March 20 is the first day of spring. But does it not feel like winter just started?
We who live in the UpCountry of the Berkshires and Southern Vermont know that a calendar is a calendar. The weather is the weather. What will be will be: Snow in April is entirely possible, if not probable.
Yet at this time of year, as we slog through melting ice and mud, a calendar is helpful since it provides odds-on hope that warmer, spring-like weather is around the corner. We can start planning our gardens and thinking about our summer adventure plans, but because winter keeps a tight grip on these parts, we can still enjoy the comfort of a hot meal around a cozy fire to counteract the cold and damp.
Thus, we have our theme for this issue of UpCountry, a mix of indoors and outdoors for this seasonal shoulder season.
Our writers went hunting for comfort foods from the Berkshires to Brattleboro and in search of a cozy restaurant and a pint of beer in the Pioneer Valley. Others sought out new adventures like how to butcher a pig in Northampton and what you’ll find at venerable country stores in Southern Vermont.
This edition of UpCountry also features the unsung volunteers who maintain the Appalachian Trail around these parts, the story of “Divine Mercy Sunday” in Stockbridge, Mass., and the tale of an average fly-tyer.
With so much to read, you had best get started.
Kevin Moran, Executive Editor