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Farm Chic: A Shopping Party to Benefit Berkshire Grown

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Dai Ban's sterling charms ($65) designed exclusively for Berkshire Grown

“Farm Chic” may sound like an oxymoron, but the organizers of Sunday’s jewelry party at Allium restaurant for Berkshire Grown are very serious—and stylish— fundraisers. “The title is tongue in cheek,” says Barbara Zheutlin, the executive director of Berkshire Grown, the not-for-profit that champions local agriculture and cooking, which recently lost significant state funding. “Our board thought we could have some fun by selling jewelry and accessories to raise the $3,500 we need to publish our annual Farm to Table Directory, which brings together farmers and chefs, making it possible for restaurants to serve as much local food as possible and helping to keep small farmers in business.”

Rural Intelligence StyleLaurily Epstein, vice president of the Berkshire Grown board, got the idea for Farm Chic when she discovered a bag of costume jewelry that she no longer wore in the back of her closet, and she envisioned a charity swap meet. “I figured every woman has a bag like that, and we could have a sale to raise money,” says Epstein (modeling jewelry near right with Robin Ban and Hester Velmans), who notes that the donated items come in every imaginable style and range in price from $2 to $50. Her fellow committee members were so enthusiastic about the concept that they decided to add new jewelry and accessories to the mix, including work by local artisans such as Stephanie Iverson. Saskia Laraz, Stephanie Gravalese, Crispina ffrench, and Sonya Mackintosh of smARTWORKS (who will donate 20 percent of their sales on Sunday to BG.) Allium owner Nancy Thomas is not only donating her restaurant but also nibbles to nosh while shopping.

Rural Intelligence StyleThe organizers are especially excited about the line of sterling silver charms ($65 each) that Great Barrington sculptor Dai Ban (left) has designed exclusively for Berkshire Grown, which will be sold on an ongoing basis. “He’s designed five to start and he plans to create a new one for us each year so you can add to your charm bracelet,” says Epstein,. The charms include an apple, a pig, a wedge of cheese, and a pitch fork. “You could wear one or two on a cord around your neck,” says Epstein. Now, that’s what we call Farm Chic.

Farm Chic Jewelry & Accessories Sale
February 28; 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
42 Railroad Street, Great Barrington.
Free admission

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Posted by Dan Shaw on 02/24/10 at 06:31 AM • Permalink