Blog Posts

Currents: September 2019


Currents is published monthly by Windhorse Integrative Mental Health of Northampton, 211 North St., Suite 1, Northampton, MA 01060. The Executive Director is Victoria Yoshen. For questions, concerns, and suggestions about Currents, contact us at


Upcoming Events

mark your calendar
Mark your calendars for upcoming community gatherings!

Community Events:
Friday, October 25th, time TBD. Help us celebrate the season with this fun Halloween tradition and make a jack o’lantern or other carved creation to decorate your home! Please keep an eye on your email for more details about this event as they are announced. To be added to our community email list or to RSVP for this event, please contact us at

Events Committee: Wednesday, October 2nd, 9-9:30am in the Windhorse community room. The Events Committee plans Windhorse community events. Clients, staff, and community members are welcome to attend and share their ideas. The committee meets on the first Wednesday of every month from 9-9:30am. *Please note that the time of this meeting recently changed. It now meets at 9am.*

Community Lunch: Tuesday, October 8th, 12:30-1:30pm at the Windhorse office. This is an opportunity to enjoy a potluck lunch while meeting and socializing with others in the Windhorse community. All are welcome to come for the whole hour or just stop by for a visit. Please feel free to bring your own lunch or contribute something yummy for the group.
Community Education: Wednesday,October 9th, 9-11am with an optional guided meditation 9-9:30am. Join the Windhorse staff during their monthly discussions and trainings on topics relating to the work of Windhorse. Open to the entire Windhorse community. 2nd Wednesday of the month, 9:30-11am. You are also welcome to attend the 30-minute guided meditation from 9-9:30am.
Upcoming/Ongoing Events and Groups in the Area:
Arcadia Folk Festival (Easthampton), September 28th.
The Big E (West Springfield), running now through September 29th.
Will Bike 4 Food Event benefitting The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, September 29th.
Northampton Jazz Festival (Northampton), October 4th-6th, including many free performances. 
Superhero Run (Northampton), to benefit Cutchins Programs for Children and Families, October 6th.
Paradise City Arts Festival (Northampton), October 12th-14th.
Look Park Pumpkin Festival (Northampton), October 12th, 10am-4pm.
Dwellings Arts Festival (Northampton), October 12th, 1-11pm.
Old Town Hall Ball (Easthampton), October 19th, 7-10pm. A celebration of the 150th anniversary of Easthampton’s Old Town Hall. Check out Laudable Production’s website for info on other events they are producing and groups they are bringing to the area, many of which feature world music such as Peruvian, Arabic, and Afro-Caribbean sound.
Pioneer Valley Food Tours (Northampton), multiple dates and types of tours.
National Alliance on Mental Illness meetings (Northampton), 2nd & 4th Tuesday of every month (see link for more info).
Northampton Scrabble Club (Florence), Monday evenings at The Lilly Library. More info here.

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Development Corner

There is a new season on the horizon. The fall temperatures are creeping into our evenings and we are starting to plan for next year.  In preparing for next year’s budget, we are conferring together from our different perspectives to build a budget that supports our services, our staff, and our ongoing training and education. When delving into this process, we keep a close eye on our values of sustainability and accessibility as well as entertaining the dreams and aspirations we have not yet realized. This year we have welcomed some new members to our clinical staff and found the size at which we are the strongest. We look forward to continuing their orientation to Windhorse, providing learning opportunities for our wider community, strengthening our outreach and operations nationally, and continuing to provide fun community events every month. We may not be able to fulfill all of our loftiest dreams, but we are on solid footing to continue this work. If there is a project or idea you have to contribute, please feel free to let us know.
Andrea Porter
Operations Manager of Windhorse IMH Northampton
Windhorse IMH
211 North Street, Suite 1
Northampton, MA 01060

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Alternative Healing Modalities Exhibit Opens Tomorrow!

