Thursday, August 26, 2010

17th Century Hunting, Farming and Forestry Practices Featured at “Farm, Field and Forest: Living with the Land” - September 25 in Orange, MA

The keynote address for “Farm, Field & Forest: Living with the Land,” scheduled for September 25, will be delivered by an authority on the early contact period between Native Americans and colonists, historian Dr. Jack Dempsey (Ph.D. Brown University). Dempsey is the biographer of the New England colonizer Thomas Morton, an author and lawyer reviled by the Puritans for his carefree antics and celebrated by others as one the country’s first sportsmen.

“Farm, Field and Forest,” which is organized as a “Teach-in,” will take place at the Orange Town Hall and White Elephant in Orange, MA. The focus of the event is building local economies by looking at past and present practices in sustainable farming and forestry. The event is free and open to the public.

Dempsey’s 2000 edition of New English Canaan by Thomas Morton of Merrymount, (1637) includes one of the jewels of Northeastern heritage: Morton’s groundbreaking natural history of early New England in 10 central chapters of Canaan, which first catalogued and detailed its flora and fauna from Cape Cod to Lake Champlain.

“With Canaan’s observations and arguments, Morton in his day meant to promote both ‘development’ and a simultaneous, thoughtful debate about the wisest ways to ‘husband’ in America,” Dempsey stated. “Morton’s watchwords were ‘affection’ and ‘respect.’ So, as Morton’s insights and influences helped to inspire and empower many later Americans---naturalists, developers, activists and poets, too---his Canaan can do the same for us as we work to create new forms of dynamic and thoughtful stewardship.”

"Farm, Field & Forest: Living with the Land” will open at 9:00 a.m. in the Orange Town Hall at 6 Prospect Street with a workshop on sustenance hunting and fishing, followed by trailblazing, and a panel discussion on sustainable energy and conservation. The keynote address by Dr. Dempsey will be delivered at 1:00 p.m. A talk by wildlife biologist, David King at 2:00 p.m. will be followed by presentations and a panel discussions on sustainable forestry and farming practices and land-based industries.

Doors at the White Elephant, 19 East Main Street, Orange, will open at noon and feature an art and photography exhibit, talks by local historians Elizabeth Peirce and Allen Young, and a group discussion on daily life as lived by locals in the 19th and early and mid-20th century. If you are an artist or photographer interested in exhibiting at the White Elephant for the one-day event, contact Marie MacDonald at (978)-249-6879.

For further information, contact the organizer, Genevieve Fraser, at (978) 544-1872; Email: ; or visit

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