurs prepare the next big thing. The rent-by-the-hour facility is available by appointment. 413-243-3698; BHRK195@gmail.com
GREAT BARRINGTON WILL BE THE FIRST TOWN IN WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS TO BAN THE USE OF “THIN FILM, SINGLE-USE PLASTIC CHECKOUT BAGS” for retail purposes. The bags are known best as those used in local supermarkets and convenience stores. The bylaw was approved at Town Meeting last May and went into effect March 1. The new bylaw is intended to encourage all shoppers to bring and use their own recyclable bags. Join the movement and bag it!
Ashley Summers a Lanesborough, MA, native and resident, came across an ad for the former Ahava Amore Café space on North Street Pittsfield and decided to fulfill her childhood dream of owning a bakery. MADELEINE’S PATISSERIE & CAFÉ, a rustic French country bakery, was born. Chef Summers is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT, where her passion for baking grew.
Breakfast at the café includes hand-rolled stuffed croissants, scones, muffins and daily special breakfast pastries. Lunch can include homemade chicken potpies by the slice with house-made gravy; fresh mozzarella focaccia pizza; quiche; salads; and macaroni and cheese. Foods are all natural and made in house. Beaucoup de succès!
48 North St., Pittsfield; 413-464-7781; M–Th 7:30am– 3pm, F 7:30am–5pm, Sat 9am–5pm
OTTO’S BREAKFAST & DELI of Lee has taken over the Pittsfield location of Nook & Cranny, on East Street. Nook & Cranny of West Stockbridge had closed its second location, enabling Otto’s to open its.
Paul and Dawn Face, owners of Otto’s, will offer the same menu as at their Lee location. Patrons can have breakfast all day, or a lunch menu selection featuring New York–style deli sandwiches, soups, salads and daily specials. 95 East St., Pittsfield.
OttosBreakfastAndDeli.com; M–F 6:30am–2:30pm, Sa 7am–2:30pm, Su 7am–12:30pm
GFG (GLUTEN-FREE GOURMET) CAFÉ, is open in Great Barrington at 284 Main St., at the rear of the building’s atrium. This small café, started by Matthew and Dara Levy, is open seven days a week serving sandwiches, soups and salads. Everything is 100% gluten free, cooked and baked on premises. Matthew, the cook, crafted a solution for wife Dara, a nutritionist, who was diagnosed six years ago with celiac disease.
The solution was to learn to make the comfort foods they loved gluten free. Bagels, pizza, mac and cheese, meatballs with pasta, cupcakes, brownies and cakes, all gluten free. Eat there or packed to go. 413-717-4265; GFGCafe.com
The Bennington Farm to Plate Council in southwestern Vermont, north of Berkshire County, has created a food system directory called TRILOCAL. This directory lists local food providers and sellers in Bennington County, VT; northwestern Massachusetts; and Washington and Rensselaer counties, NY. The Council’s mission is to support a thriving and sustainable regional food system. TriLocal.org
Retail is adapting and changing in the Berkshires, following the path of the new young farmers. Aleisha and Brian Gibbons, founders and inspiration of BERKSHIRES ORGANICS, have taken over an additional 2,500 square feet next to their current 4,000-square-foot store on Dalton Division Road, Dalton. The building, formally occupied by Burgner’s Farms, will house artisan creators and providers of specialty products. See the initial four vendors below.
Aleisha and Brian expect the new departments to open in early April. Please check Facebook.com/berkshireorganics for more information.
CRICKET CREEK FARM, Williamstown, renowned producers of awardwinning hand-crafted artisanal cheeses—among them Maggie Round, a semi-firm, whole-milk cheese inspired by the toma cheeses of the Italian Alps.
They will staff their own department Thursdays and Fridays. Staff will sample the unique creations as they are released from the farm and be available to cut and wrap custom orders. All products in season will be cut stocked and wrapped for purchase all week.
RED APPLE BUTCHERS, a new venture with partners James Burden and Jazu Stine, formally of The Meat Market, in Great Barrington. The department will offer meats from local farms throughout Berkshire County. Staff will be available Wednesday– Saturday to prepare special cuts, meet their customers and learn the lay of the land. Packaged products will be available the remainder of the week, portioned and packed for easy purchase.
BAKE ME PRETTY. Dalton-raised Kate Miller has decided to expand her successful special-order-based business specializing in pastries and cakes for weddings, birthdays and other events, by opening her own shop at Berkshire Organics.
Kate will have complete facilities to bake on premises, taking full advantage of her professional experience and culinary school background. The department will be staffed full time by a bakery specialist.
NATURALLY CATERING + TAKEOUT. What else could be done to offer the community and the 300 basket customers who subscribe to the CSA-style program of Berkshire Organics the convenience of entertaining at home, but to recruit the skilled and talented ability of Aura Whitman, former owner and chef exemplar of Café Reva. Naturally Catering + Takeout will cook and create on premises for your events or just for you and your spouse or date. They will be staffed full time to assist with the customers’ needs and a grab-and-go case will be stocked with freshly prepared soups, salads, side dishes entrees and more.