We take great pleasure in announcing that a new educational exhibit will soon be open for viewing at the Windhorse office. Earlier this year, those involved with the creation of this exhibit polled our community for interest in alternative healing modalities (i.e. which healing modalities had they tried, what healing modalities were they interested in learning more about, etc.). Recently, they’ve compiled the results into an educational exhibit, which will be open for viewing and community response between Wednesday, September 25th and Wednesday, October 9th.We hope you’ll join us for the opening reception of this exhibit, which will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, September 25th from 1 to 3pm. Light refreshments will be served. 

Opening reception: Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 25th from 1 to 3pm

Exhibit open for viewing and response: September 25th through October 9th during office hours (typically Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm)

Location: Windhorse office parlor (around the corner from the kitchen)

If you have any questions about the exhibit or the opening, we welcome you to contact us at

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The Importance of Interdependence

In the face of quickly advancing technology and an increased tendency for us all to communicate via text and email, and to spend more time facing our computers than each other, it’s not surprising that we often lose track of how interdependent we are as individuals, as communities, and as a species. No single thing on this planet, from the smallest ant to the largest whale, can survive in a vacuum. We take nourishment from the things around us, be it from the food we eat or through the love and support we receive from a trusted friend or family member or beloved pet. We need each other in order to survive and very often we need each other in order to thrive.

The reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone Park provides a brilliant example of how beings are interdependent and how, together, they can all flourish. In 1995, a small number of grey wolves were reintroduced to the park where they had once held a prominent roll. Their presence has had astounding long-term effects on the park. The new predators helped reduce the numbers of certain prey, which had become overpopulated (to the detriment of the herds themselves and the environment around them), but this was only the start. In the end, the presence of the wolves even changed the physical landscape of the park.

We share this story as a way of demonstrating that we are all a part of something bigger, and that our actions have effects on others, just as others’ actions have effects on us. And those actions, even small ones, can ripple outward. Smiling at someone as you pass them in the hall, for example, may feel like a small thing to you, but it may help them to feel seen and appreciated and brighten an otherwise difficult day. And that may then help them to stay more present and be more supportive to a friend or loved one who is really struggling. Picking up an earthworm from the middle of the bike trail and moving it to the safety of the soil only takes a minute, and yet it may save that small creature’s life. And that small creature, in turn, may help improve the soil around the plants along the bike trail, causing them to produce larger, more abundant flowers, which will then attract and feed more pollinators.

To further enhance this point, we’d like to direct you to the story entitled The Starfish Thrower by Peter Straube (adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley). We hope it inspires you, for you are a cog in this wheel, as are all of us. We all make a difference in our own ways, large and small. We all matter.

(As an aside, if you’re interested in learning more about the reintroduction of grey wolves to Yellowstone Park and the effects they have had on the ecosystem and environment of the park, we invite you to check out this website. And if you’d like to learn about and view other wildlife, you might enjoy the National Park Services’ webcams.)

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Things To Do: Apple Picking

We’ve reached that time of year when the days are still a bit warm, but the nights are generally cool, crisp, and refreshing. And this can mean only one thing in New England… It’s apple picking time!!! Mix one pleasantly breezy afternoon with hundreds of ripe and ready apples, as well as hot apple cider and tender, sweet apple cider donuts, and you’ve got the recipe for a pretty much perfect autumn day in New England. And luckily for us, there are plenty of orchards in the area that permit the public to choose their own apples and pluck them straight off the tree. Below are a few orchards worth checking out, just be sure to look at their websites or give them a call before heading over as they may change their hours depending on the weather or how well-picked their trees have been so far this season, and certain orchards may accept only cash (no credit cards or checks). It’s also useful to check out their websites if you’re interested in their growing practices, as quite a few use either organic or IPM (integrated pest management) systems.

Please note that all pick-your-own activities are generally weather dependent so it’s best to call ahead if the weather looks iffy.

Park Hill Orchard (Easthampton). Open daily for pick-your-own from 10am to 4pm. This gem offers pick-your-own as well as already-picked apples. In addition, they have apple cider slushies, fudge, pies (different fruit varieties, both frozen and baked), winter squash, and other goodies for sale. Plus, you can enjoy their Art in the Orchard sculpture exhibit while you’re there, which features about thirty different sculptures placed along walking paths throughout the orchards.

