Friday, September 9, 2011

Essex Happenings September 9, 2011

Colleges in the Region Filled to Capacity

From all the reports we have heard, the five local colleges on the North Shore are bursting at the seems with new and returning students. Attendance is up for a number of reasons, not the least is which is the state of the economy. With jobs scarce and the economy weak many young folks are delaying a job search and staying in school until conditions are improved. There are also many older residents of the region, who have returned to school to improve their chances of future employment. Several of the local colleges are experiencing the highest enrollments of all time with Gordon College registering its largest freshman class ever and Montserrat College of Art noting that the first time ever they have a waiting list for admission. The two pubic colleges in the region, Salem State University and North Shore Community College have each seen moderate increases in enrollment. The Community College expects a ten percent increase in number of students from one year ago. In total the five local colleges will host over 18,000 students and the population is up substantially from one year ago. These increases bode well for the regions economy going forward. The students now living in this region will spend dollars to boost the economy and in the future could become part of our permanent work force.

Former Salem Police Chief to Sub as Chief at Salem State University

Speaking of local colleges, Salem State University made a sensational move when they hired former Salem Police Chief Bob St. Pierre as the interim Chief of the University Police Force. The former Salem Chief knows the University landscape as well as anyone in the region and has many long-term connections with Salem State. He will do a wonderful job in this temporary assignment, while the University seeks a permanent head of that important role. Former Chief St. Pierre is one of the most highly thought of police officials in this region and since his retirement from the Salem post he has stayed involved in local police work involved through several temporary assignment including one in the Town of Salisbury.

Northeast Harvest has produced its September Newsletter and because the Preservation of Farming is so important to Essex Heritage. Some Sections are reprinted here.

Calling all Animal Lovers - Farmers - Crafters - Artists Everywhere!

It's that time of year again - the Topsfield Fair! You may want to enter your goat, sheep, or may want to enter your best vegetables or fruits...OR...even a craft or your artwork. Or perhaps you just want to COME to the Fair. Whatever your interests may be, there is something for everyone. The Topsfield Fair dates are September 30th to October 10th. Click here for more information. And don't forget to buy your advance sale discount tickets - available online NOW!

Apples - Apples - Apples

Whether you like eating apples, apple pie, applesauce, apple cider donuts or tasting fresh apple cider, September is the month for you. Many of our farms offer Pick-Your-Own or ready for purchase. Click here for Pick-Your-Own farms in eastern Massachusetts. Below are a few interesting apple facts:
• The pilgrims planted the 1st US apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
• Apple trees take 4 - 5 years to produce their first fruit.
• It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
• Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.
• Apples are a great source of fiber pectin - one apple has 5 grams of fiber.
• A medium apple is about 80 calories.
• Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
• It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
• Apples are a member of the rose family.
• World's top apple producers are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy.

September Starts the Corn Maze Season

If you've never been to a corn maze, you don't know how much fun they are! There are 3 main types - daytime, which are perfect for families and small children - nighttime, which are the same as daytime but with flashlights...very popular with teenagers - and haunted, which usually begin in October and are definitely not for small children. The corn used is a variety that grows 8-9 feet tall and creates a thick, impenetrable maze. The pattern is usually only visible from the air, but on the ground it is a great maze. Ipswich's Marini Farm's theme is 'Let Freedom Ring' and Danvers' Connors Farm's theme is Salem Village-Headless Horseman. Both open on Saturday, September 10th. The maze at Kimball Farm in Haverhill is already open and their maze honors the Boston Bruins Champions! Please click on farm name for more details.

Farm Fact

The raising of cows for milk can be traced to the earliest domestication of animals. There are records of cows being milked in 9000 BC. In 1492, Christopher Columbus brought cattle to the West Indies to provide milk and meat for the settlers. Cows arrived at Jamestown in 1611 and Plymouth in 1624. In Massachusetts, town commons were used as community pastures for grazing.

We Want to Hear From YOU!

CONSUMERS - Tell us your interests.
FARMERS - Let us know what's happening at your farm. We will try to publish your events in our newsletters.
Please add as a reciprocal link on your farm website. THANK YOU

Recent Essex Heritage Partnership Grant Project Honored with Award upon Project Completion

North Parish Meeting House Wins 'Best in Show'
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North Parish Unitarian Universalist Church has long been an iconic landmark in town. Now, it's being recognized on Beacon Hill for its handicap accessibility and style.
The church was recently honored at the State House for accessibility work done on its 175-year-old Meeting House. Menders, Torrey, and Spencer Inc., the Boston-based architectural firm that oversaw the church's renovation were presented with the William D. Smith Memorial Honor Award for their accessibility design.
“This building simply got better, in all aspects, after the renovation," the jurors said about their decision to honor North Parish. "The work done to make the place more accessible actually enhanced the overall design."
The annual award -- founded in memory of the late historic preservation advocate William D. Smith and issued by the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board and Boston Society of Architects -- honors architectural design that integrates accessibility with historic preservation.
Past projects earning the award include Harvard Divinity School, Park Street Church near the Boston Common and Boston's John Adams Courthouse.
The North Parish renovation worked with the church's existing historic entrances and created direct access to the sanctuary from the parking with sloped walkway as well as accessible front doors. The original steps were converted to a seating bench, steps were removed from the vestibule and wheelchair seating was created within historic box pew areas.
"All of this was accomplished using historically appropriate, local materials that retained the building’s character and contributed to its sustainable charter," the jurors' statement continued. "This is masterful work, and we called it the 'Best in Show.'”
This renovation came after extensive preservation work on the church's steeple and exterior. These projects were funded by contributions from the North Andover Community Preservation Act, a grant from Essex National Heritage Commission, fundraising within the congregation and an anonymous grant.

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