At Fini’s Plant Farm, children and families can enjoy a Halloween-themed daytime party and more adventuresome souls can undertake a nighttime haunted hayride. Beginning at 7 p.m., explorers embark on a 20–30 minute covered hayride through the expanses of Deadman Woods, then wander through a haunted house that some say still echoes with the mournful cries of frozen wontons forgotten in the oven.
After loading up groups into their cabins, Sports Travel and Tours’ coaches set a course for Fenway Park for an evening of AL East baseball as the Red Sox look to trounce the formidable Tampa Bay Rays and regain their crimson footing in one of the majors' most competitive divisions. Powerhouse designated hitter David Ortiz leads the BoSox’s offensive charge with more than 20 RBIs and a batting average well above .300 so far this season. Likewise, shortstop Mike Aviles has racked up more than 20 runs, making so many trips around the diamond that he always stops to water his redwood growing on the third-base line.
New England Hydroponics' trained staff roams the shop, eager to help patrons find the perfect products for their indoor-gardening needs. They demonstrate equipment for customers or allow them to try it out before purchase, helping them learn the ins and outs of products such as HID lights, grow tents, and flutes that make vines dance. A newly built 4,000-square-foot warehouse keeps New England Hydroponics' retail store stocked with supplies for gardeners of all types.
In 2007, manager David Stauffer transformed a century-old building into a charming dry-goods store. Honoring the antique architecture, he still sends grains sailing down the building's antique wooden chute, which unloads shipments into pickup trucks and the gullets of bears that are tired of stealing picnic baskets. Additionally, the shop continues to stock its signature birdseed blend, lawn fertilizer, garden and pet supplies, hay, and other outdoor essentials.
On more than 100 acres of land, Amherst Nurseries grows a vast forest of trees and shrubs, helping to make customers' green thumbs even greener. The retail store boasts a friendly staff that helps customers select the right plants for their yards. Maples, ashes, honey locusts, and other shade trees provide homes for birds' nests and dolls' treehouses ($330 for a 15- to 20-ft. tree), and the colorful foliage of plums, cherries, crab apples, and other flowering trees gives yards an instant makeover in preparation for tree prom season ($260 for a 10- to 15-ft. tree). On the farm, Amherst's tree tenders minimize pesticide use and partner with UMass researchers to test new soil-conservation technologies. Each seedling is raised on sunlight, fresh air, and occasional discipline, growing into a sturdy young tree that showcases a one-year guarantee and an excellent moral compass.