Before he listed an Andover home last fall, broker Leland DiMeco of Boston Green Realty recommended the homeowner improve the energy efficiency of the vintage 1922 Colonial. An energy audit revealed air leaks, which were subsequently sealed with foam insulation for short money. [Read more]
The cost of installing solar panels may be difficult to recoup, but they're attractive to buyers.
Living in the country, I have the luxury of a backyard compost pile. Right now it's overflowing with acrid slop, but eventually it will yield dark, rich soil nutrients for the garden. If my potato peels, leftover rice, and parsley stems had been buried in a landfill, deprived of sun or air, those same scraps would have given rise to methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. [Read more]
GREENFIELD -- For someone who traffics in petroleum, Timothy Van Epps is doing everything he can to put his company out of that business.
Van Epps is president of Sandri Cos., an 80-year-old fuel oil company that is on a multimillion-dollar mission to convert heating customers to a common and cheap renewable resource: wood pellets. [Read more]
Skip Dunnell at Sandri Cos. with a wood pellet heating system, which the Greenfield firm offers as a cheap renewable alternative to oil. (Matthew Cavanaugh for The Boston Globe)
It works in San Francisco. And it could work in Boston.
Bud Stockwell is owner of Cornucopia's Heavenly Chocolate in Northampton, where Honey Vanilla With Sea Salt chocolates are a local favorite. (Nancy Palmieri for The Boston Globe)
NORTHAMPTON - After an emotional decision last Thursday to close their restaurant over a landlord-tenant dispute, the owners of the much-beloved Green Street Cafe have decided to keep the restaurant open after reaching a settlement with their landlord, Smith College.
Co-owner John Sielski said that he and his partner and co-owner Jim Dozmati had a change of heart after talking with their lawyer over the weekend. [Read more]
Northampton cafe owners, deep in debt, to shut down
NORTHAMPTON - The Green Street Cafe is dishing out its last servings of braised pork belly, crispy roast duck leg confit, and other comfort food that has made this homey bistro a foodie favorite over two decades.
He and co-owner Jim Dozmati were facing a court hearing next week on an eviction notice that Smith had served them. But they've instead decided to leave, are negotiating a settlement with the school, and plan to close the cafe sometime after Valentine's Day. [Read more]
Casey Osburn takes an order. (Photos By Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff)
Adams is trying to find a developer to build a lodge and conference center to help shift its fortunes
ADAMS -- This tiny town in the heart of the Berkshires is having a go at something others have tried and failed to do since the 1950s: build a resort at the base of Mount Greylock, the state's highest peak and first wilderness park. [Read more]
A view of Mount Greylock from Adams. The town is looking for a developer to help build a new resort, which would include a conference center. (Photo by Amy Toensing for The Boston Globe/ File 2006)
PHILADELPHIA -- If you've ever had a yen to visit this historic city, now's the time. Next Sunday Southwest Airlines starts flying from Logan to Philadelphia, with five nonstop flights daily. On July 21, Megabus starts running three daily departures from South Station. Both Amtrak's Acela Express and Northeast Regional services run multiple times daily, getting here in five or six hours. [Read more]
"Proclaim LIBERTY throughout the Land unto all the inhabitants thereof" is the biblical inscription on the 2,000-pound bell at the Liberty Bell Center, across from Independence Hall.
Children learn to make their own butter at organic farming conference
AMHERST -- To make very good butter, you need leak-proof jars with lids and a container of heavy whipping cream.
At the 36th annual Northeast Organic Farming Association Summer Conference held at the University of Massachusetts last weekend, Gavin Harper, 19, and his mom Jennifer Byington, led 30 rapt children in a workshop on the ancient dairy art. It turns out to be a great way to entertain them and make food at the same time. [Read more]
Listening to a demonstration on how to make their own butter. (Jason Cucchiara/Northeast Organic Farming Association)
At the end of June, a Rhode Island man helping friends paint a house in Montague decided to pay a visit to a special place he knew nearby. Still wearing his paint-spattered work clothes, he encountered one of the nuns plucking weeds on the grounds.
"Are you here to paint the pagoda?" she asked.
"No, but I notice it needs paint," he said. [Read more]
Teaching, tinkering, and other opportunities for eco-friendly volunteering.
The mission of the World Computer Exchange (worldcomputerexchange.org) is to "keep computers that still have life in them out of landfills and give them a new life in developing countries," says Timothy Anderson, who founded the Hull-based nonprofit in 1999. [Read more]
Like many new college graduates, Megan Strathearn wasn't sure what she wanted to do with her career.
After graduating last May with an English degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Strathearn took a summer campus job that involved working on a series of articles about transforming a major into a career. An online self-assessment test, one of several offered at the university's career services office, helped clarify her own interests. [Read more]
That's how the world's most widely used personality assessment summarized the type of person I am: In Myers-Briggs speak, I am an "Introvert, Sensing, Thinking, and Perceiving" type. Which basically means I'm quiet, independent, logical but skeptical, unpretentious, and operating more on curiosity and impulse than organization or plans. [Read more]
(Globe illustration / Ben Kirchner)
Some of the assessment materials used at the University of Massachusetts Career Services office. (Nancy Palmieri for The Boston Globe)
Student Megan Strathearn (Nancy Palmieri for The Boston Globe)
STRATTON MOUNTAIN, Vt. -- On the south side of the mountain a mile from the ski area, low-lying clouds create a thick, chill fog around the old fire tower. A companion and I have just climbed up 3.8 miles, hoping for a glimpse of the summit's famous 360-degree views. Instead, we're wildly searching our daypacks for more clothes to put on. [Read more]
To look at José Roman--a short, muscular Puerto Rican-American with sleepy green eyes, a slow, sweet grin, pierced ears, a backward baseball cap covering black hair tied in a bun, and the nickname REX tattooed prominently along one arm--you might guess the 23-year-old has seen a bit of life. And you'd be right: José contracted HIV at birth from his drug-addicted mother, who died of AIDS when he was three. [Read more]
José Roman, who contracted HIV at birth, stays healthy by taking nine pills a day.
AMHERST -- Since successfully weathering the incursion of big-box booksellers more than a decade ago, independent bookstores have been contending for some time with another threat: the Internet. [Read more]
Javiera Benavente of Food for Thought (Jerrey Roberts)
Though this Amherst house boasts a fashionably small footprint, at its center lies one grand-scale room.
When the empty lot next to their Amherst home came up for sale a few years back, Frank Hein and Julie Hemment bought it to preserve their open surroundings and dramatic views of the Pelham Hills. Then they had to figure out what to do with the extra property. For the answer, Hemment, who teaches cultural anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, turned to colleague Joseph Krupczynski in the university's department of architecture and design. [Read more]
On the bright side: The great room's tall windows face south, for maximum sunlight and heat.