Kielbasa Orchards (Hadley). Open on weekends (and Indigenous Peoples’/Columbus Day) from 9am to 5pm. Call ahead to make sure they’re open and ready for visitors.

Atkins Farms (Amherst). Generally open on weekends from 10am to 4pm. Atkins also has an exceptional farm store that features lots of produce along with a salad bar, deli, cafe, gift shop, and impressive bakery. Their apple cider donuts are hard to beat.

Small Ones Farm (Amherst). An organic farm with over fifty varieties of apples. Check out their Facebook page for updates on when they’re open for pick-your-own and what varieties are ready for harvest.

Bashista Orchards and Cider Mill (Southampton). Open daily from 9am to 5pm, depending on weather and season. Check out their Facebook page for updates on when they’re open. They also offer a plethora of baked goods and local products for sale in their farm store.

Dickinson Farm & Greenhouse (Granby). Open on weekends from 8am to 5pm (last wagon into the orchards leaves at 4:30pm). Call ahead to make sure they’re open for picking and to find out what varieties they are currently offering.

Outlook Farm Barn & Eatery (Westhampton). Open daily for picking from 10am to 4pm. As their name suggests, they have a lot more going on besides picking apples, so leave plenty of time for checking out their other features like their market, butcher shop, and bakery. They also host events (like pig roasts!) and they offer $3 hay rides from noon to 3pm every Sunday through October 20th (weather dependent). 

Phoenix Fruit Farm (Belchertown). Open on weekends from 10am to 4pm. They also feature a farm store with plenty of produce for sale.

Clarkdale Fruit Farm (Deerfield). Offering two or three varieties available for pick-your-own every day from 9am to 5pm. They also have plenty of already-picked produce for sale.

Apex Orchards (Shelburne). Open daily for pick-your-own from 9am to 5pm. They also offer wagon rides on weekends from 10am to 5pm.

Bear Swamp Orchard (Ashfield). They offer pick-your-own on weekends from 10am to 5pm, as well as pre-picked apples and cider, cider vinegar, jams and jellies for sale.

P.S. Apple picking is an excellent activity to do on shift, especially if you’re new to New England and haven’t had a chance to try it before. We’re confident you’ll enjoy the labor of the fruits (harvesting the apples) as well as the fruits of your labor (the apples themselves!).  🙂

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A Poem for the Season

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into   
the round jubilance of peach.

Above is an excerpt from a poem entitled From Blossoms by Li-Young Lee, featured in the poet’s book entitled Rose. Click here to read the poem in its entirety, and here to learn more about the book.

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Recipes: More Apples? But of course!

Since you’ll be well stocked in apples after all of your apple-picking adventures, we thought we’d provide you with some recipes that will use some of them up. The good news is that apples can be used in a variety of ways from sweet desserts to savory suppers and everything in between. We hope that at least one of these recipes makes your taste buds dance (and, if so, we’d love to hear about it!). But if not, there is no need to worry as you have plenty of time to find one that does; many varieties of apples keep well in the fridge and can be enjoyed weeks after they were picked.

Skillet Apple Pork Chops from My Recipes

Homemade Applesauce from The Forked Spoon

Apple Butter (slow cooker required) from Sugar Spun Run

German Apple Cake from All Recipes

Grandma’s Apple Brown Betty from Food.

Old Fashioned Easy Apple Crisp from The Chunky Chef

Apple Crumble (or Dutch Apple) Pie from Plated Cravings

Apple Pecan Baked Brie from Taste of Home

Apple Pie by Grandma Ople from All Recipes

Savory Apple Thyme Tart from Le Petit Eats


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  • Katie joined the staff as a new Housemate.
  • Bashka has left her positions as Senior Housemate and Team Counselor. See below for photos from Bashka’s Goodbye Community Lunch.
    Cat (left) sharing her thoughts on all of the wonderful things Bashka (right) has done for Windhorse as well as Bashka’s many amazing qualities.
    We’ll miss you, Bashka!


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